Cover Reveal: Maybe Forever

Cover of Maybe Forever

The anticipated sequel to MAYBE BABY and MAYBE TONIGHT

Is the honeymoon over…?
Now married with two children, Laney and Mads are finding their life together isn’t as simple as it used to be. While Laney struggles with motherhood, Mads is so focused on chasing success that he loses sight of promises he’s made.

Better apart…?
When frustration gets the better of her, Laney takes the kids and goes to the US, hoping to find solace with her aunt Cecily, a former school teacher who now teaches yoga and meditation in Florida.

Will Laney and Mads find a way back to one another…or is it too late?

Launching on May 15 for Kindle, Nook, iBooks and Kobo.

PRE-ORDER LINKS COMING SOON

Add MAYBE FOREVER to your TBR List on GoodreadsMaybe Forever

Coming June 1 in paperback.

Cover designed by Arijana Karcic of Cover It! Designs.

Flash Fiction: Starry Night

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 14.49.09Yesterday, Mel Bynum posted this image in the WRITE Now group on Facebook and challenged us to write a story. This is the flash fiction I came up with. Hope you like it.

Every night she followed the path into the forest and didn’t stop until she was at the very spot where, on his last night on Earth, he made a promise to her. “I’ll look for you everyday,” he’d said. “And hope that you’re there looking for me too.”

And so, from that night on, she searched the skies for him, wondering if the space station was in orbit above her. She tilted her head back and squinted at the dark sky awash with so many stars. She’d learned to tell the difference now between shooting stars and satellites buzzing by.

Sometimes an intense flash of light streamed across the sky and she wondered if that was the station and if he was standing by one of its windows, looking down at earth, looking for her. The communiques were few and far between. When she received them, they were heavily censored. Five years of redacted communiques but what she remembered of any of them was how his loneliness permeated each word. And though he’d told her not to wait for him, he’d told her to move on with someone who could keep his feet on the ground, she waited.

One day he would return. And she would be his again.

Black and white in love–or why I write about interracial relationships

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Welcome to Scandinavia, where winters are long, men are tall and summer can be absolutely brilliant…or rainy.

In July it will be twenty years since I left the United States behind and embarked on an adventure in the name of love in Scandinavia. I only knew a handful of people here–the man I was in love with and his family. At the time, it never occurred to me that this was not something I should do–apply for a residency permit, buy a one-way ticket, sell all my personal belongings, board a plane, take off into the great unknown. There were plenty of nay-sayers. Whenever I told people I was moving for love, they’d tell me I was crazy. More often than not, someone would comment on how I was “giving up my life” to be with a white man–as if the color of his skin had somehow clouded my judgment or made me incapable of rational thought. I tried to ignore their negativity, but every now and then their words would annoy the hell out of me. And they annoyed me because they behaved as though my relationship with the man who would later become my husband was not “real” because he was not black or because he was not American. As if these two factors were the only way a black American woman could be happy.

While all of this was spiralling around me, I was trying to write a novel. I was nearing the end of working on my master’s degree in Creative Writing and putting the finishing touches on my master’s thesis–a collection of short stories I’d worked on for three years, tweaking until each story was a gem (in my eyes anyway). Now the novel, well, it was this unformed thing. I had faceless characters with vague back stories. I had a setting that was probably more detailed than the plot itself. And the plot…well, there wasn’t really one. In short, I didn’t know what I was doing or what I was writing about.

It took several years and a lot of false starts to finally realise that my problem was trying to write about relationships without taking any inspiration from my own life experience. I knew what it was like to be a black woman in an interracial relationship, but I wasn’t really writing about it. And what was crazy was that I was looking for books that featured interracial relationships. They were few and far between at that time. When I found them, I devoured them. I studied them, I thought about what I liked and didn’t like about those novels. The main sticking point was that, in most of the novels, the men were pursuing women who were so hung up on race that they couldn’t accept the love they felt for the man in question because his skin color was wrong. And that wasn’t the interracial experience I knew.

The more books I read, the more i wanted to read a story in which the heroine wasn’t resisting the man who loved her simply because he had a melanin deficiency. Now, mind you, I am being a tad bit snarky here. I know that a lot of it was dealing with the legacy of racism that has left an indelible mark on American society. But I was convinced that readers would love to read a novel about an interracial couple that was not only about their racial differences. I didn’t want racism to be a major part of the plot because I wanted the love story or how the couple fell in love and other everyday problems to be in the focus. So I decided to follow the advice of Benjamin Disraeli and I set about writing the book I want to read.

