I am so excited to introduce to you my newest full-sized novel, Broken Spirit. I wrote this book as a stand-alone to A Sinner's Cry, only because I wanted to bring back Sister Clay. Sister Clay is a fascinating character, and she is a trouble maker. I have met so many women who act like her throughout my life. I had fun creating her character. This book is Contemporary Women Fiction. Though I would have loved for it to be Christian Fiction, because of the first scene, I decided to change the genre due to the first chapter being somewhat vivid.
Please enjoy the first chapter and order a copy because I promise you, this story is everything.
Bouncing and singing to the melodic grooves of Al Green, Stephanie was cheerful and in love. She knew every word to the song Al sang with perfection and confidence. She enjoyed singing the lyrics to "I’m Still in Love with You," her jam. Stephanie loved Al Green and listened to 100.3 The Beat, while singing her heart out. She popped her fingers and sang with her loud, alto voice vibrating throughout the car, putting her all into the song.
Excited about the prospect of seeing her man, Stephanie shimmied and danced to the song's beat. She missed Donnie and couldn't wait to see him.
Everyone considered Donnie Johnson a charmer. Stephanie met him two years ago at a charity affair for a mentoring program. He was a new manager, recently hired, at a local computer firm that had sent several of their managers to donate time and money to help the cause of keeping troubled teens out of jail by providing them with opportunities to work with professionals.
Donnie was a 32-year-old, six foot, bald-headed, caramel-colored brother who favored tailored suits and pressed, crisp, white shirts with neckties that blended well with his colors. He looked exquisite and reeked of money and good fortune. Plus, he had a mellow voice that transported unsuspecting females out of their underwear and into his bed without them realizing what happened.
After dating Stephanie for over a year, exclusively, he presented her with a flawless, white, four karats, square-cut diamond and asked her to marry him. She agreed. Now, their scheduled day to tie the knot was two weeks away.
As Stephanie turned into the Ridge Park subdivision, with its newly-built, two story, ranch-style, brick homes, the sound of her ringing phone interrupted her thoughts. She turned the music down and grabbed her cell off the passenger seat. She recognized the picture of her best friend's smiling face, as the name Regina and her number flashed on the screen. Stephanie smiled and pressed the answer button.
"Hey, girl." Regina's unmistakable voice filled her car. "What's up?"
The two friends met 20 years ago, at a Christian function. Regina Wilcox visited her church and they happened to sit together. They ended up chatting and exchanging phone numbers. The two girls were totally opposite of each other. While Stephanie flaunted a huge smile with perfect, white teeth and was considered by many as a beautiful, mocha-colored, brown-eyed girl with extremely long hair, who barely stood 5'4 in her clunky pumps, Regina was a gorgeous Caucasian, standing 5'6 and skinny with giraffe-like long legs that seemed to go on for miles.
The color of her hair served up a dark blond color, and her crystal blue eyes sparkled reminiscent of the sky. They reminded you of the clear, blue waters rolling up on the beach and cascading back into the ocean.
Both girls were beautiful. Stephanie's big ol’ trusting heart seemingly got her in trouble. Always a friend to everyone, and even when someone hurt her, she would accept apologies and move on. Regina, on the other hand, was honest, critical of others, and held grudges. When they met, they were 11-years-old and just starting to wear clunky heels and the wrong color makeup and lipstick. But once they exchanged phone numbers, they became inseparable, even attending the same college and sharing rooms. These two ladies were thick as 20-year-old tree barks and stood together on issues even if the other wasn't too keen on the situation. They both came from upper middle class, educated parents and lived about 15 minutes away from each other.
The day they met, Regina's church visited Stephanie's congregation to participate in a concert as special guests. That was the beginning of an honest and beautiful relationship. Both girls dealt with their share of problems, bad boyfriends, and teary nights on the phone; but when things boiled down, they always counted on each other. While in college, Regina's family packed up and moved to Fort Meyers, Florida. But Regina accepted a job with a large, St. Louis firm as an attorney, which made Stephanie happy because she started her nonprofit company in the same area.
"Hey, Regina, girl, are you back in town?"
"Not yet. I'm still in Florida. I changed my plan due to a delay and won't return until next week sometime. My siblings want me to stay a little longer, since we haven't seen each other in a while."
Regina pulled down her rear-view mirror and wiped the excess lipstick from the corners of her mouth.
Turning her head to check out the homes in their new subdivision, Stephanie asked, "Well, how's your mom?"
"She's good, and she told me to tell you hi, and she'll contact you in two weeks." Smiling at her reflection in the mirror, Regina tilted the mirror up and focused on the road ahead of her.
"That's good. I cannot wait to see Mrs. Wilcox again. How many years has it been since I've seen her? Too many. I love your mom."
Frowning before responding, Regina stated, "Too bad Momma has to come to this wedding of yours to witness this travesty. I wish you would take my advice and not marry that fool."
