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The Norton Sisters series has somehow become a series that tears at my heart every time that I sit down to write. My muse has been tapping away at my psyche as their stories play out in my thoughts and dreams.
The series is going to span six books since there are six sisters. I’ve always wanted to tell the stories of the lives of women that were close nit sisters and the best of friends. Yet, even in their closeness they are still unaware of what each has had to endure to become who they were. The first two stories have already been released. Rayna and Zoie shared their stories. In the process they found love. The hope is each of the sisters follows suit.
Thank you so much for stopping in and seeing what I was sharing today. I am ever so grateful as are these women. So many have been able to identify with one or all of the sisters.
Nyema sat in the restaurant at exactly five minutes to one. The cool afternoon air said that Florida was entering into the season and the summer was soon coming to an end. She’d stood outside for about ten minutes before finally coming into the restaurant. The man who greeted her was far too happy to hear the name of the man that would be soon joining her. She didn’t like what this said. She felt at odds about meeting him here. Looking around again, she actually contemplated just leaving.
The problem with that was then she’d have to explain to her brother-in-law why his closest friend showed up at the restaurant and found himself dining alone. Nyema picked up her little notebook and pen then moved it the other side. It had started on her left hand side and to the left of the elegant table setting when she was first seated by the nice, French gentleman that practically did a little jig when she mentioned her client’s name. Do French men jig? Oh, never mind. It doesn’t matter. The notebook had then been moved to her right because she has always been right handed. It moved again a few seconds later and now she was thinking of moving it again.
She didn’t know why she was so nervous. Nyema laughed at herself. She’d mentally begun to admonish herself as soon as the thought had started to formulate. The reason being, she knew good and well why it was that she was nervous. When Rayna’s husband, Christopher Leigh, had come to her and made the request that she take on his “buddy” because he was going through a hard time, she should’ve just said no. That, of course, wasn’t what she did. She’d known something was off as soon as she’d picked up the phone.
“Family Matters Therapy Center, Nyema Norton speaking, how may assist you?” she quickly answered the line.
Joanne had gone out to pick them both up something to eat and she’d been expecting a call. It was the only reason she’d bothered to answer the phone that day.
“Dawnie? Is that you? Where’s Joanne?” she’d heard a male voice respond.
Since he referred to her by her middle name, it could only be one of two people: Chris, Rayna’s husband, or Victor, Zoie’s husband. Lynnie’s friend, Dario, would never dare to act that familiar with her. Those were the only males within their circle. Considering the fact that there were six very attractive sisters and one amazing mother in the Norton clan’s immediate circle that was a sad, sad statement.
“Which newfound brother is this? Is it Chris or Vic because I haven’t been able to take a moment to decipher timbers and such to just know by voice?” she said as she’d sifted through the file on her patient that was to come in that day at two.
“I’m sure Ray and Z. will appreciate knowing that you think that their husbands sound too much alike for you to know them apart on the phone,” the voice had responded then a chuckle quickly followed.
“Hello Christopher, what’s going on? I don’t usually hear from you so recalling your voice isn’t something that I decide to store in my database of things to remember,” she’d responded distractly because Joanne had walked in with their lunch.
Her stomach uttered its protest the instant the scent of the grilled salmon permeated the room. She was starving and the rice that was on the side of that entre with steamed vegetables was screaming for her complete attention. It’s amazing what the mind can recall and what is chosen to forget.
“Cut me to the quick, why don’t you, sis? Man! I’ve been with your sister for almost two years now and I can’t get a little phone recognition,” he’d said and she had to let him off the hook, but one last jibe first.
“If you would provide me with a regular auditory sample, then I will be more than willing to oblige any reinforced comfort my recognizing your voice will offer,” she paused and listened to the silence. “I’m just kidding. I knew it was you all along. Victor only calls when there is trouble at the school and his secretary is the one who initiates that call. What can I do for you?”
“The things that you hold in that head of yours are astounding. I didn’t know what in the hell you had said. Anyway, I called to set up a meeting with you, but realized that I couldn’t do a meeting. I was told that you had a couple trips coming up that wouldn’t free you up,” he stopped talking and she heard him take a breath. “Listen, this is kind of a touchy subject and I really don’t know how or what to do here.”
“Start at the beginning. It’s always the best and tends to get you to where you need to go the quickest. I’m free for the next hour or so. However long you need, go ahead and take it,” she typed a quick note to Joanne to make sure that she didn’t schedule anyone to fill the one o’clock she knew she had open. “Everything is fine with Ray, right?”
