Risky Retreat!

Hola! Welcome to this week’s Risky Retreat! Here you can find a teaser of the romance, drama, and suspense that flow through my pages when I write. Even though this is only a teaser it will still feed your need to read. Some of these stories are coming soon, some are available now, and some are simply free short stories I wanted to share with you! Enjoy and don’t forget to check back in two weeks for the next Risky Retreat!

Broken

“Hello?”

“Yes, I was told to let you know that if your rent wasn’t paid by 10 p. m., you will have to vacate the premises.”

“10 o’clock?” Marissa looked at the time on her Netbook, which read 8:28 p. m. “Who told you to call and tell me this?”

“Harry. Don’t shoot the messenger. I’m just doing my job.”

“I won’t have the money until tomorrow afternoon. You can’t wait until then?”

“It’s not up to me. It’s what Harry says and I’ve got to abide by the rules.”

“Where is Harry? Let me talk to him.”

“He’s already gone for the day and I don’t want to disturb him because he will have an attitude. I’m not trying to go through it with him.”

“I’m about to get put out and you don’t want to go through it with him?” Marissa sucked her teeth. She was so fed up with the extended-stay hotel and the Arab owners.  They were so rude and unmerciful. “So, what am I supposed to do?”

“I’m sorry. I have people at the front desk, so I’ve got to go.”

Suddenly, the line went dead.  Marissa dropped her head and hung the phone on its base.  Frustrated, she dialed Nathanial and waited for him to answer.

“What’s up,” he answered.

“The front office just called and said we have until 10 o’clock to bring them the rent money or we have to leave.”

A sigh resounded through the phone. “And what did you say?”

“I asked who told her to tell us that. She said it was Harry.”

“Well, call them back and tell them I’m at work and won’t be back until tomorrow afternoon.”

“I don’t want to lie for you!” The line went dead again. “Hello!” Marissa slammed the phone down. “Ugh! I’m so sick and tired of this! It don’t make no sense!”

There was an unexpected knock at the door.  She opened the door to find Nathaniel on the other side.  He stepped in looking unsettled and upset. Standing at 5-feet-8-inches, he closed the door and put the lock and chain on it.

“Yeah, putting the chain on the door should keep them out. You sure solved that problem,” Marissa said.

Instead of responding, Nathaniel walked to a chair and sat down. The soles of his feet ached from the torn Crocs he wore. After removing his shoes, he rubbed them gently.

“So, you’re not going to say anything?” Marissa asked.

“Your whining is not helping. Spitting out insults and threats isn’t making our situation better.”

Marissa huffed. “Do you have the rent money?”

“Not all of it.”

“This is so ridiculous!” she screamed. “I’m sick and tired of going through this!”

“Well, since you don’t want to call the office, I suggest you call your sister and tell her to come get you,” he responded.

The disappointment was apparent when the creases appeared in Marissa’s forehead.

“If I leave, I’m not coming back. Being in this hotel with you is turning me into a mad woman and it has to end. I’m tired of sitting in here waiting for you to step up to the plate. Will you ever get a real job?

Nathaniel sat back and cracked his back, relieving the tension in his sore muscles. He reached for his shoulder and massaged it. Marissa was getting on his nerves. All she did was nag about everything. She sat in the room, day after day, complaining like her legs were broken when she could just as well be working.

“So, you’re just going to ignore me?”

Nathaniel turned the volume up on the San Diego Chargers game.  Not only was he going to ignore Marissa, but he was glad they would be apart for a while.  Even though the love was there, frustration and intense emotional strain in the relationship were as well. They were losing their way.

Marissa sat across the room brewing and ready to explode on Nathaniel.  She didn’t appreciate being kicked out of the only place they called home for a year now. Tension understated the description of the atmosphere surrounding her. She would either be screaming at the top of her lungs or trying to hold it back.  In return, her ears, along with the sides of her face, had turned red. She felt the heat rushing, like one of those hurricanes threatening to destroy Louisiana.

“This is not a joke! They will put us out — and then what? Where are you going to go? What are you going to do?”

He scratched his forehead and turned the TV up even louder. Marissa grabbed her purse and headed out the door.

“Where are you going?” Nathaniel asked.

She turned around sharply. “Oh, now you want to talk? I’m going to do what you obviously can’t do — get the rent money!”

