Book Trailer, The Heat of Heat

I finally got around to fixing this; I'd forgotten to replace a sample photo with the real deal.

Hope you like it! You can head on over to the Bunderful Books website to read an excerpt.

The Week in Review

Eddie Fisher and Tony Curtis passed within 7 days of each other. Let's see...Eddie Fisher wrote in his autobiography that his first wife, Debbie Reynolds, was a shrew; and that his second wife, Elizabeth Taylor, was a slob who allowed her children and dogs to poop anywhere. Tony Curtis's autobiography contained blunt remarks like, "I fucked Yvonne DeCarlo." (That's Lily Munster, y'all, and underneath that ghoulish makeup she was quite the beauty).

I wonder if God enrolled them in the same class on what a gentleman says?

A Love Letter to RAWSISTAZ as they celebrate 10 years

I confess. I've always been impressed with how organized book clubs are, how they put together events to showcase authors, whether simple book discussions or large events to which people travel from far and wide.

But doing it all online: Maintaining a strong presence on the web with an informative website, overseeing official chapters that abide by RAWSISTAZ principles that carry your name in major cities all over the country, holding contests, having a roster of book reviewers, organizing and hosting either a live, in-person event or an online conference every year, maintaining a blog with thoughtful articles, and just boggles my mind how much all of you do to give us readers of African-American fiction a place to learn about all the latest and upcoming book releases, and a place to interact with one another.

I felt so gratified when RAWSISTAZ accepted my first independent book project (Save The Best For Last, published in 2009 by my own Bunderful Books) for review, and even more so when the reviewer gave it 4 stars and described it in glowing terms. I felt as though this gave me validation, to have my self-published work given the same recognition as the books I've had published by traditional publishers. You just don't know how much it meant to me.

I am happy and proud to be able to tell the world that I love RAWSISTAZ. All my best to you as you begin your second ten years.

Love, Bettye

P.S. This is being posted somewhat late...I always seem to lose a day when the week starts with a holiday, but it doesn't mean I love you any less.

P.P.S. I would have loved to have included one of your logos with this posting, but it seems to be copy-proof.


My books that are available in e-book format are outselling those available in print, according to Amazon.

Call me old-fashioned, but for me, there's nothing like holding the actual book in my hands. Of course, I've been slow to come around to new technology in the past, and this may be just another of those eventualities where I'm late to the party.

How do you do most of your reading, through actual books or e-readers?

First Look...The Heat of Heat

This sexy contemporary romance is coming your way from Bunderful Books in November. You can read an excerpt on my newly designed web site. If you read the excerpt, I'd love to hear what you think!

So how was YOUR day?

Yesterday at work I took a call from one of the hospital's radiologists, Dr. "Smith," who said that his colleague, Dr. Jones, dictated the x-ray results of his patient, Patterson, under the name of Dr. Smith's patient, Peterson. Dr. Smith said he would be reading the x-rays of Peterson and would be dictating them, while Dr. Jones would re-dictate Patterson's results under Patterson's name instead of Peterson's. All I had to do was remove the erroneous transcript on Peterson that really belongs to Patterson, and all would be well.

It's not a job, it's an Abbott and Costello comedy routine! Who's on first...?

Is it just me?

Am I the only who is put off when the leading man of a romance novel takes one look at the leading lady and can identify the label inside her outfit ("She looked luscious in a black Armani suit.")? It seems to me that the only time a man should know this would be if he was there when she was getting dressed. Wouldn't this work better if it was part of the narrative or in the heroine's point-of-view than the hero's?

I think men who cook are sexy. On the other hand, men who recognize the work of designers of women's clothing make me question their masculinity...not the impression romance writers want to give for their heroes, I'm sure, and certainly one that clouds my perceptions.

Links, I've Got Links

I did an interview with Deb Owsley of Simply Said Reading Accessories at her blog, so please do drop by, and feel free to leave a comment!

Also, for those of you who haven't yet read Save The Best For Last, you can read the first 30 pages at Warning: It's a sure thing you'll want to order a copy after you read the excerpt!

Have a great weekend!

Finding your strength as a writer

I was quoting some of my reviews from Trouble Down The Road when I noticed a similarity between two of them. One reviewer said:

"The reason I enjoyed it so much is because even though the books are fiction, Bettye Griffin touches on a lot of real life issues. She develops each of the characters so thoroughly that the reader will most likely identify with one or more of the characters."

And then there was the reviewer who said:

"I enjoy reading Bettye Griffin's mainstream fiction books because she writes about real family life situations."

The similarity, of course, is the references to "real life." I've always been a realist. Even my romance novels are more about real people with real issues who nevertheless manage to fall in love rather than fantasy-fests that suspend reality. These might not be the most popular storylines, especially in these times when difficulties abound, but it's me.

I'm okay with that. Trying to write something I'm not really feeling would be as fake as green contact lenses...and it would look just as bad.

Clearly, writing about everyday drama is my strength, something I do quite well, and some people find the results both interesting and relatable. So I am now going to begin writing my next mainstream women's fiction, which is about a long-held family secret that comes to light after 50+ years and threatens the very fabric of what had previously been a rock-solid family from Zion, Illinois. I do have a title, but I won't reveal that until much closer to the publication date. I'm very excited about this project; it's my most ambitious to date.

How do you like your fiction? Real life, fantasy, or a balance of the two?

Getting my write on

There've been some recent changes in the direction of my writing career, the details of which I'll share at a later date. I took a close look at my writing habits and decided I've been entirely too lazy when it comes to my writing. I've been terribly late with the manuscripts for my last two books. It's time to step it up, especially if I want to get my next Bunderful Books novel, The Heat of Heat, available for sale by November.

My new goal is simple: 1000 new words per day, at least 5 days per week (anything extra is gravy). Now, 5000 words per week will mean 16 weeks for an 80,000-word manuscript, 20 weeks for a 100,000-word manuscript, so I'm hardly talking Zoom City here. But, considering that this is a new manuscript and I'm simultaneously doing edits and rewrites for The Heat of Heat (which don't count as new words, even if there are plenty of them involved in the process), I've been very pleased with my progress. And I'm noticing that while 1000 words is my self-imposed minimum, I frequently do more than that (yesterday I did 1945). So, just two weeks in, it seems to be working pretty well.

Keep an eye on my progress meters. I'll have one for every project I write on.

