Monday, November 30, 2009

Ezcerpt from Total Eclipse of the Heart by Zane-Available Now!

Greetings! As promised, here is a sneak preview of Total Eclipse of the Heart. I did not put the opening chapter because, quite frankly, the book starts off with a graphic sex scene that had both of my parents asking me, “Why did you have to have all of that on the first page?”-LOL
I hope that you enjoy this excerpt and the book itself. This is my first book available on audio as well. I am very excited and wondering how people will react to the novel. As always, my writing means a lot to me and I had to go deep inside myself—someplace else even—to find the inspiration and passion to write it.
Total Eclipse of the Heart by ZaneRelease Date: December 1, 2009
Order your copy at:
Brooke Alexander, a waitress who has self-esteem issues regarding her lackluster existence and her fluctuating weight, is in love with Patrick Sterling, one of the most prominent attorneys in Washington, D.C. On his good days, Patrick is the man in every woman's dream. On his bad days, Patrick's behavior is demeaning and he is angry at the world.Damon Johnson, who's been married to Carleigh for four years, is one of "the last good men" -- compassionate and honest, he worships the ground his wife walks on. But Carleigh treats Damon like a trophy husband, allowing her friends to salivate over him and disrespect their happy home. Damon has dreams beyond his six-figure corporate job, and Carleigh views his life aspirations as a joke. Her selfish nature makes Damon wonder if he made the right decision when he asked for her hand in marriage.When a tragic event causes Brooke's and Damon's lives to intersect, truths unfold as they begin to reflect on their own relationships.In this provocative tale of love and heartbreak, Zane explores what happens when you cater to your emotional well-being and discover the meaning of unconditional love...or, rather, experience a total eclipse of the heart.
Damon JohnsonJuly 4, 2007Wheaton, MarylandCarleigh, I’m telling you. That motherfucker is too fine for words. I bet he blows your back out every damn night.”“You ain’t never lied, Jordan. Do you see that rocket in those shorts? I can see that damn thing all the way over here.”“Do I see it? Girl, it’s making me hungry. I’m starving and I’m not talking about those ribs on the grill.”“Yeah, forget about him cooking out here. I wouldn’t mind heating up some shit in the bedroom.”“Carleigh, tell us the truth. Can you even handle all that man? He looks like he needs at least four or five women to keep him satisfied.”“Ya’ll crazy. I keep my shit on point. Damon is well taken care of, thank you very much.”“Well, if you ever need some backup pussy, give a sister a call. You can call me twenty-four/seven.”“I know that’s right. Call me, too. Shit, I’ll settle for simply watching him go to work. Give me a bowl of buttered popcorn, a Pepsi, and a front-row seat.”“You all better find you a man on Damon’s website and leave mine to me.”“Please, those men on that website are full of crap. Last few good men, my ass.”“What about Bobby and Steve? They’re cute, in an old-fashioned sort of way.”“Carleigh, you need glasses. Those suckers aren’t cute by any stretch of the imagination.”“You hear those pigeons over there?” Steve asked, as I threw another slab of baby back ribs onto the grill.“How can I not hear them?” I replied. “Carleigh’s friends are a trip.”Bobby grabbed a barbecued chicken leg out of the pan and started gnawing it down to the bone. “Have any of them ever actually tried to get busy?”I smirked. “They have no shame in their game. I’ll leave it at that.”“Oh, come on,” Steve said. “Spill the beans. You know women aren’t the only ones who gossip.”“Don’t I know it,” I said. “You and Bobby are worse than any women that I’ve ever seen. All you chatter about is your sex lives, or lack thereof.”“Rub that shit in, why don’t you?” Bobby popped the tab on his third beer. “I’m this close to finding the lady of my dreams.” With his free hand he pressed his thumb and index fingers together. “I’m simply taking my time. I only plan on getting married once.”“Everybody only plans to get married once,” Steve said.“True,” Bobby admitted. “But I’m not going to end up like a lot of these peeps. I have zero intention of being on my third or fourth marriage by the time I’m forty. I want to settle down, father some legacies to carry on my name, and have readily available pussy in my bed every night.”I laughed. “Seems like you have it all figured out.”Steve looked at me. “When are you and Carleigh going to have some kids? You’ve been married for going on four years.”“Damn, you sound like my mother. Everything happens in due time.” I flipped the ribs over and took another sip of my orange juice. I don’t know why I felt like I had to defend my manhood, since neither of them were getting sex on the regular. Yet, I felt compelled to add, “It’s not from lack of sex that we don’t have a child. I can tell you that much.”Bobby glanced at my cup of juice and shook his head. “Damon, I don’t see how you do it.”“Do what?”“Refrain from drinking alcohol.”“Is liquor a requirement these days?” I asked.“No, but, shit, it helps take the edge off,” Bobby replied.I glanced down at Bobby’s beer gut and chuckled.“Preach!” Steve said, cosigning as he poured himself some whiskey—his drink of choice—into a cup. “Life is stressful and I need to be able to relax.”“Well, I work out to relax.”They both smirked, hating on me because of my body.Bobby looked over at the women sitting around the table on the deck still talking trash, and then back at me. “Damon, I have to admit. You have it all. A fine wife.”“Amen,” Steve said.“A nice crib.”“Amen.”“A good job.”“Amen again.”“One of the hottest up‑and-coming websites.”“Amen four times.”“And you’re cut like a statue.”Steve said, “I’m not commenting on another man’s body. There I draw the line; but amen to all that other shit.”We all laughed as I finished up the grilling so we could eat before the fireworks started later on that evening.As we sat around the deck eating, Carleigh’s friends continued on their tirade about how fine I was. They loved scoping out men in general, but they especially loved checking me out. Most women would feel uncomfortable if their girlfriends acted like they wanted to fuck their husband on sight, but not my Carleigh. She had me hooked and she knew it. In her mind, there was zero chance of me cheating on her. She was right.While Steve and Bobby were both single and looking, I will be the first to admit that most of my other buddies had a problem with being devoted to one woman, even if they had exchanged marriage vows. I’d taken mine seriously. Carleigh and I had been married for four glorious years and I wouldn’t have traded her for all the women in the world. Men tend to be egotistical creatures, and some of my married friends had the nerve to get pissed if their mistress or mistresses stepped out on them. That defied logic, but it made perfect sense to them.There are some decent men, but the silly, immature men make it hard for women to differentiate. On the other hand, so many women play games that men have to be damn near as cautious, or they’ll be somewhere feeling dejected or used. That was one reason why I was glad that I’d settled down early in life. Well, early for this day and age. During the last century, people married young—such as fifteen or sixteen—and had four or five kids by the time they were twenty-five. I got married at twenty-five; Carleigh was twenty-three; and while some of our friends had jumped the broom, most of them had not.Carleigh and I met at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans. She was there with her best friends Jordan and Sharon, and I was there with my ex‑girlfriend. I know, I know. It makes me out to seem doggish, but I really am not. Fran and I were on our way downhill long before then. In fact, that trip was our last-ditch effort to make love out of nothing at all. We simply were not compatible, and it showed daily. Too many people stay, waiting for the other person to break it off. A lot of men start searching for their next woman so they won’t have a dry spell once the shit does hit the fan. I’ll admit that I was somewhere in limbo between those two things when I boarded that flight to Louisiana.Fran got down there and started flirting with men every chance that she got. I found her cuddled up in a corner with a man in the hotel lounge the very night we arrived. She claimed that they had known each other for years, but the lie was obvious. I could tell by the expression on his face that he had no clue what the fuck she was talking about. He was trolling for sex and thought he had got lucky. If I hadn’t come down to see what was taking Fran so long—she was supposed to be getting one drink “to knock the edge off ” and then coming back up—she would probably have ventured back to his room and got her freak on.I had suspected Fran of cheating for a while. The clues were there. Late nights at the office. Girlfriends with constant weekend emergencies. Her mother always needing a ride to a doctor’s appointment or the grocery store. Returning home looking guilty, every single time. Even though I suspected that she was disrespecting me, I still did the right thing.When I met Carleigh outside the Superdome on our last night, the magnetism was instant. She bumped into me while Fran was in the long-ass line for the ladies’ room. She had on a Washington Redskins T‑shirt, so I asked where she was from. I was pleasantly surprised when we realized that we were homies. People from the Washington, D.C., area say that they are from D.C. even if they live an hour out in the suburbs. Carleigh was from Largo, and I was currently living in Silver Spring.We exchanged business cards for purely innocent reasons. She was a Realtor and I was looking to purchase a new home. It was all legitimate, I swear. Fran didn’t see it that way. When she returned from the ladies’ room, she looked like she wanted to wring Carleigh’s neck. I introduced them, but Fran wouldn’t even shake Carleigh’s hand. Damn shame how some women act so catty.To make an extremely long-ass story short, when we returned home, I informed Fran that it was time for her to hit the road and make other living arrangements. She threatened to sue me or to keep it simple and sever my dick. That didn’t make me stay with her. For the life of me, I don’t understand the latest trend of people suing one another when they break up. If you are not married, what the hell should someone owe you? You both took a chance and the situation didn’t work out. Why should someone have to pay you to move your ass on? I have noticed the trait even more with men than women. Brothers demanding that a woman help pay their bills if they get kicked out of the woman’s home. First off, they should be the main provider and not be living off her in the first place. Second, if it is time to move the fuck on, just do it. Fran couldn’t grasp that reality.The situation was unhealthy for both of us and needed to end sooner as opposed to later. Fran accused me of fucking Carleigh in New Orleans. That was absurd, I informed her. I met Carleigh the last night of our trip, and Fran and I left the concert together, went to a late dinner, then hit the sack. There was zero space and even less opportunity for me to fuck anybody but her. Fran was determined to make that hypothesis work for her. She suggested that I may have drugged her, then snuck out of the room. That did it, because any woman who thought that I was that hard up or insane over getting pussy was a complete nut. I helped Fran pack and dropped her off at her sister’s condo in Rockville, then told her to misplace my number.Carleigh and I hooked up the following Saturday—not for sex but to check out offered properties. I will confess that I was checking out her body more than the houses, but it all worked itself out. I was the perfect gentleman the entire three months that she helped me to locate the idyllic home. It was even more crucial that I find a new house by then. I was trying to get absolute closure from my dealings with Fran, and we had shacked up together for over a year.While her name was never on the deed, her memory was still there, and I believed in starting anew.Fran thought that she would be moving with me when I found my new spot. That was another reason for the timing of our breakup. I didn’t want to give her the delusion that we would be setting up another home as a couple. For a minute, she had become a stalker, parking down the street and setting up overnight surveillance to see what I was doing. Yeah, I had to get the hell out of there.After I moved into my four-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bathroom, all-brick home in Wheaton, I decided to sever the business association with Carleigh and ask her out on an official date. We had been out to eat numerous times, but never as a prelude to the possibilities. I didn’t want her to feel any pressure to hook up with me based on making a real estate commission. Too many men make women feel uncomfortable with the “what I can do for you” bullshit.We dated for about six months and realized that we were true soul mates. Carleigh made me feel comfortable, and women don’t realize how important something so simple can mean to a man. I could be myself around her, and she would often express the same to me. I asked her father for her hand in marriage, and four years later, it was still all good. She was the yin to my yang, and we seemed to complement each other in every way.The fireworks that night were unremarkable. In our backyard, we could view those set off from a large, nearby park. Granted, we could have headed down to the National Mall in D.C. or to the Baltimore Harbor, but we were too full and preferred to chill out. Carleigh curled up beside me on a blanket on our back lawn. Some of our neighbors were shooting off little rockets and running around with sparklers. I remember doing that shit as a child. My boys and I thought we were pyrotechnic experts until Chris got burned on the arm. The next year, and every year after that, we didn’t touch anything hazardous. Instead, we watched other little knuckleheads get hurt and laughed at them.After the fireworks show was over, I went into the house to put my digital camera away in my home office. Jordan came in right behind me and shut the door. I hadn’t even seen the snake get up off the lawn, rather less slither behind me with her fangs exposed.“Yes?” I asked.“What are you doing?”“Putting my camera away. That should be obvious.” I knew where this was headed, so I asked, “Where’s Carleigh?”“In her skin.” She laughed, teasing her hair with her index finger like she had invented an original line instead of repeating a tired-ass one. “Why don’t you put the camera away and take something else out?”Yup, it was definitely headed there.“How many times do I have to tell you? I’m not fooling around with you. I don’t want you. I love Carleigh, and I have no intention of cheating. You need to get some of that built-up wax out your damn ears.”“Speaking of wax, I got a Brazilian the other day.”“I’m thrilled. Now, can you please step off?!” I waved her away like a wasp since that’s what she reminded me of. The female wasps can paralyze their prey with their sting. She was not about to reel me in. “You need to find a man someplace other than in this house.”“You’re beginning to sound like a broken record.”“And you’re beginning to act like a broken woman.” I plopped down in my leather desk chair. “Jordan, you’re an eye-catching woman. There are tons of single guys in the D.C. area. You need to stop harping on this shit with me. It’s nonsense and it’s not happening. Not today, not tomorrow, and not even when cars start flying.”She came closer and sat on top of my desk, lowering her tube top so I could see her breasts. “Do you like what you see?”“No, I don’t.”I sighed. “Every woman has a pair of tits; I’m not overwhelmed.”“What if I show you my pussy?”“Every woman has one of those, too. If you don’t stop harassing me every time you come over here, I will tell Carleigh.”“No, you won’t.”She pulled her top back up. “If you were going to tell, you would’ve done it already.”“The only reason that I haven’t said anything is because Carleigh will be harmed. She cares for you and thinks you’re her friend and—”“I am her friend. We go way back.”I have no clue why I continued the conversation, but the nature of a woman has always amazed me.“Since you go way back, why would you try to fuck me? I mean, what if I did it? Then what? You would be content to share me with her, or is your intention to take me away from her?”“Why don’t you give me a serious dick-down and find out?”That did it. “I don’t have time for this.” I got up from my chair and headed for the door. She tried to grab my wrist. “You really need to find a different ambition in life. You and I will never happen.”“Never say never,” Jordan whispered as I opened the door and left.When I got back into the yard, everyone was up dancing to “Milkshake” by Kelis.“Damn, did you all catch a second wind blowing through here or something?” I asked, pushing up on Carleigh, who was doing a poor rendition of the chicken-noodle-soup dance.“Dance with me, baby,” Carleigh said, pulling me to her and giving me one of those wet, sloppy kisses that I so adored.Carleigh was drunk, and even though I didn’t drink, when she got toasted, it meant that she would be ready to fuck me until I was damn near comatose once everyone else left. I glanced over at Steve, who was now grinding up against Jordan. She looked bored to tears. I hadn’t even noticed her slither back outside.“Steve, didn’t you say you have an early day tomorrow?”Steve smirked at me; he knew what was up. “No, I can hang out all night, if you all want to. I have a spare suit in my car.”I wanted to smack him. “Well, we’re not partying all night.”I was about to walk over and cut off the iPod when Casper’s “Cha Cha Slide” came on next. That was all she wrote; they all started clapping, hopping, and stomping, doing the popular line dance.I have to admit that something about women doing a line dance is sensual, whether it’s a country-music one, the electric slide, the booty call, or anything else. Seeing all those hips moving at the same time can make a man’s dick hard; imagining those same hips propped up on his lap and working over his dick. It is amazing how so many women can shake their asses on a dance floor but freeze in place if you ask them to get on top during sex. I gave in to the moment, sat down on a deck chair, and watched them to see how low they could go.Everyone finally left around 2:00 a.m. Carleigh was drunk as she walked Jordan to her car. Jordan had implied that I should be a gentleman and see her out, but I smirked and walked in the opposite direction instead. By the time Jordan and Carleigh finished running their mouths in the driveway, I had taken a hot shower and climbed into bed. Carleigh came in the room and collapsed beside me on the bed. By that point, I was exhausted and prepared to fall asleep without sex, but she made her move within seconds.“Damon, I’m horny,” she whispered, flinging the comforter off me and reaching into my pajama bottoms to caress my dick. “I need some of that good good.”Carleigh always referred to our sex as “that good good,” implying that it was so hot that she had to double up on the compliments.“You can have all the good good you want,” I said, reaching over and pulling up her top, exposing her breasts. “Why don’t you go take a shower first?”“I’m too drained to take a shower. I want you to put me to sleep with that dick.”After being outside all day, I was appalled that Carleigh would climb onto clean sheets with a dirty body. I was even more appalled at the thought of making love that way. The only place funk belongs is in the bass line of a Parliament song. I was about to insist that Carleigh bathe first, but before I could go there, she was already devouring my dick with her mouth. She definitely got a rise out of me so I put her to sleep in that good good way. I refused to eat her pussy without her bathing, but I did slide my dick in and out of her until she moaned, her toes curled, and her eyes rolled up into the back of her head. Even though I was tired, it still took me damn near an hour to climax. I have never been able to cum quick, which could be a blessing and a curse. Women love that I am not a two-minute man, but sometimes a man wants to be able to bust a nut and fall asleep. That has never been the case with me. Carleigh got what she wanted and then dozed off. I lay beside her, glanced out the window, and thought about Jordan. Not in a sexual manner—never that—but I wondered that if Jordan was capable of fucking Carleigh’s husband, what else was she capable of? I really needed to tell my wife that her friend was not a friend at all, but, ultimately, it would have devastated Carleigh. No matter what, I couldn’t be the one to take the light out of her eyes. I loved her way too much for that.

