Because A Mighty Good Man is hitting virtual shelves later today, I want to celebrate. and I offer you (que the fanfare): LISA-NALIA. Lisanalia is a new part of the blog that will feature contests, excerpts and other fun things. Today, we’ll just do excerpts. The first is another excerpt from A Mighty Good Man, and the second one is from another book I’ve been working on called The Golden Touch. Enjoy, and welcome to this inaugural version of: LISA-NALIA!
A Mighty Good Man:
Fingers entwined with Jack’s, Tracy swung their arms between them as they left the Dasari yard for their own. The sun was fading fast as night approached and the temperature was perfect for a visit to the swim spa. In spite of everything going on in her life at that moment, she felt as if happiness was seeping from her bones. She squeezed Jack’s hand. “How was your trip? What did they want?” she asked.
Jack stopped just inside their yard, lifted her hand to his lips and bussed her knuckles. “It was all right,” he said thoughtfully. “Same old, same old. I thought about you a lot.”
“Did you?” Tracy asked as she stared up into his eyes. “I’ll bet not as much as I did you.”
Jack tossed the T-shirt he’d been carrying across his shoulder and took both of her hands in his. He placed them around his neck. Putting his hands at her waist, he pulled her closer. “You think not?” he whispered against her mouth before sucking lightly on her bottom lip. “What do you want to bet?”
Tracy couldn’t concentrate because of the little nips he was treating her mouth to, and seeking something deeper, she came up on her toes and angled her head so her mouth was pressed firmly to his. She could tell something was bothering him and sipping at his mouth, offered him comfort. She tightened her hands on his neck as she felt the usual deep pull in her stomach when he suckled her tongue, pulling it deep into his mouth.
He took his time re-learning the taste of her, his tongue seeming to touch every inch of the inside of her mouth. She felt desire begin to rise at a slow, but steady rate, unfurling in the pit of her stomach like a waking beast. She knew it would eventually grow into something akin to a raging inferno and the mere thought hiked her need up a few notches, and she let her body go limp onto his. She pressed herself against him in pure want, wishing foolishly that the kiss would last forever.
The Golden Touch:
“The answer is an unequivocal no, Danya.”
“It’s a simple loan, Mama. If I can’t borrow the money from you and –”
“And don’t be trying to call your daddy, either – whining and giving him some sob story. It’s time you learned to stand on your own two feet.”
Danya Cole took a deep breath and tried to quell the fear that was rapidly reaching the level of hysteria. She cleared her throat and tried one more time to convince her mother to loan her five thousand dollars. She did her best not to whine. “I’ve not asked you and Daddy for anything for two years, Mama. I’ve been making a good go of things with A Fab You. It’s only lately that things have gotten bad.”
“Hmmph,” Mrs. Cole said and Danya felt the phone lines nearly vibrate with her mother’s disapproval. “You might not have asked, but you certainly took. And before you waste brain power trying to guess if I know about the money your father has been slipping you on the sly, let me just tell you: Yes, I do. Now close your mouth and un-widen your eyes: the mystery is over.”
Danya closed her mouth with a snap and because her mother had said it, felt her eyes shrink back to their normal size. She tried to clean up the mess. “It wasn’t like we were keeping secrets from you…exactly. It’s just that Daddy felt since y’all were paying for Jeremy’s spring vacation, that I should get some money for my vacation, as well. That goes for the trip y’all took him on to Glacier National Park this past summer, too. Daddy said that just because I’m not there in Savannah with everyone doesn’t mean I should miss out on the advantages Jeremy gets.”
“No, but the fact that Jeremy is seventeen, and you’re twenty-eight does mean that you should.”
“What was I supposed to do? Not take the money, Mama?”
“Yes, Danya Marie. It would have been wonderful if you had not taken the money, thereby showing that you are indeed maturing and not depending on us so much.”
“But Daddy offered—” Danya stopped and pinching the bridge of her nose, took another deep breath. “I need the loan for rent, Mama. Plus, my car note, insurance, utilities and other things.”
“It’s already the third, Danya. Are you telling me you haven’t paid this month’s rent or your car note yet?”
Danya frowned impatiently. “No, Mama, you misunderstand. I’m talking next month’s rent and things. I’ve only got about five thousand in the bank, and that will dry up pretty quick. Chicago isn’t cheap.”
Mrs. Cole’s chortles could only be described as raucous and they went on for at least a half a minute, making Danya shift her feet and roll her eyes. Her mother finally said, “I love you, baby, but you’re more than a little spoiled and delusional. Don’t you realize how lucky you are to have that much of a cushion? You’re in a better position than hundreds of thousands of people. You’ve got money in the bank, and you’ve got time. The first thing I would do if I were you is trade in that ridiculously expensive gas guzzler for something more affordable like a Hyundai or something.”
Danya’s stomach dropped to her toes at the thought. She needed her Lexus SUV. In her business, image was everything. Plus, she loved the hell out of that car. “Mama,” she said in a clipped voice. “I cannot show up at a client’s driving some hooptie.”
“You heard what I said, and it was not hooptie –”
“As far as my clients are concerned, it might as well be.”
“I’m sure that’s not true, but let’s continue with your options. Stop going out every Friday night. You spend too much money to support this strange habit of always ‘kickin’ it’ as you’re fond of saying. And lay off the shopping for a time. And lastly, you need to pick up another job. This business you’re in of picking out grown folks’ clothes and such, while it was profitable for a while, seems a bit odd. And obviously you can’t rely on it.”
Danya rolled her eyes, and in the manner of someone weary of repeating herself, said, “Personal stylist, Mama. I am a per-so-nal sty-list.”
“Yes, sugah, I know, but you’re not having much luck with that right now, so do something else in the meantime in-between time. I recall you saying a couple-three weeks ago that your friend Jess asked you to devote some time to her pre-school. She wanted you to teach Spanish. Is that right?”
“Yes,” Danya admitted reluctantly, “and help with other things. And it’s not just a pre-school. She has after school care, too.”
Danya frowned at the edict. She had already decided to call her friend and see if the position was still available. She sighed. “Mama?”
“Have I really been that much of a burden?”
Her mother’s own sigh was patient and sympathetic. “You were never a burden, Dani, but you are spoiled, and that’s your father’s and my fault. We’ve been trying to cut you off gradually. Now don’t get me wrong; you’ve always had a wonderful work ethic and a great willingness to do what it takes to get the job done. That was never a problem, but we do want you to be more independent. Your call today is an example of how you depend on us a little too much. I get that you’re concerned about finances, and it’s good that you are looking towards the future, but your father and I should be your last resort – after you’ve exhausted all other options, one of which is getting another job.”
Danya didn’t bother to tell her mother that she’d already decided to talk to Jess about the job she’d offered if her parents wouldn’t give her the loan. “I understand, Mama. Thanks.”
“You okay, sweetheart? I didn’t want to hurt your feelings, but everything I said needed to be discussed.”
“I’m fine, Mama,” Danya murmured, feeling a bit sorry for herself and thinking that if her parents felt that way, then her behavior must have been beyond the pale. “Thanks for the advice.”
“I love you, baby. Now I just have one last suggestion: those expensive shoes.”
Truly horrified now, Danya told her mother she loved her too, and hurriedly clicked off the phone before things truly descended into hell.