Post-Travel Musings

I've been racing to keep up with the flood of ideas that are popping into my head. From the day we left for our vacation, my imagination went into overdrive. There's the snippet of conversation I heard between two people at the gate at O'Hare who learned they worked for the same organization (they each wore the logoed polo shirt) and shared what type of work they would be doing in a specific Asian country. There were the multiple black and white men I saw with Asian women on the streets and restaurants of Bangkok. The hotel we stayed in, which is also a service residence with laundry, pool, workout room, and parking. The dozens of shopping malls and open markets I saw, some disperse, others dedicated to food, electronics, or high-end retailers. Talking with people during the long plane ride and learning the reason for their travels. Talking with my husband's former classmates and learning where they live today (anywhere from Virginia and Arizona, the Philippines, Australia, or right there in Thailand) and what they do.

In addition to the sights and sounds, I also read some creative, imaginative novels during my trip, one women's fiction and one contemporary romance. Both were refreshing. The women's fiction took a very unusual premise and, although it dragged in spots for me, made a highly entertaining story out of it, and I felt like I hadn't read that story before. The romance, although with too many people for me to process introduced in the opening chapters and a character whose background remained unclear to me through most of the book, was also refreshing, as it provided realistic language and behavior, something not always seen in romance novels.

So, armed with plenty of ideas for future stories and some well-written novels to hold up as beacons, I prepare to lose myself in the wonderful world of writing. My next Bunderful Books, The Heat of Heat, should be out in a few months. The way I'm feeling, I might have it finished next week!

Isn't it wonderful?

APOOO reviews Trouble Down the Road

APOOO Book Club gives TDTR 4 stars and says: "Trouble Down the Road is a page-turner of "No, she didn't" and "You have got to be kidding me." The twists in the story are not over the top even though the reader sees them coming. It has a strong storyline and characters the reader can follow throughout the book. The enjoyment of the read and the ending make you overlook the characters that were getting on your nerves. I recommend this book to those who love suspense and a good drama."

Have you gotten your copy yet????

Vacation time!

I'm at O'Hare Airport waiting to board a plane to Hong Kong (where we'll switch planes and continue on to Bangkok), and all I can say is, these people ought to be ashamed of themselves. I've been sitting on the floor for the past 40 minutes because there are no outlets near the chairs, WiFi has to be purchased (Boingo, anyone?), and this gate is fast becoming standing room only. You'd think they'd have at least as many seats at the gate as there are on the plane...?

Reviews, reviews, reviews

A couple of new reviews on Trouble Down The Road I'd like to share:

Romance in Color gives it 4+ stars and says: "Bettye Griffin brilliantly refines thesee characters and weaves realistic scenarios into a poignant artistic guide to marital survival. The sage problem-solving skills exhibited by the characters are delightfully surprising. Emotions run high as the multidimensional characters weigh the costs of marriage--advantages and disadvantages--and realize that dirovce is not always a wise choice.

"Trouble Down The Road is a captivating melodramatic read with all the ingredients for a blockbuster movie--sexy characters with wealth, illicit affairs, deceit, lies, prestige, status, and dysfunctional extended family members. I highly recommend reading Trouble Down The Road as well as the previous books that introduced the characters."

OOSA Online Book Club gives it 3.5 stars and says: "Trouble Down The Road was a good read. There were plenty of issues and drama that comes along with having that almighty dollar. I enjoyed it. It will amaze you some of the actions that were taking place in this novel. Nice summer read that will pass the time."

Have you gotten your copy yet?

Coping with the critics

I was very concerned when a reader posted on Black Expressions (where Trouble Down The Road is a Main Selection) that she loved the story, but was put off by all the typos. She said one or two would be okay, but asked if anyone looked at the content before it went to press.

Since I'm a very careful proofreader, I was troubled, wondering if somehow the folks at Black Expressions could have inadvertently done something to my file. Then my editor (bless her) sent me a couple of book club editions, and I soon saw it was the same file as the trade paperback, just with a hard cover.

So why the 3-star review (that the reader said would've been 5 stars if it hadn't been for all those typos (?)? The only thing I can think of is that she mixed up my book with someone else's, yes, possibly even the part about loving the story.

As a writer, I'm objective enough to know that everyone's tastes are different, and it's relatively easy for me to read why a particular reader didn't particularly enjoy my work. But when a reader says something that's just plain wrong, for whatever reason, that's a tough pill to swallow.

While I'm venting, I also want to mention the Romantic Times review, which concluded by saying that readers might want to see an end to the drama and a happy ending for all. This makes me wonder if the reviewer thought Trouble Down The Road is supposed to be a romance with a happily every after. I've always felt a little frustrated when readers don't seem to be able to distinguish between romance and women's fiction. Every romance is women's fiction. Every women's fiction is not a romance. It's not fair to the writers to want them to write the same kind of story every time.

Are you able to tell the difference between romance and women's fiction? Do you feel authors who write romance should only write women's fiction with happy endings?

Madison Avenue blew this one

Is there anyone else out there who thinks that Toviaz (bladder control medication) commercial is just plain silly? You know, the one where the daughter looks like she lost her best friend because her mother had to go to the restroom while she was trying on wedding gowns? The mother feels she's putting her bladder in front of her daughter. I feel she should be more concerned about the brat she's raised, and I want to tell her not to worry, she'll have plenty of time to spend with her daughter after the new husband decides he doesn't want a wife who feels the world revolves around her and divorces her!

When Black doesn't really mean Black

I found it amusing that popular author Lori Foster's book Back in Black was shelved with the black-authored books in a store. I guess somebody thought the book was about black people. And the rack was full, suggesting no copies had been purchased.

Location, location, location!

Book Promotion (yawn)

It's been one month since my latest novel, Trouble Down The Road, was published. It's been a remarkably easy time for me. You see, for the firsttime in my writing career I have not scheduled a single booksigning appearance. There are no bookstores in the city where I live, and truthfully I am not well established enough up here to put on a signing anyway. I used to do quite well in the stores in my hometown of Yonkers, NY, and in Jacksonville,Florida, where I lived for nearly 20 years. Once you get accustomed to selling 50 to 90 books at a signing, selling 15 to 20 just doesn't cut it...especially when you factor in the travel time from my home in southeast Wisconsin to downtown Chicago, the Southside, Northwest Indiana, or Milwaukee. So I decided to just skip it.

To tell the truth, the one thing I miss the most is the time I get to spend with friends who live in those areas, like Donna Deloney and Sean Young. But aside from that, I'm perfectly content to do whatever promotion I can from my chair at home, venturing only as far (or in my case, as near) as the area booksellers to sign store stock.

