Suenammi Richards Romance Headline Animator

Friday, May 20, 2016

Don't Apologize for Calling a Spade a Spade

“What do you mean? This is good info.”
“I’m not saying it isn’t.  It’s about how it was acquired.” He paused pacing, and stared aimlessly at the back wall. “Unless a person who would have this information legally claims to have given it to you.” He threw up his arms dramatically.  “It can’t be used.”
“In a court of law,” she finished as she dropped her ever-tiring head into her hands.  Abandoning that she popped her head up causing her hair to cascade over her head, and resettle disheveled. “So all this really did was put me on the chopping block.”
Thomas made an odd negative sound that was between a growl, and a hum as he started pacing again.  “Not necessarily; it gives us more than we had before.”
Not seeing the bright side like he was Charlotte hissed, “That being?”
Her sharp tone made him stop pacing, and turn to look at her as an odd expression briefly crossed his normally passive features. “A path.  We can figure out what he is doing, and how he’s been doing it.” Thomas nodded to himself. “I can use it to make him incriminate himself.”
He then looked at her for only the second time since he had determined that she needed to relocate.  The hard lines of his face softened slightly.  The difference was almost undetectable.  Most people probably wouldn’t notice, but Charlotte had.  It made his lips soften, and the crinkles around his eyes lessen.
“You need to sleep.” The statement was more of an order than an observation. 
Thomas walked back to the SUV, and pulled out her gym bag.  With a head gesture he inferred that she should follow him.  Feeling like she was just tired enough not to argue, Charlotte lifted herself from the chair, and fell into pace behind him as he began clearing the space to the staircase.  They went upstairs, and he opened the door of the first room.  Charlotte followed him, and it was like she was at the Hyatt all of the sudden.
The room was like a hotel room.  The furniture was wooden and in solid colors.  Not great, but not bad.  It was mostly sterile, and looked like a man had picked out everything.  There were no knick-knacks, just basics.  An ugly pasty green couch, a matching chair, and some dull wooden end tables were the highlights of the decor.  In the corner was a kitchenette with a full sized fridge, stove, dishwasher, and microwave.  The sink was a single basin with a washrag, and dish soap nearby.  The second door in the room lead to a bedroom that housed a king-sized bed covered in a hideous beige comforter, and some more of the dull wooden end tables the living area sported.
“Bathroom is connected to the bedroom,” Thomas said as he threw her gym bag on the bed, and started for the door.
Charlotte stared at the room, and grabbed the arm of the brooding man as he passed her.  She almost hissed at the warmth of him through her fingertips.  The feeling was short lived as he stopped, and removed her hand from his arm by grasping her wrist.  The action made her snap her eyes to his, and they held for a moment neither of them blinking for the space of two breathes.
“You’re safe here Charlie.”
“Tommy—,” she stammered not really believing that she had addressed him so familiarly.  It had to be her exhaustion because he had not done anything that would make her assume such an air with him.  The look that danced in his eyes for a moment could’ve been shock or anger.  She wasn’t sure, but she was sure that she had crossed some invisible line with the name that had fell from her lips.
 “Thomas,” she quickly corrected looking up at him.  “I didn’t mean— on the phone—”
He whipped her body into his, and ducked his head to seal his mouth to hers.  Charlotte felt the burn of his lips against hers.  The abrupt entry of his tongue pushing between her teeth made her stiffen, then practically melt against him.  Her wrists were captured behind her back by one of his larger hands.  The other hand had taken possession of her left butt cheek pulling her against his body.  She moaned in a haze of adrenaline, pleasure, and fear as she kissed him back with just as much ferocity as he was kissing her with.  His hips were grinding into hers.  She could feel the length of his erection between them.  With that knowledge her knees nearly buckled.  What she wouldn’t give to get her hands on him.
What had started as rough tongue stabbing was dissipating.  The forays he took between her lips were becoming more leisurely as he explored her mouth with long slow licks that drug his tongue over all of the surfaces of hers.  He would pull away slightly, and then decide that he wasn’t done, and take her mouth again.  This happened a few more times before he pulled back, and slowly licked his lips.  Panting they held there breathing each other’s air.  He let his eyes roam over her face.  She watched as they settled on her lips then flew back to her eyes.

