Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Wait is Over

Just in time for the new Kindle or Nook reader on the Christmas list and the cost won't break the bank.
Scenes To Steal The Heart-Final Act is available on allromanceebooks in various formats now.  It will be available on Amazon and BN soon.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Small excerpt from Scenes To Steal The Heart-Final Act.  Coming soon!

Carlos placed the last of his clothes in the suitcase and zipped it up.  The car would be to take him to the airport soon.  He could not wait to get home to Danielle. Although he had people watching her every move, he felt better if he were the one watching over her.  Whoever was following them covered their tracks expertly.

He was almost ready to dismiss Herman as a suspect.  He did not think Herman would be stupid enough to actually try to blackmail him again; especially after admitting to installing the cameras in the hotel suite in Cleveland.

Carlos heard a light knock on the door coming from the front room.  Leaving the bedroom he reached the door just as an envelope slipped underneath.  He opened the envelope to remove the content from inside.  Closing his eyes he took in a deep breath.

Putting the package on the cadenza he opened the door to hear the elevator ding.  Rushing to the end of the hall he caught it.
“Consuela!” He said stopping the elevator doors from closing with his hands.

She did not look at him or speak as he stood before her. The man she longed to have a fling, had now become her enemy.

“Why did you knock if you did not have anything to say?”

With cold eyes she finally said, “You have what you demanded; our business is done.”

“I agree our business is done.  Let this be a lesson, Consuela; choose your battles carefully.  The next person you go up against might not be as nice as me.”

Her eyes narrowed and deepened. “You are one condescending, arrogant bastard wrapped in a pretty package. I don’t know what that woman sees in you.”

He flashed a malevolent smile.  “The same thing you saw until you crossed me.” He stepped back to let the elevator doors close not allowing her to say another word.

The sequel to Scenes To Steal The Heart will be available in December.  Keep checking for the release date.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

I hope your day is filled with love, happiness, thankfulness and great food.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Excerpt 2:  Scenes To Steal The Heart.  Another sweet interracial love story.

Carlos sat on the deck of his Malibu beach house.  The breeze rushing across the ocean ruffled the leaves of the palm trees lining the property of the private stretch of land.  His mind took him back to Cleveland and the last memory he had of Danielle.  When he awoke the following morning, he noticed lipstick prints on his cheek and forehead.  He couldn’t remember much about that night, but he either remembered or dreamt Danielle had kissed him.
Rafael joined him on the deck carrying two sniffers of brandy.  Handing one glass to Carlos, he sat on the lounger opposite of him.  “Where is your mind these days?”  Since you’ve been home, you’ve been in a self-induced daze.”
“Believe it or not, Rafael, I kinda miss Cleveland.”
“You’re joking? What could you possible miss about being there?  Don’t tell me you’re missing Herman.”
He rolled his eyes upward. “Herman is not a person I’ll ever miss.  I do have a score to settle with him though.”
“Sounds like you’re a little pissed with our beloved distant relative.”
“Pissed is only a portion of what I’m feeling about him.” He took a long sip of the strong brandy before scooting to the edge of the lounger.   “He pairs me with this kid that gives me chickenpox that almost killed me.”
Rafael sipped his drink slowly. “You can’t blame him for the kid getting sick.”
“Okay, but I can’t rightly blame him for that but he is lying to me about another person I was interested in.”
“And, I bet this person is a woman; a man would not have you this upset.  So, tell me about her.”
“Rafael, she was like no other woman I have met.  She was genuine and faked nothing.  She didn’t get obsessed with my stardom or money.  She treated me like any normal man on the street and I liked that. ”
“Carlos, you’ve never needed a wingman; why don’t you pursue her if you want her so bad?”
“We exchanged numbers and promised to stay in touch as friends.  When I was released from the hospital, I asked Herman where Danielle was, after all, she was supposed to be my bodyguard.”
Rafael threw up his hands. “Wait, you had a woman as a bodyguard?  Was she built like Arnold Schwarzenegger?”  He asked making a muscle.
“My brother, you are not funny.  Danielle is a beautiful woman of color.  When she smiled, I wanted to capture and bottle it.  I wanted to believe she was smiling for only me.”
Rafael continued mocking his brother. “I’m seeing a black woman with a beautiful smile and obviously a body to match the way you’re mesmerizing over her.”
“She’s actually a policewoman and thinking about her, makes me want to hop on the next plane to Cleveland to visit her.”
“What’s stopping you from doing that?  Carlos, you control your destiny.  If this woman is haunting you to the point of making you forget all the beautiful women throwing themselves at your feet; then go get her.”