I find I can even take or leave that small effort. At a stop at a Wal-Mart in Gurnee, Illinois, a wealthy suburb north of Chicago (it's home for a number of professional athletes), but with enough black people to warrant their carrying a limited selection of black-authored novels, I encountered the lady from Levy (the vendor who stocks Wal-Marts in the Midwest with books, music, and DVDs). I introduced myself to her, with the intention of asking her to order TDTR as well as the mass market version of Once Upon A Project, when she promptly informed me that her company doesn't purchase manuscripts for publication. Of course, I know Levy is not a book publisher. But I felt no burning desire to tell her I was already a published novelist. I was content for her to think I was an aspiring writer trying to break in to the business, so I merely tucked the business card I'd been about to hand her back into my purse and headed for the next store.

I'm not quite sure where this ho-hum attitude came from, but I suspect it has something to do with my getting older and reorganizing my priorities. I get the most enjoyment out of crafting stories, and at this point life's too short to be spending it on things that seem to take more time or involve more aggravation than they are worth.

Do you find yourself becoming more laid-back about certain aspects of lifeas you get older? If there are any authors reading this, do you still schedule book signings for your new books?

Won't you be my neighbor?

Just heard that Vanessa Williams is moving to Wisteria Lane for next season's Desperate Housewives now that her gig on Ugly Betty is over. I like this. I always thought she would be an ideal neighbor to add some color to that show, being about the same age as three of the 45-ish leads (Eva Longoria Parker is the baby of the group). Alfre Woodard never fit in to me; while still pretty, she's clearly a woman in her mid-to-upper 50s (and that plotline they put her in was just silly).
Maybe I'll watch more often this fall. I've kinda fallen off in my regular viewing.
Do any of y'all watch the show?

And now a word from our sponsor

I just love that commercial for the gizmo that has Gene Wilder's Pure Imagination as the soundtrack. A close second is the commercial that shows in flashbacks how a future U.S. President's parents met, also for a gizmo, cell phone, I think. As far as I'm concerned, these gizmo people have the most imaginative commercials. Too bad I can't remember the products they're selling.

How about you? Do you have any favorite ads?

What's love (or most other stuff) got to do with it?

When going over the galleys for Trouble Down The Road, I found myself frowning at my biography page. It then occurred to me what the problem was, and I picked up my red marked and drew a line through three words: “with her husband,” as in “She makes her home in Southeastern Wisconsin with her husband.”

Now, before any rumors get started, my husband and I are still very much together. (I think of him not as my second husband, but as my last husband.) But, as my recently eliminated-from-my-author-biography spouse would put it, “What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?” The real question here is, "What does that have to do with my books?"

The answer, of course, is, “Nothing.” It occurred to me at that moment that my marital status really doesn’t belong in that little “About the Author” paragraph, which is usually limited to the mention of my most recent novel or what number novel this particular book is, my general geographic area, and an invitation to visit my web site or to befriend me on Facebook. If I'd made a bestseller list or won any awards, or had a book optioned for film, I'd mention that, of course. Maybe if I'd majored in creative writing or English in college I'd mention that as well, but because I was an Accounting major, what's the point in saying where I went to school?

I'll never forget reading a bio of an author whose book I enjoyed, and in that one brief paragraph she got in her husband’s full name, the name of his employer, plus his profession. I knew more about the spouse than the author, which made no sense to me. She was probably just trying to pay homage to him for his emotional support while she wrote (anyone married to a writer knows they have to give their spouse plenty of time to work), but it ended up looking like the husband had a major insecurity problem. By the way, this author is still writing but has changed her bio.

Another issue that has become popular in recent years, among black authors if no one else, is whether authors write full time, i.e., have or don't have outside jobs. I’m not sure when this originated, or even why. I personally don't understand what a writer does with the rest of their time has to do with their book. Is this some kind of code to determine if authors are making a living wage from their books when included in interviews, or a proclamation to the world that the author is doing well financially if it comes directly from the author? For the record, at least here if not in my bio, I will state that I personally don’t do anything full time, not writing and not work.

What do you think? Does anything not writing-related, aside from a geographical area, really belong in an author biography? Is this really the place to mention our spouses, children, cats, dogs, hobbies?

The Stuff Books Are Made Of

On a simple trip to the post office this morning, I checked my box and found a letter addressed to me from an unknown person marked "Photo, Do Not Bend."

Inside was a picture of a family member taken 74 years ago.

Also included was a nice notecard of introduction and explanation.

Now, it wasn't as though I didn't already know of the situation pictured, but what if I hadn't? It would've have been quite a shock. And what if the note included had a sinister tone to it rather than friendly?

My writer's mind is working already on creating a story.

Here's the picture I received...but I'm not talking beyond that. You can read about it, or at least a twisted, much more interesting version of it, in a future Bettye Griffin novel.

Gone Blogging, Part II

I'm wrapping up my blog tour today over at Shelia Goss's blog, where I talk about sequels. Hope to see you over there! I also stopped in at Angela Benson's blog.

Here are the links. Have a great weekend, everybody!

Angela Benson's blog
Shelia Goss's blog

Gone Blogging

It's release week, which means I'm on the blogs of anyone who will have me.

Here's where I've been so far:

Readin' and Writin' with Patricia
White Readers Meet Black Authors
Elaine P. English (my agent)

Stop in and say hello! It's a crazy life, but I love it! I wish you all good reading.

The Week From Hades

Wow. Has this been a killer week, or what? I barely recovered from getting the tax return done when I had to get my husband ready for a trip out of town from Sunday to Thursday (which he didn't tell me about until the previous Wednesday night), had to design, print, label, and mail an announcement postcard for Trouble Down The Road, had to finalize copy for my mini-blog tour (kicking off today at SORMAG), had to get that mainstream synopsis finished once and for all, and on top of that, I had a flat tire (why does this always happen when Bernard is out of town)?

Maybe we'll go to the movies tonight. I hear Death of a Funeral is supposed to be pretty funny. Chris Rock is one of my favorite comedians, but an actor he's not. Anybody seen it?

Right now I'm listening to some of my favorite un-cool music, like Sixteen Tons by Tennessee Ernie Ford and the them to The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly by Hugo Montenegro (okay, so I personally think both of these are cool). What are some of your favorite un-cool songs?

A good weekend to all!

Gone Blogging

I've been busy with taxes, so forgot to mention that earlier this week I did a guest column on the blog of my agent, Elaine English. It's not too late to pop in over there, and feel free to leave a comment!