“And how are you going to do that?”

“Don’t worry about it — like you always do.”

She walked out the door and slammed it. Nathaniel rose from his chair and chased her. “Girl, get back in this room!” he yelled.

“For what? After while, we won’t have a room to go back to because you playin’ games. I should’ve left when I had the chance. Now I’m broke and stuck up here with you, trying to make sure I don’t get kicked out!”

“Listen, girl. Chill out . . . chill out! I’m gon’ get the rest of the money.”

“How?” she said.

“Come back in the room and I’ll tell you.”

Marissa weighed her options, which weren’t many. Her plan was to go borrow the money from Minnie downstairs. She would always help her when Marissa was in a bind. If that didn’t work, she would go see about Joe. That would be the last thing she did. Marissa knew Joe had a crush on her, and sometimes she used it to her advantage. He, too, would give her whatever she wanted. Though that was the case, Marissa knew she was playing with fire when it came to Joe. Men always had an ulterior motive. They never just wanted to help. Most thought women were naive and still wet behind the ears.

“You better not be lying, Nathaniel. I swear!” she huffed.

They went back into the room and Marissa flopped down on the bed. Nathaniel locked the door and put the chain back on it. Marissa rolled her eyes in disgust.

“I have a couple of bangs on the way,” he said. “One of them don’t get off until 12 a.m., and he’s coming to get a quarter. If all of them show up, we’ll be good.”

Nathaniel was a small-time weed hustler trying to get his weight up. For the longest, Marissa begged him to do the honest thing and get a job. That was like pulling teeth. Nathaniel would always say, “By the time I got my paycheck, I could’ve made that money already and re’d up.”

That made Marissa want to slap the taste out of his mouth. This was her man. She hated having these ill feelings towards him, but he gave her no choice. His lifestyle drove her to the point of leaving him multiple times, but she loved him. They had been together six years and engaged for two. When it first happened, Marissa was psyched and ready for the new life. Unfortunately, she was the only one working a real job and trying to put the wedding together on her salary was unrealistic. It bugged her because after everything they’d gone through, he still would not get off his lazy butt and work.

“What if they don’t come through, Nathaniel? What then?”

“I’ll just give them what I have; they’ll take it,” Nathaniel answered. “Harry always be talking about putting us out, but when he get the cash in his hand, he’s always cool until I get the rest.”

“The lady at the front desk sounded pretty certain that if we didn’t have the full amount by ten we have to go” Marissa countered.

“She’ll be gone before 10 o’clock anyway, and Derrick will be in. You know security is the only one here at night, and me and Derrick are cool. He won’t put us out.”

This was true. Derrick smoked weed too, so all he needed was a blunt and he was good. If they got put out, Derrick would let Harry do it the next day.

“I can probably borrow the rest of the money from Minnie.”

“No! I don’t even like that girl, so why would I borrow anything from her?”

“You are not borrowing from her — I am.”

“Naw, man. She’s trouble. Neither one of us is fooling with her.”

“Why? Because you tried to holler at her and didn’t know she knew me?”

“I told you I didn’t try to holler at that girl. She just needs attention and feeds off drama. If you believe her, you stupid.”

“I’m not stupid, but I’m no fool either. I know you like them white girls.”

“Girl, don’t nobody want no old Minnie.”

“She isn’t that much older than me, so what you trying to say?”

Nathaniel turned his back and walked away from her. The conversation was going nowhere. It seemed to always happen that way. Marissa believed anything she heard. Yeah, he cheated on her in the past. Ever since then, he couldn’t get the benefit of the doubt. In fact, she questioned almost his every move. Cheating on her was him being immature. He’d grown since then, though. As long as they’d been together, he was over the cheating. Well, sort of. Sometimes, he couldn’t help but flirt. It was in his blood. But flirting wasn’t cheating, right? So what if he called a hotline to talk to women in his area while she was sleep. He was only doing it because he was bored. He had to admit, though. Marissa caught him doing something wrong from time to time, whether it was flirting, texting, or talking on the phone to another female. To Nathaniel, it was all entertainment, but to Marissa, it wasn’t.

“You like my old self, so I know you’ll like her, too. You can walk off if you want, but I know what I know.”

“You don’t know nothing,” Nathaniel said.

“I know you’re a cheater.”