Monday, October 15, 2012

Scenes to Steal The Heart



Danielle made sure to set the alarm to go off two-hours early in order to be on time for babysitting the Hollywood actor.  From the back seat of her car, she removed a tote bag containing magazines and books to read in order to stay occupied while the actor did his or her thing on set.  After paying for parking, she crossed the street to enter the Ritz hotel located on Public Square.
She grumbled the moment she walked into the lobby of the grand hotel. Looking around dumbfounded, the papers Lopez had given her did not contain a room number, but instructions to see Rochelle, the desk clerk.  Tapping on the granite counters to get the clerk’s attention, Danielle cleared her throat. “Ahem, excuse me—I’m Officer Tate of the Cleveland Police Department.  May I speak with Rochelle, please?”
The clerk smiled and replied, “I’m Rochelle.  I will buzz the room and have someone come down for you, Officer Tate.”
Annoyed she lifted her hands. “Are you kidding me?  Is this person so important that I have to be escorted to the room?”
“I’m sorry; I’m only following the orders given to me.”
“No, I apologize.  I just don’t get all the secrecy; they’re a freaking actor, not God.”
“I understand, Officer Tate.  Aren’t you excited to be chosen to be around someone of this caliber?”
“Well, I can’t get excited about an unknown person.  Plus, I wasn’t given a choice. All I’m really praying for is this is not a child or teen actor that I will be sitting with all day,” she said making air quotes with her fingers.
“If it makes you feel better I can say it is not,” Rochelle said giving a swooning smile.
Danielle leaned in closer. “Can you tell me a name?”
Rochelle tucked her long auburn hair behind her ears. “I would love to be able to tell you, but I could lose my job.”
Smacking her lips, Danielle grinned. “The old hold the job over your head trick; works every time.  I guess I will find out in due time.”
Rochelle nodded. “Indeed you will and I would love to trade places with you.”  She looked away from Danielle’s direction. “Mr. Fitch is getting off the elevator; good luck, Office Tate.”
“Why is everyone wishing me good luck?  I’m starting to think maybe I should not have agreed to do this.”
A tall, slender white man with wild, straight hair, and over-dressed for the warm weather, hurried towards her with his hand outstretched. “Office Tate, I’m Herman Fitch.”
Sarcastically, she took his hand saying, “Mr. Fitch; finally a name has been revealed from the secret hat.”
“Officer Tate, I understand your frustration but I don’t have the resources for a security company to handle crowd control if word got out.”
Walking into the elevator, she watched the man press the button to the floor housing the Presidential Suite. “Okay, I’m guessing this is not your ordinary class C actor, but one of substance.”
“You’re right.  I’m very lucky my cousin was available to do this favor for me. I can’t wait for the press release to announce it.”
“Yes, you are lucky,” she said, stumped by who the actor could be.  She watched television and went to the movies, but had a bad habit of remembering what actor starred in what movie.
He stepped aside to let her off the elevator first. “Here we are.  Be normal and don’t believe everything you might have read about my cousin in magazines or on those talk shows.”
“Mr. Fitch, I can’t give any reaction since I have no clue who this person is, but, I assure you, I am not one to be star-struck.”
Her stomach did a small flutter as she waited for him to open the door.  She was unsure of the flutters since her statement was true.  She lived in Atlanta and had been around famous musicians from the area and outside of the area when her father would take her along when he did private security.
With the door open, she entered the suite that was larger than her loft apartment.  The room was brightly lit with a view of downtown Cleveland from the picture window.  The room was quiet except for soft music playing from behind a closed door.
Danielle sat her tote bag on the floor—she didn’t want to dirty the extremely white furniture.  “I’m impressed.  You probably could’ve hired a hoard of security on what you’re paying for this.”
“I’m not paying for this, Officer Tate.  Make yourself comfortable while I get my cousin.”
“Um, Mr. Fitch, I’m curious.  Just how many people are accompanying your cousin, and I am not responsible for them, right?”
“Please, call me Herman and my cousin is alone.  Any extras will be paid for by my cousin and you’re not expected to do nothing but watch out for him.”
She smiled. “Okay, another part of the puzzle is put into place.  I know your cousin is male, now all I need is a name.”
A masculine voice came from another room but did not make himself visible.  “My name is Carlos Ramos, and you must be my bodyguard.”
She did a 360-turn waiting for the person to appear. “Yes, that would be me, Mr. Ramos?” 
Now that she had a name, it clicked on like a siren.  Carlos Ramos was the hottest male ticket in the film industry.  He originally hailed from Málaga, Andalusia, Spain, and became an overnight success after his first attempt at acting.  It wasn’t his acting abilities that got him noticed but his ravishing good-looks as a former underwear model.  His face and body had been seen by millions splashed on billboards, print ads and commercials across the nation.
He’d been paired with the biggest and hottest females in the film and music industry and, was rumored to soon walk the aisle with super-hot, Latina actress, Consuela Cruz. His reputation of being a wild party animal and loving the nightlife and women that accompanied that lifestyle, had the gossip magazines reporting the wedding would fail due to Carlos’ inability to commit to one woman.
The beginnings of a small headache throbbed at her temples; unemployment could not be half as bad as trying to keep tabs on a man that loved the limelight.
Carlos entered the room wearing a thick, white bathrobe.  “My apologies, Officer Tate; I was emerging from a bath when you and Herman came in.”
Danielle licked her lips subconsciously. The man was a Spanish god.  His jet black hair was wet and slicked to the back of his head.  This allowed his strong facial features to stand out.  Light facial hair, neatly trimmed, enhanced his bright, toothy smile.  His dark eyes were deep set and covered by lengthy, thick black lashes. 
Her eyes traveled down his body, imagining what lay beneath the robe.  He was tall but not exceedingly tall.  A gap in his robe showed enough of his chest to reveal it was muscular with a small patch of black hair peeking through the opening. His legs were strong and muscular.
She didn’t remember many actors, but this one she did because of his bad-boy behavior, and the string of heart-broken women he left behind.  Her own stare caught her attention.  She blinked to clear her mind.  “Mr. Ramos, how nice to finally meet you,” she said flipping her notebook open.  “According to my boss, I’m only to be present when you’re at work.  Once you’re done for the day, I am out of your hair.  Is that correct?”
He came to stand before her.  The aroma from his bath drifted under her nose, making her dizzy for a split second.  Taking the pen and pad from her hand, he handed it to Herman. Lifting her hand, he kissed the back of it gently; not taking his eyes from her.  “Officer, Tate, we just met.  We don’t have to discuss business right away.  May I offer you a cup of coffee or tea?”
His strong accent caught her off guard.  She let her hand linger in his, briefly. “Um, coffee would be good.”  Removing her hand, she felt the wetness from his lips.  Not wanting to wipe her hands on her pants she folded them together and took the seat he offered to her.
“Herman, please get us some coffee from the kitchen.  I made a fresh pot not too long ago,” he said ushering his cousin from the room.
He returned his attention to her.  “I will be back as soon as I change into something more appropriate.  Don’t go anywhere.”
Herman returned from the kitchen with a tray containing coffee and two cups. He sat them before her on the table separating them.  “Here you go, Officer Tate.  I have to take off in few but here is my card with my cell phone number if you need to reach me.”
“Wait, you’re leaving?”
“Yeah, I have a lot to do before noon.”
“Mr. Fitch, I think you should stay and fill me in on where you are shooting and the times I’m supposed to be there.”

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Electronic Raffle: Two Winners Have A Chance to Win A $25 Amazon Gift Card.