BrookeJuly 4, 2007Springfield, VirginiaBrooke, you look great in that dress!” Mrs. Sterling, holding true to form, was passing out insincere compliments. “Where did you get it?”“I got it from a designer sale at T.J.Maxx,” I replied, intentionally irritating her by mentioning a discount store. “You can get some great deals there, if you look hard enough.”She gasped like I’d shot somebody. “Thank goodness Nicholas and I don’t have to worry about prices. I could never be seen in such a bargain-basement establishment.”“For most of the working class, designer clothing costs are too extravagant, so we have to do the best we can.”“The operative words are working class. That is a category that I have never fit in.”Mrs. Sterling always made it a point to jog the memory of anyone who would listen that she and her husband were affluent. Standing there on the ten-acre estate made it obvious enough. They lived by the shore and Mr. Sterling’s yacht was docked so all the guests could eyeball it.“How many people are you expecting today?” I asked, trying to change the subject before she started talking bank-account balances.“Oh, about fifty or sixty. It’s a small gathering.”“In my entire life, my parents never had fifty people over to our house.”“That’s because your parents reside in a shack compared to this house, dear.”That was a nice stab. I had to give it to her. The gloves came off.“My parents may not reside in the lap of luxury, but they’re extremely happy and don’t hide their dirty little secrets behind stock portfolios and security bonds.”She grimaced at me and I smirked.Nice one, Brooke, I thought as I walked away from her to find Patrick. I could feel her eyes throwing daggers at my back.Mrs. Sterling hated my guts. I was not of the “social material” that she felt was worthy of her son. The first time he brought me to their home for dinner, she wanted to know my “lineage.” I quickly informed her that my father was a plumber and my mother was a schoolteacher, that I was born and raised in Washington, D.C., and that I had an older brother in the navy. She wanted to know if I was “world-traveled.”I told her that the only time that I’d been out of the metropolitan area was on a field trip to New York City when I was a senior in high school. She looked like someone had shoved a full enema bottle up her crusty old ass and squeezed. Mr. Sterling was kinder to me. For several months afterward I actually thought that he approved of me and Patrick. Then Patrick got angry one night and burst that bubble, informing me that his father “thought I was a fine piece of ass but not wife material.” Patrick said that his father suggested that he should fuck me for no more than six months, then find a high-class socialite to show off on his arm.Even though Patrick agreed with them—that became painfully obvious—he still kept me around. When I was evicted from my studio apartment in Adams Morgan, he insisted that I move into his Capitol Hill penthouse. I was reluctant but caught up in feelings at that time, so I agreed. My parents were cramped up in their three-bedroom with doodads and miscellaneous crap they had collected during their nearly thirty years of marriage. Moving back with them seemed like taking a step backward in my life. My reality check was discovering that I’d taken five steps back by being with Patrick.Patrick was a prominent attorney and was even voted one of the hottest bachelors in the area by Washingtonian magazine. I thought he was the moon, the sun, and the stars when we met at the restaurant where I was waiting tables. Patrick had what we women call swagger, and he was articulate and convincing. He charmed my pants—and my drawers—right off of me, even though he had been on a date when we met. He slipped me his cell number when she excused herself to the ladies’ room to powder her nose. I actually overheard her say that shit: “I’ll be right back. I’m excusing myself to go powder my nose.” That was some uppity nonsense right there. Women go to the ladies’ room to piss and shit, hopefully wash their hands, and possibly take a quick glance in the mirror. The only nose powdering done is when they snort blow.I called Patrick the next morning. He picked me up in a black Bentley, took me to his place, and fucked me like I’d never been fucked before. I didn’t realize that my body could be so flexible. The man could write a manual on sex positions. Over time, he convinced me to do some things sexually, swallowing his semen and engaging in anal sex, that I would never have fathomed before then.He had only insisted that I do anal a few times, unsuccessfully trying to convince me that I would develop a love for it. A couple of my friends swore by it, claiming that anal sex gave them more intense orgasms than vaginal sex. I refused to cosign on any of it. My ass started hurting at the mere thought of it.As the party went on that Fourth of July, more and more people showed up to feast on the lobsters, shrimp, and oysters. The Sterlings had a live band perform with the lakefront in the background, and all their stuck-up friends looked ridiculous trying to dance. I wanted some ribs, chicken, and hot dogs with chili and coleslaw. No such luck. I wanted to hear some Jay-Z,Prince, and Mariah Carey. No such luck. I wanted a rum and Coke, but settled for a French Connection—Grand Marnier and Hennessy cognac.Patrick was holding court on the side among a bunch of young socialites who wanted to take my spot. Shit, I was hoping one of them would make him dump me. I know what you’re thinking. Why didn’t Brooke simply walk away? Like the saying goes, some things are easier said than done. I could have left Patrick, but there was no place better to go. I didn’t get involved with him because of his money. His wealth was an extension of his charm. I did love Patrick, but he didn’t appreciate my devotion. I believed that he loved me as well, but didn’t truly comprehend the definition of it. I was delusional enough to believe that he could, and would, change his ways for me . . . eventually.Patrick beckoned me to him as he moved away from all the designer-clad hoochies and over to the overpriced patio table where his parents were seated. It looked like something you would find in someone’s dining room instead of outside, but it was typical for them. I downed the rest of my drink, desperately needing another, and went to him.Mrs. Sterling was still determined to humiliate me, and now she had an audience. Two other couples were sitting with them. As I walked up, she said, “Here comes Patrick’s, um . . . play toy. Her name is Brooke.”I strained a smile and sat down next to Patrick. The people introduced themselves, and then, one lady, who had endured way too much plastic surgery and had been damn near botoxed to death, asked, “So, Brooke, are you a lawyer like Patrick?”Mrs. Sterling let out this hideous cackle, and Mr. Sterling gave her an evil glare. I think he had become torn between his personal outlook on me and the reality that his son had developed true feelings.“Actually, I’m in the food industry,” I replied uneasily.“Oh . . . ,” the woman said, playing with a string of luxurious pearls around her neck. “You’re a restaurateur. What’s the name of your establishment, and do you have more than one location?”“Ernestine, the girl is not on our level,” Mrs. Sterling said. “She’s a waitress—in a dump at that. She used to work in a nicer place, where Patrick picked her up along with his doggie bag, but she lost that job. She wasn’t quite up to their standards.”I pinched Patrick’s leg as hard as I could. He gave me a “You’re on your own” gaze and went back to drinking his top-shelf whiskey.“Are you really going to sit here and let your mother talk about me like that?” I asked bluntly. When he didn’t respond, I tried to get up, but he pulled me back down. I wrestled with him to get my wrist free. “Let me go. I’m ready to leave.”“Thank heaven,” his mother said.Mr. Sterling cleared his throat. “Brooke, I apologize for anything the missus might have said to offend you, but please stay and enjoy the fireworks. They’re set to begin in less than ten minutes.”My mouth flew open; then I gulped. “Anything she might have said to offend me? Are you for real?”Mrs. Sterling glared at me. “Look, dear, I was only speaking the truth. You had a halfway civilized job, even if it was still beneath anything my son had any business dealing with. You gained a bunch of weight and they got rid of you. And—”“You think I got fired because of my weight?” She didn’t reply but she and her friends shared comical glances.“The reason I gained so much weight is because your son has me stressed the fuck out!”“Brooke!” Patrick exclaimed. “Watch it!”“Oh, now you have a fucking tongue?” He finally let go of my wrist. I rose from the table. “All of you can kiss my monkey!”“Did she say ‘monkey’?” I heard the woman with the pearls ask.“Yeah, monkey, as in my pussy, my twat, my coochie!”The woman’s mouth flew open in shock as I turned my back on them.I stomped off in the direction of the front driveway, where cars were being valet-parked.I walked up to the three young men standing around in red jackets. “I don’t have the ticket but can you bring up Patrick Sterling’s Bentley?”“Sure thing,” one of them said, then took off running.“Where do you think you’re going?” Patrick asked, approaching me.“I’m getting the hell away from here.”He spotted his car pulling up. “Not in my car, you’re not. I can’t believe you told them to kiss your monkey.”I glared at him. “Patrick, I’m taking your car. You can either call the police and report it stolen or try to physically stop me in front of all these witnesses so I can file assault-and-battery charges.”The two young men standing there looked on while the third one was getting out of the driver’s side.Patrick shook his head. “I would never hit you, Brooke.”I shrugged. “At this point, I don’t know what you’re truly capable of. Until five minutes ago, I never thought that you’d sit there and let your mother talk shit about me in front of her friends. Granted, I realize she doesn’t like me and she takes potshots at me every chance she gets, but that’s in private. I can handle that, but she’s gone too far and you allowed it. You sat there and watched her humiliate me and did nothing.”Patrick’s eyes glassed over. “She’s my mother.”“And I’m your . . .” I paused. “I don’t know what the hell I am to you. Maybe you need to figure that shit out before you come home.”I went over to get in the car, tossing my purse on the passenger seat. “He’ll tip you,” I told the valet. “He has plenty of damn money.”“How am I supposed to get home?” Patrick asked.I snickered. “Patrick, you’re at your parents’ house. They have a dozen cars and a chauffeur. Give me a break.”I got settled in the car and floored it, having no clue where I was headed. I didn’t want to go home. I’d distanced myself from the majority of my friends and had no clue what they were doing for the Fourth. I decided to go see my parents. I sat there with them, on their balcony, watching the fireworks at the National Mall. Daddy had half a slab of ribs and two barbecued drumsticks left over. I gobbled them down with one of his Coronas. They were elated to see me and I them.“You can always come back home,” Mommy whispered to me later that night as I laid my head on her lap in my old bedroom.“I don’t know what’s wrong with him. I thought he loved me.”“He probably does love you, but he’s trying to satisfy everyone in his life, and no one’s ever accomplished that . . . not even Jesus himself.”Mommy always had a way to make sense out of things. She was right. Patrick was trying to please everyone, and it was stressing him out. In turn, he was taking his anxiety out on me. I was determined that we would smooth things out.“I’m going to make him happy, Mommy. No matter what it takes.”“Only if you’re happy, sweetheart. Don’t surrender your needs for someone else’s.”I fell asleep as she continued to play with my hair and sing softly to me. Patrick didn’t report his car stolen, but he blew up my cell phone a hundred times between midnight and noon the next day.My voice mail was full of messages from him pleading for me to call or come home. I had to work the three-to-eleven shift at the diner and decided to let him sweat. He was lying in wait when I pulled into the parking lot.I didn’t speak when I got out of his Bentley, determined to walk right past him. He was standing beside his father’s Porsche 911 and clinched me into his arms . . . into a loving embrace.“I’m sorry, baby. I had words with my mother.”“Had words? What does that mean?”“She promised that she’ll never do anything like that again.”I could feel his heart beating in his chest as he held me. I pulled away and gazed into his eyes. “Life is full of empty promises.”“Just give her a chance. Give me another chance.”“I’ll be home tonight. Wait up so we can talk.”He glanced at the dilapidated diner where I worked. “You know, you don’t have to work here. You don’t have to exert yourself at all. We can get married . . . tomorrow . . . even tonight, and—”I pressed my index finger to his lips. “We have way too many issues that need to be resolved before we can go there.”“And I’m prepared to resolve them.”He seemed genuine enough, but he always did after we had a blowup. After every time he called me out of my name and attacked my self-esteem, I kept telling myself that this time would be the last time, that he would see the light of day and somehow be the man that I needed.“I’ll see you later,” I said.We shared a brief kiss, then walked away from each other in silence.