My first attempt was the novel I wrote to learn how to write a novel. It was called Second Skin, and it was set in my hometown of Philadelphia. I loved writing Melanie and John’s love story, but it was a painful process and the story, no matter how many times I’ve tried to revise or rewrite it, never becomes the story I intended. I’ve never published it, but I am considering simply releasing it and letting my readers decide themselves.

The next novel I tried to write never made it to the finish line. It was a near-repeat of all the mistakes I made while trying to write my MFA novel. No outline, no real plan. It was a meandering mess. Only six chapters of that novel remain. And while there are some great scenes in it, the story itself just doesn’t move me and will probably never be resurrected.

dfw-kg-sb-cover-2-smallFast-forward to when I finally wrote Snowbound. By then, I’d figured out that I like writing very flawed characters. I liked writing about people who sometimes do stupid things, who smoke, who sometimes drink too much, who sometimes fuck the wrong people and have to deal with the consequences of their actions. I wanted Mia to be a character who is not always reliable. I wanted her to be a woman who has fucked up and who is trying to figure out what she really wants and how she can prevent herself from making those same mistakes again. She walks away from the wrong relationship with the wrong guy and ends up meeting the sort of man she never expected–a conflict zone photographer who happens to be a white South African.

A few people questioned my choosing to write about a white South African man. I didn’t initially plan for Jake to be South African. I wanted to write about a man whose experiences with race would be different from Mia’s. I thought it would be interesting to contrast their experiences. A man who’s grown up with the legacy of apartheid. A woman who’s grown up with America’s own divisive legacy. But I didn’t want this to be the main focus. The focus was on finding love. And finding it when they least wanted or expected it. And I wanted to set this story in snowy Vermont. Snowbound wasn’t perfect, but it was close to the sort of story I wanted to read and write.

webgoodreadsBy the time I wrote Maybe Baby, I’d decided that it was time to write about Scandinavia. I’d avoided doing so more from criticism from my writers group. We were all Americans who’d come to Sweden for Swedish partners. And, at the time, no one in the group wanted to read a story about a woman who was in love with a Swede. So I stored it away and, when I was no longer in the group, I decided to write about a love triangle with two very different Scandinavian men being the lovers Laney would have to choose between. I wanted to write about about a woman who was rootless, who was searching for the idea of home. Laney came about, in some ways, because of my own experiences as a black American woman living in Scandinavia. Though my relationship with my Swedish husband was very different from Laney’s with her Swedish partner, Niklas, I knew about the quirks that come along with being with a Swedish man–the avoidance of conflict, the stony silence, how the darkness could affect their moods, the sudden personality change the moment they leave Sweden. I knew I could write about the cultural differences, I also knew I could write about how, for Laney, this would make her feel like she was drifting. I remembered feeling that way when I first moved here. I took all of this and put it into the my writing. And I think that the end result of Maybe Baby is exactly the sort of book I wanted to read but could never find in bookstores. Laney is not an easy character to love. She is indecisive, she is sometimes selfish, but deep down she is vulnerable and lost. And she meets Mads and, though what connects them at first is sex, there is this undercurrent between them–they have both found home with each other. And that’s what love is. And interestingly enough I managed to write a novel about an interracial relationship in which race isn’t a major factor, it’s more the journey to love that is important.

So I guess with all of this, I am trying to say that I write about about interracial relationships to show that they are no different from other relationships. Everyone is searching for love. And the person you fall in love with is the person who makes you feel more alive than you’ve ever felt before. Or whenever you are with them, you feel as though there is no other place you’d rather be. And where they come from or the color of their skin becomes irrelevant.

Blog Tour: Call Me Lucky Caroline Bell Foster

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Welcome to the “Call Me Lucky” Mini-Tour featuring author Caroline Bell Foster!

Presented by Diverse Book Tours

Looking to diversify your TBR shelf? Check out it out on:

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Here’s the Blurb and Excerpt from the book:

What happens with the night team…

Felicity ‘Fliss’ Pecora didn’t like people. Her background meant she didn’t trust easily and the night shift suited her perfectly. Forced to go on a team night out she bumps into the one person who knew her at her worst.