If you have read “LET ME SERVE YOU” and can answer the following questions correctly, then two lucky readers will have a chance at winning an Amazon gift card valued at $25. Contestants will email the answers to and I will reply with a number used to enter you into the drawing. The numbers will begin with “LMSY001 and end with the number of entries I have received. These numbers will identify the winners of the contest, so keep up with the email I return to you. The contest will end at 9:00pm (Eastern Standard Time) September 14, 2012. Good luck!


1. Who was the mutual friend that introduced Leighton to Charlie?

2. What beef did Ms. Maggie have with Malcolm?

3. Why did Charlie have to return to Canada suddenly?

4. What was Charlie’s secret?

5. Who were Leighton’s parents and what did they do for a living?

6. What caused Leighton to withdraw from love?

7. Charlie went to visit Leighton at her home. What did he bring with him?

8. Why did Ms. Maggie mistrust Charlie?

9. What unfriendly encounters did Leighton meet in Canada?

10. How did Leighton reveal her true feelings for Charlie?

Remember: In order to be entered into the contest you must EMAIL the answers to the questions. The returned number will be used as the electronic raffle ticket.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Coming Soon to Amazon and BN. A Love Story

Leighton Hall was as a successful Private Wealth Investor in New York.  Having left Chicago after graduating high school she vowed never to return home for more than a visit.  Sixteen years later, after leaving her Wall Street job, she is back in Chicago and running her brother’s restaurant.  Faced with hiring a new chef and through a mutual friend, is introduced to Charles Andrews, a talented chef hailing for Ontario, Canada.

Charlie is hiding a few secrets of his own, but vows to stick around Chicago after meeting Leighton. Although she is charming and friendly, he notices she is very withdrawn. He is made aware why the beautiful woman, with the sad eyes, refuses to take a chance at happiness. Charlie makes it his goal to show her all men aren’t dogs and can be trusted. Will Leighton let her guard down long enough to take the challenge, is his only question.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ebook Sale

Back to school sale! Only this for the Parents! 

Now that school is back in session and running the kids around to the local swimming pool or spending all day at the amusement park has ended, how about doing a little relaxing and reading.

Until the end of August, I have lowered two of my best selling ebooks to $0.99. You can grab "When The Music Stops" and "Law and Disorder: Partners Undercover" for only $0.99 on Amazon, BN, and 

If you can't chose which to read, you can bundle and get four in a one ebook download for the low price of $6.00 on and BN.

Friday, August 10, 2012

More from "Let Me Serve You" coming soon

“I will try my hardest to make it routine business as normal. You, Nate, and even Leslie can continue to do things after work and I’ll go do what I do on my own.”

“That won’t make me happy.”

“Oh well. Life is like a box of chocolates. You take a chance on what’s covered under that pretty gold wrapped piece. Will it be a sweet, chewy nugget or will it be bitter and hard.”

“You’ll always be that sweet, chewy nugget, piece, to me.”

“Stop it, Charlie. I’m not playing with you; just back off!”

“Leighton, I can’t believe you’ll never want me to do this again?”

With her back against the refrigerator, Charlie tipped her head to pull her into a kiss. She pressed her lips tightly to stop the penetration of his tongue from entering her mouth. Breaking through her barricade he was in and it felt like home.

Taking the kiss deeper, her loins started to stir. Their deep breathing was the only sounds in the room other than the humming of the deep freezer. Charlie’s hands found her breasts. He began to massage her slowly through the thin material of her blouse.

Falling prey to his seduction, Leighton placed her hands on his shoulders giving him a hard shove. Engorged with anger, instinct had her raising her hand to slap him; he caught her wrist. “You know you don’t want to do that,” he said kissing her wrist gently. “You’re angry with me and I understand. But you can’t deny there is something between us. I will back off to give you space, so you can see it for yourself, but don’t think for a minute I’m going to let you get away too far.”

Stunned and dumbfound by his actions, Leighton couldn’t do anything but storm past him to return to her office, slamming the door.

Charlie slid the heavy backpack over his shoulder. He wondered if he should wait on her so they could leave together as usual. When she didn’t emerge he tapped on the door. “Leighton, I’m leaving. I’ll see you in the morning.”

Safely hearing the service door close, Leighton removed her cellphone from her purse. Dialing the number she waited for the other party to answer. “Dr. Roake, can you squeeze me in; I screwed up big time.”

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Excerpt from Let Me Serve You


Leighton Hall maintained her life and high-powered career as a private wealth investor in New York City. Leaving her family and Chicago behind was her way of leaving her youth where it belonged and opening a new door to a brighter adulthood. Leighton wanted nothing more than to replace the pain and suffering she’d endured sixteen years earlier with a successful career in finance.

After graduating high school, Leighton, fresh off the plane and onto the doorstep of her aunt’s Brownstone in Brooklyn, New York, she was filled with ambition of getting her career started.  At the time, at the tender age of eighteen she prayed starting over in a city full of possibilities would uplift her sagging spirit.

All worked to her advantage.  During her second year of college, the few students she interacted with weren’t interested in getting to know her past.  Most were too absorbed in their own selves to entertain any curiosity about what her past held.  The oft-asked questions were general, non-intrusive questions, but just enough to hold enlightening conversations.  She didn’t have a problem boasting making the Dean’s list or any immodesty concerning her career choice; she only refused to speak of her life in Chicago.

After being nagged by her best friend Adele, she garnered enough nerve to join a sorority.  Adele suggested they do so because it didn’t hurt to have a sorority listed on her resume for potential employers.  There was always a chance that a potential employer might be fellow a sorority member, that could help move her up a few notches on the hiring ladder.

After graduating college with honors and obtaining a job, those close friends became family; temporarily replacing her real family in Chicago.  Adele’s boyfriend, Evodio, had now become her best friend also, and they were the only two to know the whole truth behind her leaving Chicago. 

Evodio graduated with a degree in political science. He constantly encouraged her to step outside the box and use common sense to learn to trust people. He overly-stressed she was being her own worst enemy by locking her past in a closet and erasing the memories instead of dealing with them head on. 

One morning Evodio, Adele, and Leighton were meeting for coffee to discuss wedding plans.  Evodio arrived before Adele.  “So sorry I’m running late, Leighton,” he said leaning down to kiss her on the cheek.

She removed the sunglasses covering her eyes from the early morning sun. “Don’t worry about it, I haven’t been waiting long.  Where is Adele?  You would think the bride would be on time.”