Total Eclipse of the Heart by ZaneRelease Date: December 1, 2009
Order your copy at:

Zane's Book Tour Schedule for Total Eclipse of the Heart

December 1, 2009
B. DALTON -- Union Station
50 Massachusetts Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002

December 1, 2009
931 Capital Centre Blvd, #ALargo, MD 20774

December 2, 2009
Hue-Man Bookstore & Café
2319 Frederick Douglass Blvd
NYC, NY 10027

December 3, 2009
Borders Express -- Liberty Place
1625 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

December 4, 2009
Ninth Street Book Shop
104 West 9th Street
Wilmington, DE 19801

December 4, 2009
101 Geoffrey Dr.
Newark, DE 19713

December 5, 2009
7000 Arundel Mills Circle
Hanover, MD 21076

December 6, 2009
Medu Book Shop -- Greenbriar Mall
2841 Greenbriar Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30331

December 7, 2009
8000 Mall ParkwayLithonia, GA 30038

December 11, 2009
8301 Concord Mills BlvdConcord, NC 28027

December 12, 2009
164 Forum Dr.Columbia, SC 29229

December 12, 2009
1945 W Palmetto St, #230Florence, SC 29501

Monday, July 27, 2009

Excerpt from The Last Prejudice by David Rivera, Jr.


Hilarious, sexy, and entertaining. Three words that I use to describe The Last Prejudice by David Rivera, Jr. I often get emails from people craving for novels about plus-sized characters. Well, here is one hell of a novel about women who know how to celebrate life, who love with passion, and who no problems expressing their sexuality. I am positive that anyone who reads this book will love it. Please give it a shot. Blessings, Zane


From the bestselling author of Playing in the Dark -- an erotic and romantic novel about how real love is measured by the size of your heart and not the size of your hips.

The three plus-sized women in The Last Prejudice find support in one another during the ups and downs of their juicy romances and chaotic lives. Noreen Klein is more than comfortable inside the smooth curves a size-24 frame enables. She's an empowered diva who gets what she wants -- including hot men. On the other hand, Dahlia Ortega is a beautiful woman who is extremely insecure with her thick body. Recently coming out of an abusive marriage, the docile Dahlia is left with a raging thirst for dominance. Kat Davis once had a perfect body, but now has to contend with the additional sixty pounds she put on during her tumultuous pregnancy. She wrestles with releasing herself from a self-imposed emotional prison, to embrace the love she deserves. Follow these three women as they fulfill their insatiable sexual appetites and overcome the disheartening emotional challenges that trouble many full-figured women.

Fresh, thoughtful, and endlessly provocative, The Last Prejudice proves how biases against voluptuous women don't exist when love and lust is in the air. Readers will be riveted by Rivera's fast-paced and passionate writing style -- a must-read for women of all sizes.


David Rivera, Jr., is an investigator for the city of New York, and has a Master of Science degree from Metropolitan College. He lives in Harlem, New York.


The three women spent the first three days together at Hedonism. They danced every night, if not with each other, then with whichever gentleman asked them. After the first day at the resort, the men and women who were there to hook up did just that. Everyone else who was only there to have a good time weren’t disappointed either. During the morning, Noreen and Dahlia would meet Kat in her room and then they’d spend the day by the pool or at the spa. On the third day, Noreen made an announcement to Dahlia and Kat.

“I signed up for The Dating Game this afternoon.”

Every afternoon since they had arrived at Hedonism, Zane hosted a Dating Game contest by the biggest pool at the resort. All three women would look on and laugh at the contestants, enjoying the questions and responses from the three women or men who were brave enough to participate in the fun.

Neither Dahlia nor Kat seemed surprised by Noreen’s announcement.

“I knew you were going to do it,” Dahlia said.

“After you got up on the open mike last night and did your poem, “Big Juicy,” I knew you were going to do something else to prove that you’re as good as the skinny girls.“ Kat chuckled.

“And why shouldn’t I?” Noreen asked.

“The charcoal-black chick did her poem, ‘Midnight Love.’ All she was doing was advertising how much better extra dark punany is, than regular brown punany. Why can’t I put the word out, how good Big Juicy punany is? I know I got some good stuff and I’m not ashamed of it,” Noreen said, turning over onto her back on the reclined pool chair.

“Anyway, what does my poem and signing up for the Dating Game, have to do with anything?” she said, turning to her side and leaning on her elbow while she spoke.

“Nothing, except anytime you see some small woman getting something that you want, you go all out of your way to do something about it,” Dahlia said, remaining relaxed on her back.

“And what’s wrong with that? I’m proud to be a big beautiful woman and I’m not letting life shortchange me out of anything. You can keep trying to diet if you want, Dee, it’s not going to change who you are.”

Dahlia remained quiet. She was not ready to admit that Noreen was right, again. She stayed on her back and continued to look at the blue sky through her Versace sunglasses.

Noreen turned to Kat waiting to see if she had something to add.

“Why are you looking at me? You know how I feel. I’m going to diet and exercise until I get this weight off of my fat ass, and if that doesn’t work, I’m gonna get me another job until I can pay for some liposuction. Then maybe I’ll find a man that deserves this good pussy. It won’t be fat, it won’t be funky black, but it will be good.”

All three women laughed. They had already had this discussion the first day when they met. Kat and Dahlia had sided with each other on the issue of why big women settle for whatever man they can get. Noreen made the point that she was fat, happy and never settled for second best. She had even bragged that she could get any man whom she really wanted.

After three days of seeing Noreen manipulate and seduce all sorts of men, Kat was ready to believe her. Dahlia had seen Noreen in action and had never doubted her. All Dahlia knew was that she didn’t have that same power over men.

An hour later, Noreen was sitting behind a makeshift partition with two other women. They were definitely not as pretty as Noreen, but they were not big women. All three women wore bathing suits with a sarong wrapped around their waists. Noreen’s suit was the tightest. She had an incredibly flat stomach for such a large woman. Her hips flared out widely over the stool she sat on, and when she crossed her legs you could see more of her evenly brown thighs than the other two contestants. Noreen was bachelorette number three.

The bachelor was named Dennis. He was a thin, handsome, brown-skinned man. His face was clean-shaven if not for the pencil-thin mustache that outlined his upper lip. During the introduction of the contestants, Dahlia and Kat whispered and joked with each other how he would never be able to carry Noreen to bed.

“She will break that little man in two,” Kat said, giggling behind her hand.