Husbands Behaving Badly

I don't know about you, but I'm getting pretty tired of hearing about these cheating men who embarrass their wives with their infidelities. It's even worse when the wife has praised or defended him. I still wince when I think of Hillary Clinton's claims of the "vast right-wing conspiracy" in defense of Bill, who knew damn well what he was doing with that intern, but let her go out and stick up for him anyway. And, of course, the news has been following all the developments since John Edwards came clean about impregnating another woman while his wife was coping with a diagnosis of incurable cancer, and we all know that coverage of Tiger Woods's indiscretions practically reached saturation coverage, with his sex partners coming out of the woodwork like termites.

The latest to be embarrassed is Sandra Bullock, who credited her husband with changing her life for the better, teaching her so much about love, etc., in a widely seen Oscar night interview with Barbara Walters. Not two weeks after bringing home her statuette, it's revealed that her husband was sleeping with another woman while she was away on location. Presto bingo...she's now on the cover of every tabloid, the rumors are saying that she's pregnant (at age 45), and women are coming forward for their 15 minutes of fame by saying they fucked him.

No one knows what goes on inside a marriage, and some women, like Mrs. Woods and all those political wives, have never spoken to the press about their relationships with their husbands. I guess that does little to lessen their level of embarrassment, but Ms. Bullock is a celebrity in her own right, and it was a natural series of questions answered with sincere answers. It's not as though she was going around telling the world about her wonderful marriage, in that nauseating way Kathie Lee Gifford used to do on morning TV before it was revealed that Frank Gifford had an affair, a humiliation that finally made her shut up.

I'm sure Ms. Bullock will get through this. The way things are going, it will only be a matter of time before the next big cheating scandal breaks!

Welcome Guest Blogger Shelia Goss, author of Hollywood Deception

Today my friend Shelia M. Goss is stopping by with a guest blog. Shelia has a new book, Hollywood Deception, from Urban Soul Publishing, the official publication date of which is next Tuesday, April 6th (that means you might spot it on store shelves this weekend, folks!) I don't know about y'all, but I love a good Hollywood-themed novel, and I'm looking forward to reading it. I love the book's first sentence: 'Modesty and simplicity were rarely used to describe Hailey Barnes.' Already whets my appetite; I'm ready to get my read on!

Heeeeeeeere's Shelia!


One thing Bettye and I have in common besides our love for the written word is our love for movies. I love her movie trivia during Oscar month. This year, I wasn't able to participate because I was under a deadline. Go check the archives because she has some good trivia questions for movie buffs. When I came up with the idea for the Hollywood Deception Red Carpet tour, Bettye's spot here on the web was one of the first places I thought about. I'm grateful she agreed.

I love everything "Hollywood." There's no coincidence that when I decided to be a writer that the very first book (Roses are Thorns) I completed was about a Hollywood starlet.
I didn't realize however until after my book Double Platinum that I had a new series on my hands. I cleverly titled it the Women in Hollywood Series. One of the characters from Double Platinum bugged me for her own story, so Hollywood Deception was born, and readers will get an exciting, unique and insightful look into the world of Hollywood through the eyes of ex-model/talk show host Hailey Barnes. Here are a few things readers are saying about Hollywood Deception:

Hollywood Deception reads like a true life Hollywood story. I couldn’t stop turning the pages.” ~ Kay, a reader

“Glitz, Glamour & LOADS of Drama…Ms. Goss once AGAIN keeps me turning the pages with another ENTERTAINING, yet fictional glimpse into the fast-paced lifestyle of a celebrity.” ~ Sweet N Sassy, Book Reviewer
“With Hollywood Deception, Shelia Goss has done it again. Love, lies and delicious drama! Pick this book up and you won't be able to put it down. Be ready though - this fun novel is not a passive read. You'll be yelling at Hailey, relating to her, wanting to slap her and cry with her all at the same time. Hollywood Deception is an all around good read full of scandal, just the way we like it. Well done, Ms. Goss!” ~Abiola Abrams is an Author, Media Personality, Host of Kiss and Tell Live erotica in NYC, and Kiss & Tell TV. Viewers also know Abiola as the host of BET's short film show and Miss Picky of VH1's Tough Love.

Hollywood Deception is not just about the glamorous life of a celebrity, but it also deals with the downside of Hollywood fame and fortune. My editor says it best:

“Shelia addresses with understanding and clarity, the serious, and ever-growing crime of stalking (in fact, according to the U.S. Dept. of Justice, in 2005-2006 3.4 million people in this country reported being stalking victims). Readers will be engaged by her believable and fully developed characters.”

Hollywood Deception is available in stores or online from any of the online outlets such as,, Borders, Barnes and Noble, etc.

Shelia M. Goss is the national best-selling author of six novels of women's fiction: Hollywood Deception (2010), His Invisible Wife, My Invisible Husband, Roses are Thorns, Paige’s Web, Double Platinum and and three young adult books: The Lip Gloss Chronicles series: The Ultimate Test, Splitsville, and Paper Thin. For more information, visit her website: or

From this post, I guess you can tell, I absolutely love and have a fascination with Hollywood and yes, I love writing about it too. As much as I hate to admit it, I do watch the entertainment shows to get the latest news on what's going on in Hollywood. Am I the only one?


Thanks, Shelia! Much success with the new novel!

When the past is sharper than the present

My godmother passed away last week. Unfortunately, I was unable to travel to Florida for her homegoing services, but her family seems to be taking the loss well. She was less than two months away from her 93rd birthday and had been in failing health, and as so often happens, she just slipped into the next world.

My godmother and my mother, who will be 92 later this year, have been friends for over 60 years, at a time when they were both young mothers living next door to each other in Elmsford, a hamlet in Westchester County, New York. My mother was somewhat numbed by her friend's passing. I've been thinking a lot about both of them the past few days, as well as my mother's sister, herself looking at turning 94, and the subtle changes about them that I've noticed.

The major change is in their memories, which have shifted from present to past. My godmother told me how vividly she remembered the day she first laid eyes on the man whom she would eventually marry, who was 17 to her 12 and quite handsome. She always referred to him as "My Gordon," which was probably as much as an endearment as it was to distinguish him from his best friend, my father, who was also named Gordon. When looking at a picture of her two oldest daughters as children, she recalled the ruffled dresses they were wearing and how difficult they were to iron (this was before cotton blends or the steam iron had been introduced). But sometimes she had difficulty remembering much more recent events.

Similarly, my aunt can rattle off happenings dating back to her childhood, but often cannot remember things that happened five years ago.