He rolled his eyes. “She’s having mother issues again.  Adele has to be forceful and let her mother know this is HER wedding.”

Leighton chuckled. “Mom and Dad are footing the bill so she’s not going to fuss too much.  Evodio, you’re going to make a great politician one day.”

“What has you saying that?”

“Have you noticed your statements come across as campaign speeches? You pound your fists together to make what you’re saying standout.”

“I’m that kind of person, Leighton.  I want people to hear what I’m saying and not ignore me.  So, if being louder than any opponent, or pounding on a table will get that attention then….”  He stopped, shaking his head.  “I see what you mean; I’ll work on that.”

“Don’t change now; you’ll need that aggression once campaign season begins.  You’re running for Alderman and when you win that spot, you’ll keep going upward until you reach your final destination of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.”

Hey, hey…the first Mexican to occupy the White House.  The naysayers had bad racist jokes for Obama; I can only imagine what will be said about me.”

“Bigots are entitled to their opinions.  Keep doing what you’re doing and ignore them; you know what you stand for.”

“Uh, care to turn that around so it applies to you?”

“No,” she said staunchly.

Ordering coffee for himself and Leighton, he relaxed to bask in the early morning warmth of the sun.  “This two wedding thing is stupid.  Adele’s mother insists we get married in Ontario and then have another wedding in New York.  How can Ontario compete with New York City,” he asked.  “It’s eight o’clock on a Saturday morning and people are out enjoying what New York has to offer already.”

“Man, you do not want to upset that applecart.  You’re a native New Yorker and this is home for you.  Adele’s family is in Canada.  Go along with whatever she wants in order to keep the peace for your special day.”

“I’m going through with it regardless of how I feel about the matter.  Adele better be glad I love her, or I’d walk away from this fiasco.”

“No you wouldn’t.”

 “Leighton, none of my ideas were included in this wedding.  You’d better believe the second wedding will have all the Mexican elements that overbearing shrew of a mother of hers, cut me out of.”

Leighton shook her head. “I feel you on that, but I commend you for keeping your temper and your mouth in 

He pushed back in his chair amazed.  Normally, a more entertaining response or speech would come from her. “That’s it?  No other snappy comebacks? Leighton, what’s wrong?”

“Nope I have nothing and why are you asking me that?” She moved her hands from the table as the waitress set the two mugs of coffee down.

“I know you, plus, you have that look in your eye.  What have I told you about holding in your emotions?”
She sighed uneasily. “Stop trying to read my mind, Evodio.”

“I wouldn’t have to do that if you would tell me what’s on your mind.”

She sipped the hot coffee letting her eyes lift to meet his seriously-dark eyes staring back at her. “I was thinking this is the end of an era.  You two will be married and will want to do activities with other married couples.”

“Well, get married to continue the era, Leighton.  For sure I have a cousin that wants to get with you and a few other friends that can’t wait to meet you.”

She flipped her wrist. “Warn them now that I am not interested.  I’ll send for Cocoa to keep me company.”

“Damn, you prefer the company of a cat rather than a man?  Leighton, I will keep drilling in your head to open your eyes until you finally do. All men aren’t dogs.  My cousin, José’s a little hairy but he has a good job, and, is in the country legally; he’ll treat you with respect.” 

She frowned. “You know I don’t like stereotyping and I have nothing against José—I don’t want to start a relationship that I know is destined to fail.”

“How do you know if you don’t try?  He keeps calling me about you.  Go out to dinner or a movie with him.  

You know José, so talking to him shouldn’t be a problem.”

“That’s the problem, Evodio.  I would like to keep José as a friend and the best way for me to do that is not to date him.”

“Good God you are so stubborn—“

She put her finger to her lips.  “Shush…end of discussion. Adele is coming down the street; I don’t want her to hear us arguing about José.” 

He mouthed lowly. “This isn’t over.”

She returned a smart-aleck yes it is, before standing to hug Adele.

“Good morning, Leighton,” Adele said squeezing in a hug.  “I have your plane ticket before I forget.”

“Your family should not be responsible for paying for my ticket, Adele.  I can afford to pay my own way.”

Adele placed her hand on her forehead, saying “Not you, too.  Can I get through this wedding without everyone hating me because of the decisions my mother is making?  I swear, once this wedding is over, I’m taking a break from her.”

Leighton shoved her playfully on the shoulder. “Girl, I’m kidding.  Why should I pay for a first-class ticket when someone else is willing to buy it for me?”

Laughing, the three went on to discuss the wedding as planned.  Two months later Adele and Evodio were married in Ontario with a second wedding in New York to follow a week later.


After both weddings took place, Leighton returned to work.  She kept in touch with her newly married friends, but did not see them as often.  Sitting at her desk, she was concentrating on her work when her assistant buzzed her phone, a smile crossed her face.  Malcolm, her younger brother, was waiting to see her.

Malcolm’s unannounced visit to New York was to proposition her to invest twenty-thousand dollars in a restaurant.  While her list contained fewer pros than cons, she hesitated agreeing to invest until she read the business proposal he prepared.  It included a well-known Chicago chef who was investing his own money and talent in the business; that sealed the deal for her to join.

“Malcolm, are you sure you want to get involved with this type of business with your heavy schedule?  Restaurants require a lot of attention.”

“I got it all under control, Leighton.  I’ll hire a business manager that has skills in the business to run the place for me.  Basically, all I’ll have to do is make an appearance to promote the place every now and then and…boom…we’re rolling in the dough.”

“Malcolm, make sure you handle everything before you return to Utah.  Twenty-thousand dollars is a lot of money to lose.”

“Lay-Lay, your investment will triple in a year.  You know me; I wouldn’t take your hard-earned cash if I didn’t have it all together before coming to you.”

“Of course, you wouldn’t.  I’m curious why you didn’t ask Mom and Dad to invest.  They do just about anything you want.”

“This is my baby, Lay-Lay.  Mom would have Martha Stewart coming in to take over my restaurant and Dad would let it happen.  This is my venture that they have nothing do with. I want you to have whatever success I have coming from this restaurant.”