“Don’t apologize for calling a spade a spade,” his deep voice was rough, and his accent was dominating his pronunciation.
An excerpt from Charlotte's Chance on AmazonBarnes & Noble and Smashwords

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

And Now the Running

Sandra had a corner apartment on the third floor.  They were the only units in the building that offered the large obnoxious roman bathtubs.  The only draw back, if you saw it that way, was that they were at the end of the living group for the hallway.  The closest thing to her door was the fire escape across the hall. It was open, and Sandra loved to climb it instead of taking the elevator or the interior stairs.  In her heart of hearts Sandra was really a recluse, and this suited her.
While musing over the oddities that comprised her best friend, Charlotte had locked the door, and had that feeling. As soon as she had turned the bolt, the sudden creepy crawly feeling of being watched covered her.  It had been in a split second, but her mind had yelled RUN!!  She hadn’t thought about it, she had just reacted.  She had run to the elevator of the long hall way as the door was closing.  Then she bolted for the stairwell at the end of the hall.  Charlotte hadn’t heard the footsteps, but she had felt the eyes.
Don’t look back.’  She heard her brother in her head yelling at her.  The self-defense pointers he had given her starting to play in her mind. 
Focus on what is in front of you.  Will yourself to that place.’  She flew through the doorway to the stairwell. 
If you get a chance, hide, don’t try and outrun them.’
She turned the stairwell, and went up instead of down.  The stairwell was a myriad of walled half flights, carpeted, and quiet.  She crouched on the other side of the wall facing the steps leading to the next level hoping her pursuer didn’t realize that she was there.  Charlotte pressed her back to the wall of the stairwell flattening her palms near her hips.  She balanced on the balls of her feet ready to spring because of the low heels on her black boots.  Her breath was coming out loudly almost panting. The air-conditioned area was musty like carpet that had been left wet.  There was a single oval recessed light on each landing right above the open space before you stepped through the door.
The creaking of the door on the landing beneath her as it flew open made her stop breathing.  Charlotte swallowed her gasp. Her heart was beating so loudly it could probably be heard from the street. She flexed her hands against the wall willing herself not to move. Even as the slight sound of padded footsteps receding reached her she waited before she let out the breath she had been holding.
Be patient. Don’t make a mistake now. You’re almost there.’
Charlotte slowly moved away from the wall, and made her way back down to the landing she had come from.  She walked slowly, fearful that her pursuer would get wise, and come bolting back up the stairs at any moment. When she reached the hallway she stood nervously in front of the elevator knowing that she couldn’t go down it alone.  She paced a few moments as a crowd of young adults made their way to the elevator.  A few of the ladies had hair like hers.
Don’t shy away from people.  Other people are your best cover if someone is looking for you to be alone.
She boarded the elevator with them.  They reached the garage under the building where she had parked her F-150.  Because of her brother’s diligent teachings, she always parked very close to elevators, and always under highly lit areas.  Charlotte streaked for her F-150, and got in locking the doors, and starting the truck in the same motion.  The creepy feeling returned, and for a split second she stared into the black eyes of a tall stocky man with a greasy look and feel to him.  His face snarled as she hit reverse, shifted to drive, and burned rubber pealing out of the parking lot.
It had all happened so quickly.  She had come home locked all her doors, closed all her blinds, and battled herself into not calling the police.  What would she say?  I think this guy was following me.  Oh yeah because my best friend and me have gotten ourselves into some serious trouble with a local oil baron.  And did I mention the CIA agent that kidnapped her off to Japan.

She had finally convinced herself that she would’ve sounded nuts.  At that time she most likely would have.  After all who was to say the guy didn’t need change or something.  Maybe he was a bill collector she had missed and was trying to find Sandra.  Charlotte had spent the night concocting an array of amusing, interesting antidotes that would explain what had happened at Sandra’s apartment.  Then it had happened again.

An excerpt from Charlotte's Chance on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords

Monday, May 16, 2016

Thicker Than Blood an excerpt from Charlotte's Chance

Charlotte started going into detail about doing Brenda’s house, which she had finished a week ago.  Badly.  It had been her worst work yet.  That had a lot more to do with her being a frazzled wreck than anything else.  It had all seemed like such a good idea taking care of Sandra’s things, looking in on her apartment, and seeing to Penelope at the kennel.  She had accessed her accounts, and opened online bill pay funneling the money directly from her account to her creditors.  She had needed to move several thousands from her savings to her checking.  But the woman had an almost trust fund balance in her savings from royalties from her grandfather’s shipping empire.   It hadn’t even put a dent in things.  Charlotte had gone by her apartment and watered her plants a week and a half ago, and that’s when things had started getting interesting.