There were approximately a hundred people by the poolside. This daily event had quickly become the entertainment of the day for the resort. Everyone stopped swimming and people stepped out of their rooms to enjoy the show. Noreen waved to her girls and they waved back, not wanting her to become suspicious of their little joke.

Noreen was not attracted to skinny men at all. She liked her men to be big and strapping. She liked feeling petite in a big man’s embrace or when lying underneath him in bed. She also liked the feeling of being “handled” in bed. You couldn’t be too big for her taste. If she knew it was a skinny man that she was competing for, she would have walked right off the makeshift stage. Her girls had promised her that if it was a skinny or ugly man, they would give her the high sign. She would then give bad answers so that there was no chance she would get stuck with a lemon—so much for friendship.

“Bachelorette Number One, if I were at a fruit stand and you were the fruit I was looking for, what fruit would you be?”

Dennis had a voice that was so deep and rich it made all the contestants’ eyebrows raise.

Bachelorette Number One sat up a little higher in her seat and then smoothed her sarong before answering.

“Honey, I would be two big melons,” Bachelorette Number One said, holding her two large breasts together for everyone else but the bachelor to see. The men who were watching clapped a little, but it was a very obvious answer.

“Bachelorette Number Two, same question.”

“Baby, for you, I would be a grapefruit, because although I could be called high yellow, I’m definitely pink and all juicy on the inside.”

More men clapped for that answer than the first, but the women were still not giving it up.

“Bachelorette Number Three, would you like to try your hand at that same question?”

Noreen smiled easily before opening her mouth.

“Dennis,” she said, letting his name linger in the air. None of the other contestants had said his name. You could tell he liked the way she said it, by the smile that came to his face.

“I couldn’t be anything other than a quince if you were looking for me.”

“A quince?”

“Yes, the quince was the fruit that Eve allegedly tempted Adam with in the Garden of Eden. The only difference is that biting me is not a sin. And if you bite me right, I’ll bite you right back.”

The crowd liked her response and both men and women gave her a loud clap. The game continued for about another thirty minutes. Noreen gave the cleverest and sexiest answers. If Dennis were to pick anyone else, he would be a fool. At the end of the question-and-answer session, Zane, the resort’s hostess, asked, “So Dennis, who will it be? Bachelorette Number One, Bachelorette Number Two, or Bachelorette Number Three?”

After Dennis picked Noreen, the other two women came out to meet him. He didn’t seem wholly disappointed that he didn’t pick the other contestants. He gave them both a perfunctory kiss on the cheek before they went on their way.

When Noreen came from behind the partition to meet Dennis, the crowd was momentarily hushed. It was as if now that they were standing next to each other, the crowd could finally see how they each opposed the other’s physical appearance.

For his part, Dennis smiled and held his arms out to welcome Noreen in a warm embrace.
Noreen’s response was not as warm. As she allowed herself to be hugged by Dennis, she looked over his shoulder at her two friends. They did not look back in her direction. Instead they acted as if they were in some very interesting conversation with one another. Noreen gave a dirty look in their direction and then pulled away from Dennis’s grasp.

Zane announced that their prize for participating in the game was a private lunch at the most exclusive restaurant at the resort. Everyone clapped their approval as the pool crowd started to dissipate. Now that Dennis and Noreen were left to be with each other without the benefit of a hundred onlookers, Dennis voiced his mind.

“Hmm, not too pleased with what’s behind door number one, huh?”

Noreen seemed shaken out of her thoughts by Dennis’s voice.

“Pardon me?”

“I must not be exactly what you expected.”

“I have to be honest with you, Dennis, and mind you, I never judge a book by its cover, but I’m not sure that we’re at all compatible.”

“Compatible? I see. Am I too short? Too skinny? Too lightskinned? Which one is it?” Dennis smiled good-naturedly.

“Yeah, that’s it.” Noreen made an awkward face.

“Whoa! All of the above, huh?”

Noreen shook her head yes, and folded her arms against her chest, uncomfortably shifting her weight from one foot to the other.

“No problem, I feel you,” Dennis said, raising his hands to chest level, as if to ward off a blow.

“But there is still the issue of a special lobster lunch. The all-inclusive buffet is alright, but I don’t eat lobster enough to just throw away this opportunity.”

Noreen wrinkled her nose as if she had just smelled something fishy, but then decided to put her own prejudice against thin men down for a second.

“You certainly make a good point… Dennis, right?”

Dennis smiled at her and nodded slowly, not wanting to scare Noreen away with too much enthusiasm.

“All right, Dennis, let’s do lunch.”

Dennis’s smile widened showing his perfectly white teeth and a pair of abnormally long canines for the first time. Noreen made a note of that slight oddity and tried not to stare.

“Great, if we go right now, we can be seated and enjoying lunch, and more of each other’s company in about fifteen minutes.”

Noreen wanted to go over to her friends and give them a piece of her mind, but let the thought go. She could feel them looking at her and Dennis from across the pool. They were probably laughing themselves silly with their little prank. She thought it would be better to let them think it didn’t faze her. Or if they knew better than that, then at least she could keep them in suspense over when she was going to give it to them good.

Dennis put his arm out for her to take a hold of and she grasped it, hesitating only slightly before looping her arm through his. Noreen held her head high and found her most regal and dignified gait. She heard her two friends laugh uproariously as she took a few more steps and she couldn’t help herself anymore. She turned around and shook her fist at them as Dennis continued to lead her out of the pool area. The women laughed harder. They knew they were in for it, but they were enjoying their moment of triumph.


This was going to be Noreen’s fourth date with Dennis. Kat and Dahlia were in the room with her as she prepared to go out for her last night at Hedonism.

“What the hell is it about this guy that’s so special again?” Kat asked.

“I told you before, I don’t know. He’s just different.” Noreen was irritated that she didn’t have a better explanation.

“I know what it is,” Dahlia offered. Both Noreen and Kat turned to her at the same time.

“It’s the fact that he hasn’t tried to do anything with you yet. You’re obsessed with the fact that he hasn’t tried to get into your panties by now—and here at Hedonism, no less. My girl couldn’t get laid in the only resort where anybody that wants to get laid, will get laid.”

“Please, that is so not true. We have kissed.”

“Listen to her. ‘We have kissed,’” Dahlia mocked Noreen.

“This from a woman that drags me all over New York checking out all of the hot spots for guaranteed love connections. If I thought you were getting any, I’d say you were dick whipped.”

“For your information, if I really wanted to, I would have already had him in my bed.”

“Uh-uh, not in this bed, you wouldn’t,” Dahlia said, bouncing heavily on Noreen’s disheveled bed.
“I am not sleeping out by the pool like you had me do when we were in Cancun. Hell no! Not this time!”

“I did not have you sleeping by the pool in Cancun.”

“Like hell you didn’t. You left the dance floor with that big doofy guy you met. Darren or Derrick or…”


“Darrell. That was his name. I get back to the room, by myself, and I hear all kinds of animal noises going on.”

Dahlia made her voice deep and gruff and added a Southern drawl for her imitation of Darrell. “Slow down, baby, slow down. Oh damn! I didn’t know it was going to be like that.”

All three women cracked up at Dahlia’s imitation.

“He wasn’t that bad. He was kind of cute,” Noreen tried to explain.

“Well, cute or not, I am not spending my last night out by the pool.”

“I’ll tell you what,” Kat said. “I’ve got the single room, so if any of us feels like we want to be alone with a guy, we’ll just use my room, okay.”

“Okay with me,” Noreen said.

“Of course it’s okay with you. I know I’m not sleeping with anybody I meet tonight.”

“Me neither,” Kat agreed.

“Well, I guess you can give me the keys now then,” Noreen suggested.

“’Cause tonight is definitely the night.”

“You don’t mind me bunking with you, do you, Dahlia?” Kat asked, as she handed the keys over to Noreen.

“As long as you don’t snore, I don’t mind.”

Kat gave her a sideways glance.

“You do snore, don’t you?” Dahlia accused her. Kat nodded matter-of-factly.

“Dammit, I can’t get a break.”

“Well, you grind your teeth,” Noreen said.

“I do not.” Dahlia was indignant.

“Please, you grind your teeth so much, I’m surprised you have any left.”

“I do?” Dahlia looked heartbroken.

“It’s no big deal, just another little Piccadilly for your great personality. We all have those little idiosyncrasies that make us special,” Noreen said with a honey-dipped voice.

Dahlia didn’t think it was so special. She didn’t need another flaw to make her feel even more inferior to everybody else.

When the girls reached the club, the party was in full swing. Everybody was letting it all hang out for the last day at the resort. Dennis met them at the door and he immediately swept Noreen out onto the dance floor.

It took Kat and Dahlia a drink and a trip to ladies room before they were asked to dance. The men who asked them were not the finest men in the place, but luckily or maybe because of the way they carried themselves, the men were no losers. Both men were handsome with average builds. They came over to Kat and Dahlia together as if it were planned. Like women they figured that there was safety in numbers and less likelihood of rejection. The girls were just glad that the men were not fat. They both hated when fat men thought that they were what big women were supposed to end up with.

After a few dances and just as many drinks, Noreen coaxed Dennis out to a secluded grove outside of the club. They kissed passionately, touching each other’s faces tenderly for several minutes before Noreen took him by the hand and tried to lead him toward Kat’s room.

“Where are we going?” he said, stopping abruptly before they went more than a few yards.

“To my room.” Noreen smiled devilishly.

Dennis looked up into the night sky as if trying to figure out the mystery of the heavens before he looked back into Noreen’s eyes.

“I don’t think that’s such a good idea,” he finally said.

Noreen blew out an exasperated breath.

“Are you gay?” she said in annoyance.

“What? Gay? No! I’m not gay. Whatever gave you an idea like that?”

“Whatever gave me an idea like that? You gave me an idea like that. I’ve done everything but smack you with it and you won’t even try to touch me below the waist.”

“That doesn’t mean I’m gay.”

“Well, what does it mean, Dennis, ’cause I’m all out of answers to that question.”

Dennis looked at Noreen closely, gauging what she might accept.

“I just don’t have sex that often, that’s all,” he finally said, looking at the ground.

Noreen had been holding her breath for a moment and when she heard his explanation, she let it out easily. She smiled, feeling better that he hadn’t said that he had some disease or that he had someone else back home.

“Is that all?” she responded, reaching out for him and squeezing him about the waist.

“You’re just a little shy because you don’t have sex often.”

“No, that’s not it.” He wriggled out of her grasp uncomfortably.

“Then what?” Noreen was once again annoyed.

“I’m not shy, Noreen.”

“You could have fooled me.”

“I just don’t want to hurt you, is all.”

“Hurt me? I thought you said you don’t have anyone else in your life.”

“I don’t.”

“Well, what is it? Are you embarrassed to be seen with me?”

“Don’t get crazy, we’ve been with each other all week, we look good together.”

Noreen had a different opinion on that subject, but did not bother to elaborate on her own feelings.

“Well?” Noreen said, waiting with her hands on her hips.

Dennis mumbled something under his breath that sounded like, I’m going to be sick.

“What? You’re going to be sick?” Noreen was suddenly more concerned.

Dennis shook his head.

“No, no.”

“Then what Dennis, what is it?”

“I’ve got a big dick,” he said, raising his eyes to meet hers.

Oh no the hell he didn’t. This motherfucker did not just say, ‘I’ve got a big dick.’

“You’ve got a what?”

“I’ve got a big dick.”

“I heard what you said. I just wanted to make sure my ears weren’t deceiving me. You’ve got a big dick. That’s what all the secrecy is about? That’s the reason you won’t touch me below the waist? That’s the reason you won’t go to my room with me? I have heard some lame-ass excuses before, but that has got to be the funniest shit I’ve heard yet.”

“Noreen, you don’t understand.”

“Oh I understand.” Another man with delusions of grandeur, she thought.

“No, I don’t think you understand. I put the last two women I was with in the hospital.”