Closing the binder, she folded her hands together over the top of it.  “Success in your business is not necessary for me, Malcolm; getting my money back will be good enough.”

Malcolm played with his close-shaved goatee before asking, “So, Sis, what’s new?”

She crossed her legs, relaxing in the oversized leather chair that matched the mahogany desk covered with paperwork.  Her spacious corner office told of her success.  The large glass windows gave a scenic aerial view of New York. Several framed awards and pictures she’d taken with celebrities and powerful individuals graced the walls and tables.   “Not much has changed since the last time we spoke.”

“You definitely got it going on the employment front, but you’re living in the best city on earth.  Do you need me to give you a few lessons on how to live it up in New York? You’re a millionaire, act like one and throw some weight around.”

“Correction—YOU are the millionaire thanks to the millions of dollars your contract pays and all those endorsements you have.  I only handle millionaire’s portfolios.” 

“You know what I’m saying.  You’re not a bottom feeder and you’re pulling in a hefty paycheck.  But, as long as I got a dollar, you got a dollar so in namesake you are a millionaire.”

“Malcolm, I love you but listen to me, you’re smart and level headed.  Don’t let your basketball career change you.  Hold onto your money and keep your nose clean.”

“I’m way ahead of you, Sis.  My accountant will be contacting you to take over my future investments.  I want the best wealth investment manager handling my dollars and you are the best,” he said glancing at his Rolex.  “I gotta get moving.  I promised a few friends we’d meet up tonight; you wanna hang out?”

She shook her head. “No thanks, I’m kinda busy.  Call me in a few days.  I have to move a few of my accounts around but I should have the money available to wire to you by the time the deal goes to closing.”

He hugged his sister as she stood to show him to the door.  He towered over her in height. “Leighton, thank you for trusting me with your money; I won’t let you down.”

“Hey, I know that.  Get that restaurant in business and make me some money,” she joked slapping him on the back.   “I expect my first meal to be free.”

“If you ever come home, all your meals would be free.  I love you, Leighton,” he said opening her office door to a crowd of people waiting for autographs.

She smiled settling in her chair.  Malcolm was the total opposite of her, his outgoing personality made him easily likeable; people took to him like bees to honey.  He’d always been athletic as a child.  Their parents made sure he played every sport available and had tutors on speed-dial in case his grades began to suffer.

Because of their persistence, Malcolm excelled in all sports. He received a full athletic scholarship to attend Loyola University graduating with a degree in business management.  A talent scout attending a charity event where Malcolm was playing basketball offered him a tryout with the Utah Jazz.  To Malcolm’s surprise, he made the cut and went on to become a fan favorite making the celebrity A-list in the NBA world quickly.

Leighton never envied Malcolm’s superstardom or that their parents favored to develop his athletic talents.  Their only insistence of her was to excel in school and not worry about playing a sport or engaging in any outside activities other than playing the violin.  According to their goals set for her, she was going to be a doctor and female doctors did not need to pad their resumes with unnecessary sport activities but with curriculum necessary to get into the best medical schools. 

Six months after investing in Malcolm’s restaurant, Leighton had nothing to do with the operation of the business.  She’d advanced up the corporate ladder accepting the promotion of Vice President in charge of the Private Wealth Division of the New York office of TransContinental Investments.  This kept her busy and her mind off almost everything else.

Leighton waded her way through a throng of reporters on the steps of the office building where she worked.  Going through the lobby a new security guard stopped her as she headed to the bank of elevators.  “Ma’am, what is your purpose here this morning?” The burly man in the neatly press uniform asked dryly.  He had probably asked a hundred people that same question and it was only 9:30am.

Leighton dug her identification card from under her suit jacket showing it to him.  “I’m a Vice President at TransContinental Investments.  What’s going on this morning…where is Stuart our regular security guard?  And why are there reporters camped outside?”

 “Please come with me,” he said waiting for her to follow.


“I’m not at liberty to say.  If you’ll come with me, your questions will be addressed.”

“Fine, whatever,” she said following behind him brooding.

Three hours later she unlocked the door to her stylish two-bedroom Manhattan apartment, throwing her empty briefcase on the sofa.  She had been so busy with her work, that she had not paid much attention to the rumors the company was being investigated by the Federal Reserve due to recent complaints by a number of disgruntled clients.  The rumors didn’t strike her as unusual since investors were always criticized and blamed when clients lost large sums of money on bad investments, especially in wake of the collapse of Wall Street.

TransContinental Investments had always been a solid business. Never in its fifty-year history had it been scrutinized for any wrong doing.  To ensure the company protected its clients from possible illegal activities that befell other investments companies, changes in upper and lower management were in the process of being set-forth.  Unfortunately, those changes weren’t implemented soon enough; an embezzlement scam involving several key members of the private wealth division had been uncovered by the Federal Reserve.

Appalled with the FRB grouping the innocent investors with the guilty parties, Leighton blasted the investigators for having documentation of her financial history placed on display for everyone to see.  Personal credit card information, how much rent she paid or owed on utilities and even the amount of money she donated to charities lay out in the open.  After combing through her history, the FRB was only able to locate one large money wire. That wire was to Malcolm, and from an old Certificate of Deposit she’d cashed in.

Six month after investing twenty-thousand dollars in Malcolm’s business, Leighton was out of a job.  The ringleader of the scam to siphon billions of dollars from unclaimed accounts; happened to be her boss.  The selfish greed to take money not yet claimed by the families of deceased clients caused the New York office to be dismantled and all remaining accounts to be spread among other offices until the investigation was completed. A final decision would be made on which employees would be staying with the company later.

After devoting years of hard work and dedication to TransContinenal Investments, this was how she was leaving her stellar financial career—three boxes containing her personal items and a personal escort to the front steps of the building. 


A week later, Leighton attended her regular therapy session with new and deeper issues to unleash on her therapist.  No longer wanting the responsibility of handling money for wealthy individuals, she refused the offer to move forward with the company in another city after passing clearance with the FRB. 

After explaining to the therapist her reasoning for being unemployed, the therapist suggested she wait before jumping back into the job market and use the time off to work on regaining control of her private her life.  Sixteen years had passed, and she had to find a way to go home for an occasional visit with family and not hide away forever. 