"I still don't understand why you don't like him. He does so much good for the children and young men at the boys' club. He spends hours helping them with their homework and teaching them how to be good, young men."
"But, Stephanie, your problem is being blind. I'm concerned by what you're not recognizing, and that bothers me. Remember that time you brought him to your company's party and he tried to talk to one of your friends?"
"He said he was playing." Stephanie rubbed the side of her face. The conversation was bothering her. She didn't want to remember the negative stuff.
Slapping her steering wheel in frustration, Regina asked, "What would you say if you were caught, red-handed, trying to talk to another woman?"
"Well, that happened then, and this is now. Donnie asked me to marry him and not anyone else. So, my dear best friend, although I love you dearly, please understand this is my decision and accept the situation."
"I am your best friend, which is why I have tried my darnedest to stop this. But, I'll leave your wedding alone. You, and only you, will have to live with your decision. I'll be here when you need me."
"That's all I ask, Regina. I just want you to support me. I'm happy, and that's all that should matter."
"I'll let you have this one, but the next time-"
"It won't be one, Regina, so let this go, please."
"I gotta go, girl, but I'll call you when I come to town next week. Be good; I love you."
"Love you too, girl. Smooches."
Stephanie pressed end call on her phone and sat the phone back into the cradle on her car's dashboard. She smiled, thinking about the conversation. One thing she liked about Regina was her honesty.
Stephanie laughed as she drove through the subdivision. She lived in a beautiful area, but she and Donnie decided to sell their homes and purchase one together. They put their homes on the market and they would be on display throughout the month. They hoped someone would buy them quickly. Stephanie was ecstatic about a house she'd found and couldn't wait for her fiancé to view the structure.
She remembered the day clearly. "Donnie, let's check out this house in that new subdivision we passed the other day."
He reached over as he drove and squeezed her thigh. "If you let me bless you with some good loving when we arrive, I'll be happy to take a look."
"Boy, you silly if you think I'm going to lay on some filthy floor folks been walking over."
"You want me like I do you, right? I love you." He turned his head slightly to glance into her eyes.
"Boy, you better put your eyes back on the road." Stephanie took her two forefingers and pointed from her eyes to the street. "You better listen to me. Ain't nobody got time for car accidents."
"Girl, you feening for what I'm going to do to you?"
"I can't wait." Stephanie squeezed Donnie's right hand and smiled. Happy and satisfied, things in her life were materializing the way she always dreamed they would.
Stephanie couldn't wait to sign the papers for the house they were going to buy together. About to visit Donnie's home, Stephanie drove up to the white, chain link fence with the multi-colored daisies peeking throughout multiple links. As she stepped out of her white BMW, she passed by the red, yellow, and pink flowers and leaned over to sniff the sweet fragrance lingering in the air. Stephanie stood up straight, tossed her thick, shoulder-length, auburn-colored hair back into the wind and strutted to the front door of the house to locate the man she would marry in two weeks. She used her key to open the front door. Stephanie was going to surprise her fiancé, who had no idea his lady had arrived home early from a business meeting in Los Angeles.
Stephanie was a day early, and she had missed him so much that she traded her seat for one on standby, just to arrive early enough to rush to the man who would soon become her life partner. She was excited because she had not seen him in five days. That's how long she counted since they had kissed or touched each other; she was excited to feel his loving arms wrapped around her waist as they became one.
Stephanie walked through the house with her white, 4-inch, crystal-covered sandals silently clicking on the beige carpet. She stopped and stood in the foyer, looking in the mirror to give herself a once-over before seeing him. Placing her Fendi, calfskin bag and car keys on the Balbo console table, she primped and turned to check out her appearance in the circular mirror. Her white, sheath dress that hugged her body emphasized her small waist and her sexy breasts that were deemed 'just right' by Donnie. Stephanie was gorgeous, but not conceited, and understood how to handle her looks. Although a sharp dresser, she focused more on her education and her work. Stephanie was grateful she didn't have a weight problem, but she was careful to present the right attitude of someone who was appreciative of life and charitable to others. Her parents had always taught her, in life, you attract more with sugar than salt. Her efforts to focus on her heart had always made her stand taller amongst her colleagues and others. She inspected herself in the mirror to ensure her appearance would be appreciated by her man who loved to flaunt beautiful women on his arm.
Pivoting, she walked toward the en-suite. She noted Donnie's Land Rover parked in the driveway when she pulled up to the fence. He was home. Since she had not bumped into him or detected any movement, she assumed he was in the bedroom. As she moved closer to their special spot, she heard their song blaring, which made her feel all joyful and unique inside.
It was their signature song, "The Point of it All," by singer, Anthony Hamilton. She practically jogged to the bedroom, thinking about what would be happening in 2.5 seconds. As she touched the doorknob, she heard something knocking up against the wall. Twisting the doorknob, Stephanie nearly choked on the gum she was chewing.
