Blog Stop: ‘The Breakup Plan’ by Tia Kelly

breakup+plan+2000x3000meet drew.

Drew Wilkerson is a dangerous man. Not in the physical sense. Well, yeah, technically it could be related to something physical, but he’s the type of man that could get away with the most ratchet of offenses and walk away from the incident both unscathed and with two more women fighting to give him some.

Six three. Runner’s build. Colgate megawatt smile with the charm to match. Can wear the heck out of a suit, jeans, basketball shorts… damn near anything and everything. After-hours radio voice. Hell, any time is the right time for that voice. And did I mention the brother has blue eyes? Drew says they’re hazel, but if that’s the case, it’s not the usual green-meets-brown version. When he wakes in the morning, all you see in them is a sea of crystal-blue depth. Piss him off and they remind me of steel. Whether you want to say they’re hazel, blue, gray-blue, or whatever, those bad boys are intense. Staring into them for more than five seconds will pin your ass to a wall so fast you’ll want to cosign turning over all your good credit for anything he could ask for. Although that wouldn’t be necessary.

Did I mention he’s loaded? Just dropped seven figures on his crib in Philly (and before you assume, I’m not talking about low, barely-reaching-million-dollar-status numbers, either), and that’s before the contractors were instructed to turn it into the home of his dreams.

– Avery Coleman

meet avery.

My Avery. I turn around to see her standing in the entry to my room, but she brings a smile to my face simply from the sound of her voice and the warm vanilla bean and coconut scent filling the air. She never can decide which is her favorite smell, and to be honest, I like the combination on her.

The smile on my face is there because I haven’t hugged my girl in weeks, and I’ve missed her, but it doesn’t take long for it to slip off.

“Hey.” She pauses mid-stride toward my open arms and frowns. “You okay?”

I should probably explain. I didn’t expect to see Avery looking the way she does. I’ve seen her hair in countless ways, from her usual Freddie on A Different World go-to style, to weaves, to bohemian braids hanging past her ass, to the small cornrows on the side with a mass of curls piled high on top vibe she’s going for now, so her curly ’hawk look doesn’t surprise me.

It’s seeing the roundness of her adorable caramel apple cheeks slimmed out and revealing a hint of cheekbones, making the diamond and pearl studs I gave her stand out a little more. Hell, it makes even her mouth look…

Sh*t, I don’t have time for a sexual harassment lawsuit, so I better not say. But what I can mention is the mustard tank she has on shows off shoulder blades that are more defined than the last time I saw them, when she wore a single-shoulder gown to a fundraiser a few months back.

And her waist. Jeans hug curves, but these curves aren’t hers. She still has one of those asses folks sing about, saying a beat was made for, but that’s not why I sometimes catch myself staring at her.

I do just because she’s Avery.

– Drew Wilkerson


Avery Coleman and Drew Wilkerson have been best friends for a long time. And she’s also his personal assistant, and a friend-of-the-family. They’re so close that she is privy to just about all the parts of his life that would normally remain private – his email account, his residences, his charge cards and even gifts sent to him from his lady-of-the-moment. Still, as tight as they are, Drew is not necessarily as up-to-speed on what’s happening in Avery’s private life as he might believe he is.

Ahm … he has no clue that she is about to get married. And soon.

The news throws self-assured Drew for a loop and after a brief period of being a supportive best friend, he decides that what he needs to do is break up the wedding. But in doing so, will he also break up this friendship that has lasted more than a decade and been a cornerstone of his life?

While both Drew and Avery are flailing about and struggling with their obvious-to-all-but-them emotions, we slowly learn that there are a million tiny pieces from their past that help explain why their bond as strong as it is. Drew was with Avery during the lowest point in her life, and she has been with him since well before he was the handsome and in-demand playboy that he now is. The wedding, we realize, is just a catalyst for the inevitable reckoning with their pasts and their feelings that Drew and Avery were always going to have to do.

‘The Breakup Plan’ was on the one hand a lighthearted and humorous look at two people bumbling their way toward admitting a love that has always been there; and on the other, it was a glimpse of some of the darker and deeper things that might prevent someone from asking for and getting the love they want.