At 30 years of age, Leighton lived the life of a hermit. Although she didn’t see it when she looked in a mirror, she was extremely attractive.  She kept in shape by watching what she ate and working out with Adele who worked as a personal trainer in her spare time while waiting for a full-time position in journalism to open at the New York Times.  

She stood 5’6” tall, weighed one-hundred thirty-five pounds with shoulder length black hair and brown oval eyes; Leighton was above-average in looks.  On the norm, she was very soft-spoken and quiet.  Her intelligence expanded outside that of the financial world and would take people by surprise once they were able to draw her into conversation.

Women found her polite and well-mannered and not a threat to them.  Men wanted to know her on a more personal level but she refused to mix business with pleasure.  Going out with Adele and Evodio was the extent of her social life other than when she entertained clients in group settings.  She was satisfied with her life until 
Martin Sanders came along. 

Martin Sanders a financial planner she’d met during a campaign event for Evodio’s election to Alderman.  Leighton prematurely let her walls down in anticipation of obtaining that healthy male-female bond her therapist hammered into her every chance she got.  Their relationship lasted nearly three months before Martin revealed his true self.

Martin, so far, had been the only man she trusted enough to get close to her and tell of her past.  He was patient and understood what she was going through.  Entering their third month of dating, he suggested they take their relationship a step further.  He was falling in love with her and wanted to consummate that love with the promise of being together forever.  

Leighton dreaded the day this would happen but was thrilled at the same time.  In her mind she knew Martin would tire of kissing and petting like two underage teenagers living in the 1950s.   Martin was every woman’s dream.  Tall, sexy, handsome and rich, he could have any woman he chose.  He would say he chose her because she was different.  She wasn’t after a man to take care of her nor did she play the diva role.  She was sensible, hardworking and honest….that’s what drew him to her.

Falling hopelessly under his spell and believing his every word, Leighton did not want to lose Martin to another woman; she was falling in love with him also.  Her therapist was right; she could be normal if she stopped finding fault with every man.  Finally, she had a happiness to match that of Evodio and Adele.  Agreeing to go away with him for a week of fun and pleasure, it was time for her to complete her inner fantasy.

Martin planned the romantic get-away for two at his private beach house in the Hamptons.  Leighton enjoyed the long walks along the beach in the morning and dinner with dancing under the stars at night.  

The monkey was slowly crawling off her back.  She was ready to commit to her first love since nearly being gang raped sixteen years ago.  A sordid act committed by a group of boys and, arranged by the one she had a serious crush on.  

The memory of that night has haunted her for sixteen years and left her both mentally and emotionally scarred when it came to men.  She didn’t trust them as far as she could see them. As far as she was concerned, men only pursued her for sex and if she didn’t consent to giving it up, he felt he had the right to take it since he paid for their date.

Candlelight and music set the scene for the romantic evening.  Leighton bought a silky white negligee; sheer from the abdomen down to her ankles; a white matching thong prevented her from being completely nude underneath.  Changing into the sexy lingerie, she gazed her reflection in the mirror as she misted her body with the scent of White Diamonds….no ghosts circled her and no voices were screaming in her head to run.

Standing in the doorway separating the bathroom from the bedroom, she admired Martin lying on the bed.  His full frame stretched out on the canopy bed talking on his cellphone.  Leighton ran the tip of her tongue across her lips, moistening them; her heart pounding with anticipation.  She stepped from the doorway hoping to distract his attention away from the phone call.

Martin didn’t see her until she posed provocatively against the tall post at the end of the bed.  Ending his phone call, he turned to her. “Leighton, you look stunning.  Don’t make me wait any longer,” he said holding his hand out for her. 

Joining Martin on the bed, he recited romantic phrases to get her mood juices flowing.  Closing her eyes when his hands began hypnotizing her body skillfully, she relaxed, waiting for the moment to come.  His phone rang again.  He released her to sit on the side of the bed.  “I have to take this call.”

“Martin, I thought we said no business during our vacation.  Turn the phone off and come back to bed.”

“I can’t ignore this one,” he said leaving the bed and disappearing into the bathroom.

Adjusting herself to rest against the oversized pillows on the bed, she waited for his return.  She could hear Martin’s voice through the thick bathroom door; he sounded angered.  Getting off the bed she tiptoed to the door.   Her blood ran warm while her skin shivered from the chills.  What she heard, she did not expect to hear coming from Martin Sanders.  At least not her Martin Sanders.

The longer she eavesdropped on the conversation the more her stomach revolted.  Pulling her clothes from the closet, she changed and sloppily stuffed the rest of her belongings in the suitcase.  She left the Hamptons the very same night she made up her mind to give a man another chance.  Two strikes was her limit.  She was done with men screwing her over with lies and deceit.

All right reserved and copyrighted by BooksbyToye

Any reprint of this excerpt without the written permission of Toye Lawson-Brown will be punishable by a court of law.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Ebook box Set

I have combined four or my most popular ebooks together.  For a limited time you can enjoy "Fighting The Desires, Law and Disorder: Partners Undercover, A Love Delayed and When The Music Stops in one download for Kindle and Nook.  Why switch ebooks when you want to read the next book? Continue reading without interruption and become enthralled in the lives of my characters.

Follow the links for your reading devices.



Sunday, July 8, 2012

Let Me Serve You

Be on the lookout for a touching love story. Can the love of one man possible heal the wounds bestowed upon a woman hurt so bad, the wound will not heal? Let Me Serve You, will follow the lives of Leighton Hall and Charlie Andrews. Charlie is determined to show Leighton she is capable of being loved. Leighton can't convince Charlie that trait was ripped away from her against her will. Will he prove her wrong.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Goodreads Winners

Congrats to the two winners of the paperback copy of "A Love Delayed" that was offered through Goodreads. I will be mailing your books on Monday, June 18, 2012. Thank you for participating.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Shades of Romance Magazine

I would like to thank SORMAG for the awesome interview. I'm so blessed to be their spotlight author of the week. Please stop by and check it out.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Congratulations to the Kindle Touch Winner!!