“Uh-huh, I see.”

“No, you don’t see. I’m not kidding, I’m really big.”

Noreen stopped for a second and slowly allowed her gaze to go downward toward Dennis’s crotch for the first time. She tried to remember the pants that he had worn since she’d met him. He had been wearing long shorts, down to his knees, on the day they had met. During the evenings his pants had always been baggy. She assumed that he wore baggy pants because he was thin and wanted to give the illusion that he was bigger than he actually was.

“Let me see it.”


“I said, let me see it.”

“Right here, right now?”

“Yeah, right here and right now.”

Dennis looked around the surrounding area and then shook his head no. “Not here,” he said. “Maybe if we go to your room ...”

“Okay, let’s go to my room.” Noreen thought this was turning out to be more trouble than it was worth. She had played this game with men before. That is, the game where men try to make you believe that they’re not really into you in a sexual way, so that you’ll be more intrigued and go after them more aggressively.

Noreen opened the door to Kat’s room. It was no different to the room that she and Dahlia shared, except that it had a king-sized bed in the middle of the room instead of the two double beds on opposite sides. The maid had cleaned the room so that everything was in its proper place. Generically speaking, this room could have belonged to anyone.

Noreen held the door open for Dennis, who appeared as if he were more than just a little reluctant. When he finally entered, Noreen quickly closed the door behind him.

“Okay, let’s see what you’ve got,” she said, choosing to bypass the formalities of foreplay. Having dated nothing but big men as an adult she had seen many big penises. It wasn’t true that all big men with big feet had big penises, but it was common enough that she’d seen her share of them. It could also be said that if a man had a big penis, it would be common for him to brag about it or at the least be very proud of it. Dennis was taking another path to show off how well he was endowed, but like any man, he was only trying to set a better stage for his display, Noreen thought.

“Before I show you, you have to promise me something.”

“What?” Noreen asked, now sure that he had set up this entire scenario for this promise that he was going to try to extricate from her.

“You have to promise that you’ll still see me, even after I show you.”

Noreen didn’t know what she expected, but she certainly hadn’t expected this.

“Okay.” She was trying to get on with it.

“No, you have to promise.”

He was really taking this thing too far, but Noreen went along.

“All right, all right, I promise.”

Dennis unbuckled his pants and unzipped his zipper. He proceeded to pull down his pants and Noreen almost started to laugh. He had on boxers that were at least four sizes too big for him. The elastic on the waist was so wide that he needed the help of a large safety pin. Dennis pushed his pants down to mid thigh and then wriggled his waist a little to make them fall around his ankle. Now Noreen couldn’t help but smile a little. Dennis looked ridiculous in his underwear. The diamond pattern reminded Noreen of her five-year-old nephew’s pajamas. They went so far past his knees they could almost be capris. Dennis looked embarrassed as he started to fiddle with the safety pin. He was having problems undoing it.

“Here, let me help you,” Noreen offered, taking a step toward him.

“I can do it.” Dennis turned around to keep Noreen from getting to his waist. Noreen waited impatiently for a moment and Dennis finally said, “There, I got it.”

Dennis turned back toward Noreen with the elastic of his underwear held up daintily between his right thumb and forefinger. Dennis looked Noreen in the eyes.

“Please, just don’t run.”

This guy’s got jokes, Noreen thought.

“Well…” She threw up her hands impatiently.

Without further ado, Dennis let go of the elastic. Noreen was looking at his groin area at the exact time that he let the underwear drop. She was definitely not prepared for what she saw.

“What the fu…?”

She couldn’t complete any of the words or the sentence that came to her mind as she took a step back out of a sudden fright. Dennis took a step forward.

“Don’t,” was all he was able to say as he tripped over the pants and underwear around his ankle. He caught himself against the dresser and righted himself quickly before he fell. Before Noreen could say anything else, Dennis picked his underwear up to his waist along with his pants. He didn’t bother trying to put the safety pin back on. Noreen watched him scramble to get himself together and fought with herself not to run out the door. She had seen some big penises in her life, but what she had just witnessed scared the shit out of her. She was as surprised as Dennis when she heard herself saying, “Wait. Don’t put it away.”

Noreen stepped in front of Dennis and put her hands over his as he tried to cinch his belt. Dennis didn’t struggle with her. He let his hands come away, accepting hers in their place. Noreen prided herself on facing and overcoming all of her fears. That’s why she always went hard, when anyone tried to keep her from the things that she desired. Noreen took a deep breath in an attempt to get over her initial anxiety at seeing Dennis’s monstrous member and then undid his pants again. When she let the pants waist go, the underwear slid down with them, exposing his huge organ to the brisk climate of the air conditioned room. Noreen thought she saw it twitch and slowly reached out to touch the cable-sized vein that traveled the length of it. Dennis flinched when she touched it and now she definitely knew it had twitched.

“My God, Dennis, how big is it?”

Noreen reached down with both hands and held it one hand over the other, trying to hold it like a baseball bat. Noreen knew she had big hands for a woman, she had held Dennis’s hands a few times and hers were larger. She wondered how he held it, as her own hands found it awkward to handle.

“It’s about sixteen inches long.”

“Sixteen inches long, flaccid?”

“Yes, but it doesn’t get much longer when it’s hard. Only about another two inches. The problem is, it gets thicker, a lot thicker.”

“It’s already as thick as my wrist.”

“Yeah,” was all Dennis could muster, as he felt himself starting to swell in Noreen’s hands. She stared into her hands mesmerized by how hard the penis was becoming. The head had swelled to the size of a Granny Smith apple, and started to leak clear fluid. Noreen couldn’t help herself. She wanted to know just how big this monster could get.

“Please don’t, I don’t know if I can stop.”

“Sshhh, just close your eyes, baby. You don’t have to stop. I’m going to take good care of you.”
Noreen’s voice was hypnotic and Dennis slowly closed his eyes. Noreen stroked, pulled and tugged on the enormous appendage as best she could and was starting to become afraid that it would never stop growing. Her fascination overwhelmed her fear and she continued with her mission. Her awkward strokes were causing larger amounts of pre-seminal fluids to leak from Dennis, and she used that to lubricate the head. She allowed her palm to cover the two-inch-long slit in the crown, again and again, coming away with moisture to soak the shaft. It wasn’t going to be nearly enough to cover its entirety, but from the look of ecstasy on his face, Dennis wasn’t going to last much longer anyway.

The look on Dennis’s face made Noreen feel good. She prided herself on being able to satisfy any man, and this would be her masterpiece, her pièce de résistance, as it were. Noreen had the urge to let her head go down and lick some of the pre-cum from the crown, but remembered that she had never spoken to Dennis regarding his health status. Damn, I want to lick it so bad. Noreen threw caution to the wind and started to bend her head toward the dick head anyway. Ah shit, but she was too late. Dennis was already cumming. Rope after rope of sperm arced out of the thick spongy head. Noreen put both hands around the crown and continued to massage. She was trying to get the last vestiges of cum out of him. Dennis was shaking from head to toe, and it was making Noreen hot to watch. It wasn’t going to be enough for her to just lick. Now she wanted to feel that monster inside her. Dennis opened his eyes. They were wild with fulfilled lust. Noreen pushed him and he allowed himself to land easily onto the king-sized bed.

“I’ll be right back,” she said. Dennis couldn’t get to his feet fast enough to stop her. Instead, he called out to her as she reached the door.

“Where are you going?”

“I have to get a condom.”

“No, condoms don’t fit me,” he called out.

Dennis knew she had heard him, but she never slowed down. Two minutes later, she opened the door and slammed it shut behind her. Dennis was still in the same position sprawled on the bed. He hadn’t bothered to try to put his penis away.

Before tonight he hadn’t had sex in more than six months. His penis was still hard and there was no way it was going to fit back into his pants.

“What’s that?”

Noreen put a small plastic package to her teeth and ripped it open.

“It’s a female condom,” Noreen answered. She was already on her knees in front of him trying to fit it over the head.

“It’s supposed to go inside of the woman,” she said, grunting to stretch the rubber over the head, “but in your case, I think it might just work this way.” It took her a minute, but she was finally able to get the rubber sheath over the head and halfway down the shaft of his penis. That would have to suffice.

Dennis looked up at Noreen as she shimmied quickly out of her panties. He watched as her big beautiful ass rippled with its own weight. She pulled her dress over her head and he was surprised by the size of her breasts. He hadn’t thought they would be as large as he now saw.

“My God, you’re beautiful,” he said.

“Not too big?”

Noreen was fishing for compliments; she loved hearing the voice of a man that truly adored her. She knew Dennis was attracted to big women from the start.

Before he could answer she was up on the bed with both feet flat on either side of his hips. She already had the blunt head of his dick at the entrance to her wet vagina. He didn’t want to spoil it and just shook his head no.

Noreen gritted her teeth and let her knees give way. Lights exploded in her head.

When the girls picked her up from the resort clinic the next morning, she had an ice pack between her legs.

Their plane was leaving at one o’clock in the afternoon. They had to leave the resort by eleven thirty. It was only eight, so they decided to have breakfast before starting to pack.

During breakfast Noreen explained to them what had happened. She and Dennis had tried to have sex all night long, in vain. The head would just not fit into her small vagina. At one point they had gotten a fraction of it into her, and she had just rubbed herself back and forth until she came. Dennis had been a gentleman the whole night. He let her try over and over again, all the while content to just nibble on her breasts and kiss her clit. She had cum a second time while banging the head continuously into the opening of her already raw pussy. Her orgasm was so strong that she lost consciousness. When she awoke in the morning, Dennis was gone and she was so swollen that she went straight to the resort clinic. The resort doctor had a suite that was connected to his office and saw her right away. Apparently this sort of morning visit was common. It was after she was treated that Noreen called the girls.

Dahlia and Kat didn’t laugh at Noreen openly. They waited until she was in the shower, then they cracked up. Noreen heard them as she soaped and took her time rinsing to give them time to get it out of their systems.

At the airport, Dennis found Noreen and apologized for leaving the room without saying good-bye. He explained that he had gone to his room to shower and change clothes and when he returned to the room she was no longer there.

“I was worried about you, No. Where did you go?”

Noreen’s family and very close friends were the only ones that shortened her name like that. She sort of liked the easy way that Dennis did it, too. Noreen forgave him and they made plans to see each other in the States. Dennis lived in New Jersey and worked in Manhattan. Noreen liked him enough to continue to see him. She had already thought he was a special man; after last night she knew just how special.

On the plane Dahlia graciously switched seats with Dennis so that he could sit with Noreen. It was a relief. Those seats weren’t made for two voluptuous women to sit together.

Dahlia was enjoying her second plane meal. The cute man sitting next to her didn’t want his. He watched as she finished off the meal, then the dessert. She tried to start a conversation with him after she finished, but he seemed to want to doze. She stopped trying and closed her eyes and went to sleep.

Kat was in first class alone. She thought about her son and how she missed him. Her mother and he would be picking her up at the airport. She hadn’t gotten laid at the resort, but it didn’t bother her. She had made two good friends.

If you enjoyed this excerpt, please purchase a copy of The Last Prejudice by David Rivera, Jr. at your local bookstore or purchase it online at:

Will I Ever Find Love

Dear Zane,

I must tell you that I am one of your biggest fans, I love that you have brought Sex Chronicles to life on Cinemax. I think as a black author of erotica, you have made great strides in the African American community. I love reading your novels and I love how you like no one else brings to life the fantasies that many people have but are afraid to express.

I have this dilemma with a guy I thought I was in love with. He was a guy I met through a friend, and I must say since he was in the military he was gone a lot. I have only seen him once........but since we initially met we kept in touch through writing, emailing, texting, etc. It’s crazy I know but we actually fell for each other or maybe it was just all in my head, but he was never honest, I found out things about him through my friend, and you know it seems like typical male behavior to lie and turn everything into your fault. I have dated other guys since then, but I feel like I can't get over him for some reason. He seems to always be in the picture somehow, but how do I rid myself of him emotionally, so that I can move on? I ask myself so many times, too, as well because I'm still a virgin, and I wonder to myself, will I ever find love, to know what it is like to be loved by someone honestly and truly, and it be reciprocated back??