"Oh, baby, your stuff is so good to me. Do your thing, girl." Donnie huffed and grunted out of breath.
"I love you." A woman, with her long legs wrapped around Donnie's back, screamed out as he pounded into her.
"Aww, baby. Don't stop." Donnie was thrusting himself into the woman, as if he had never experienced anything so good in his life. If Stephanie didn't know any better, she would think the man was crying.
The two, whipped fools sweet-talked and moaned so loudly over the music, they never even spotted her standing directly over their heads. Stephanie allowed the tears to pour from her eyes, as she searched the room for something to grab. The sting of betrayal begged her to kill Donnie. Not only that, he had mocked her by having sex with another woman while their song played in the background. Her heart pained with hurt and the feeling of rejection. She wanted to hurt him and make him experience the pangs of a broken heart like she was experiencing. Noticing the fireplace, she reached for the fireplace poker and walked in slow motion toward the man who had just crushed her heart. Lifting the poker up into the air, she slammed the deadly weapon across his head. Blood spurted out and spread quickly onto the screaming woman, who jumped out of bed and tried to run, but Stephanie was right behind her.
"Please don't hurt me. Please." The young lady looked no more than 20 years old. Her eyes bucked, and she looked like a deer blinded by headlights that was about to get hit by a speeding car. She looked terrified. Her straight, blond hair stood straight up on her head. Fear had caused her muscles to throb under her skin. Her pores began to exude sweat, and the hair on her arms, back, and neck started to stand up after seeing Stephanie swing the poker and strike Donnie with a violent blow to his head. The woman's entire body and brain were stimulated by fear. The young lady used her hands to hide her pale, white breasts, full, pink nipples and her private area, but her actions failed to cover her up. "I don't understand what's going on." She was inching toward the wall and reaching for her clothing. "Please, for God's sake, don't kill me. Who are you?" She cried. "Why are you doing this to us?"
"The question is, why are you in my fiance's bed having sex with the man I am scheduled to marry in two weeks?"
Searching for her clothes, she stayed as far away from the crazed woman who was wielding a poker with a desperate look of anger and hate etched across her face. "This is my boyfriend." The lady screamed, as if she had been hit by a car. She slid her long, skinny, white body down the cream-painted wall; once on the floor, she scooted across the hickory hardwood to secure her dress that was bunched up in the corner. "Please don't beat me," she sobbed.
"You mean like you're doing me, slut?" Stephanie gripped the long, black, body of the poker and swung at the lamp on the table, which broke into tiny pieces while crashing to the ground.
The sound of the table lamp hitting the floor terrified the girl, and she pled for the stranger to let her go. "Please, lady, let me go. I don't know you, and I don't want to die."
"I'm not going to hurt you. But this two-timing fool over there, I am going to beat the mess out of him."
Pivoting around to focus on the one person she trusted, she tried to hold back her anger. A surge of hate and disgust so powerful consumed her body and thoughts that she believed she would die from the energy in the room. She rushed to the bed where Donnie lay bleeding to finish him off. Stephanie raised the poker and Donnie's eyes fluttered open. He jerked to full attention and rolled off the bed. As he tried to stand up, he staggered like a drunkard leaving a bar.
"Are you crazy, Steph?" He shook his head to gather his senses. Donnie asked and grabbed a towel off the chair next to the bed, pressing down on his head to halt the bleeding. He walked toward Stephanie with his other hand raised. "Please, baby, this means nothing."
Seeing his private member dangling made her madder. With her left hand, she covered her left ear, as if she was trying to block out the noise. She was about to hit him again when she caught a voice saying: Don't do this; it's not worth jail. Stephanie. Put the poker down and flee.
"No." She screamed, as she swung the poker up into the air, missing Donnie. But before she brought the poker down again, the voice interrupted, Flee, Stephanie; now.
Dropping the poker, she turned and sprinted to the front of the house, grabbed her purse and keys off the table, opened the door, ran to the car, and jumped inside. She made it safely and locked the door as Donnie, who was running behind her, almost on her heels, took a brick and tried to break her window. He was screaming like a person suffering from behavioral issues, as he chased the car, naked, with the towel still pressed against his head.
The car was speeding out of control as Stephanie pressed the accelerator as hard as she could. She looked out of her rear-view mirror and realized Donnie had stopped and wrapped the towel he used to wipe the blood from his head wound around his waist as a small crowd started to gather.
Stephanie was despondent. All she could think about was killing herself. She could not believe this was happening to her. She thought she had found the one - the man of her dreams. She thought she could trust him, but like all the rest, he was a liar and a lust-filled idiot. He didn't wear a condom. How many times had he exposed her to diseases?
Kill yourself, an obnoxious-sounding voice barked. Don't nobody want you. You keep getting hurt. Life isn't worth it.
She hit the steering wheel so hard she injured her hand, which only made her cry harder as she tried to shake away the pain. "Please, God, please help me."