“Do you just want to argue tonight? Because you keep coming at me. Soon, we will be in another heated argument!” he shouted.

“I’m not trying to argue. I’m just keeping it real.”

“Why don’t you just get back on your little computer and play on Facebook like you always do and leave me alone!” Suddenly, his phone rang. “Yeah, you outside? Aight, here I come.”

He gathered a few bags of weed he put together and stuffed them down his pants. Nathaniel was good at getting on Marissa’s nerves, but every time he went out to make what he called a ‘bang’, she prayed on the inside he would come back. Living this lifestyle was costly and he was just too stubborn to see the consequences. When he and Marissa first met, they were official for one week before he went to jail his first time. She got a call from Gwinnett County with him on the other end saying he needed to be bonded out. That time, it cost Marissa sixty dollars to get him released, with six hundred as bond. She was grateful she only had to pay ten percent because he would’ve been sitting still for a while if she had to come up with the full amount.

That wasn’t the last time Nathaniel went to jail. He went from only selling weed to selling crack cocaine and got caught one night while Marissa was at work. While he was handcuffed in the back seat of the police car, he managed to pull his cell phone from his back pocket and call her. It was a good thing he had her on speed dial. When Marissa answered the phone, he yelled.

“Baby, they got me!”

Marissa knew immediately what he meant. “What’s going on?” she asked.

“The police busted up on me and Lil’ Chris. I tossed my stuff, but he found it. Man, now I’m in the back seat of his car. He about to take me to jail, baby.”

Marissa cried her eyes out. She loved Nathaniel with all her heart and she didn’t want anything to happen to him. She was twenty-three years old then. She knew better now. Still, she didn’t want anything to happen to him, but he continued to put both of them in dangerous situations.

Three quick sharp bangs at the door made Marissa almost jump out of her skin.

“Baby, open the door,” Nathaniel said.

“Boy, why are you banging on the door like that?” she asked, attitudinally swinging the door open. “You know that drives me nuts.”

“My bad, baby. I left my key inside. You know I like to get in the room quick.” Nathaniel shut the door. “It’s cold out there. Good news,” he said.

“Don’t make me wait for it.”

Nathaniel laughed. “You need a chill pill, girl. I got the rest of the rent. Kevin had three dudes in the car with him. They all wanted some. Good thing I took more than he asked for. It’s too cold to be running in and out.” Nathaniel put his fists to his mouth and blew on them to warm them up.

“I’m about to hop in the shower,” Marissa said.

“Let me hop in with you.”

“First, go pay the rent. Then maybe you can hop in.”

“Man, by the time I get back, you’ll be halfway done.”

“My nerves bad. Can’t you tell? Go pay the rent first. Please?” she pleaded, giving him a soft kiss on the lips.

That was all he needed to get him going. “Don’t wash up too fast,” he said, walking out the door.

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It’s Outline October!

It’s that time of year again! Starting November 1st authors and writers around the globe will be taking to their keyboards to write the novel inside them. The goal of NanoWriMo is to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. Granted a lot of writers already have this down pack but a lot of writers don’t. I will be participating this year and Nano is always a challenge for me. I’ve done this challenge about four times now so this will be my fifth go round with two wins under my belt! As for the other two times I tried, well… I have no excuses, I will start off doing great getting the words down and will feel fantastic. For the first two weeks I am good and on board but then I start to stutter and get stuck in where I’m going with the story, ONLY WHEN I DON’T OUTLINE (sorry for screaming). Every year I go back to this video because it gives me great motivation.

Gotta love it! Open Ellbey gives good advice on writing an outline so you practically have the story you want to write and the detail and/or the big picture so you won’t have the problem of getting stuck. For me I am a details writer, so I start out writing down the big picture. What do I want to happen in this book? From there I write down major events. This was a spin off of the big picture, basically breaking down so to speak what major events would happen to lead to the big picture. From there I write down details for each of these events. It helps me form a great outline and I’m all ready to begin writing. I can truly see the 50,000 words accomplished by the end of November.