Will I Ever Find Love

Dear Will I Ever Find Love,

Yes, you will find it, but first you must define it. Some women define love as great sex, even if the man is disrespectful, a cheater, and lazy. Some women define love as being taken care of with diamonds and fancy cars. Some women define love as a mutual respect, compassion, and an open line of communication.

You are young and please do not allow one bad apple to spoil the bunch. All of us find ourselves wondering if love is just a myth, something outside of our grasp. The key is to take your time and find the right companion. God does not place people in our lives when we ask for them but when they are supposed to be there. Keep an open mind and explore the possibilities but I am proud of you for recognizing the distrust in this young man. It takes some women well into their forties or fifties to wake up.


Do You Really Even Have To Ask?

Dear Zane,

I have a question (or 2) to ask:Is it possible for a guy to have a girlfriend that he doesn't like? Is it possible for him to claim that "she won't let me break up with her"? Why would a guy stay with a girl just to avoid hurting her or having her go off if he broke up with her? I realize that some women are crazy and can't accept rejection, but how does a REAL MAN handle something like that? I ask b/c I like (or used to like) a guy that I thought was single when we hooked up. But after seeing some things I kind of figured that he was attached to someone else. He didn't actually discuss any of this with me, but his friend claims that this might be the case for him. Can you tell me how that is?

Is It Possible?

Dear Is It Possible,

You are being fed a bunch of bullshit by this man’s friend; probably at his direction. He has a woman, always had a woman, and attempted to make you his jump off. You would be a fool to even contemplate getting involved with him. No one can force someone to be in a relationship; especially a man. It is not like the woman is going to give him a beat down or anything. I seriously doubt that. Leave him to her and find someone who does not play silly games.


Loving Alone

Dear Zane,

I have been in a relationship for a little over a year now and me and my significant other have not had sex yet. This is a problem for me because before I met him, I was having sex every other day but since I love him, it hasn’t been like a determining factor in our relationship. I recently went out the country on a trip to Turkey and my trip lasted through our anniversary but when I got back, it wasn’t even like he cared. I was very upset by this but I took the whole stance of charge it to the game; he's a dude. But lately it’s like we've gotten more distant and that is a major problem because I hate feeling like I’m the only one in a relationship; he says I need to quit nagging him but it seems like he's distancing himself from me because of his past relationships with women, including his mother. How do I break the shell that he has over his heart without "nagging" him? And is it even worth trying to do or should I just move on? School is starting and I have no time for undue stress.

Please Help Me.

Loving Alone

Dear Loving Alone,

After reading your email, I am trying to figure out the true purpose of your relationship. Not to say that sex is, or even should be everything but if you are a sexually active young lady, why should you be deprived? If he is withholding sex for religious reasons, you must decide if you agree with that. If it is something else, it would give me pause for concern.

Follow your gut instincts. Since it felt different once you got back, something may have occurred while you were overseas. I would concentrate on school and leave him alone. He is not willing to open up and he is calling you a nagger. Let him see how it feels when he has no one to nag him at all.


Getting Really Fed Up

Dear Zane,

I love your books and I hope that you keep up the good work. My problem is that I have a “husband” baby daddy. I have been with him for about four years. I have had problems with him in the past—ex-girlfriend problems. The other day, she hit him up and he did not realize that I saw it. I told him about it and he does not want anything to do with her. I believe him because she has been hitting him up by email and AIM. He blocked her completely from everything. She is getting me to the point that I am going to throw one of my Reebox and show her who I am. I am trying to better myself; she is making me go back to the same old me. Should I just leave it alone and block her, or should I take action and bust her down? Not to mention that she is married and has a family of her own but she is still trying to “hold a friendship.”

Getting Really Fed Up

Dear Getting Really Fed Up,

If I had a dollar for every one of these emails that I receive, I would be rolling in dough. Darling, your problem is not with the other woman. She is not living with you, she has not been in a committed relationship with you for four years, and she did not father your child. Your man is the problem. If he does not want anything to do with her, he would not have anything to do with her. You are saying that he has blocked her completely from everything, so I am confused. If he blocked her, then how is she contacting him? If she cannot contact him, then what is the problem?

You definitely do not need to “bust her down.” Again, she owes you ZERO respect or consideration. Trust me, it is easy as hell to get someone completely out of your life; whether they want to leave or not. I have done it many, many times. After four years, that woman should not even know how to contact him. How long has he had his AIM I.D.? Email address? Did he accept her as a friend on MySpace? See my point. Deal with him and not her.


I Know That I Am Eighteen But I Don't Know If I Am A Lesbian

Dear Zane,

I have never done this before, but I guess that it never hurts to try. I am kind of confused about my sexuality. I have always to guys, but now it seems that I am craving for a female. I am only eighteen and I have always been kind of attracted to women but never faced up to it. I do not want to believe the truth myself. I first realized that I like females when I was fifteen. I am not a lesbian—well, I do not think I am—nor do I think that I am straight. I am sexually confused. The crazy thing about this situation is that I have never been with a female or even done anything sexual with a female. Now that I am older, I cannot help but wonder what it would be like to be with a woman. I think that I am now more attracted to girls than I am to guys. My question is should I explore my sexuality with a woman or should I just stay with my heterosexual way?

Sexually Confused

Dear Sexually Confused,

Just because you have never been with a female does not mean that you do not want to experience it. After all, didn’t you start fantasizing about being with men before you actually did it? That is how most people start having sex in the first place, no matter what their sexual preference. They begin to crave it, yearn for it, wonder about it, and then act on it. With that being said, here is my response to you. You are only eighteen and you have your entire life in front of you to figure things out. Finding other women attractive does not define your sexuality, and you do sound very confused.

You should just live your life naturally and not rush into anything. Sexual experiences should come very naturally and should never be forced. Take your time and your emotions will speak the ultimate truth.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Every Day Is Truly a Gift-Rest in Peace, E. Lynn

I have sat around the majority of this evening trying to find the words to express my sentiments regarding the homegoing of one of the greatest voices in literature—not African-American literature but literature period. I spent a few hours answering advice emails, played with a strange puppy that wandered onto my doorstep, joked around with my children, and even played online Spades; all the while trying to think of what I wanted to say—or if I should even say anything at all. Then I decided that I had to say something and I had to do it before I went to sleep tonight.

I was on a business call around one o’clock today when I read a message on Facebook from a young lady informing me that E. Lynn had passed. Stunned does not quite capture my initial thought. Death is never easy but it seems almost implausible when someone is as full of energy, determination, and talent as he was. A true visionary, E. Lynn’s voice will be legendary and he opened the door for many others to walk through.

When I read his autobiography years ago, What Becomes of the Brokenhearted, I could not help but to admire the courage that it must have taken to not only write down everything that he had endured, but to allow the world to share in his plight. He was able to accomplish so much, despite everything that he had overcome. I know that feeling well but do not think that I could ever open up my life like that to the world. It would be much too painful for me, but E. Lynn did it with grace and dignity, realizing that by exposing his trials and tribulations, it could and would help others. E. Lynn was always willing to assist in any way that he could. Last year, I asked if he would travel to Dallas to do an event at the Black Academy of Arts and Letters. He immediately accepted, even though his assistant would have to drive him there and even though the stipend offered would not even cover his expenses. Like me, he realized that there was a much deeper purpose to our presence there and it was a wonderful weekend for a worthy cause.

I saw his book on the new releases shelf in a bookstore last week and I was so happy for him to have “birthed another baby.” That is what books are for authors who are passionate about their work. Books are like our children that we have to eventually cut the umbilical cord on and send out into the world alone. I cannot help but wonder, had not God called him home, how many more children he would have realized.

After I heard about his death, I had to leave home to attend my daughter’s hip hop dance recital. My thoughts on the way to her summer camp were that it was such a shame that he would not get to see his work on the big screen. I realized that it meant so much to him; we had numerous conversations about it. Hollywood has a tendency to option our books and then go out and commission screenplays that could never truly represent us like novels. Novels have intense storylines, flushed out characters, and are beloved by avid readers; three elements that “written-for-the-screen” movies tend to lack. Later on, I read an article that stated that he was in California to discuss movie deals. I can only imagine his excitement that maybe, just maybe, after so many years someone was going to finally “get the point.”

I will not go on and on; you all know how long-winded I can be. However, I want to stress a few things that all of us should take away from the life (and death) of such a wonderful spirit. Every day is truly a gift. I do not say that on a constant basis simply to say it. It means something to me. I even have a plaque in my office that states it. Every day is a gift that must be embraced because that day will never come our way again. Life is too short for pettiness and drama. As I walked through the Harlem Book Festival last weekend, and many people who used to talk down to me, or about me, came up to me and embraced me or spoke to me, someone asked me how I could be so kind to those who had tried to destroy me. My response was that I do not carry things like that in my heart. Only I truly understand my journey and what is for me will be for me. Just like what was for E. Lynn was for him, and no one could take that away, or distract him from his path. So for those of you who loved him, I am sure he loved you back. For those of you who criticized him, I seriously doubt that he took it personally. His talent could not be disputed and his voice could not be silenced, for as long as we had him in our presence.

I hope and pray that E. Lynn will continue to do God’s work and that his death will serve as motivation for the tens of thousands of people who aspire to be published writers, or those who wish to realize any other dream. It is important to thank God not only for all of the things that He has given us, but also for all of the things that He has taken away. For without failure and a great deal of loss, one can never truly be inspired. I will miss you, E. Lynn, as an author, as a humanitarian, and as a friend.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Calling All Single Moms

Calling all single moms!!! If you're a single mother and you're raising a son, then I have some exciting information to share with you. Jamie Foster Brown of Sister 2 Sister Magazine has developed an awesome program that YOU and your sons can benefit from!!

You don't want to miss this!! This is for those who live in the Baltimore, Virginia, DC, Maryland area.

Welcome! Come! $35 a session. If you're interested, please email your name, address, phone number to Kia Hopings at and you will be notified of the date, time, location and payment options. Space is limited.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Excerpt of Obsessed by Delilah Devlin

Excerpt from Obsessed: An Invitation Erotic Odyssey by Delilah Devlin

Auctioned is part of the Invitation Erotic Odyssey Series along with Disciplined by Allison Hobbs and Auctioned by Kimberly Kaye Terry. They are part of the Strebor Quickies line, economically priced at $9.95 per copy but with enough action, romance, and sex for books that cost twice as much. I hope that you will check it out. Blessings, Zane

Book Description
On an uncharacteristic whim, an obsessive-compulsive woman vacations at an island resort where she learns how to surrender to her disorderly, capricious, and wanton inner self.
Briana's pristine life has recently gone downhill after she realized her perfect marriage was a sham. Weighed down by the burdens of her impending divorce and the shame of being a "starter wife," the hysterically out-of-control Briana calls the number printed on a postcard for a limited-time offer at a distant lodge. Upon arriving at the sex vacation resort, Briana is confronted with all of her old hang-ups and throws herself into the pleasures of exhibitionism -- freeing herself from her heartbreaking past and the inhibitions that have always held her back in life.

About the Author
Delilah Devlin dated a Samoan, a Venezuelan, a Turk, a Cuban, and was engaged to a Greek before marrying her Irishman. She's lived in Saudi Arabia, Germany, and Ireland, but calls Texas home for now. Ever a risk taker, she lived in the Saudi Peninsula during the Gulf War, thwarted an attempted abduction by white slave traders, and survived her children's juvenile delinquency. Creating alter egos for herself in the pages of her books enables her to live new adventures. Since discovering the sinful pleasure of erotica, she writes to satisfy her need for variety--it keeps her from running away with the Indian working in the cubicle beside her!

