Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Heroines Behind the Voices In My Head

Thought for the Day

"You have the ability to do and be anything you desire if you put your mind to it."
Melissa Perry Moraja

I've been asked many times how I come up with stories for my books. My answer is never the same because each heroine I come up with kind of writes her own story. Most have some of my attributes, or in the case of The Legacy, a lot of them, because I draw upon experiences in my life- not all but some. And there has definitely been much in my life to draw upon. Because my past was devoid of fluff, my stories have enough fluff (meaningful fluff) to fill a pillow. I'm all about the fluff, and that's the way my fans like it:-)
So over the next few weeks, I will be featuring a few of the heroines of some of my stories, sharing excerpts to help you get to know them better. And since most of my books are written in first person, you are actually getting inside the head of each woman.

Heroine: Raine
Book: Against the Odds

Atlanta, GA

I was angry. No, correction, I was livid! But more than anything, I was just plain tired.

Sign them,” I said, tossing the folded divorce papers on the desk.

When Jerome looked up at me, I saw a mixture of incredulity, arrogance, and even a little sorrow play across his features. He stood and came around the desk.

Raine,” he said, drawing out my name in the whiny way that had grown to be completely annoying a long time ago. “Come on, girl. You don't want to do this.”

I knew that same old tired line was coming, but it still amazed me that he was continuing to hang on, even when there was absolutely nothing left to hang on to. I stood silently for a moment, allowing my eyes to roam from his expensive Italian loafers, up his dark gray double-breasted three-piece suit, crisp white shirt and silk tie, finally resting my gaze on what I once thought was a handsome face.

I took in his smooth, dark skin and immaculately trimmed hair. Not able to help it, my thoughts went back to a time when I thought he was the most amazing black man in the world. I was eighteen, fresh out of high school, young and naive. He was smooth, he was sharp, and he was sexy.

None of these things should have been the basis for marriage, but sadly, for me they were. Oh, I knew it had been more lust than love. Still, when Jerome proposed to me over seven years ago during a candle-lit dinner in his Peachtree Towers office, I had accepted. I had been mesmerized by his money, his power, and his position, which he used to help me get into Zuri, one of the top modeling agencies in Atlanta. Everything seemed right with the world when I was with him. And he was pleased to have me adorning his arm at the many social functions we attended.

Through the years I grew to care about him very deeply. I thought I might even love him. Then came Jerome's first indiscretion, which as it turned out, was the beginning of the end for me. I forgave him for that act of infidelity. I even forgave him for the second one that occurred a year later. But this latest one . . . Shuniqua, this hoochie of a home-wrecker who I had even entertained at our backyard parties on several occasions, was more than I could stomach. I was tired of forgiving and forgetting. The forgiving fountain had run completely dry. I mean, good grief, we haven't even slept in the same bed in over six months because of his decision to seek intimacy elsewhere. Our sham of a marriage should have ended a long time ago. I had tried to end it, but Jerome kept holding on. Why, I didn't know. He sure made me feel worthless enough. All I seem to be good for now was decoration. In another few years my looks would begin to fade. Then what? I would most likely wait to be tossed aside like a worn pair of jeans that had seen better days. In some ways I felt like that now, worn and weary. He had used up the best of me, and I didn't know if there was much of me left to ever give to anyone else, or if I could even allow that to happen.

Pulling my mind forward, I sighed and tried to rid myself of the depressing thoughts. “You know what, Jerome? I do want to do this.” I tapped my manicured nails on the desk next to a framed photo of the two of us. It had been taken last year during a Caribbean vacation Jerome took me on to make up for his previous act of infidelity. To anyone who looked at the photo we looked like the perfect couple, so in love and so into each other. It was very deceiving. Our whole marriage had been a lie.

Just sign the papers.”

And Raine is just getting started!


J. Coleman said...

I love your style! Keep talking to the voices because their stories are great. Thanks Jewel!

Sandy L. Rowland said...

Very understandable issues for your heroine. I think we've all felt worn and wondered now what.
Thanks for sharing your style and insight so creatively.

Jewel's Gems said...

Thanks, ladies:-)

Shirley Bahlmann said...

That is a draw-me-in cover if I ever saw one! (Oh, I'm laughing here... my word verification spelling is "hampit." What is that, a hog's armpit?

Jewel's Gems said...

Shirley, you crack me up!