About your Book:
A mother’s love vs. A daughter’s revenge…
Charlene Shaw has gone through hell. She was raped and left for dead, yet she continued on her quest for fame. Charlene is a gorgeous, highly-desired actress who has found her Mr. Wright. According to the magazine headlines, her life is perfect. There’s just one thing her heart cries for…her daughter, Raven. This might be her hardest challenge yet–building the mother-daughter bond she’s prayed so hard for.
Raven Shaw has been abandoned by love. Her mom preferred Hollywood, and her childhood best-friend, now ex-lover, disappeared when she became pregnant. She’s adjusting to a “new” kind of love…motherhood. She’s determined that her child will have everything she didn’t. The only thing she wants for herself is revenge, even if it means disconnected from a small piece of her heart that still cares. Rage slithers its way into Raven’s mindset, overpowering her in the form of delusions of skeletons long dead.
After her daughter’s scandalous ways, can Charlene mend Raven’s heart or will she be pulled down into the abyss? Then there’s always the option, Charlene can get a little scandalous too…
Targeted Age Group: 16+
Genre: Drama, Family Saga, African American Fiction, suspense, Romance
The Book Excerpt:
Gray clouds zipped by the windows as the plane headed toward Dallas. Chatter filled the space. The plane was crowded with Thanksgiving vacationers. Charlene snuggled in her much larger first-class seat with Barbie next to her. She wondered how much “welcome home food” Annette would cook, and she’d have to work at losing weight again after the holiday season.
She’d just completed the mid-season finale. Her character, Meagan, was found. Ransom paid. Twists and turns in the plot bolted down, leaving fans on the edge of their seats. The story ended with a cliff hanger so severe, Charlene bet viewers were gnawing on their fingernails waiting for more.
Leaning back, she tuned in and out as her assistant, Barbie, chatted about her impending celebrity appearances. All I want to do is spend time with my daughter’s, but I have to say in the limelight. In disinterest, she noticed the top of a gossip magazine in the pouch in front of her. Frowning at the symbolism of anti-freedom, she leaned over to push it deeper into the pocket when she noticed her name. Snatching up the magazine, her jaw dropped at the title. She instantly flashed back to a week ago. I picked up Raven for lunch and exercise like usual, but her car wasn’t in front of the house. “She said she was getting it fixed,” Charlene mumbled.
“What?” Barbie’s question broke into her thoughts.
“Nothing,” she murmured. Raven had car trouble. She said that Stephen would fix it as soon as she bought the part. I’d offered the money, pulled a stack of cash out as we sat in a restaurant. “If it’s not enough I can write a check,” I said. Raven refused the money. Oh my gosh! The day before I left for L.A…
“…We are now descending into Dallas… The pilots chipper voice came through the intercom.
We were supposed to do lunch in uptown Dallas the day before. Out of all the times, we did lunch on Tuesdays, Raven never missed. Except for that day! Brain fuzzy, she couldn’t recall what she’d told Barbie while exiting the airport, but she was sure she’d pointed to a line of taxis. Charlene gripped the magazine in her hand, climbing into her Escalade at the airport extended parking. She tossed the magazine on the passenger seat. There were stolen pictures of Trinity from the maternity ward and the 14 day old picture Raven took that she’d been so proud of.
Mascara smeared on the sleeve of her crème silk dress as she wiped her face, driving down the street. Raven was too guilty to see me before I left! Just like a Shaw, too proud to take money! But…family? Hands gripping the steering wheel, she felt like the Hulk and had to force herself to slow down while turning down the street and skidded to a stop in front of her family’s townhome. The sound of a shattering window phased out as Charlene stomped up the sidewalk. She didn’t feel the chill, but her knuckles burned as she beat on the door and waited. “Hi, Momma. Where’s Raven?”
“Upstairs getting Royael ready for dance class.” Annette’s face clouded with concern. “Are you all right?”
Charlene looked toward the stairs as Raven bounced down and tried to give her a hug. She pushed the magazine in her daughter’s face. With narrowed eyes, she watched Raven focus on the baby pictures of her half-sister, Trinity.
“Awe, my baby sister is so adorable.”
“Really, Raven? I’ve paid for your photography school and always offer you money. But, you can’t help being conniving.” Instead of being concerned with the wet-works falling down her daughter’s cheeks, Charlene turned to see Royael padding downstairs. She tuned out her grandchild’s warm hello. Like a tornado, she went through the house. Picked up a flower vase, “This looks new. Did you buy this with the money you got for effing me over?” She slammed the vase into the floor. The sound of it shattering on to vinyl in the kitchen caused Royael to cry hysterically.
Annette shielded Royael, and pointed up the stairs, but the child froze. “Go, now!”
“This frame looks new.” Charlene torpedoed toward a picture, snatched it off the living room wall and tossed it over her shoulder. In a confusing-state-of-madness, she ended in the kitchen. A toaster oven caught her eye, out of place with the rest of the old appliances. She snatched the plug out of the walls, scrapped it over the peeling green counter. It CLANKED to the floor. “Did this come from the money, too?”
“Mom, I didn’t do it.” Rooted in the same spot, Raven turned the bangles on her wrist.
“Do not call me mom, ever again.” Stilettos clicking on the vinyl, she picked up Royael and pulled at her grandchild’s clothes. “When did your momma buy you this new-looking tutu?”
Eyes roaming, Charlene stormed to the bookshelf that also doubled as a TV stand. When strong arms snaked around her waist, she screamed. When had Damien arrived?
“Calm down, babe,” he said.
Dang, my assistant had to have called him. Charlene wriggled free of her husband’s hold. “I won’t take this!”
“Charlene, you best be leaving now.” Annette pointed toward the door.
In a few swift steps she stepped in front of Annette, eyes pleading. “Momma, I said Raven tried to pimp out my family–taking pictures of Trinity! Don’t you care?… So you’re on Raven’s side?” I knew it!
“I’m not on no sides. Don’t ever come in my house acting foolish, got the devil in ya. He does not belong here!”
“Momma?” Charlene tried to take her hand, but Annette moved away. The devil is not in me it’s in Raven. She couldn’t move for sobbing. Damien touched her shoulder, said something in her ear while rubbing her back. “I get it. I never had a chance! You two are always together. Raven is the child you wish I’d been–just because she sings in the choir don’t make her Christian. You’re still mad at me for running away and not coming home even after I was raped.”
“I’m not mad at you but disappointed that you’d come into my house and terrorize your child. Did you see your granddaughter crying a minute ago?” Annette pursed her lips. They mirrored each other’s bewilderment.
“You don’t have to be disappointed in me again.” Charlene stood tall, shoulders squared.
“Char, don’t say something regrettable. We’ll figure out who did this,” Damien promised.
“I already know who.” She turned to her child, “Raven, I don’t ever want to see you again. You’re a jaded child that’s been through so much that you can’t truly forgive people. That depression will eat you up, one day.” Glancing at Annette, she added, “I don’t want to see you either.”
She walked out, slamming the door behind her. Realizing she still had the magazine in her hand, she tossed it at the closed door with such force that her body swayed. I’m never coming back. I just got home from endless hours on the set in Hollywood. It’s time to go see my baby, my daughter. Her only daughter.