Chapter One


Briana Neeson paused, switched the wand to her left hand, and then continued scrubbing. Never mind, the white bowl gleamed. Or that the pipe cleaners she’d shoved into the jets had come out without any flakes of sediment. She’d never get the damn toilet clean again.

The bitch had sat her fat ass on the seat after screwing her husband blind.

Briana allowed herself to think the coarse words, although she’d never have said them aloud. Not even when she’d walked into her bedroom with her arms full of packages from the Galleria Dallas mall, only to drop them when she realized the sounds she’d heard while climbing up the stairs hadn’t come from the television. The low, keening moans had been the woman’s. The sharp grunts her husband’s.

Shocked, she’d realized she hadn’t recognized his sounds because he never made them when he pumped away atop her body. He’d sounded agonized.

Probably strained something, he pounded the woman’s quivering butt so hard.

He’d turned when she dropped the packages, his dark, half-lidded gaze meeting hers, but he hadn’t missed a stroke. His hand reached for the woman’s long, blonde hair that stuck to her sweaty shoulders and wrapped around it, pulling it hard to force her back into an arch and her face toward the headboard, and kept right on pumping, until at last, his lips pulled away from his gritted teeth and he came.

Briana had stood frozen, her breaths coming in short, choppy pants and her body trembling. Part of her hadn’t believed he’d done this in their bed. The other, knew it was her own damn fault.
After all, Jonathan had warned her.


Her hand slipped, and her chest hit the porcelain. An anesthetizing chill struck a nipple. Without realizing it, her robe had fallen open as she labored. She stroked the wand deep into the bowl and leaned toward it, purposely hitting her nipple again.

The cold caused it to contract, spiking the tip, and she discovered the sensation wasn’t unpleasant. But the other nipple wasn’t equally aroused. Equally…chilled.

Pulling open the opposite side of her robe, she switched the wand again, eased her knees apart for balance on the hard tile floor, and let her forward motions slam her other breast into the toilet.

Then stroking the bowl with the bristled brush, she arched her back, just like the skanky blonde her husband had screwed, and bit her lip to hold back the sounds as her arousal built.

With her nipples tightening, elongating, a rush of liquid seeped from her pussy, encouraged by the soft rasp of the terrycloth robe settling between her buttocks, draping lower to gently abrade her open sex.

She’d have to wash the robe, but not just yet. The sensations were too pleasurable. With the smell of the disinfectant swirling in the bowl, she blinked, and tears spilled down her cheeks to mingle with the soapy water.


Soon enough, the sensations didn’t satisfy. Rising on wobbly legs, she ran scalding water from the shower’s long, flexible shower head over the toilet brush, followed by a rinse of bleach to disinfect, and then sat the brush in its holder beside the toilet. She dropped her robe into the hamper, stepped over the edge of her pristine tub, and turned on the faucets, setting the temperature as hot as she could take it.

She squirted a quarter-sized dollop of liquid soap on the back brush and counted the strokes with her left hand, then the right. Another dollop on a loofah, and she scoured her left arm, then the right. Rinsing clean, she did the same for her left leg, then her right. Then at last, she placed a foot on the rim of the tub and scoured her pussy—to remove the traces of her own arousal, but lingering long enough, rubbing hard enough, that at last her body bowed.

Briana’s orgasm wasn’t loud or dirty, and she didn’t come with sweat and smell, or even sound. Still, she couldn’t help feeling just a little envious of the woman who’d scrambled into the bathroom with streaks of her husband’s ejaculate striping her fleshy buttocks and thighs.

She may have been a sleazy skank, but she’d accomplished something Briana never had in seven years of marriage. The whore had made her husband tremble.

Standing in the shower with the scalding water running down her body, Briana faced the fact that she’d failed.

While Jonathan had been appreciative of her organizational skills early in their marriage, later he’d begged her to loosen up a bit at home. Leave the laundry for a day inside the hamper, let him rest his feet on the furniture…and don’t rush to shower after they made love.

She heard muffled footsteps coming from the bedroom. Hours had passed since Jonathan had thrown on his clothing and herded the other woman out the front door. Briana had watched them through the kitchen window as he held the car door open for the woman, sharing a look with her that seemed filled with an easy, sensual satisfaction.

Then his gaze had risen to the window where Briana stood, and his expression changed instantly, shuttering her out. His jaw tightening, he’d walked around the car and slid inside, backing out of their driveway without hesitation and spinning his wheels in the pea-sized gravel Briana had raked to perfection the day before.

He hadn’t called. Hadn’t answered any of the dozen messages she’d left as she hurried around the bedroom and bathroom, nose wrinkled, donning plastic gloves to strip away soiled sheets and tossing the woman’s underwear into a plastic bag that she carried immediately to the outdoor bin.

With her heart tripping in her chest, she hurried to wrap a towel around her body, and then glanced into the mirror. She paused to run a comb through her damp hair before easing open the bathroom door.

A suitcase lay on the bare mattress.

Briana hesitated at the door and scanned the room.

Jonathan stepped out of his walk-in closet carrying an armload of his clothes. Upon spotting her, he strode quickly forward and dumped the clothes into the case.

“What are you doing?” she asked and then inwardly winced at how ridiculous that sounded. Of course, he was leaving. Didn’t everyone leave her?

Dressed in khaki trousers and an open-necked, long-sleeved shirt, she noted the crease on the edge of his collar and bit her tongue to hold back the urge to tell him about it. He didn’t look in the mood to listen to her fuss.

His expression was hard and cold. The set of his square jaw a clue he wasn’t in the mood to talk. He’d made up his mind.

“I’ll try harder,” she whispered, her hand clutching the edge of her towel. She needed something to squeeze because her heart felt ready to explode.

He gathered up the clothes spilling over the sides of the case, not bothering to fold them, and looked over his shoulder, spearing her with a hot glare. “You don’t get it, Bri. You drive me crazy. You couldn’t wait to tear the sheets off the bed, could you?”

“Why wouldn’t I? Her scent was all over them.”

His upper lip curved into a snarl. “But the wet spot bothered you most, didn’t it?”
It had. The longer she’d stared at it, the bigger and yellower it grew. “We can talk about this,” she said in a rush. “You don’t have to go.”

Jonathan snorted. “I’ve talked until I don’t have a thing left to say to you. I don’t love you, baby. Haven’t for a long time.”

The words hurt, but he couldn’t leave. She just needed one more chance to prove she could change. “But you need me. You told me that.”

He turned his head away and zipped the case shut. “I can afford an assistant to take over the scheduling. I can afford an anal bitch I don’t have to sleep with.”

“I’ll see a therapist.”

A deep breath expanded his well-muscled chest. “Do what you need to do to get well, but it’s not going to make a difference for us.” He picked the case off the bed and sat it upright on the floor, before sending her another glare that cut right through her. “I’m through.”

He meant it this time. She could tell by the way his jaw firmed. His gaze held no emotion. “Are you going to her?”

“Carrie?” He shrugged. “She’s just a girl who was willing.”

He hadn’t even cared about the bitch he fucked in her bed. “Why did you bring her here?”

Jonathan lifted a hand and raked it through his neatly cut brown hair. “I didn’t know how else to tell you. I’ve used words, but you talked right over me, never once acknowledging you understood. I’ve made appointments with therapists and marriage counselors, but you found one excuse after another not to go. You weren’t willing to change.”

“I don’t need them. We don’t need them. I’ll just try harder.”

“Fuck, Bri,” he bit out. “Try any goddamn harder, and I swear I’ll cut my own throat.” He turned away, hefted the large case easily, and strode toward the door. Without looking back, he paused. “My attorney will be in touch.”

Chapter Two

“I can’t believe that asshole.”

Briana sighed and settled deeper into the armchair as her best friend Heather opened the topic of conversation.

Heather had made it so easy, calling her and cutting through Briana’s soft hello with a sympathetic, “I just heard,” before Briana could think of the words to tell her Jonathan had walked out.

After she stifled her brief disappointment that it wasn’t her husband calling, Briana didn’t bother asking how Heather had learned about her humiliation. The subdivision’s grapevine had likely issued an all-points bulletin the moment Jonathan and his slut drove through the security gate.

“So, what are you going to do?” Heather asked, sympathy softening her tone.

“What can I do?” Briana muttered. She’d rearranged furniture and moved some of her clothing from her closet to his to even them out. Beyond that, she wasn’t sure what else to do. She was still too stunned.

Her life was about to change, and change unnerved her. Made her feel uncomfortable in her clothing, made it impossible to sleep. Set her mind racing through her long to-do list of chores she should put off until they were due, but wouldn’t because she had to stay busy.

“Do you have a lawyer?”

“I’ll put that on my list.” Why hadn’t she thought of that? Did she secretly still hope Jonathan would walk back through the door and say he’d changed his mind?

Heather groaned. “Tell me that you at least changed the locks.”

Changed the locks? “Why would I do that?”

“Bri, do you want some slut sittin’ on your sofa, watchin’ your TV?”

Briana shook her head, knowing she wasn’t following Heather’s train of thought. Her concentration was shot from too little sleep the night before and too much stress. “Do you think he’d bring her back here, again?”

“I swear, sometimes you’re clueless,” Heather said, her exasperation deepening her Texas twang. “I’m talkin’ about him cleanin’ you out. Takin’ all your things when you leave the house.”

“Jonathan’s not like that.” He wasn’t cruel. He wouldn’t even move a coffee table without asking first—a thing he’d learned in their first week of marriage could set her teeth on edge.
Still, he’d fucked another woman in their bed, knowing she’d be home at any time.

“He’s a man. He’s probably listing all your household possessions right now and figurin’ out where the split should be. And it won’t be down the middle.”

Briana wondered how much Heather’s two divorces colored her perspective. “He’s the one who left. He abandoned me and the house.”

“He’s just gettin’ away to think. And talk to the boys. They’ll have all kinds of advice to give him about how to screw you good and proper.”

Or maybe he would change his mind once he figured out he still needed her.

“Are you thinkin’ he’s gonna come back, sweetie?”

Was she really so predictable? “He left in such a rush. Maybe he’s had time to—”

“What did he say when he left?”

How could she tell her? Heather was her friend, her closest one, but Briana had never let her know things weren’t perfect between her and Jonathan. His hurtful words still raised bile in the back of her throat.

“He said I drive him crazy,” she blurted before she had time to think about it. There was a long pause, and Briana cringed inside, wishing she’d never told her. “Did he have a reason to say that?”

“You know I love you, right?”

The hesitant way Heather said it had Briana shaking her head, wishing she could make an excuse and just hang up the phone. She knew she didn’t want to hear what blunt bomb her friend was preparing to drop.

But hanging up wouldn’t be polite.

“Honey, sometimes, you drive me a little crazy, too.”

Briana shifted uneasily in her chair, bent her head to hold the phone against her shoulder, and reached both hands for the fruit-decorated coasters stacked on the side table. “I know I’m a little obsessive…”

“A little? Obsessive Compulsive Disorder can be just as challenging for friends and family as it is for the person who suffers from it.”

“I’ve never been diagnosed.”

“You won’t go to a therapist to get the diagnosis, but I don’t know anyone who alphabetizes their canned goods.”

Briana shuffled the coasters, arranging them alphabetically: apples on top of bananas, bananas onto grapes, grapes onto oranges. “You think that’s weird?”

“A little...but I’m sure you can find everything a lot faster than me.”

“Heather, he didn’t look back once when he walked away.” Not satisfied, she began to re-sort: orange on top of purple, purple topping red, red on top of yellow.

“He’s already moved on, honey. Once a man cleans off his shoes on the welcome mat, he forgets about the dirt he just tracked through. It’s why he always leaves muddy footprints.”