Charlotte had left Brenda’s feeling pretty good about the way the room was going.  She had made a brief stop by Penelope’s kennel, which had been on the way, to pay the bill.  Sandra had given her an emergency ATM card years ago just in case.  Charlotte had locked it in the safe in the house. 

Sandra had the safe installed when she had first purchased the house eight years ago while she had been studying for her doctorate in Oklahoma.  According to Sandra Oklahoma City was dead on the weekends.  So she would travel to Dallas every Friday afternoon to stay for the weekend, and then head back to Oklahoma on Mondays.  Being tired of hotels she had spent her savings on a house in Richardson.  A few years after she had returned to Dallas by way of Scotland she had been ready to get rid of the house.

Only pure coincidence could explain just why Charlotte had been in the market for a house.  Her business had started going so well after she had met Brenda who would recommend her for all of the high money projects that she had worked on.  So it was time for Charlotte to get out of the one bedroom apartment in North Dallas, and put money into property.

Charlotte and Sandra had been casual friends from their initial meeting in the nightclub.  On weekends they would get together and talk about their pet project W.A.R.M. Soon Charlotte had brought in Brenda, and then Sandra had introduced them to Deborah and Rachel.  Suddenly Sandra had been selling her house, and their friendship had taken on a new dynamic.

It had been a funny scene because Sandra had put the house on the market. Charlotte had seen the ad, and called it up.  When she had met up with Charlotte, and not some stranger wanting to buy her house, Sandra had smiled and said she knew a sign when she saw one.  If Charlotte wanted the house it was hers.  Sandra had brokered the thing herself so that closing costs and realtor commissions wouldn’t make the house beyond Charlotte’s reach. 

This had led to she and Charlotte becoming even closer as Sandra helped Charlotte fulfill a dream she had since she had been small; having her own home.  They had been like sisters since.  Being an only child, Sandra had fancied the idea of having a younger sister, and always treated Charlotte like that.  She would tell Charlotte things first, secrets about herself, and what was happening in her life.  Asking her opinion on matters, something that the outwardly self-confident doctor didn’t like to admit needing help with.  At those times she could look at Sandra, and know that this woman would do anything for her without a second thought.

It was those kinds of things that had made Charlotte uncommonly loyal to Sandra.  As Charlotte knew first hand, sometimes your own family didn’t care about your happiness as much as they cared about their own personal gain. She loved all of her family dearly, but she could count on one hand the members of her family that would’ve moved heaven and earth to make her dreams come true; the ones who already had which were her mother, brother, and grandmother. The three of them together by begging, borrowing, and pleading had made sure that Charlotte had gotten through school at the Savannah School of Art and Design.

Her grandmother wasn’t a wealthy woman.  She and the late Dougal McConnell had come to America from Scotland with nothing but three shirts, two pairs of pants, a couple of dresses, and a few family heirlooms.  So the family had never had anything but a strong work ethic, and a desire to earn their keep.  Her mother and brother had individual trusts put in place by his father, her first husband Jonathan Clangston.  They weren’t plentiful, but they made it possible for her mother to retire two years ago, and for her brother to carry on his international affairs without much fuss.  Everyone had lived a little less than comfortable when they had decided together that Charlotte’s career goals were worthwhile; her mother even more so with the added burden of providing care for her elderly diabetic mother.

Her mother’s two sisters loved her, but they had children of their own.  Bernice and Carolyn were older than Anna Marie, and they balanced husbands, children, grandchildren, and helped Anna Marie care for their mother: children, and grandchildren that Charlotte only saw every few years at family reunions.  She always felt bad about the fact that she wouldn’t even recognize the whole lot of them if they met up somewhere, and she was quite sure that it was the same for them with her.

Her father’s family was a joke.  Just a clan of Irish and Welsh that found it nigh near impossible to conduct themselves within the confines of the law.  Even worse they would steal the shirt off of the back of a blood relative without batting an eyelash.  It seems that they had been in America for centuries robbing and cheating their way through life.  So bad that even the Irish mobs wouldn’t have them.  They had no honor at all. 

That aspect of Charlotte’s blood made her very aware of loyalty, and the importance of keeping your word no matter what.  It was one of her grandmother’s rules. Only on penalty of death should someone be forsworn, and Charlotte believed in that.  She had promised Sandra when she had helped her get her house that if there were ever a time that she should need help she would not need to look any further. 

Available on AmazonBarnes&Noble, and Goodreads