20Jeep10 is the winner of the Kindle Touch by random draw. Please contact me by June 14th to claim your prize or another winner will be chosen.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Head on over to goodreads and enter for a chance to win.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Love Delayed by Toye Brown

A Love Delayed

by Toye Brown

Giveaway ends June 15, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Monday, April 30, 2012

May Contest Win a Kindle Touch

In time for the vacation season.  Nothing like reading a good book on the beach with a tall glass of cold lemonade.  How would you like to read that book on a brand new Kindle Touch?  Now you have a chance.  Go to my facebook fan page and hit "like" and become a member of my blog and be entered to win the Kindle Touch.  That's all you have to do.  You can find my fan page at and my blog is  Contest will run until the end of May.  Good luck.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Brief Peek into My New Novel: When The Music Stops


Chapter One

Sydney Howard, 33, graduated from Ohio State with a Masters’ Degree in Music Theory.  She played the piano with finesse, and her vocals were always in perfect pitch. Using her degree to help other aspiring entertainers, she taught music at the School of the Arts. Sydney on occasion would perform vocals as a backup singer for recording artists she’d befriended over the years, but never had any desire to be a solo artist, or become part of an elite all-girl group.

Sydney waited patiently in her classroom for the substitute teacher to arrive.  Taking a tissue from her purse to wipe her eyes, Sydney reflected on her family who meant everything to her.  Growing up on the lower eastside of Cleveland, she was one of the few kids on her block that had both parents living in the same house happily.  Her parents were heavily involved in her life.  They made time to be at every school event from grade school to college.  Sydney never felt their presence was unwelcome but loving. They were parents that cared enough to guide her into a happy and healthy adulthood.

Now her mother was dying, and she held no power to stop it from happening.  Her father was suffering, and she could not comfort him as he slipped into a depression.  Thomas Howard insisted Sydney continue to work, and he would call with updates.  Her mother’s condition had deteriorated overnight leaving her little hope she would live through the day.

Donovan rapped lightly on the door. ”Hey, Sydney, I’m coming to take you away for a little bit.”
Startled, her head turned to the voice near the door. “Donovan, hey, what are you doing on my side of town?”

“Like I said, I came to take you away for a bit.  Do you have another class coming in or can you leave for lunch?”

Scooting her chair from behind her desk, she rose to acknowledge her dear friend. “No. I’m waiting for a sub to get here, actually.”

“Talk to me, Sydney.  I know you’re going through a bad time with your mother.  I’m here for you.”

Copyright © 2012 Toye Lawson Brown

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Offical Book Cover for New Novel Coming Soon

Take a gander at my new cover for my Detective Series: When The Music Stops.  I will post excerpts from the book soon.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Congratulations to the winner of my April contest.  Sherry Johnson was the winner of the Amazon gift card and free book.  Another contest will take place soon.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

April Contest

I haven't hosted a contest in awhile. So, I decided to offer one for April.  I recently decided to open my blog for followers.  As my thanks, I am giving away prizes. One winner will be chosen to receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card (to be gifted directly through Amazon) and, an autographed paperback version of either:

 "A Love Delayed ," a story of romance, heartbreak, and deceit, or

"Law and Disorder: Partners Undercover," where you follow the adventures of two FBI agents hot on the trail of a dangerous fugitive.

The contest is simple.  All you have to do is become a follower of BooksbyToye, to be entered into a random drawing.  Winner will be chosen on April 10, 2012.  The winner will have 24 hours to claim their prize before forfeiting to the runner-up.

Who can't use a $25 Amazon Gift Card?  I guarantee you will not be disappointed by the books either. Winner will have a choice of which book to receive.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Drama, Romance, Deceit

Meet Marcus Winters, a former NFL player making a guest appearance in Washington, D.C., for the Presidential Physical Fitness Awareness program. Introduced to Lauren Bennett, Marcus is immediately drawn to her. Lauren’s equally attracted to the former athlete but unsuccessfully learns anything about the man she innocently shares her weekend with.

Marcus leaves Washington semi-content with the few days of happiness he’s had in years, but regretting his private life refused to let him open up. Will fate step in for these two to meet again? Will Marcus finally be able to reveal the truth to Lauren? Follow the drama, heartache, and surprises found in “A Love Delayed.”

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Electronic Signature for Kindle

For those readers that use Kindle, there is now a way for authors to sign your copy. It looks just like a real signature and can be personalized if the reader contacts the author before purchasing. is the link. My books are listed there also.  If you would like a more personalized copy, please email me before purchasing and I will be more than happy to personalize your copy.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Author Monday's

Coming this Monday, March 12,  2012.  I will be the featured author on "Author Monday's" hosted by Phoenix Brown.  Please stop by to follow us while we do the interview and to support Phoenix Brown in exposing new Indie authors to readers.  She also spotlights well-known authors you love to read.  Stop by her website and read what other authors are working on and what she is writing also.

While you are waiting for Monday to roll around, why not read the books I will be discussing and join in with your questions. A Love Delayed and Law and Disorder: Partners Undercover is available for Kindle and Nook for the same low price of $1.00.

I hope to see you Monday. Click the link below to follow us on Monday.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Little Bit of Romance Can Go A Long Way

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve last blogged. During this time I finished up my fifth book, “A Love Delayed”. That particular project was more involved than the other four books. I used a professional editor, my own models, hired a professional photographer and will hire a videographer to do the book trailer. The music is even being specially written for this book.

The more I write the more I have learned. I take into consideration every review I get, rather negative or positive, and use those as guiding tools. The most I’ve read so far personally about any Indy book, is the use of the same stock photos being used as covers and hiring professional editors.

Since I write fiction, I can pretty much add as much drama or explicit material as my mind will allow, as long as what I’m writing has some reality to it. The last thing I want is to write a character into a corner and have to redeem the character in an unrealistic way.

I enjoy making up situations for characters. Once I get a story in my head, I move onto the next phase of placing names and professions to benefit the situations I have created for these characters. This can be a long thought-provoking process. Such as: how would a hair stylist meet up with a hired assassin. Not a very realistic situation, but probably one that could be developed into an interesting story as long as it held some realism. Anyway, that is not my next project but one I might keep in mind.

