I didn't realize I had reached over 1,000 followers on Booklikes until today. Thank you all so much. If you're on Twitter, you can follow me there too @atlanta_hunter. Also, my blog is atlterritory.blogspot.com. Again, thanks so much. Your support means a lot. :)
I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving. It's less than a week away and before we know it, Christmas will arrive. What am I grateful for this year? I'll make my one year fitness goal in two weeks. It wasn't so much a goal to lose weight or even look a certain way, but more to keep my word to myself. I'm grateful that I was able to do that for me. There's no harm in being there for others. It is better to give than to receive, but I also advocate taking care of oneself too. If you're empty and have nothing to give, how can you be there for others? That's my nugget for today. :)
Giveaway ended yesterday! Six FREE copies of Oceans Deep were given away. Congrats to the winners! This sequel will be officially available tomorrow! If you haven't read Testing the Waters, do so now at any of your favorite retailers. See the beginning of Yazmin and Jamal's love story. Best friends since childhood, they discover what they can and can't live without. Their journey continues in Oceans Deep when reality sets into their lives. Will their love be enough to keep them together, or is it too much to handle?
Cover reveal for Beyond Repair! Love the cover for this story, which will be available at your local retailers soon!
Check out FREE giveaway of Oceans Deep from now until Oct 11th! Only 6 copies left! Continue Jamal and Yazmin's story. Reserve your copy today :)
Check out new look for The Journal!!
Desperate Measures receives 5 Star review! Check out Red Headed Book Lover!
After much consideration, I've decided to make The Journal a stand-alone novel and not a part of the True Love Series anymore. It seems to stand out with its own unique style. Plus, a new look is coming to the book, and I'll have it early next week. I can't wait to show you all. Beyond Repair will be replacing it as book three in the series. This story will be out next year. Since the books can be read in any order, it won't throw anything off. :)
Cover coming soon!
It was love at first sight when Malik and Sydney met. Once they became husband and wife, the world was theirs for the taking. That was their past, but life has knocked them down. Things are different now. They're scarred. The day their world fell apart remains in their memories. No matter what, they can never forget when everything came crashing down around them. There is no doubt the pain is great, but can they come together before it’s too late?
They have been going through the motions for almost two years. While everything appears to be fine on the outside, heartbreak lingers on the inside. What can they do? They seem to be drifting further apart with no hopes of return. Is the damage too great for them heal together? Will love be enough or are they beyond repair?
Eight months into my fitness challenge and three months with Pilates. I do feel like my body is getting stronger. I'm also seeing the importance of lifestyle changes when it comes to health. Once my year is up, I'm going to start the challenge all over again. The key is not to be "skinny" or "thin," but to be strong, in shape, and fit. I can't wait to see the final results, but so far I'm liking the changes along the way. The journey is just as important as the destination.
Whoever said three minutes isn’t a long time to wait obviously never had to wait for the results of a home pregnancy test. I’m trying not to pace back and forth but I can’t help it. I’m anxious, excited, terrified, and experiencing nausea. I’m rubbing my palms together, trying to ignore how sweaty they are. I exhale deeply, wanting desperately to look at the stick resting on the vanity.
I’ve only recently stopped taking my birth control. Jamal and I never use condoms. Well, we did at first. Those first few months of dating had me nervous. Who knew I would fall in love with my best friend? It was Jamal who said “I love you” first. It took me a while.
I was damaged from past relationships. Though I had the love of friends and family growing up, my own insecurities kept me from experiencing life. My ex-boyfriends, the few that I did have, played on my lack of self-esteem. Generally, I wasn’t that desperate be in a relationship, but the closer I got to thirty, the more I focused on my mission to find “the one.” Thank God for Jamal, because my ex Brad almost had me make the biggest mistake of my life. I loved him, but he didn’t have my heart. Not the way Jamal does.
“Babe? What’s going on in there?” I hear Jamal’s voice through the door.
I practically had to kick him out of the bathroom because his nerves are worse than mine. I love my husband, but when a man gets “baby fever,” I think he’s worse than the woman. Jamal is trying to keep calm and be strong for me, but we’ve been trying for a while now with nothing to show for it. I hope I’m wrong about the reason I haven’t gotten pregnant. With Jamal being a fitness expert, he gets his yearly physical like clockwork. According to his doctor, his “manhood” is intact and everything is working normally. So, guess what folks—that means it has to be me. I glance at the timer on my phone and walk to the door so he can hear me clearly.
“About one more minute, Babe,” I reply nervously.
“Did you really have to lock the door?” he asks.
I hope he’s not too annoyed with me. I’ve been a little unpleasant during this whole “getting pregnant” process. Okay fine, I admit it—I’ve been more than that. On the other hand, I always apologize so it’s not like I’m too proud to say I’m wrong. Then again, I have my stubborn moments. “No, but you’re anxiousness mixed with mine is a bad combination right now.”
He knocks again. “Yazmin, open the door.”
I reluctantly unlock the door but don’t open it. By the time he walks inside, I’ve sunk to the floor to sit. Our eyes meet and for a second I see the affection in his brown eyes. Jamal is the most attractive man I’ve ever laid my eyes on. I’m not just saying that because I’m his wife. Although, I am partial.
He always looked cute to me, but when we started dating, my attraction intensified. As kids he was scrawny with little to no muscle, but now his body is well built. His size suits him. As a fitness instructor, he takes his health seriously, but he does allow himself the “cheats” in his diet as he likes to call them. I’ve even been more dedicated to staying healthy since we’ve been together.
He doesn’t say a word, but joins me on the floor as we wait. He laces his fingers with mine just as the timer goes off. I quickly stand to look. My stomach is in knots, and...