My mother cannot remember where she was or what she was doing when word came through that President Kennedy had been assassinated back in 1963, but she can remember exactly where she was when she heard that President Roosevelt (Franklin, not Teddy...she's not that old) had died in 1945, 18 years earlier. (For the record, she was waiting tables at a Chock Full'O'Nuts restaurant in New York City, and she said how everyone cried and the restaurant promptly closed for the day. She even remembers how the other waitresses were unfriendly toward her - I think they were jealous of Mom's good looks.)

The last time Mom was visiting she was watching a classic Bette Davis film, The Little Foxes, and she remarked, "I always loved Herbert Marshall." (He was an actor, largely forgotten today, who played important, if not necessarily leading man, roles in the Thirties and Forties.) I was amazed that Mom remembered his name...I had coached her several times when friends visiting from England came to dinner on their names, and when she asked the husband to pass the butter she trailed off, unable to remember the simple name of Paul.

The next day we driving somewhere and I had one of my home-burned CDs of standards playing (you know, the type of music my parents used to listen to while we were growing up). When a duet between an icon performer and a young performer on her way to becoming an icon began to play, Mom said, "Oh, that's Judy Garland. I'd know that voice anywhere." When I asked her about who Judy was singing with, a singer still active today, she struggled to remember, snapping her fingers and saying, "Oh. Oh. Oh." Finally she said, "She's got a big nose." Yeah, it was Barbra Streisand.

I wonder, if I live that long and am fortunate enough to still be lucid, if I will remember the past more accurately than the present. I don't remember the JFK assassination at all, although most of my friends do (I was 6 when it happened). Will it come back to me? I guess I'll have to wait and see.

Have any of you noticed this in the elders you know?

Enough Already

These Republicans are really getting on my nerves with all their whining and protesting to repeal health care. How's this? Let's vote them out of their jobs in November and see how they like paying $800 per month to pay for health insurance for themselves, $1200 if they have families.

I have health insurance...but I also have compassion for those who don't.

Publisher's Weekly reviews Trouble Down The Road

Trouble Down the Road, Bettye Griffin. Kensington/Dafina, $14 paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-7582-3162-8

The oh-so-complicated passions and power plays in a Jacksonville, Fla., suburb emerge in Griffin's sticky melodrama (after The People Next Door) about just how low some women might go to snag a rich man, even if he belongs to someone else. Middle-aged Suzanne Betancourt is married to her former boss, radiologist Bradley Betancourt, and, in a frustrating twist of fate, lives next door to Bradley's ex-wife, Lisa, and her second husband and children. If that's not bad enough, she suspects that Micheline Trent, the young wife of Bradley's golfing buddy, wants her man. Micheline's got crazy baggage of her own, as do the neighbors down the street, whose son gets quickie married to Suzanne's pregnant sister. Readers may have trouble keeping up with the large cast and all the twists that Griffin packs into this tart and torrid tempest, but those who crave their drama fast and furious will surely enjoy.


Are you listening, drama lovers? Have you ordered your copy yet?

Counting Down

Just 7 weeks to go until the release of Trouble Down The Road. This novel addresses family loyalty, deceit, and secrets. To that end, do you feel that parents should encourage their children who've "made it" to assist their siblings who haven't? If so, to what degree?

Wrapping up Movie Trivia

Here's the answers to #5:

1) “It might not by any chance be Mr. Dallas who wishes to remarry, is it? Well, tell him to just keep the check coming to the same address each month, or else I might get a lawyer myself and bring in the name of that highfalutin’ widow!”

This came from Stella Dallas (1937). And yes, there was a clue to help, since this movie is largely forgotten today.

2) Man: “I love you. You... you complete me. And I just...”
Woman: “Shut up, just shut up. You had me at ‘hello.’”

This came from Jerry Maguire (1996).

3) Man #1: "I am not the enemy."
Man #2: "Then who are you?"

This came from Michael Clayton (2007).

4) “The wind’s blowing me in another direction, and there ain’t no use arguing with the wind.”

This one came from Carmen Jones (1954).

The link, of course, is that the movie is a character's full name.

Donna got her numbers mixed up and somehow missed #1, but she did have two correct answers and now has 90 points. We seem to have lost Patricia.

Keep reading for the final results....

1) "Don't be looking at me like I ain't got no drawers on." (2000s)

From Cadillac Records (2008)

2) "Oo-wah!" (1990s)

From Scent of a Woman (1992) Al Pacino uttered this when he got to the podium to accept his Best Actor Academy Award.

3) "Perhaps you'd like me to come in there and wash your dick for you, you little shit." (1980s)

From Arthur (1981)

4) "You're a nice girl...but I think you'd better stay away from that cake!" (1970s)

From Sparkle (1976)

5) "Hello, Gorgeous." (1960s)

From Funny Girl (1968) Barbra Streisand said this when she accepted her Best Actress Academy Award.

6) "In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart." (1950s)

From The Diary of Anne Frank (1959)

7) "The stuff that dreams are made of." (1940s)

From The Maltese Falcon (1941)

8) "Mother of Mercy! Is this the end of Rico?" (1930s)

From Little Caesar (1930)

Bonus question: (50 points)He is the only actor to have won an Oscar (supporting category) for playing a character named Oscar. He is the late Edmond O'Brien. The movie was The Barefoot Contessa (1954).

Donna, the only one who responded, is our 1st place winner. Patricia will take second place. For the record, Donna, a real movie buff, only missed #4 and earned 175 points. She finished with a whopping 265 points. Congratulations, ladies!!! And enjoy the Oscars!

Movie Trivia 2010 - Final Round...

...but not the answers to Round 5. Since no one has responded as of yet (yes, I know we're all busy), I'll extend the deadline and announce it all in the final results on Sunday, so if you haven't sent your answers to Tuesday's round, now's the time to do it!

Here's the good part: If the people who are leading don't come back to finish play, someone else can sneak in and win!

So let's get right to the trivia. No common threads this time, just quotes and trivia, one from each decade dating back 80 years.

25 points for each correct answer.

1) "Don't be looking at me like I ain't got no drawers on." (2000s)

2) "Oo-wah!" (1990s)
Hint: Not only was this a line from a movie, but it is also the first thing that came out of the mouth of the person who said it when accepting their Academy Award for that performance.

3) "Perhaps you'd like me to come in there and wash your dick for you, you little shit." (1980s)

4) "You're a nice girl...but I think you'd better stay away from that cake!" (1970s)
Hint: The late author E. Lynn Harris said this was his favorite movie.