“Oh, yeah. She’s good. Tired, but good. It’s not anything to do with the three of us, Dawnie. It has to do with my friend. I’m really worried about him and I don’t have anyone else to turn to. If I go to his family members, then I’m afraid they will take this to a level that is far worse than what it already is. You know, James? He was my best man at the wedding and he comes by from time to time.”
He’d been quiet and she realized that he was waiting on her to respond. She’d begun to take notes. She hadn’t known why. Something just said to do so.
“Yes, I remember him. I also remember Zoie and Lynnia not being his biggest fans. I think there is a bit more there with Zoie. She never would expound on why it was that she didn’t care for him. Anyway, what seems to be the problem?” she’d asked.
What he said in response had her sitting back in her seat. Chris had told her that James had been the father of Zoie’s baby. Nyema hadn’t been aware that her nephew’s father was a known donor. Did Zoie know? She had to have known. Why didn’t she tell any of the sisters? It seemed like something that they should know. They’d put Victor’s name on the grave stone because it was a special request and just seemed like the right thing to do since the father’s name wasn’t known. Now, having not only a name, but a face to go along with it just made it feel wrong. She wondered if Zoie even took a moment to talk with James. Her sister probably hadn’t since she didn’t really like him and she was dealing with the loss of her child, the fact of being a newlywed, then her miraculous chance to be a mother. Talking to James about any of it would have probably been on her very short list of things to do.
“Houdini couldn’t have pulled a better trick out of his hat if he wanted. What are the odds that one of the few people that Zoie didn’t like would be the person to give her the blessing that Nathaniel would have been? I can’t believe that she didn’t say anything,” Nyema had taken a drink of her tea then a deep breath before speaking again. “Okay, so James is having a hard time dealing with everything? How am I supposed to be part of this little equation?”
“Nyema, I don’t know if you will be able to help at all, but I don’t know what else to do. I’ve done all that I can think of. You are my last resort. I know that this is probably going to be a bit much for you. It will be going above and beyond the call of duty as my sister, well sister-in-law, but it’s needed. I really believe that you might be the only one to get him out of this…” Chris had paused for seconds then was off again. “He isn’t himself. I’ve never known him to hole up in his place and stay. He travels, socializes, meets and beds women. He is not a homebody. He is not one to back down from a challenge. I didn’t think that I’d ever see the day that the wind was knocked out of James Kenyon’s sails, but it is. He is literally coasting through life. I took him out the other day for a beer and we passed a baby store. His eyes stayed focus on this bear blanket and he went inside the store. He came out five minutes later with the bear and a little mitt. I just about lost it because I had no clue what to say to that. The man didn’t say word. He hailed a cab, got in it and left my ass standing there with my mouth open. He’s not dealing. I didn’t think he wanted to be a dad. He argued the point of not wanting to have anything to do with the kid once Allison was pregnant. She was the one that was supposed to get his donation. Seeing the broken man that he is now tells me differently. I just need you to talk to him. I need to see if you can get him to talk about all of this. I know it’s a tall order, but I’m hoping that it works. I’ve never seen him like this. What do you think? Are you willing to do this?”
Nyema hadn’t said a word. She’d been attempting to process all that he’d relayed to her. Chris had mistaken her hesitancy for apprehension in dealing with an adult patient. His assessment couldn’t have been further from the truth. She was a little concerned about that factor, but she’d studied family psychology as well as adult psychology during her college years. She often kept up with those studies when her schedule allowed for it. Dealing with children could be far easier, but she was up for the challenge.
Her hesitancy came because she felt instantly like a hypocrite. Speaking to a child, coaching them through their pain is one thing. When children ask a question, you can lead them in a different direction and usually get away with the misdirection. An adult tends to be a bit more astute and far quicker in catching on to misleading or misdirection. It wasn’t often that she had to employ such tactics, but it was there if she ever needed it. Her arsenal was full of those types of tools.
Nyema didn’t want to talk to James Kenyon for a number of reasons. The one at the very top of the list was the fact that she shouldn’t be attempting to lead anyone else to learning to cope with loss since she hadn’t fully learned to deal with her own. See! She was the biggest hypocrite ever! There was no way that she should be meeting with this man. He would see right through her tactics and advice. She was insane. Why? Why did she do this to herself?
Nyema looked to the entrance again. Her mental castigation immediately ceased. Seeing the handsome, dark hard, blue eyed, clean shaven, six plus foot man that smiled at the waitress that had just walked in front of him reminded her why she agreed. She watched him. It wasn’t an open watching. She made it look as if she were looking around the restaurant, but her focus was on watching the man walk. Awful! Insane! Silly! All of these words described her perfectly. She had to be all of those things because she was sitting the ogling the way the man strode with a purpose toward her. Watching him move was an appetizer to seeing him smile and maneuver his way to her, wading through the adoring throng of women. Her license to practice should be taken. She shouldn’t be taking on a man that she had any form of attraction to as a potential patient.