I especially liked the backdrop of the complicated and sometimes messy extended family dynamics—the sibling rivalry, the differences in relationships with parents and friends, the blurry boundaries, and the undercurrent of shared history. All of that made it believable that Avery and Drew could go so long having said so little about how they truly felt. Although there were some moments when I might have wanted to know more about Avery and Drew’s journeys—separate and together—at the end of the day, I enjoyed them and felt invested in seeing them find their way toward each other. I think you will too.

THE BREAKUP PLAN is available NOW!


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BLOG STOP: a visit from Christina C. Jones, author of ‘A Crazy Thing Called Love’

When I started writing A Crazy Little Thing Called Love, the first book in this series, I had no idea it would become my (own) favorite project to date. It didn’t come to me in words at first, more like rich, warm colors and a feeling I wanted to create around it. It was the first time for me that the setting came first, and I was almost — ok, absolutely ­ — jealous that I didn’t live in this fictional neighborhood myself.

serendipitousloveIt’s a place that I dream of, but have never been, and certainly never visited. A thriving community of good neighbors, plenty to see and do, and a rich, vibrant scene of brown people in various shades unexpectedly finding love — that they may or may not have been looking for — as they work, run businesses, and just… thrive.

Because you don’t have to choose one or two out of three when it comes to being brown, being successful, and being in love. It’s not that extraordinary. It’s absolutely normal, and that’s what I love to see played out in front of me, so that’s what I wrote.

I mentioned it being a favorite project, but by no means does that it make it the easiest. I’m still finding my fearlessness as an author, while trying to present the characters in this project as they came to me — kinda… not perfect. The urge really, really is to write people who fall perfectly in love, no mistakes — especially not from our hero. Even as a reader, I want to love the hero, and his ass had better not mess up, or… he just might be human, and I’ll love him anyway, just like the heroine does.

That’s actually a lesson I can pretty strongly attribute to my gracious host for todays post. It’s okay, really, to present people as they are, flaws and all. It’s part of the human experience, and isn’t that what I’m supposed to be writing about? Even with that said… it’s hard. And I’ll admit that I’ve been resistant. I don’t want to have to step away from a scene for a moment to collect myself. I don’t want to be so angry with a character that I’m being a bitch to people in real life. But… hey, what’s the point of writing if I’m holding back? I want to put forth all of the emotion the characters are pushing on to — and pulling out of — me, and put that onto the page for the reader.

And… I’m veering off course, lol. So, back to the series. Here are my (very lightly spoiler-ish) descriptions of each book.

CLwalkyouhomeIn A Crazy Little Thing Called Love, we meet Simone. She’s been living in a rut without even realizing it, because she’s been so absorbed with the opening of her business. Then she meets coffee scented, dark-roasted, Roman, and becomes acutely aware that something in her life is missing. She overthinks everything, and sleeps with Roman too soon, and he has a little not-so-secret secret. Roman means what he says, and says what he means, but he’s kinda… let’s call him naïve. But they work it out.

didntaskIn Didn’t Mean To Love You, we enter Viv’s world when she’s fresh off finding out — pretty abruptly — that her boyfriend is engaged. Fun, right? Carter thinks so too, because he’s had his eye on her for months, and now he finally has his chance… to be her friend. Only, that doesn’t last long, because does it ever? Viv is big-hearted, and emotional, and willing to fall in love with her friend. Carter is big-hearted, and emotional, and… not willing to fall in love with his friend. He has reasons. Good reasons. But in the end, they work it out.

stillrememberIn the latest release, — Fall in Love Again — Charlie is trying to move on from a rebound marriage she never should have gotten her silly self into. But, heartbreak makes you a little crazy sometimes, and ish happens. She ends up back in the neighborhood, working again in the restaurant she co-owns with the guy that broke her heart — Nixon. Their relationship has been over for a while, but the feelings are still there. Nixon is eager to insinuate himself into Charlie’s life again, in the same role he previously held, but she’s not making that easy. Because he broke her heart. Like… seriously broke her heart. But — noticing a theme here? — they work it out.

Guess it’s no secret that I love a happy ending, huh?

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post about the Serendipitous Love series! If you want to check them out, the first two books are on sale for $1.99, and also available on Kindle Unlimited. Each book follows a different couple, and they don’t have to be read in order to follow the story… but you’ll encounter major spoilers for the others if you read out of sequence.