Briana set the coasters back on top of the side table and clasped her hands on her lap to make herself stop. “I hate that.”

“I bet you do.”

The starch in her friend’s voice almost had her smiling. But only for a second. She closed her eyes and rubbed the bridge of her nose, feeling a headache coming on. “I can’t believe it. I’m a starter wife, aren’t I?”

“A starter wife?”

“Yeah, the one he needed when he was getting started.”

“Honey, you need to stop thinking about him. He’s so not worth it.” An audible sigh sounded over the line. “When was the last time you did something spontaneous?”

“What do you mean?”

“Do I have to pull out the dictionary?”

“I know what it means, but I’m capable of spontaneity.”

“Sure you are,” Heather said dryly.

“I am,” Briana sputtered. “I do…spontaneous things all the time.”

“I just bet you do, like when you shop for groceries and think about what you’re gonna make for dinner?”

“Well, no. You know I always have my list.”

“Uh-huh… When was the last time you did something wild and outrageous?”

Never. Briana bit her lip. They both knew she didn’t do anything without planning. “I can be outrageous. Maybe I’ll paint my toenails blue…I’ll just have to add—”

“—the polish to your shopping list?”

Another long pause had Briana ready to end the conversation she felt so depressed, so lacking in the “normal” gene.

“You know what the problem is, don’t you?”

“Other than my husband left me?”

“He’s not in his proper place. Hell, you get a panic attack when a coffee cup doesn’t get turned right side up in a cupboard. Why don’t you stick a pin in the map and take a trip? Get away from everything familiar. Give your brain a chance to reset some switches.”

“I can’t just take off. I have plans. There’s the luncheon with the ladies tomorrow.”

“Um…about that, Bri…”

Briana heard the hesitation in Heather’s voice, and her stomach sank. “They don’t want me to come, do they?”

“They asked me to talk to you. Some of the bitches think it might be a bit uncomfortable for you there.”

Briana snorted. “That’s so sweet,” she said, letting a little acid bleed through her tone. “They’re concerned about how I might feel?”

“Yeah. They’re probably afraid it’s catchin’. You know, the Big D.”

Briana heard the growl in her friend’s voice and almost smiled again. Count on Heather to always have her back. “It’s too bad we can’t be spontaneous together.”

“Yeah, twins kinda rule that out. I could use some ‘me’ time.”

“Maybe I’ll take your advice.”

“You should.” By her tone, she seemed doubtful. “Maybe an opportunity will come faster than you think.”


“I’m just sayin’, keep your options open.”

“Seems like my calendar’s going to be completely free,” Briana said, forcing cheerfulness into her voice she was far from feeling.

“You feel better? Any less anxious?”

“Yeah. Thanks, Heather.”

“What are friends for? Call me tomorrow?”

“I will.” As she hung up the phone, she wished she could be the person Heather wanted her to be. But how could she pick up and leave if there was even a chance Jonathan might want to talk? Seven years they’d been together. For seven years, she’d run the social side of his business. The man had never lifted a finger to make any plans, any arrangements.

He didn’t have her Rolodex.

When he called, she’d be cool. She wouldn’t answer the telephone on the first or even the second ring. Maybe after he’d asked to come back, she’d do as he’d suggested. See someone who could help her be a little less…obsessive.

God, that word again. She wasn’t that person, was she?

She just needed another chance, another shot at showing him she could be perfect enough.
Heather was right about one thing. Briana didn’t like things out of place. She knew she ought to be more concerned about the fact he’d cheated, but she couldn’t shake the anxiety that kept her heart racing and her palms damp.

Jonathan wasn’t in his proper place. She’d felt that most keenly the previous night when she lay down to sleep. Weight wasn’t distributed on her mattress in the way she was accustomed. She hadn’t had to fight rolling toward the middle. She’d been perfectly, wretchedly level.

No, Heather would never understand that she could forgive him fucking a whore in the middle of her clean sheets, but she couldn’t forgive him upsetting the balance in her bed.

* * *

After yet another sleepless night, Briana awoke feeling groggy, her head pounding. The house was spotlessly clean. Every closet was reorganized. Even the tools on the pegboard inside the garage had received her attention. Jonathan wouldn’t find fault with anything—if he ever came back.

She was beginning to doubt he would. He hadn’t called once. Wednesday had passed, which meant he’d been back to work for two full days and hadn’t needed her help with arranging a single luncheon appointment or dinner reservation. Perhaps he’d already hired an anal bitch to take her place.

Slowly, over the past few days she’d come to terms with the fact he wasn’t coming back. Which left her wondering what she should do next. Nearly paralyzed by the worries that flashed through her mind, one after the other, she’d worked like an automaton cleaning the house and working in the garden to exhaust herself enough she wouldn’t notice how silent the house was, or how empty her bed felt.

She’d tried to look at the bright side. She no longer had to clean up after Jonathan, but that left her with even more time on her hands. Then the niggling thought flashed that maybe she wouldn’t be able to hold onto the house once they divorced. What would he be made to pay in a settlement? They didn’t have any children; the time had never been right to begin the family he’d wanted.

There was only her. What judge would understand that she might lose her mind if she were forced to move someplace else? As soon as that thought occurred, she’d shoved it back into her subconscious, unwilling to face it. Not yet.

She had the morning’s dishes to do.

With the lemon-fresh scent of the frothy water soothing her, she slowly cleansed her coffee cup and dish, and then grabbed the spoon rest next to the stove and the magnets from the refrigerator to wash them, too. She pointedly kept her gaze from the window in front of her, not wanting to watch the driveway as she’d done compulsively for days.

When at last she had nothing left to clean, she let out the water, dried her plastic gloves and pulled them off, folding them before tucking them in their baggie beneath the sink. Then she washed the scent of the gloves from her hands, slathered on rose-scented hand cream, and slid her diamond ring back into place on her third finger.

As she held her hand up, the perfect stone caught the light shining through the window, refracting multi-colored rays like a prism.

The perfect ring for the perfect girl.

That’s what Jonathan had said when they chose the ring together before they married. When had he come to hate “perfect”?

A metallic clang sounded from outside, and she dropped her hand and curled her fingers tightly. The mail. Probably with a stack of bills. She hadn’t checked her household account to see whether Jonathan had added funds for her to pay them. Something she’d let slip.

She hurried to the door and opened it, watching as the mailman stepped off the flagstone pathway onto the sidewalk on his way to the next house. Reaching into the metal box beside her door, she lifted the lid and took out the envelopes, letting the lid drop with a loud clang.

As she turned back toward her door, she sorted through the envelopes. Nothing urgent.

Advertisements for new credit cards, a coupon for a car wash…

A metallic clang sounded behind her again, and she turned, her brow wrinkling. Had a breeze lifted the lid?

Still, she couldn’t resist checking the box like Pavlov’s dog expecting another treat even knowing the routine had been somehow changed.

She swirled her hand inside the box, and her fingers touched on something. Withdrawing her hand, she found she held a postcard advertisement, but one unlike anything she’d ever seen.
The edges were pristine, not a single fray or bend. No postmark. On one side, the glossy side, there was a picture of a beach—a long scythe-like stretch of white sand that curved until it disappeared, sandwiched between a line of symmetrical palm trees and lapping azure waves.

The jagged, vertical cliffs in the background were softened by lush vegetation draping their steep sides.

The palms, so straight and perfectly spaced, appealed to Briana instantly. So did the empty expanse of sand. When she looked closer, she saw a man standing in the shadows beneath one tree, wearing only a pareo knotted at his waist.

Even in the shadows, she could tell how perfectly made he was. His chest was smooth, his muscles well defined, and his waist lean and narrow with the knot in the colorful fabric resting atop one notch of his slim hips. His smooth skin was the color of coffee lightened with cream. His hair hung in dark ropes to his shoulders.

Her breath caught at the expression on his face—full lips turned up slightly at the corners, a chocolate gaze held wide and entrancing. His nose was narrower than she would have expected among features that looked Samoan or Hawaiian and flared only slightly at the end. He seemed to beckon her, to dare her to say “Yes.”

Reluctantly, she turned the card over. The texture on this side was slightly gritty and the same pale shade as the sandy beach. The lettering was in black and had the look of handwritten calligraphy. At the top was an embossed flower in deep, reddish orange.

Prepared to quickly skim the contents and flip the card again for another glimpse of the beach and the man, her gaze snagged on the greeting.

To Ms. Briana Neeson:

You are cordially invited to The Island, a place where your most fervent desires come to life with just one wish. At The Island, we cater to your needs…seduce you beyond your inhibitions…set you free to discover the woman you were meant to be. This invitation is given to a select few, and you’ve been chosen. Should you choose to accept this invitation, you agree that you are ready for a change, that you are freeing yourself to experience something you’ve never dared to dream, and in doing so, your desire to be fulfilled, to reach perfection will manifest deliciously…

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

This invitation will expire in twenty-four hours, Briana. You can contact us at
800-555-9860 to experience the fantasy of a lifetime. We’re waiting for your call…

Absently, Briana laid the other correspondence on a pewter dish on top of the foyer’s bureau and slowly closed the front door behind her. Although she knew the postcard was just a seductively designed advertisement meant to catch her eye, she couldn’t suppress the thrill that shot through her. As though the invitation spoke directly to her soul.

Before she had time to think twice and drop the card into the trash, she reached for the phone and dialed Heather’s number. She’d know what to do. She would tell her it was a scam, a lure to entice lonely women into giving up their credit card numbers and embarking on an adventure that could only disappoint.

However, Heather didn’t instantly discredit the postcard. In minutes, she stepped across the threshold, her hand extended for the invitation, which she read intently for several minutes.
Briana braced herself for disappointment.

Instead, Heather’s eyes widened as she lifted them to meet Briana’s gaze. “Let’s dial the number,” she said, excitement quivering in her voice.

And because this was the first time in days that Briana had felt a swell of something other than grief, she let Heather’s excitement sweep her along.

Before she knew it, Heather had taken down the details, handing the phone to Briana for her to give them her dietary preferences, bungalow versus hotel room, view of a beach or the island’s volcano, and so many other things that Briana’s head swam.

When she handed back the phone to Heather, she stood still, only half-listening as she realized she was seriously considering the trip.

Heather hung up the phone, turned toward her, and then let out a girlish squeal as she wrapped her arms around her and squeezed hard. “Girl, you have to do this. It’s perfect!”

Briana shook her head and pulled away. “This is crazy. You know that, right? I can’t afford a vacation like this.”

“Yes, you can. It’s only three days.” She shoved the paper she’d used to take down the details and circled the figure at the bottom. “That’s an all-inclusive price—airfare, hotel, and meals. Charge it to your credit card.”

“But I might need that money. Who says Jonathan’s going to keep paying the bill?”

Heather’s eyes narrowed, and then fell to Briana’s hand. “Sweetie, if you’re worried about cost, I have a solution for you.”

Before Briana could muster up another half-hearted protest, she let Heather slip the ring off her finger.

“I know this guy who runs a jewelry store. It’s not a pawn shop, not really, but he will hold the ring for a month before offering it up for resale. His commission isn’t outrageous.” She slipped the ring into her purse, and then grabbed both Briana’s hands. “You have to do this. Remember, we talked about you getting away? You’ve been living like a mole. I bet you haven’t been any farther than the edge of your lawn, have you?”

Briana nodded slowly. “But this is crazy.”

“You know what’s crazy? You waiting on that asshole to change his mind and ask to come back. You don’t need him. Not for a damn thing. You take this vacation. Let your island guide show you everything you’ve been missing—”

“Island guide?”

“You know that man on the front of the postcard?”

Briana nodded—he was the reason she hadn’t immediately consigned the card to the trash can.
Heather’s lips stretched into a wide grin. “He’s yours if you want him.”

If you enjoyed this excerpt, please purchase a copy of Obsessed by Delilah Devlin at your local bookstore or online at: