It's the 6th day of March Madness and today is also my 44th birthday! I'm celebrating it with you, all month long, by hosting other authors and their giveaways.
Relationships are a joint effort and commitment of two lives coming together in love and unity. Yet, sometimes the heart of one is still pledged to another, preventing the one from loving the person they're with. In the words of the old O'Jays song, Your Body's Here With Me, but your mind is on the other side of town.
My excerpt from BeJeweled: Standing Strong is just such a case. I'm giving away a signed copy of BeJeweled: Standing Strong and a $25 gift card today.
I just need you to comment on this post to be entered into the giveaway.
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 (CHAPTER: STILL IN LOVE)
“Are you going back down to the hospital tonight?” Alex asked as he sat on Angel’s patio. They had barely seen one another since Black had been shot. Their weekend trip to the beach had been postponed in light of current events. She had agreed to let him come over for dinner at the last minute.
“Yeah, I had planned on it, why?” she asked as she removed the lemons from the grill and brushed the onions with oil before placing them on the grill.
“Babe…I just wanted to spend some time with you,” he said, standing up behind her and wrapping his arms around her waist.
She flinched slightly as he pressed a kiss to the nape of her neck.
“What’s wrong?” Alex asked.
“Nothing,” she replied, flipping the onions to the other side.
“I touch you and you flinch, and you tell me it’s nothing? Alright, Angel. What’s really going on?” Alex asked.
“I told you, nothing! I’m just trying to grill here and I could’ve burned myself!” she snapped.
“Sure, whatever,” he mumbled, and walked back into the apartment. He didn’t come back out until she had finished with the pork chops.
He set the bowl of avocado and watercress salad on the patio table and went back to grab a couple of plates. After he finished dishing the salad onto them, she placed their grilled pork chops, lemons, and onions on the plates.
Holding hands she led them in a quick prayer to bless their meal.
“You’re awfully quiet tonight,” she observed when they were halfway through their meal.
He shook his head and smirked. “I just don’t get you.”
“What’s there to get?”
“We were getting so close and doing well in our relationship. I respected your right to keep our relationship platonic until after your divorce. Then for the first six months after the divorce we were good friends. After that, we decided to try dating and things have been cool since. I thought we were getting serious. But all of a sudden this situation arises and while I respect the situation for what it is, it seems like there’s no place for me anymore. I’ve been your strength through everything he took you through. I understand you have love and care for this man for who he was and is in your life. But I’m the one you’re supposed to run to, and now it feels like I’m being pushed to the back burner,” Alex explained patiently.
Angel took a sip of water before addressing his concerns. “No, Alex. I am not trying to push you away and I’m sorry if you feel that way. It’s just these last few days have been hectic. Every free moment I have is spent with TJ, you know that,” she rebutted.
“Yeah, but you have no time to talk to me. I call you, and you tell me you’ll call me back and never do. I can’t even kick it with you and TJ…not anymore.”
“Look, TJ’s confused about why his dad didn’t come and pick him up. He hasn’t seen him or spoken to him in a few days. That’s not usual for him and it’s hard, especially when they usually talk every other day. I’m just trying to make him my sole focus when I spend time with him, so he won’t miss his dad so much. He’s too young to understand what’s going on.”
“You’re fooling yourself, Angel. There’s no way that little boy won’t miss his father, I don’t care how much time you spend with him. There’s no way you can make up for what he gets from Black. I told you that in the beginning. I guess one day you’ll finally figure it out.”
“You know what? I’m sorry you don’t understand, but it is what it is at the moment, Alex. I would hope you could support me on this. If not, I don’t know what to tell you.” Angel picked up their empty dishes and took them to the sink.
He followed her inside with the empty serving platters and placed them in the sink. Alex pulled Angel into his arms.
“I want to understand, but I need you to help me. I also need you to understand where I’m coming from, too,” he stated as he tried to kiss her.
She turned her head away at the last minute and pulled from his embrace, walking to the sink.
“I’ve just got a lot on my mind right now, Alex. I need some time. Just let me have a little breathing room, okay?” she asked, rinsing their plates, preparing to put them in the dishwasher.
“This is bullshit, Angel! And you know it!” he argued, fire flashing in his green eyes.
“What is, Alex? The fact I’m just asking for a little time?” Angel pressed. She stepped away from the dishwasher and faced him.
“No. The fact you want me to sit around waiting on you. I’m supposed to be on hold while you sort out your feelings for your ex-husband. I get that you want the best for him and you care about him. I get that him being shot was major, but what I won’t get is why you feel the need to lie to me,” Alex declared.
“I’m not lying to you about anything,” Angel argued.
“Well, if not to me, then to yourself. Figure out what you want to do, Angel. I’ve got a life to live!” Alex stalked out the kitchen, grabbed his keys off the table near the front door, and left the little apartment, slamming the door behind him.
Angel shook as the vibrations reverberated throughout her apartment. She finally released the tears she held within. Tears of sorrow over a past with Black she had not fully let go of and tears of fear of possibly losing a good thing with Alex.
It wasn’t until she sat in the hospital with Black that she completely realized she had not gotten over her pain from their divorce, or his affair with her former co-worker, Kianna. But the scariest revelation was understanding her relationship with Alex might just be a re-bound thing after all. Something her mother had warned her against.
Women's fiction author and blogger, Chelle Ramsey lives in the metro Atlanta area with her husband and three children, where she is an HR Professional by day. Chelle wants readers to become empowered to rise above life's adversities, with faith in the Almighty God, and belief in themselves. During her “me time,” she becomes enraptured with the enthralling stories of Terry McMillan, Nora Roberts, James Patterson and Stuart Woods.
She hosts the annual 20 Days of Love authors’ blogging campaign, March Madness authors’ giveaways campaign, and showcases other authors on her blog at www.chelleramsey.com/beautifully-inspired-blog. She is a ghostwriter for romance authors. She also blogs for Liyahmore Publishing and Amore Speaks. Her novels can be found online at Chelle Ramsey Amazon.
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