5) "Hello, Gorgeous." (1960s)
Hint: Not only was this a line from a movie, but it is also the first thing the speaker said when accepting their Academy Award for that performance.

6) "In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart." (1950s)

7) "The stuff that dreams are made of." (1940s)

8) "Mother of Mercy! Is this the end of Rico?" (1930s)

Bonus question: (50 points)
He is the only actor to have won an Oscar (supporting category) for playing a character named Oscar. Name him.

Answers due by 3PM Sunday. Winners to be announced Sunday right around at Oscar time. First place ARC of Trouble Down The Road and other prizes to be mailed Monday!

Movie Trivia #5 and Answers to #4

First, the answers to Saturday's quotes:

1) "Hey, my name is Benny Blanco from the Bronx."

This line came from Carlito's Way (1993), a beautifully done film with Al Pacino.

2) "I was raised on a farm in Moooresville, Indiana. My mama ran out on us when I was three, my daddy beat the hell out of me cause he didn't know no better way to raise me. I like baseball, movies, good clothes, fast cars, whiskey, and you... what else you need to know?"

This line came from Public Enemies (2009), a John Dillinger biopic that I personally found disappointing for reasons I was never able to identify. I'm a big fan of Johnny Depp, but the movie didn't work for me.

3) "When people ask me if Michael Sullivan was a good man, or if there was just no good in him at all, I always give the same answer. I just tell them... he was my father."

This line came from Road To Perdition (2002), the last really good gangster movie I've seen. But an Oscar nomination for Paul Newman? I don't think so. Is it just me, or do all these actors start sounding the same once they get past 70? If I close my eyes when Paul Newman's on the screen, I'd swear it was Clint Eastwood talking.

Yes, the theme is that these were all gangster movies. Crime, criminals, etc., were all acceptable.

Donna and Patricia both got all answers, including the bonus, correct and both earned 20 points. Donna is leading with 80, and Patricia is close behind with 70. Monica and a couple of other people who emailed me are a little confused. I'll have to do a better job of explaining how the game works next time.

Now, for today's quotes, the last set before the final anything goes round on Friday. There are four of them today (a possible 25 points to be earned), because we're almost done and I got a little carried away.

1) “It might not by any chance be Mr. Dallas who wishes to remarry, is it? Well, tell him to just keep the check coming to the same address each month, or else I might get a lawyer myself and bring in the name of that highfalutin’ widow!”

2) Man: “I love you. You... you complete me. And I just...”
Woman: “Shut up, just shut up. You had me at ‘hello.’”

3) Man #1: "I am not the enemy."
Man #2: "Then who are you?"

4) “The wind’s blowing me in another direction, and there ain’t no use arguing with the wind.”

Five points for the correct name of each movie. Five bonus points if you can name the common thread (and, trust me, in this case if you can name the movies, you can name the thread).

I'll be back Friday with the final round.

Movie Trivia #4 and answers to #3

Three down, three more to go! Sorry I'm so late today. I'm hoping you guys were as busy as I was.

First, the answers to Wednesday's quotes:

1) Man #1: "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death..."
Man #2: "You want to walk a little faster through that valley there?"

This came from Titanic (the 1997 version, as I believe Donna pointed out).

2) "You see, Mr. Scott, in the water I'm a very skinny lady."

This came from The Poseidon Adventure (1972), possibly the first of the disaster movies. They remade this as Poseidon a few years back. I couldn't even sit through the whole thing. And I'm real glad Andre Braugher got a decent job; this seemed like a waste of his talent.

3) "Dying together's even more personal than living together."

You can never go wrong with Alfred Hitchcock. Lifeboat (1944) is one of his best with a fabulous cast that included the distinguished black actor Canada Lee and the notorious Tallulah Bankhead, she of the good bourbon, fast men, and even faster women, dahling. And Hitchcock managed to come up with a unique way to make his signature cameo in a movie about people floating in a lifeboat in the Atlantic after their ship sank: He used his famously rotund profile as the Before model in a newspaper someone had for a reducing medication, obviously putting his head on a slimmer man for the After model.

The common theme here, of course, is sinking ships (boat, ship, ocean are all acceptable).

Donna got all three plus the bonus question correct for 20 points and now has 60.

Patricia got #1, #2, and the bonus question correct for 15 points and now has 50.

It looks like we lost WebbHolsey and Katrina.

Ten points isn't very far apart, and Friday's final round, which will be a wild assortment of quotes, can change everything!

Now, for today's quotes:

1) "Hey, my name is Benny Blanco from the Bronx."

2) "I was raised on a farm in Moooresville, Indiana. My mama ran out on us when I was three, my daddy beat the hell out of me cause he didn't know no better way to raise me. I like baseball, movies, good clothes, fast cars, whiskey, and you... what else you need to know?"

3) "When people ask me if Michael Sullivan was a good man, or if there was just no good in him at all, I always give the same answer. I just tell them... he was my father."

Five points for the correct name of each movie. Five bonus points if you can name the common thread.

I'll be back Tuesday with today's answers and the next-to-last set of quotes.

Movie Trivia #3 and answers to #2

First, let's go over the answers to Sunday's questions:

1) Woman #1: "What're you in here for, stealing flowers? What'd you do, steal candy from the girl scouts?" Woman #2: "I murdered 18 men."

This came from Madea Goes To Jail (2009).

Quote 2) Man #1: "You wouldn't kill me in cold blood, would you?"Man #2: "No, I'll let you warm up a little."

This came from classic gangster movie White Heat (1949). James Cagney at 50 was too old to play a 30-year-old, but effective nevertheless. Out of all the actors of that era, only Edward G. Robinson got to deliver more acidly humorous lines.

Quote 3) "I don't like it here. I'm tired of being afraid all the time. I've decided not to stay. I doubt they'll kick up any fuss. Not for an old crook like me."

This came from The Shawshank Redemption (1994).

The common link is that all three movies were partially set in prison (or jail). So anything containing the words jail, prison, convicts, is correct.

Patricia provided correct answers to #1 and #3 plus the bonus question and earned 15 points, for a total of 35.

Donna provided correct answers to all three questions plus the bonus and earned 20 points, for a total of 40. She's presently the leader!

Katrina provided correct answers to quote #3 plus the bonus and earned 10 points.

WebbHolsey provided correct answers to quotes #1 and #2 thru email and earned 10 points. (I did refer her to my blog for the other two questions, but didn't hear from her. I've got a feeling she would have gotten them right as well!