Coming soon!! Oceans Deep
So... this month makes six months of my personal fitness challenge, but I decided to change things up. I tried for the first time this week, Pilates. Yeah... nice idea but it is no joke. On the other hand, I'm starting to like it. It's challenging me in different ways, and I think it's going to take things to a new level. Still going strong over here :)
So... I challenged myself to a full year of fitness. I started in November the week after Thanksgiving, because I didn't want to make another New Year's resolution and not follow through. I've done that too many times already lol. So I'm in month five with seven months to go. Right now I'm four times a week and taking a break on the weekends. I'm nearly there so I'm moving forward! What will I do when it's over? I'll probably start the challenge all over again lol.
Cover reveal for Back to Life!
“You are,” I continued, “everything I wanted. I love that we can clown and kid each other. I love when you tease me. I love that I can open up to you, but most of all, I love that I can be myself with you. You’ve seen me at my lowest moments and still you saw the best. You once said I ‘broke down your walls,’ but Yaz, you broke through mine. I love you more than you know. It’s you and me, Baby. It’ll always be you and me. My vow to you is my love. I vow to love you every day for the rest of my life.”
“Jamal,” I heard her whisper.
“I love you,” I repeated and tucked the paper in my pocket. I took her hands in mine.
“I love you too,” she replied.
Reverend James moved to the rings and Yazmin and I placed them on each other. He said one final prayer of blessing over us and finally said the words I’d been waiting to hear all day. “I now pronounce you husband and wife. Jamal, you may kiss your bride.”
I cradled Yazmin’s face in my hands as hers grazed up my back. I didn’t want to rush the moment, but I couldn’t contain the passion I felt when our lips met. We joked that we didn’t wanted to “slob” each other down in church, but in my mind, we’re married. So if I wanted to tongue-kiss my wife, I was going to tongue-kiss my wife. However, I did try to keep it as appropriate as possible since I didn’t want her to be embarrassed. She still gets a little shy when it comes to PDA. Me, I don’t care because she’s mine. As much as I wanted to devour her mouth right then, I held back some, knowing there was always later. I could kiss her everywhere then. I couldn’t wait.
“I present to you for the first time,” Reverend James stated, “Mr. and Mrs. Jamal Parker.”
I grinned against Yazmin’s lips. She gave me one last peck before grabbing my hands and laced our fingers. She’s beamed. We turned to see our family and friends on their feet cheering and clapping. Yazmin and I walked down the aisle to exit the church hand in hand as husband and wife.
Present, September 20th, 2015
I feel her arms embrace my waist and I clasp her hands in front of my chest. I feel her mouth kiss my back through my collared shirt. I turn into her embrace and lower my head to meet her mouth. She’s running her hands up and down my back as her tongue meets mine. My hands are in the waves of her hair. She’s been on the natural hair kick for almost a year, and I think I’m beginning to like it. The natural kinks of her hair feel soft against my fingers. They look amazing when the wind blows them in wind.
“Where did you go?” she asks me in between kisses.
“I went to a souvenir shop. I thought we could take something back for our parents,” I reply.
“I still can’t believe they did this.”
She looks up at me. “You happy?”
“Yes,” I reply. There are not enough words to describe what I’m feeling.
“Me too,” she states. “It’s so beautiful here.” She pulls away and starts to walk closer to the water. I hadn’t seen what she was wearing until now. Her mint green sundress hugs her waist, the hem grazing her legs at mid-thigh. She’s barefoot, which I love. The sun is just about set, but the way it illuminates my wife is breathtaking.
I turn back around to see Jamal sitting on the beach. His arms are resting on his knees as he stares back at me. He looks sexy in his white collared shirt, which is rolled up to his elbows. I love the khakis shorts he’s wearing and I’m loving his clean-shaven face, although I did tell him I prefer his facial stubble. I saunter over and kneel before him. He opens his arms and I move to sit back between his legs. He wraps his arms around me as we watch the sky darken. I sigh when I feel his lips kiss my cheek.
“I got you something,” he whispers in my ear.
I smile when I see a necklace hover in front my face. It’s a simple silver chain with a scripted word, “Yazmin,” as the pendant. Again, just when I think he’s not listening, he surprises me. I’ve complained over the years that my name is uncommon and how I always wanted something with my name. Yeah, I know I could’ve gotten it myself, but it means so much more that it’s coming from him.
“Jamal, I love it,” I say as he fastens it around my neck.
He kisses my neck. “I thought you would.”
“I’m not going to ask how long you’ve had this. I’ve wanted one of these since high school,” I state rubbing over my name with my fingers.
“How long is a while?”
He laughs. “I thought you weren’t going to ask?”
He sighs. “Since junior prom.”
I turn to face my husband. A part of me was angry when he didn’t think to ask me to our junior prom, but I figured he didn’t like me. I even gave up hope when we reached our senior year. We were friends, so why would he ask me out? “Are you serious?”
He nods. “I don’t know why I kept it all this time. I wanted to give it you before, but it just never felt like the right time. Stupid huh?”
I reposition my body to straddle his waist, cradling his face in my hands. “No it’s not. Aside from you, this is the best present I’ve ever gotten.”
He takes the opportunity and kisses me. I’m completely lost in his touch as he runs his hands up and down my arms. I feel his hands at the straps of my dress as he slides them downward. The wind is cooler now since the sun has set, and the breeze is stimulating against my skin along with his mouth. I know without a doubt he’s going for my breasts and I give him better access by slipping my arms out of the straps. My dress is now at my waist and Jamal is kissing the space between my breasts...
Oceans Deep continues Jamal and Yazmin's story from Testing the Waters. Pre-order available now at your favorite retail stores or click below!