This is my first release of 2018, y’all! It was a really fun but in some ways tough one to write. I’m not sure I’ve ever tried to do a book (that isn’t a sequel), where the couple is very much in love from page one, and have a long, rich, shared history. They’re also just regular people in that they had happy home lives, no deep, dark secret or significant trauma to work through, but just usual ‘couple-stuff’ — information that shouldn’t have been withheld, feelings that they don’t fully understand or explain, and a litany of advice from various friends and family, sometimes sending them off course. That was the fun part of writing ‘The Makeover’.
Writing un-tortured souls is new for me, so that was the tough part. But I thought I’d give it a shot, especially as a counterpoint to all the negativity that seems to be out there in the world lately. I wanted to do something fun, and light and easy to digest. I hope I succeeded, and I hope you check out — and enjoy–‘The Makeover’.
Here’s a sample, to whet your appetite!
From ‘The Makeover’:
“So,” Sam began. She had taken her favorite spot in her large brown suede armchair that had seen better days, and curled her legs beneath her. “What was all the cock-blocking about?”
Colt almost tripped over the coffee table, before sinking onto the sofa. “What?”
“I wanted to stay, Colton. And you just barged into my conversation and …”
“Wait. Hold up. When you say cock-blockin’ you mean you were about to go home with that nigga?”
“Don’t say that word.” Sam closed her eyes and shook her head. “You know I hate it when you use that word.”
“Okay, fine. Lemme rephrase that. You were about to go home with that knocka? That clown. That …”
“I get your point. And probably not, but you didn’t know that! What if I were to come up to you and Bambi and drag on your shirttail and mess things up for you?”
“I wouldn’t have thought about it that way. If you wanted to jet, that would be the move. Plain and simple.”
Sam shook her head again, clearly disbelieving.
“But let’s get back to this whole cock-blockin’ comment. I mean, you do that shit, Sam?” He leaned forward. “Meet dudes in bars and then just … what? Let them …” He broke off, finding himself unable to even voice the thought let alone imagine the pictures that went along with it.
“I have … experiences,” she said vaguely, not meeting his gaze. “I mean, I’ve done some things. Haven’t you? I mean, I know you have.”
“How’s it different, Sir Sexist?”
“If I go home with a woman, I don’t worry about my safety. I don’t worry that she might overpower me, rape me and then slit my damn throat in the middle of the night.”
Sam pulled back. “God. Graphic much?”
“Because that’s the kind of shit that happens out here. To dumb-ass chicks who meet strangers in bars and take them home.”
“Why’re you getting so heated? It’s not like I’m a virgin.”
“I know. But I …” He stopped.
But he just didn’t think about it. The idea of Sam having actual, real-ass sex with some dude, the idea of her fucking some dude, he had avoided by not thinking about it. It was like a literal black hole in his consciousness—a sensory deprivation chamber, thankfully devoid of sight, sound, and everything else.
In college, she lost her virginity to some kid in one of her study groups. A nerdy dude who wore khakis and top-siders. When she told him—or rather when he pried it out of her—Sam hadn’t given any details, thank God, other than that she had finally “done it.” He’d seen the difference in her for weeks; a new awareness of her body, and sensuality in her movement. The kinds of changes that happen when a woman discovers her sexual power.
Colt remembered going out and shooting hoops till he was exhausted, and then calling a girl, whose name he didn’t even remember now, to come over so he could exhaust himself another way. He remembered eyeing the dude Sam told him she’d slept with and considering backing him up and telling him to leave her alone, except that everything he might say would be such a cliché: ‘you leave her alone, she’s a nice girl,’ or ‘you better not hurt her, or I’ll kick your ass.’
None of that seemed to apply, because he saw Sam with dude, and how he treated her like a queen. If he treated her right, then Colt had no cause to complain.
And if they were having sex, well … Colt would just not think about that part.
That had been his habit since, when men would enter and leave Sam’s life. And it was easy most of the time, because he wasn’t around for much of it, and the men were always temporary. There had been the one knucklehead who had lasted almost two years. Some dude she didn’t talk about much, who’d been around during Colt’s rookie year.
Other than that, if there were men in Sam’s life, they were like ghosts, a series of names that meant little: Eric, Jeff, Daniel, Jerome … whatever. Dudes who remained vague and whose stints in Sam’s life were briefer than the length of a basketball season.
“I mean … how many dudes we talkin’ ‘bout?” he asked now.
“How many women have you slept with?” Sam challenged. “And if you say it’s not the same, I will throw this wineglass at your head.”
“Well it’s not.” He sat back again. “But for real. How many?”
Sam stared at him. She downed the rest of her wine, and her eyes seemed to pierce right into his, behind his, and deep into his confused mind. She chewed on the corner of her bottom lip.
“Colton.” Her voice was quiet, and her expression suddenly solemn.
“If I ask you something, will you promise to tell me the truth?”
“Of course. Always.”
“Okay, but this time you might be tempted not to. So, I want you to promise.”
He shrugged. “I promise.”
“Were you …” She looked down at her lap then up at him again. “Tonight, when you saw me with Aidan …”
“Was that his name? The joker with the ugly-ass watch?”
“Okay, go ahead. Was I what?”
Colt blinked and swallowed back the instinctive denial.
“Yeah,” he said, finally, looking off to an area just above her head. “Little bit.”
Sam stood and came toward him.
Colt froze when she stopped, standing between his legs. She straddled him. Her knees on either side of his thighs. She lowered her weight, so she was on his lap.
“We can’t …”
“I was jealous too,” she said, talking over him, her words tumbling forward in a rush.
Colt looked up at her and she gave a little one-shouldered shrug.
Available now, exclusively on Amazon.