Returning to my current project, “A Love Delayed” is my first book completely written as a romance novel. I am a lover of suspense and thrillers as long as they don’t turn the corner into stupidville. My first four books were mostly suspense novels with romance thrown in. “A Loved Delayed” was supposed to be a suspense thriller.

I started writing this book in October of 2011. I got caught up in the spirit of the holidays and friends and family being nice to each other for a change, so I dropped the suspense and went straight for the romance. Granted, I am not your normal mushy, kissy type of woman so this was a challenge for me. Instead of reaching out to my normal contacts at FBI or the Cleveland Police Department for advice, I had to find people in love to interview.

A little background about myself. My spouse and I have been together for more than twenty years. Over the years we have become comfortable, so when we do separate things, it doesn’t bother me. I don’t mind him spending his weekends hiking, fishing or bird-watching, as long as he doesn’t expect me to do it with him. Sitting in the woods getting eaten alive by bugs is not my idea of a good time at my age.

This winter, we started doing date weekends. This will last until the weather warms and he returns to the outdoors and I find an air-conditioned room to write and watch crime shows. For now, I will take the weekends watching movies or having romantic dinners together; even if I like suspense and he prefers off-beat comedy.

We had to make a compromise on date night. We’ll watch a good suspense movie followed by a Family Guy DVD that he likes. I really don’t mind this at all. Usually, after the first episode, my brain has died and I’m not paying attention to the television, so no big deal. When it comes down to it, it’s not about what’s on the television we’re watching but, that we’re spending time together. We had gotten out of that after being comfortable doing separate things for so long.

So, as I penned the last page of my first full romance novel, I found myself believing that you can’t let yourself become too comfortable in your relationship. Put on that romantic music from twenty years ago, light a few candles and order or cook that special meal for the person in your life. He or she will appreciate that you still find them attractive after being together for so long.

Now my plug: Check out my new novel “A Love Delayed.” On sale in eBook format at, and for $2.99. Paperback edition will be out soon.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

February Is For Lovers

February is not only Black History month but also the month for lovers.  While we celebrate the monumental achievements African-Americans have contributed to this great country of ours, how about lending a little support to independent African-American authors.

I'm one of those asking for your support.  Please check out my novels on  Romantic/Suspense novels for the lover in us with just the right amount of suspense.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Take A Chance And Receive A Free Copy

Independent authors have to work hard to get recognized.  I'm willing to give away a free copy of my newest novel in exchange for liking my facebook fan page.  If you're willing to like my page, I'll send to you a free copy of "Law and Disorder: Partners Undercover."  Click on the "contact me" link on my blog to leave a valid email address and the PDF eBook is yours as my thanks. Click on the link below.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Technology Moves Forward; Hopefully The Conversion Process Will Soon Follow

New electronic gadgets are being produced quicker then we can blink our eyes. Being an author breaking in on the digital scene, I had to make decisions on whether to mass produce my work as electronic or in physical form. The noticable increase in electronic versions of my book over the paperback versions made that decision easy to make.

While it is cheaper to produce eBooks, the process of getting there can be difficult. The conversion process is tedious. Words on paper are crisp and readable. The margins and paragraph separation are clearly defined. Punctuation marks are noticeable as well as fonts and maybe images if you are doing books that have graphics or pictures.

Trying to get these types of elements to come across on eReaders is hard unless you are proficient in converting documents into mobi, ePub, html, or other applications that are required to convert books to eReaders. I have found PDF to be the most efficient conversion tool for me.

Now my problem with PDF conversion is minor but still frustrating. Your book looks great. You’ve made sure you have dotted all the ‘I’s’ and crossed all the “T’s” before saving it to a PDF. Next step is uploading it to say Kindle. The circle churns while it is converting your book to their format. Finally, after ten minutes or so, you get the green light it has been converted and would you like to preview it before saving.

Sure, why not! I feel confident I formatted my document correctly by following the guidelines provided. Scrolling through the viewer, the first few pages look wonderful. The pages appear clear and not smudged or blurry. The paragraphs appear to stop and start where they are supposed to; even indentations are flowing.

WARNING: READ PAST THE FIRST FEW PAGES. Somewhere along the conversion process, hiccups occurred. The formatting goes to the wayside and it looks a jumbled mess past page ten. I know how long it takes to format a book for electronic readers. I also know what my book looked like before I converted it to PDF or whatever application I’m using.

Many reviewers complain that punctuation marks were either not used or in the wrong place in sentences. I’m thinking I know I put a ‘comma’ here or used a “quotation” mark at the beginning of this sentence; what happened to them?” I go back to my original document and sure enough those items are where they are supposed to be. Why aren’t they converting or better yet, how are they being moved or removed?”

I love the concept of being able to read books and magazines on different devices, but there has to be a way to make sure what we’re converting is coming over as written. I work in an industry where we convert many documents into different formats to send to clients depending on what systems are being used. There is a good possibility that one or two of those conversions are sent back due to jumbled or missing paragraphs.

Where am I going with this? I read an article where it predicted electronic inventions and sales of these gadgets will jump even further as the future moves on. In reality, instead of saying the future, I should say as the days move forward. If these devices are going to replace physical books, newspapers, and magazines, then there has to be improvement on the conversion process.

I have spoken with professionals that convert many documents. I was told they too run into those little nuisances I spoke of earlier. So to my fellow self-published authors, who are trying to save a few dollars by doing everything yourself, just continue to make sure your formatting is consistent and within the guidelines of whatever application you are using to convert your book. It might take a few uploads to get to near perfection, but to me, perfection will not happen until the conversion technology is upgraded a tad bit more.

In closing, I’m asking readers to take into consideration that the authors did not put in extra sets of quotations marks or forget to place those periods at the end of the sentence. Most likely, the conversion hiccupped causing the fonts to change or removed the formatting to leave some pages a jumbled mess. I’m keeping my fingers crossed hoping the conversion process will become easier as technology evolves. It would take a lot of stress from the author and make a better reading experience for the buyer.

Text 'Yes' If You Love Me Has Been Nominated for Cover of The Month for May. I Need Your Votes Please

If you liked the cover of my book, Text 'Yes' If You Love Me, please vote for it for the Cover of the Month contest on