So to all of you who haven’t tried this challenge and to the one’s who have tried but did not reach the 50k goal don’t fret! If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again! That’s our motto! Never give up! Besides, even if you write 10k, 20k, 30k, or even 40k, that’s thousands of words you have that you didn’t before. If you are an aspiring writer Nano is a good start to get you pumped and ready for the writing world. For those of you who have tried Nano and successfully won the challenge KUDO’S to you! You rock! I can be found just about anywhere on social media (almost anyway). Make me your writing buddy on Nano’s website http://nanowrimo.org, my username is Stephanienrrs1. Let’s keep each other informed and encouraged to reach these goals at the end of the day that’s what it’s all about! Follow me on twitter and tell me about your progress @stephanienrrs1 using the hashtag #NanoWriMo. I am also apart of a small writing group and during Nano season we’re completely pumped and encouraging one another! If you would like to join, you must be participating in Nano and be ready to run! If you’d like to be added to this group just comment below with your Facebook name. Happy writing!

nanowrimo_2016_webbanner_participant

NanoWriMo Day 17 How to cure your writers block

It’s day 17, National Novel Writing Month is halfway through and heading to the finish line. To all of my daring novelist that took on the challenge and are still going strong, kudos to you! It is no doubt that this journey is a tough one. With any and everything threating to get in your way it’s almost like you must ignore all interruptions and be determined that nothing come hell or high water will stop you. Granted, some things just can’t be helped like say; Thanksgiving? Ah yes, the turkey holiday is coming up and will be a distraction for most of us. Meaning we will have to write twice as much to stay on target. I can guarantee you I won’t be getting any writing done that day.

There is also, Black Friday. Oh yes, it too is coming right behind Thanksgiving and once again you can count me out for writing those two consecutive days. What does that mean for me and maybe you. We must go hard in the paint! (Insert laugh here) I am already writing a head of schedule just to make sure when those days are missed I will still be on target nonetheless. Right now my NanoWriMo stats show I will finished my novel by November 27, 2013. That’s three days before the deadline. Hopefully, (fingers crossed) by the time Thanksgiving gets here it will be saying winner 2013. I would like to be more than a little a head of the game.

This will be my first year winning Nano if I can stick to my guns and God willing I’ll be wearing one of those Nano Halo’s as well (laughing again). For you who don’t know what the Nano Halo’s are, they are around the heads of past winners of National Novel Writing Month and they’re too cute! So far, I’ve gotten over 30,000 words down and I’ve got just around 20,000 to go. God bless me! If you’re stuck in a rut and can’t seem to find the words or inspiration. Check out this video to help you get out of your writers block! Or as I like to call it, writers funk!

Spotlight on Author Megan Mottley

tour bannerMegan Mottley is the Founder and Creator of The Glamour Girl Movement. She spent several years working as a licensed esthetician and freelance makeup artist providing relaxation and rejuvenation services to women. Megan observed that women were putting more effort into enhancing their outer beauty and neglecting the most important aspect of True Glamour–inner beauty.  Megan launched The Glamour Girl Movement™ in January 2011 to encourage women to embrace beauty from the inside out.  Megan believes that when women take a deep look into their proverbial mirrors they are apt to discover their life purpose and can experience a life of freedom.

Thank you Megan Mottley for hanging out today. It is my pleasure to present your positive words and encouragement to women all across the country, surely we need more women like you! Now that we know a little bit about you, we’d like to ask some questions so let’s get right to it!

1.   What made you choose to write in the Genre that you write in?

I have a passion for helping women who have been knocked down by life. I wanted to write a self-help book that would show women how to bounce back no matter where they’ve been or what they’ve done.

2.  What is your favorite thing about the writing experience and why?

I love being able to take the experiences from my journey put it into words and inspire someone else through my writing to keep pressing on.

3.  What was the first moment you knew you wanted to write?

I knew I wanted to write in 1999 when my first article was published in a local magazine (GRACE). When I saw my name in print next to my words, it was a pivotal moment that made me realize that writing was a gift that I would never take for granted or let die. I was born to write and I thank God for entrusting me with such an amazing gift.

4.  When you write, do you write for a long period of time or do you write in short burst?

A little bit of both. I also publish a magazine and run a professional writing/editing firm so lately I have to commit to writing a few hours at a time so I can still reach my writing goals.

5.   Where did your inspiration for this book come from?

My daughter. After becoming a Single Mother life changed for me. I wasn’t necessarily happy about it either. I had to learn to look at my life from a different perspective–a positive perspective. Soon thereafter,I realized that my transparency was impacting other people in such a tremendous way and I discovered that my mess had become my message

6.  What words of advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Go for it. Share your story and reach the person that you are assigned to. It’s your destiny so stop avoiding it. Grab and pen and start writing today.  In addition, invest in a professional photo session. Not only is it a celebration of your journey but when you’re requested for interviews you’ll have a professional look.