Placing her hand on her notebook, she turned her attention to the table setting before her. She would remain professional, see if this was a lost cause then move on from there. When she looked up again, he was standing right next to her, smiling with a cleft in his chin. Had she actually thought that she would be able to remain focused and professional in his presence? That wasn’t likely since she didn’t seem to have the ability to make her body respond to her mental commands. This meeting was going to go well. Chris was going to owe her big time if she made it through this lunch without making a fool of herself.
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I have done this for my other books and decided that I would keep with that tradition. I love sharing my works with all of the readers that give me an opportunity to do so. Thank you to each person that will take the time to read this. My next release is coming October 30, 2014 and I cannot wait to see what those that have read the first book in the series think of this next installment. Queen Mother is available now for pre-order.
I am sharing the first chapter of the book just to see what kind of response I get from this. Also, I am sharing so that you might get an idea of what my writing is like if you’ve never read my work before.
Here are some teasers for the book:
“Bear down, Milady,” the lady in waiting practically yelled at the royal whose face was tear-streaked and reflected an air of exhaustion.
“No, I cannot. I’m so famished and weary. I ache all over. I don’t have the ability to do this,” the young woman with copper toned eyes and light, sun-kissed skin yelled.
The words were thrust from her on a weakened breath. Her normally curly, almost jet black hair was now spread over her regularly pearl colored pillowcase. The pearl color was now a smoky grey because of the sweat pouring from her forehead.
“You must! Your young is almost here. You have waited for so long to hold your babe. Milady, please,” the lady pleaded and began to position herself to between the young royal’s legs.
The royal knew she must push forward. She knew that this was her last attempt to give her beautiful Intended his last child. He’d sought to have five. She never understood his need, but she agreed to it. He was so adamant about that number. If she really put thought to it, then she would realize that she already knew why. This child was to be his gift to her not the other way around.
If every child that had inhabited her womb had lived they would have nine no ten babes. It was not to be so. The all knowing mother had not seen that they were fit to bear that many. This was the one that wasn’t supposed to be. No one knew this child would come. Every child before had been spoken of by a soothsayer or dreamwalker. Not one had come and spoken of this one. No one came until it was far too late for any to know what was to come from this one.
The Fated came to them in the night and delivered the horrifying “gift” from the Eldest Soothsayer.
“The Fifth child born to the King of the Demoans and the Queen Mother will bring pain and death with his life. In his name, war will wage and peace will be abolished. He will be the harbinger of all that is evil in living by the error of his ways. No good will come of the child that will live as the one that hunts his own.”
When word was received, she’d wept for days. The fear of the words played in her head hourly and were the reason for each horrible sight she saw when she closed her eyes at night. A request was made for further divining or more knowledge to decipher the meaning behind the words. It wasn’t until much later, far too late for anything to be done, that she and her Intended were informed there was a second portion to that message.
The second portion was never given to the queen or her Intended. It crushed her to know that she had more information only after there was nothing in her power to be done about it. The worst part about finding something was intentionally being kept from her was learning the reason that it was done. The Fated feared the words of the first portion of the message far too much to relay the second. The ignorance of youth overrode the wisdom of age. They wanted the child removed from the kingdom as fear overruled their sworn duty. The Fated had sworn a duty to protect the kingdom from such a child. They had many in place to make sure that such a child would never come to be or so they thought. What they hadn’t realized in their youthful exuberance was their actions were what brought about the foreseen actions in their message.
As a result of the steps that they took, she was now dealing with something no person, especially a mother, should ever have to deal with. Her children were her own. They are the sons and daughters of Zephora Carthage-Veering: the Queen, Mother of their race and Foreseer. Yes, she was hated because she was able to change the heart of a Demoan from his evil ways. Doing so had split one of the most evil and deadliest duos to ever be spawned from hell. Devianté, her Intended, and the father of the supposedly cursed child spent many, many days trying to put the broken Queen Mother back together.
Things may have been so different had they only seen the second portion of that message.
Take heed in this message for it is truth. His heart is the key to his destruction. Without the evil that touches it, he will be the greatest warrior and live by his mother’s twice blessed sword.”
All was not right in her world and it probably never would be. She hadn’t lost just one child because of those words. She’d lost two. The Fated were cruel, heartless bitches. So many days of wishing and praying for the return of those lost children were thrown back in her face. It wasn’t enough for her to lose them then have them brought back into her life. No, they were brought back with a secret so terrifying that she almost requested someone take her life. It was the worst thing imaginable.
