Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sneak Preview of BURNED.

As with most of their dates lately, they would meet at the destination. Lincoln was the first to arrive at Red Lobster and was seated at a cozy table. She observed the clamor of the lunch crowd. The noise from glasses and utensils making contact with each other was musical. The laughter that erupted from a nearby table caught her attention. Her eyes zoomed in on one of the men. It was Nick, who worked with Anthony at Station 30.

She diverted her attention away from them to check her watch. “He’s late as usual,” she sighed taking a sip of water.

The waiter stopped by her table. “Good afternoon, my name is Hollister. Would you like to order now or wait for your party to arrive?”

Anthony was twenty minutes late. She didn’t have all day to wait on him to arrive; she had other pressing items on her agenda to do. Her stomach gave an embarrassing growl causing her anger with Anthony to deepen. “Yes, I’ll order now. I’ll have the shrimp special and another Coke,” she said shaking the ice in the half-empty glass. “Oh, could I have an order of cheddar cheese biscuits, also.”

“I’ll get that order in for you right away,” the waiter said not moving away from the table.

She looked up at him puzzled. “Is something wrong?”

He inserted the pencil in the pocket of his apron and stammered a reply, “Um, I may be out of line and ruin a good tip, but whoever stood you up is a fool. A beautiful woman like you shouldn’t be kept waiting by any man.”

Lincoln felt the blush rise on her cheeks. She tucked her hair behind her ear leaking a partial smile. “You just doubled your tip. Thank you for making my day.”

“Cool,” his brown eyes beamed at her. “But this is not a permanent gig for me. I’m going to be a journalist. I graduate in a few months.”

“Congratulations. My sister is a journalist.”

“See this is fate. I have something in common with a family member already,” he joked. “If you aren’t too serious with the guy standing you up, I’d like to take you out to dinner or a movie.”

His wide smile brightened his handsome face. Lincoln put his age anywhere from early to late twenties and not much older. The mannerism he exuded fit his current job as a waiter. However, if he succeeded in journalism, he would definitely be an on-camera personality. His tall, broad frame, sexy shy smile, and dark good looks made for television.

Lincoln fumbled with the cloth napkin lying across her lap. “Unfortunately, I’m in a serious relationship with him. If I weren’t, I would definitely take you up on that date,” she said giving him a wink.

He scribbled on a piece of paper and slid it on the table. “In case things change, give me a call,” he said walking away.

She unfolded the paper looking at it. “Hollister Gains…hmm,” she said licking her lips.

Her cell phone rang as she folded the paper putting it in her purse. It was Anthony calling. She swiped her finger across the screen to answer the call. “What’s the excuse this time?” She asked not holding back her annoyance with him.

“I got called into work. Apparently, Nick called off his shift tonight. It left the firehouse shorthanded so I agreed to work. Baby, don’t be mad at me.”

She turned her neck to see the men were still acting up at the table. Nick was the dark haired man banging his fist on the table with the boisterous laugh. He didn’t look sick to her.

“So, Nick called in sick? Well, you do what you feel is right, baby. I know how important the firehouse is to you.” She kept her voice steady. The urge to scream liar crept in her throat, but she managed to swallow it down.

“I knew you’d understand. I won’t see you for a few days, but I’ll call and check in. I love you, baby.”

“Be careful and I’ll see you in a few days,” she said clicking off the phone. She laid the phone on the table fuming. She should have busted him. However, without any proof Nick had not called off work, she let it go. Tapping a long fingernail against her lip, she pondered going over to ask him what was up. She scratched the idea. If Anthony were pulling a fast one, this tidbit would come in handy later.

She sat back in the chair looking out the window wondering where things went wrong. Last year they were planning a future together, only to have it unravel a thread at a time.

Her mother feared that their ten-year age difference would not stand the test of time. As Anthony grew older, she was afraid he would become possessive or mistrust Lincoln when she was out of his sight.

That was not the case. Anthony was the one creeping. A sudden sadness fell over her as tears threatened to fill her eyes as she watched a couple outside embrace. This was supposed to be a happy time for her family. Regan’s wedding, and her role as Maid of Honor filled her with excitement and ideas she intended to use one day for her own wedding. Lately, Anthony disappearing and his secrets about his whereabouts made her suspicious. She didn’t know why, but she felt it had to do with his ex-girlfriend Melanie. The woman would always hold a special place in his heart.

A different server arrived with her food. The woman placed the hot plate of grilled shrimp before her and a basket of biscuits in the center of the table. “I’ll get you a refill on your Coke,” she said taking the empty glass away.

Lincoln managed a half-smile and said, “Thank you.”

The cozy table for two suddenly became huge as she reached for a biscuit. The bread released a warm puff of steam as she opened it to spread butter inside it. She tore off a piece of the biscuit stuffing it in her mouth watching the couple outside greet another couple before heading to the front door of the restaurant.

Slowly her mind drifted to nowhere. She jumped in her seat when she felt a hand rest on her shoulder.

“I didn’t mean to scare you,” he said smiling down at her.”

Lincoln had to catch her breath. Recognizing it was Nick, she smiled back. “Don’t mind me; my mind was a million miles away.”

“I noticed. Remember me, I’m Nick Barona. I work with Ant at Station 30.”

“Yes, I remember you. When I heard the laughing, I knew it was you having a good time over there.”

“We tend to get a little rowdy, but when you work hard you gotta play hard, right?”

Lincoln nodded. “I guess so. Although, I don’t visualize Red Lobster as being a place to let your hair down,” she chuckled.

“Anyplace I go I let my hair down. I like to have fun when I’m away from work. Are you eating alone or is Ant joining you?”

The words lay on the tip of her tongue. Nick opened the door for her to question him, but she was afraid to hear his answer. “I’m alone. Anthony isn’t joining me for lunch.”
“That’s not a good look for a pretty girl like you. Would you mind if I joined you? I could use a cup of coffee.”

Company was the last thing she was in the mood for, but she motioned for him to take a seat. “Help yourself to a biscuit. I would share my shrimp but I’m greedy and want them all.”

Nick caught the attention of the waitress and raised his chin. “You’re in luck—I’m allergic to shellfish.”

Lincoln eyed her lunch that was growing cold on the plate. She hadn’t actually carried on a conversation with Nick before. Their encounters were brief with a hello or a goodbye here and there. Now she had to fake a conversation with him to add to the stress of an already bad day.

However, it wasn’t Nick’s fault. He was following the conduct firefighters used since they were a close-knit family. Even though she and Anthony weren’t married, she was considered a part of the family because of their relationship.

She separated the shrimp on her plate with her fork. As bad as this was going to hurt, she had to know about Anthony’s former relationship with Melanie. Opening that complex issue would put Nick in a bad position but she’d rather it is him instead of Orlando or Jon who were closer to Anthony.

Looking down at her plate, she decided to ask the risky question. How he answered was up to him. “Nick, what I’m about to ask you could but you in an uncomfortable position so don’t feel pressured to answer if you feel you shouldn’t.”

Nick raised his brow and took a sip of coffee. “Well, what do you have to ask me that would put me in that kind of position?”

“I have a question about Anthony that need to be answered. I could go to Jon or Orlando, but they are too close to him.”

“Um, I’m his friend, too. Anyhow, is he is in some kind of trouble? Tell me, I wanna help.”

Lincoln saw his concern and assured him. “He’s not in any trouble. I want to know about his ex-girlfriend Melanie.”

Nick sat back in the chair and draped his arm across the back of it. “Wow, Melanie. What do you want to know about her?”

“In your honest opinion, how deep was their relationship?”

“I might not be the right person to answer that, Lincoln. I don’t feel right talking about him behind his back; especially when it comes to Melanie.”

Lincoln waved her hands dismissing the question. “You’re right and I shouldn’t have asked you anything. I’m sorry if I made you uncomfortable.”

“It’s alright. Hell, there was a time Ant and I weren’t close. If you’d asked me then, this would be a different conversation. Since you mentioned Melanie, is she back in town?”

Lincoln shrugged her shoulders. “I don’t know if she is or not. I’m…” Hollister stopped by the table interrupting her.

“Well, I see your date finally showed,” he said handing the folder with the check inside to Nick. He winked at Nick and said, “I’m glad you didn’t stand this lovely lady up. I was going to make a second move if she was still here alone after my break.”

Dang it! She turned her head to see a sudden flash of confusion float across Nick’s face. He played it off without alerting the waiter to her deception.

“Good thing you thought twice about doing that, buddy. It’s been a while since I put these fists to use.”

Hollister mouth dropped open before he snapped it shut. “Yeah, whatever, dude.”
Lincoln gathered the waiter didn’t enjoy Nick’s humor as he glared at him with narrow eyes. Lincoln lowered Nick’s hands. “Don’t pay him any attention. He’s a firefighter, not a hoodlum.”

“I’m also a lover,” Nick said as nuzzling her shoulder with his nose.

Hollister brows slanted as he looked at them and said, “I’ll be back to get the check.”

Keeping up the facade, Lincoln feigned excitement as Nick’s warm breath caressed her bare

shoulder. “Okay, he’s gone; we can stop pretending.”

Nick lifted his head off her shoulder smiling. “Good thing I think fast, huh?”

She attempted to take the check from him to see how much she owed for lunch. “You are fast on your toes. I guess I should get going; I have errands to run.”

“I’ll take care of your check. Ant would never forgive me if he knew I didn’t pay for you lunch.” Removing money from his wallet, he slipped cash inside the leather folder and put it on the table.

“That’s a joke. He didn’t bother to be here to pay for my meal after inviting me to lunch.”

“Um, well, I don’t know about that…”

“I’m sorry, Nick; once again I’ve made you uncomfortable.” She took his hand in hers. “Thank you for buying my lunch and hanging out with me for a bit. I’m sure you had other plans for your day off.”

He rolled his eyes upward. “I wish I was off tonight. I go in later.”

Her hands trembled as she let go of his. Anthony was up to something and it was time she found out what he was doing finally.

“I’ll walk with you to your car.” Nick offered.

“I don’t want to make you late for work.”

He licked his lips alluringly. “I have time.”

Is Nick flirting with me? The palms of her hands moistened. “Okay, if you’re sure.”

“I’m positive.”

His hand barely touched the small of her back as they walked to the door. Lincoln always thought of Nick as a flirt and a ladies' man. He was never with the same woman twice. And she made it a point never to call the woman he was with by name until he introduced her. He dated so many women it was hard to keep track of them all.

Copyrighted Material

Saturday, September 13, 2014

My 500-Word Challenge:

My 500-word challenge was to write a story involving a scenario where dancing was the only way to get out.  Rules of the challenge was to just write the story and not worry about anything else. Please let me know what you think.

Rex took refuge inside the nightclub to get away from the scorned woman.  He could count on both hands the number of women he’d led on, but this time it backfired.  He had ticked off the wrong woman and she was hot to tell him about it. Getting lost inside the nightclub was the perfect hiding place.

Rex liked the place was jammed.  He strolled inside where he saw a woman alone.  He felt sweat bead on his forehead.  His major downfall was beautiful women.  A beautiful woman, standing alone, called for him to intervene.  Rex always attracted women by flashing his boyish smile.  His devilish good-looks aided in his craft also.

He drew in a deep breath deciding to hit on her.  What did he have to lose?  The woman he’d pissed off at the bar would never find him in here.  In a deep, alluring voice he said, “Hello.”

She looked over at him, smiled, and returned her attention to the dancers on the floor.

Rex chuckled as he rocked back and forth.  She was playing hard to get.  That tactic would not work on him.  “You know a reply would be nice.”

She smoothed down her dress.  “Okay. Hello. Satisfied?”

He rubbed his hands together welcoming the challenge to win her over. “It’s a start.  Are you here alone?”

“I’m with friends,” she replied pointing to a couple slow-dancing on the floor.

“And they left you alone?  Shame on them. So what’s your name?”

She eyed him and sighed. “Monica. What’s yours?”

“Rex,” he said offering a smile.  Something told him to turn around.  When he did, the woman from the bar was scanning the room.

“Shoot!” He panicked looking around for a way out.  He couldn’t go out the door he came in; the woman would definitely spot him.  He had to think fast.  Across the dance floor was the red exit sign.  “Would you like to dance?” He asked.

“Sure, I’d love to dance.”

A salsa number pounded out of the club’s larger speakers.  Monica began to dance. Rex hadn’t planned to dance since he couldn’t manage a simple two-step, but she didn’t leave him much choice.  His hips gyrated off-beat to the fast music.  He probably looked as foolish as he felt, but he didn’t care.  His concern was to get out of the club before the woman he’d burned spotted him dancing. He danced Monica away from the middle of the dance floor inching closer to the exit.

“Slow it down, will ya?” she snarled.

“Sorry about that,” he said as he looked across the room and saw the angry woman point her finger in his direction. She was coming and fast.

As the song concluded, his last chance to escape ended, also.  He spun Monica around in his arms until he reached the door. 

Monica stood dazed.  “What in the world was that?”

Rex kissed the back of her hand. “Your dance just saved my butt.”  He exited the door to freedom.


Enter to win a paperback copy of  TEACH ME TO LOVE AGAIN. Don't miss the opportunity to read about Breanna Montgomery and Kyle Lombardi.  There is nothing like the feel of a book and the smell of crisp pages.

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Teach Me to Love Again by Toye Lawson Brown

Teach Me to Love Again

by Toye Lawson Brown

Giveaway ends October 13, 2014.

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Monday, September 1, 2014

Bestselling TEACH ME TO LOVE AGAIN Is Now Available in Paperback.

From Amazon bestselling author Toye Lawson Brown pens another riveting interracial love story that you won’t be able to put down.

Teach Me To Love Again, will take you into the lives and love of Breanna Montgomery and Kyle Lombardi.

Meet Breanna (Brea) Montgomery. Young, ambitious, full of life, and very single. Meet Kyle Lombardi. Breanna's new boss at Perks Coffee Distributors. He's handsome, successful, single, and fighting internal demons that have taken him over.

Already butting heads at the office after their first meeting, Breanna is determined to keep her dream job despite Kyle's crass behavior towards her. She learns he has not always been this way.

A bad marriage caused him to alienate himself from everyone and hate everything. Breanna throws caution to the wind as well as the dire warnings from her colleagues to keep her distance from him. It's hard for her to do that considering she has to work with him. Stuck in an elevator for hours will be a test for Breanna, who believes there is good in everyone, including Kyle.

Click the link.

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