7.  If your book was turned into a movie who would you want to direct it?

Great question. Oprah Winfrey and Susan L. Taylor. Two ladies that I admire. I know they’d capture my story in such an amazing way.

8.  What is the best book you have ever read?

Don’t Miss Your Moment by Judy Jacobs. She autographed it and gave me a complimentary copy in 2009. That book changed my life. I truly thought that because of the choices that I had made that  I had missed my moment. Two years after that exchange, I had written and published my first book! Wow!

9.  What projects do you have planned for the future?

I’m planning a Glamour Girl Conference for mothers and daughters because I absolutely LOVE the bond that I have with my daughter. I want to create a platform for other mothers and daughters to strenghten the bond even during those challenging stages.

10.  What do you hope to say to people with your writing?

That it made them want get up, get out and do something. That it made them want to discover and begin to walk boldly in their purpose!

11.  Is there another hobby you have that you would like to share?

I love to bake and I’m developing quite a love for cooking and creating unique meals. I’m getting better and better at it.

12.  Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years I see myself taking The Glamour Girl Movement on the road. I see myself hosting Glamour Girl Conferences worldwide and speaking on local, national and global platforms to women and young ladies about the meaning of true Glamour and how we need to return to our thrones as Queens.

13.  Do you have an official website?

Yes, it’s http://www.meganmottley.com

14.   Where can we find you on social media?

        Facebook, Twitter,  Youtube, and Instagram

15.   Where can we find your books?

On my official website

Glamour Girl

Glamour Girl: How To Get The Ultimate Makeover explores and explains the biblical book of Esther.  Before becoming queen, Esther, had to undergo a very rigorous beauty treatment that lasted 365 days! Readers will quickly recognize why Esther’s portrayal of beauty, strength and courage make her a True Glamour Girl and the perfect example for women to follow. By the end of this book, the reader will acknowledge the need to look deeper and dig deeper to find purpose in their beauty and beauty treatments, just as Queen Esther did.

As the most unique book on its subject, Glamour Girl: How To Get The Ultimate Makeover features practical beauty tips that are woven throughout the book and includes a Self Discovery B.E.A.U.T.Y. Guide at the end of the book for personal reflection. Writing is therapeutic and by indulging in the Self Discovery B.E.A.U.T.Y. Guide, readers will be one step closer to discovering their purpose and walking boldly in their purpose like a true Glamour Girl!

Glamour Girl: How To Get The Ultimate Makeover is a “must read” for any woman seeking true beauty – both inner and outer. Every woman who reads this book will discover the BIGGEST beauty secret ever and she will know exactly how to get the ultimate makeover!

Read an excerpt from Glamour Girl

Introduction

 

After bearing a child out of wedlock, I had totally lost all perspective for my purpose and God’s will for my life. Long after God had forgiven me and long after friends and family embraced me with words of encouragement and hope for the future, I still hadn’t found a way to forgive myself. A close uncle, who is also a minister, suggested that I take a sabbatical for a year to regain perspective of my relationship with God. He also instructed me to take time to build a solid foundation with my daughter.

A sabbatical is in a sense a form of fasting but in essence it’s time alone with God, critically reading scripture and being available for God to use you. During this time my heart and my mind were open to receive a profound message from God. I became fascinated with the Book of Esther and why she and several other women had to encounter 12 months of purification—a requirement of King Ahasuerus who was in search of a new queen. I thought that it was very fascinating that I was going through a 12-month process similar to that of Esther. I set out to discover exactly what Esther and the other women had to endure for an entire year and why. I also began to compare these biblical discoveries with modern day beauty treatments and the use of cosmetics.

I saw the need to bring the Book of Esther to life and to show women the purpose of God-Inspired Beauty Secrets. I also wanted to share with women what I discovered about God and myself during my yearlong sabbatical and how setting aside some time to be alone with God whether it is for one month, three months or 12 months can be a very invigorating experience. The purpose of my book is to encourage women to allow God to give them the ultimate makeover. The result is similar to those before and after pictures that are seen in magazines and on television; women will be amazed at the difference.