All of her hopes for those boys, her sons, were dragged through the mud, trampled on by horses, then chewed up and spit out. They weren’t those beautiful, innocent little babes that she’d for mere moments at her bosom. They weren’t the kindhearted little ones that she’d always thought they’d be, expected them to be. It was part of their family’s nature, their lineage, to be kind and nurturing. Her boys were men. They were men that were hardened by a life of anger, hostility and a childhood without love. How could they be anything less than that growing up with a Demoan that knew not what it meant to truly be loved and cared for? She wouldn’t expect them to be gentle men. She couldn’t. Yet, she’d still hoped. When she heard of their depravity and who that youngest child had become, her heart instantly chilled.
Only a mother that has heard of a child doing something that goes against everything that they taught their child would understand what she felt. Only a parent that learned of a child committing a crime so heinous no other could hear of it without cringing could know the depth of her sadness. Her anger knew no boundaries. It seeped into her veins and screamed for release. Every person that was within her kingdom tried to look at her with sympathy, but so many had been lost that the attempt was lost in their reflected heartache.
Zephora couldn’t take it. So, she left. She took her leave of her kingdom that had been her safety net and sanctuary for as long as she’d been alive. Even in her greatest moment of pain, her kingdom and the Foresayer L’ahelle had been her home. There she’d always found peace. She couldn’t find it. So, she went to the second place that afforded her the opportunity to let down her guard. Her arrival at the first space that she ever shared with Devianté had her trembling. She hadn’t been there since she and Devi lived there with the children so many centuries before.
Looking upon the gates with the Veering crest brought tears to her eyes. The “v” that spread to take on the shape of dark wings was one she knew as well as her name. It was etched into Devi’s skin. The marking of one wing started at the top of his left pectoral and spanned the length of his torso. It dipped around his side and the other wing spread out across his hip then lower back. The dip of his “v” cut across part of his abs. It was the sexiest thing she’d ever seen and couldn’t help, but learn every dip, turn and section of the marking with her tongue whenever she had the opportunity.
Smiling to herself, she turned slightly and nodded her head. He was there. He was always there. Devi thought that he was hiding himself when he silently followed her in the shadows, but she knew. She always knew. Her heart told her when he was near. Knowing that he was with her, watching out for her, allowed her to be brave when she needed to be.
“Devi, I need you here with me. As much as I feel this is my own to bear, I cannot be in this place alone. Plea…,” she began, but stopped when he stood before her.
“You know you only have, but to ask. I should have known that you knew I followed you. I haven’t really been able to hide much of anything from you in all of our years together,” he stopped and looked around the area where they stood. “I cannot believe it has been as long as it has been since we were away from this place. It seems like yesterday that we were putting things together to make it our own. The staff has done well in keeping up the grounds, don’t you think?”
Zephora tore her gaze away from her husband’s six and a half foot, hard body that was barely hidden in the dark jeans and blue sweater that he wore. Anytime he was in that color, she thought of the deep blue eyes that called to her every time that he looked at her.
“Evo, your thoughts have turned to things that will get you taken where you stand if you are not careful. You came here for other things, I believe. If I am going to be a distraction, then I will return to our home. Even if looking into those beautiful brown eyes that darken with your desire make even speaking those words the hardest thing I had to do right now,” he said as he glanced over his shoulder.
She’d heard it to. There was a whisper on the winds and she knew they wouldn’t be alone long. Her mother would be joining them soon. Oh well. So much for that little thought. It would be a while before her mother would arrive. She would make the most of the time that she would have alone with her husband.
Her gaze moved to the home that stood before her. The grandeur of the estate had never been lost on her. It was an amazing place. The palatial home was one that she didn’t think she’d ever get used to when she’d first arrived. Sure, the home she lived in with her mother was more of a castle than home, but she’d known every nook and cranny of it.
To be honest, she’d thought that Demoans lived in a hovel or cave. She hadn’t expected to find such a wondrous place. It had been cloaked in a protective spell the first time she’d arrived. Devianté showed his first signs of not being the typical demonic killer when he’d brought her to this place. The house looked like it was owned by a Lord from the Victorian Era. The tower that set off to the right if you were facing the home was one of her favorite places to be. The grey toned shingles, pillar like columns, grand windows and staircases and porch that ran the width of the front of the house made her love the house, instantly.
Devi had the house modernized as time went on, but he never changed those things. He knew how important those things were for her. The five bedrooms and two bath home had been theirs. It had been there’s and held so many memories. It was also the place where she’d thought she’d lost herself forever.
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