Love Is...revised, and renewed from cover to cover - Shawneda Blog

Love Is...revised, and renewed from cover to cover

Here is the novel that started it all. The characters for It's in My Blood, My True Essence, Embracing Myself Now and other stories still in development. Here is the new cover. What do you think?


Have you met Toney, Colby, Rebecca and Rajj? You should. I think it will change your life. They definitely changed mine. Read the first chapter below. Available in all ebook formats and paperback. 

Paperback  $11.99              Kobo                     Nook                      Kindle 
###

Chapter One
Dorothy Love Memorial Building Annual Tenant Meet & Greet

    “I don’t believe you’ve had the pleasure. My name is Candice,” Candice offered her hand to the six foot plus cocoa brown man she stepped in front of. “My friends call me Candi.”
    
     “I’m sure I’d remember if I had,” he took her hand and caressed the top before releasing it. “I’m Rajj, and so far it is a pleasure Ms. Candice.” He took in the scent of vanilla pear and peered down the petite woman’s low cut blouse that matched her striped mini skirt.
      
     “I’m hoping we’ll become quick friends. So please call me Candi,” she flashed a thousand watt smile. “So, Rog, is that short for Roger or like the old show What’s Happening Now?” She looked up at him through her lashes with a seductive smile.

      “Like the show,” he licked his lips and spoke to her cleavage. “Mine is spelled with an A and two J’s.”

       “Interesting, I never had -- I mean heard it like that before in real life. Originality is very sensual to me,” Candice said. “I don’t see a lot of it as a call center manager. I work on the sixth floor at Baal Research Technologies. Where do you work?” she shifted her weight from her left to her right foot. This caused his gaze to shift to her short but shapely legs.

       “I’m the senior associate at David, Haden and Associates. I’d love to hear about what you all do up there on the sixth floor. The name sounds so top secret. Let’s get something to drink and find a quiet spot.”       

       “We do biochemical research that combines technology with chemistry to see how the two can work together in the commercial world outside of the medical industry. It’s somewhat classified but my information is open and available to you.” She raised the glass he handed her to her rose painted lips and drank without looking away from him.

        “I see. Where would you like to continue this?”

        “Anywhere we can have enough privacy for us to express ourselves as needed.”

        “My office should be able to accommodate our needs,” he placed his empty cup in the waste basket at the end of the table. As he turned, he brushed against her and his arm tingled on the spot where he touched her. “Maybe we can schedule a conference after we finish in my office.”

        “Let’s see how our first meeting goes then I’ll let you know.”She placed her cup in the waste basket and stepped around him.

        He followed her out of the room to the elevator around the corner. She pressed the up button before bending over to brush something off of her shoes. Rajj approved everything he saw before she stood up. The elevator doors opened. He placed his hand on the small of her back guiding her into the small space. He smiled as she turned to him and pulled his face down to hers and whispered into his ear.

       “Candi, I must admit that I’m not used to dealing with such a bold client. But I’ll do everything I can to make sure that all your demands are met.” Rajj turned and kissed her on the lips, parting them before she had a chance to move. The doors to the elevator closed. He lifted her up and placed her legs around his waist.
***

       Toney stepped off the elevator into the hallway. Before entering the double doors and returning to the event she stopped in the ladies room to check her lipstick. She exited the ladies room through the entrance into the café. Making her way to the buffet table she wondered where her boyfriend could have gone. As she turned to go to her office she felt a hand on her shoulder.

      “Hey Colby,” Toney said. She gave a quick hug to the café au lait man.   

       “Toney, you look beautiful.” Colby said. “I meant to stop by your office earlier and ask if you were coming.”

       “Thanks, you clean up pretty nice yourself. I was about to go back up there and get my coat.” She noticed an attractive woman walking up behind him.

        “I didn’t mean to hold you. I wanted to introduce you to my assistant, but maybe I can do it another time,” the woman stopped next to him. “Or I could do it now, Toney this is Rebecca Tavares, Rebecca this is my best friend. The one I’m always talking about. The cheerleading coach.”

         “Toney it’s really nice to meet you. Colby told me practically everything about you, except the fact that you’re a woman.” Rebecca let go of her hand and playfully punched Colby on his shoulder.

        “I told you Toney was a cheerleading coach. I assumed you knew it wasn’t a man.” Colby said. Toney punched him on the arm.

         “Colby what is that supposed to mean? There are lots of male cheerleaders which means somewhere in the world there is probably a male cheerleading coach. Saying stuff like that let’s me know I’m not praying enough for you,” Toney shook her head and laughed with Rebecca when Colby rubbed the spot on his arm.

           “How would I know that? I played basketball at an all boys’ high school. Our cheerleading squad was from the all girls’ high school nearby,” Colby said.         

          “Rebecca, please forgive me for beating up your boss. We’ve known each other since we graduated from college but I still forget how he is sometimes.” Toney said.

           “It’s okay we’ve only been working together for a few months but I’ve come to realize that his heart is in the right place even though he is a little loco,” Rebecca said.

            “That’s enough of that. Y’all can bond later, and not on my account. I apologize Rebecca I’m so used to Toney I forget to mention she’s a girl sometimes,” Colby moved just in time to dodge Toney’s second punch to the same arm. “I’m gonna get something to drink while you two finish talking about me.”

             “He’s so dramatic. I’m still surprised he’s creating commercial ads instead of being part of them. I don’t understand how y’all get any work done.”

           “It’s kinda refreshing my last manager was so stiff he made rulers jealous. I prayed for a job like this before I moved here from New York.” Rebecca chuckled.       

         “Then you will love working for Colby. I hope it works out. His last two assistants weren’t used to it and took his kindness for weakness. Now they’re taking people’s orders at Burger King.” Toney looked at her watch then at the door. “I don’t mean to be rude I’m just wondering where my boyfriend is, he was here when I ran up to my office. He said he was ready to leave but I didn’t think I was gone long enough for him to do so without me. Now I’m rambling.”

       “It’s okay I understand. Men will do that to you. He probably just ran upstairs to get something. He wouldn’t leave without saying goodbye would he?” Rebecca watched Toney shake her head ‘no’. “You know men, they live in their own world sometime.”

        “You’re probably right. I’ll just hang out with you guys a little while longer hopefully he’ll finish whatever it is he is doing soon.”

          “So Toney where is that high powered lawyer boyfriend of yours? With you looking like that I’d think only God himself would be able to peel him from your side,” Colby said. He handed each of them a drink.
***

        Candice sat up and smiled as she looked down at Rajj breathing heavily beneath her. He looked up at her amazed. She threw her head back and laughed then raised herself off of him and out of the chair they occupied. She sat on his desk. 

         “So, Mr. Thorn, did you get all of the information or were there some additional questions you had?” She threw her right leg over the left and crossed them at the knee.

          “Yes, I did, but I’m not sure we’ll be able to finish this interrogation in here. Let’s see if the conference room is available. First I need to make a call to clear my calendar for the evening.” He picked up his phone and smiled as she eased off of his desk and into his lap again. He hoped he could keep his composure. The phone rang once before someone picked up.

           “Hey, Toney. Uuhhm. I had something… uuhhh… very important come up at the office so don’t wait for me to leave okay...No it’s cool really… I’m not sure it’s a new case and I’m becoming acquainted with all of the details now…I’ll get up with you later…Hey thanks for understanding…Same here…yeah later.” Rajj sat back and watched Candice then pulled her to him and kissed her. “Candi, a man could get a serious cavity. Let’s finish this down in the conference room.”

         “Your call, counselor, I’m not sure when I’ll be able to get such good representation again. My cases are normally settled quickly.”

          “I don’t know, cases that have such promising payment have been known to take a long time. Let’s take a more in depth look down the hall to the right, conference room D.” He smiled as he turned off the light in his office.
***

         “Then Toney switched over to the professor, patted him on the head and said, ‘thanks short stuff I got it from here’.” Colby doubled over laughing as Rebecca and Toney exchanged glances and shook their heads. Colby stood up with tears in his eyes. “I guess you had to be there, she was always doing stuff like that. It’s a wonder we graduated. Whoo. I’m going to get some more punch.” Toney’s cell phone rang.

          “This is him now calling from his office excuse me one second. Hey … are you sure…how long will you be…alright…I’ll ask Colby to walk me to my car…Your welcome. I love you… I’ll talk to you later. Rebecca I won’t be able to introduce y’all tonight something came up.” Toney put her cell phone back on the waist of her skirt. “I hope Colby isn’t boring you to death with his stories, I’m normally able to keep him from doing this when we see each other at church. I’m surprised he hasn’t invited you yet. He thinks everyone in Houston should attend Agape Cathedral.”

          “Actually Toney, I invited Rebecca to church the first month she started here but she already attends Potter’s Clay Christian Center with Bishop J.T. Stakes.  She said she saw him on TBN and God told her to move to Houston. Now that I think of it, isn’t that where Rajj goes to church?” Colby said.

         “It is but she probably doesn’t know him, their church is even bigger than ours. He just called. He is stuck in the office with something. So I might need you to walk me to my car,” Toney said.

         “I got you. We can go whenever Rebecca is ready.” Colby and Toney turned and looked at her at the same time.

      “It shouldn't be long. My feet hurt after trying to dodge this guy who was trying to talk to me from the second floor. I think he is a personal trainer but I’m not sure the sessions he offered were approved by the gym. There he is. I’m ready we can leave now.”

        “Great. My mission was accomplished you two met and I met a lot of potential clients.” 


Paperback  $11.99              Kobo                     Nook                      Kindle 

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