Now, for today's quotes:

1) Man #1: "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death..."
Man #2: "You want to walk a little faster through that valley there?"

2) "You see, Mr. Scott, in the water I'm a very skinny lady."

3) "Dying together's even more personal than living together."

This last one's a toughie, so here’s a hint: This line was spoken by a stage actress in one of the few movies she made. This woman was famous for her off-color personal remarks, such as, “I’m off to Hollywood, dahling, to make a film and to fuck that divine Gary Cooper,” “I’m as pure as the driven slush,” and "Daddy warned me about men and booze, but never about women and cocaine." (This daddy's girl was bisexual.) But remember, I need the name of the movie, not of the actress.

Five points for the name of the movie these lines came from. Five bonus points if you can identify the common link between these films. Answers/new questions will be posted on Saturday, 2/27/2010 (and every three days through next Friday, 3/5/2010). Good luck!

Movie Trivia #2 and answers to #1

First, let's go over the answers to Friday's questions:

1) "Rosebud."

This line came from Citizen Kane (1941), widely regarded as a masterpiece. For some reason I could never get into it. TCM played it this morning. This film was based on the life of newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst, who was still alive at the time of its release and tried everything in his considerable power to block it. The story has persisted for years that "rosebud" was Hearst's pet name for a particular body part of his longtime mistress. I guess only the two of them knew whether that was truth or rumor.

2) "Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country."

This line came from my husband's favorite movie, Patton (1970). I'm not much for war movies, but George C. Scott's opening monologue as General George Patton is just spellbinding.

3) "Last night, I dreamt I went to Manderley again."

This line came from the Hitchcock classic Rebecca (1940). This is a wonderfully made movie. If you've never seen it, please check it out.

The common link between all these lines is that they are the first words spoken in their respective movies.

Both Patricia and Donna got everything correct and are tied at 20 points apiece. Girls, if you're the only two who end up playing, this is going to be very easy!

Now, for today's questions:

Quote 1) Woman #1: "What're you in here for, stealing flowers? What'd you do, steal candy from the girl scouts?"
Woman #2: "I murdered 18 men."

Quote 2) Man #1: "You wouldn't kill me in cold blood, would you?"
Man #2: "No, I'll let you warm up a little."

Quote 3) "I don't like it here. I'm tired of being afraid all the time. I've decided not to stay. I doubt they'll kick up any fuss. Not for an old crook like me."

5 points for the correct name of each film where these quotes came from. 5 bonus points if you can correctly guess the the link between the lines/films. Answers/new questions to be posted on Wednesday, 2/24/2010. Good luck!

Ready, Set, Go (It's Movie Trivia time)

Welcome to Movie Trivia 2010. I started this contest a few years ago, because a) I love movies, and b) the ARCs of my books (which have been coming out in the springtime for the past five years) arrive at about this time. A contest was born, and I've been doing it every year since.

This year's Movie Trivia will consist of a question or questions from Friday, February 19th, approximately every two days, with the last set of questions being asked on Friday, March 5th (2 weeks). You will have roughly 48 hours to send in your answers (I plan to post answers and the next set of questions by about 12 noon Central Time), but this is a very flexible plan and you might have more time. In the case of the last set of answers, these will absolutely be due by no later than 12 noon Central Time on Sunday, March 7th. Winners to be announced that day by 6PM Central Time, just before the Academy Awards are presented. [Note: The movies in question will not necessarily be past Academy Award contenders.] Prizes will be shipped on Monday, March 8th.

All answers are to be either posted to this blog (they will not be published until answers are made public) or sent to me via email: bettye AT Please do not post answers on my Facebook page; the whole idea is to answer privately.

1st: An ARC of Trouble Down The Road
2nd*: An autographed set of The People Next Door and Nothing But Trouble (mass market editions) [may substitute Once Upon A Project mass market edition for one title]
3rd*: An autographed copy of Save The Best For Last

*If winner has read my past books, gift certificates for Amazon will be substituted.

Good luck, and let's have some fun! Now, let's get started with the first set of quotes:

1) "Rosebud."

2) "Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country."

3) "Last night, I dreamt I went to Manderley again."

Next, the scoring:
Five points for the movie each of the above quotes came from. Five bonus points if you correctly guess what all three of these lines have in common.

Have a great weekend, everybody! Remember to submit your answers by Sunday! You will have more time; my schedule will prevent me from posting the answers until about 5PM Central Time.

Trouble Down The Road...the trailer

Here it is. I hope all of you plan to try your hand at Movie Trivia, right here, kicking off tomorrow. You can win an autographed copy of the new secondary prizes as well!

Incidentally, the girl representing the character of Micheline is actually my niece, Lorna, who bore a striking resemblance to the model on the cover. Thanks, Lorna, for helping Auntie out!

We Have a Winner

The winner of a complimentary autographed copy of my upcoming novel, Trouble Down The Road, is Scharbette Clark. I have given away a complimentary copy of each new release since I've had a website, and Scharbette's name coincided with the number chosen. Congratulations, Scharbette, and thank you for subscribing to my newsletter.

For those of you who didn't win, be sure to join me for my annual Movie Trivia starting this Friday, February 19th. We have a lot of fun, and there will be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes.

In the meantime, enjoy Fat Tuesday!

A samba sounds nice right about now...

Since they're getting ready to kick off Carnival in Brazil, and since our temperatures here are about to dip into the deep freeze, a samba seems appropriate. This is one of my favorites. The tune is addictive, so I thought I'd share. I feel warmer already....

Funny, it doesn't feel like it's been a month

It's February already, wow! Happy Black History Month, everybody. I can't wait to see the Lifetime production of Sins of the Mother, the film version of Carleen Brice's novel Orange Mint and Honey, in three weeks! I know I haven't been around a whole lot. Believe me when I say I've been busy. I did want my blog and newsletter readers to be among the first to see my new trailer for Once Upon A Project , which will be out in mass market size one month from tomorrow, or March 2, 2010.

While I'm not a pro at this by any stretch, this is a vast improvement over my earlier efforts. Please feel free to forward it to anyone you know who enjoys a good story.

Remember, Academy Award Trivia begins in a few weeks. We don't play for big bucks here, but it's a lot of fun, and you can win an ARC of Trouble Down The Road as a first prize, a copy of Save The Best For Last (or, if you've already read it, an Amazon gift certificate for the same amount) as second prize, and an autographed copy of the mass market editions of your choice of either Once Upon A Project, Nothing But Trouble, or The People Next Door as third prize.

Now, it's time for me to get back to work! Got another trailer to do (this time for Trouble Down The Road), and I really would like to get some writing done.

There's trouble in the Bay State

Wow. A Republican has won the Senate seat held by Edward M. Kennedy from 1962 to 2009. Teddy must be rolling in his grave. And Barack, in my opinion, is in big trouble. If he doesn't get something accomplished, he might be the first and only black President.

Gone Blogging

Read my interview by author Katrina Spencer (I just love the title of her upcoming novel, Unbeweaveable ) over at her blog, Curl Up and Write. I talk about Save The Best For Last, about writing, and about the state of publishing in these tight times. And have a great weekend!

A glimpse at Trouble Down the Road

This scene is not in the book, but gives an introduction to several characters (and points out an irony).


“Listen to me, Iris. We love each other. We should be together. Can we help it if we married the wrong people?”

“Oh, Wade.”

Suzanne watched with rapt attention the latest goings-on of her favorite soap opera, Facades. She loved this show. She could relate to it, since the plotlines revolved around people who were as beautiful as they were wealthy, and many of them, like herself, were African-American. They lived in beautiful houses, just like her and her husband Brad; and drove zippy late model cars, just like her and Brad. Best of all, the writers hadn’t stooped to making the characters stereotypical sports stars or entertainers, just businesspeople and medical and legal professionals, just like…well, like Brad, who was a doctor. Suzanne was a homemaker, and she kept a fabulous house. Her housekeeper kept it clean and kept the ironing done, and her good friend Paula Haines, a caterer, helped her make interesting meals.

When one of the frequent commercials played, Suzanne resumed peeling zucchini. It was hot in Jacksonville―it was always hot in Jacksonville―and Brad had asked her to make something light for dinner. Paula had suggested she sauté some fresh vegetables in olive oil, season them lightly and put some shredded cheese on top. Served with hot French bread, it would make the type of filling yet nutritious dinner Brad liked. He was as devoted to keeping himself fit and was very careful about what he ate. He was about to turn fifty, and she suspected he was concerned about getting older.

She understood how he felt. Suzanne would be forty-two herself later this year worked out daily herself. She was determined to always see that sparkle in Brad’s eyes when she slipped out of her clothes. Getting older was no picnic, and an incident at a Super Bowl party a few months back convinced her that at least one woman would love to push her under the wheels of a bus and step into her life. But if Micheline Trent thought she was going to snatch Brad Betancourt out of Suzanne’s grasp, she had another thought coming. After Micheline attended the spectacular birthday party Suzanne was giving for Brad and saw that she had all her man's needs taken care of, Micheline would have no choice but to give up on him and go after somebody else’s husband. Let her go after Darrell Canfield next door, Suzanne thought nastily. Wouldn’t that be nifty.

Darrell and his wife, Lisa, were more than just neighbors to Suzanne and Brad. In a twist worthy of being featured on Facades, they were extended family, for Lisa had formerly been married to Brad and was the mother of his firstborn child, Paige.
The tangled relationships didn’t stop there. Suzanne’s friend Paula had at one time been married to Darrell Canfield and was the mother of their daughter Devon. Paula had made the mistake of leaving Devon with Darrell and Lisa when she took a job in Texas, and Lisa had practically taken over. Devon even called her ‘Mom,’ while she called Paula by her first name. That was the type of thing Lisa did.

Well, maybe Paula did have something to do with it. She married a much younger man and didn’t want anyone to know her true age, so when Devon visited Paula told everyone she was the daughter of a close friend. That marked the kiss of death in the relationship between mother and daughter. Suzanne still couldn’t believe the astoundingly bad judgment the usually sensible Paula had used. Maybe it was really true that women tended to get downright stupid when there was a man involved. And in Paula’s case, that man hadn’t been around for long. She’d not only lost her daughter, but her husband as well.

Yep, the history in their two households was worthy of being a soap opera storyline. Not that anyone would believe it.

Suzanne returned her attention to the television screen after the commercial break. Iris’s mother was calling again. That woman was nothing but trouble, and Iris was too dumb to see it. She was always trying to do something for her other daughter, and getting Iris involved. If she wasn’t careful she was going to lose her husband and her home.

“Oh, you idiot!” Suzanne shouted at the screen as Iris appeared to be considering going along with her mother’s latest scheme. The camera focused on her for a close-up of her indecision before the fade-out. Suzanne and all the other viewers would have to wait until tomorrow to find out what Iris would do.

She’d barely sat for two minutes when her phone rang. “Hello…Oh, hi, Mom," she said, smiling.

Suzanne loved her mother. Arlene Hall had done her best with what little she had to give Suzanne and her three siblings everything she could.

“How much are you short?” Suzanne asked now. Then she made a distressed face. “Three hundred dollars! Mom, that’s a lot. Plus you haven’t paid me back the two hundred I gave you last month.”
"Well, Derrick's car needed new brakes, and he couldn't afford to get them. You don't want your brother driving around with bad brakes, do you? And then I had to get Kenya a new outfit to wear to her boyfriend's graduation from the university. You know she wants to marry him, Suzanne. I'd like nothing better than to see your sister with the type of life you've got."
Suzanne sighed. “All right. But you’ve got to do better next month. Stop by after work and I’ll give you the money.”

Suzanne went to her secret stash and pulled out six fifty-dollar bills, moving them to her pocket. Her mother would probably be by before Brad came home, but Brad might show up early. She wanted to slip her mother the money without him seeing.

Her mother had so much on her plate. All three of Suzanne’s siblings lived with her. They all worked, and Suzanne felt they could contribute enough to help her mother pay the rent on the house she rented from Brad, but as her mother pointed out, she’d already made it and her brothers and sister were still trying to find their way.

Of course, that meant Brad was helping them, because every dollar that came into their household had been earned by him. He viewed Suzanne’s family as a bunch of leeches and would have a cow if he knew what she was doing. He was always complaining about her mother being late with her rent. He'd even hinted at not renewing her lease. What else could she do?

Besides, there was no reason for Brad to ever find out.
This book will be in stores the last week of April, but you can get a copy before that. Join me next month for my annual movie quote trivia contest, just in time for the Oscars. The winner will receive an ARC of Trouble Down The Road, the 2nd place winner a copy of Save The Best For Last, and the 3rd place finisher a $10 Amazon gift card.

Good News

I'm pleased to announce that A New Kind of Bliss made's list of the Best Reviewed Books of 2009 (with 5 out of 5 stars), and Save The Best For Last made their list of Honorable Mentions of 2009 (with 4-1/2 out of 5 stars).