Teddy couldn’t believe the foul mouthed girl he once knew had changed so little, but still he felt an attraction towards her. He helped her overcome her insecurities and health scare and they were happy and in love until the night their pasts collided.

To love her, was to let her go. But could he?

Excerpt from “Call Me Lucky”

She ran past the strapping black bouncer at the entrance, around the side of the building and past a bunch of wheelie bins before stopping and throwing up against the building. Oh God it was horrible. They didn’t like her. Her body crumpled against the wall and she pressed her forehead into it, feeling the rough brick bite into her skin. Any pain was better than the feeling of her dreams shattering.

“Fliss!” It was Mackenzie. She didn’t want to talk to him. Not like this, not when she had failed. It was his fault anyway. She would never have put herself through this if he hadn’t dared her.

“Fliss!”

“I’m here,” She called out quickly, wiping away the water from her eyes. They were not tears she told herself.

“Why did you run you nit?” He admonished softly, pulling her into his arms and hugging her tight. “They loved you.”

“Yeah right,” she said pulling free and sniffing loudly. “Loved me enough they couldn’t bring themselves to even clap Mac.”

“They didn’t get a—” he didn’t finish what he was about to say as a man in dark jeans, white shirt and dark leather jacket walked towards them.

“If I didn’t see it with my own eyes I’d have never believed chavvy Felicity Pecora could render my customers speechless.”

Fliss gaped into the darkness knowing that voice, but refusing to believe it.

“What? Got nothing to say? This is a first,” he chuckled and, stepping closer, held out his hand to Mackenzie. “Theodore Nicholson. But everyone calls me Teddy,” he explained. “Felicity and I grew up together.”

Mackenzie shook his hand. “Mackenzie. Nice to meet you. Are you coming back in Fliss? They want more.”

Fliss shook her head in horror. There was no way she was going back inside. She’d done what she said she would do, gave it a go and took a bite of her apple. They didn’t like her and she wasn’t about to make the same mistake again.

“Can you give us a minute Mackenzie?” Teddy asked.

“Yeah, course mate.” Mackenzie stepped away. “You were amazing Fliss. See ya in a bit.”

Could this night get any worse. Teddy Nicholson was stood right in front of her, once again, at the lowest point of her life. World open up and suck me right in, she begged silently.

“Well?”

He’d used that same word with that same menacing tone that night all those years ago, she remembered with shame.

“Well what?” She questioned defensively, stalling.

“Well what are you doing in my pub for one thing?” Teddy asked, leaning against the wall and fishing into his jacket pocket for the one cigarette he allowed himself each week. It wasn’t there.

She turned to look at him but he was in profile and she could barely see him in the darkness. “I’m in London,” she mumbled.

“I noticed.”

She was fifteen again. Spotty, ugly and fat. Reduced to the bumbling teenager who’d been crying in the jitty at the back of the house as he’d shouted at her mother for having sex with his brother Marty. He’d threatened to call the police and social services on them. He’d been so angry and had left through the back gate, finding her huddled against the fence.

He’d reduced her to even more tears by the time he’d finished with her and when she’d just about crumbled at his feet, he’d taken a huge breath, shoved his hands through his hair and then given her a long pep talk that basically said, if he could get out then so could she.

“We won a trip,” she admitted quietly. “From work.”

He moved then, turning to stand in front of her, his head cocked to one side as he looked her over. He looked at her feet in sparkly ballet shoes, her legs in dark skinny jeans and a sparkly silvery top with tiny straps over her shoulders. Her hair was in a tight bun, set high on top of her head. It looked like she had a silky doughnut on her head.

“You look really nice Felicity.”

“What?” She snapped defensively, folding her arms over her chest. “You thought I’d still be wearing my charity labels Teddy?”

He frowned down at her. He’d always felt guilty for laying into her the way he had done that night behind her house. She couldn’t help the way her mother was or the environment she lived in. He’d just been so mad that her mother had got money out of his baby brother for sex. Stealing his innocence.

“Maybe,” Teddy shrugged. “Why deny it?”

Her eyes flashed and she poked him in the chest. “I’m not a kid any more Teddy.” She lifted her chin and stared straight at him.

“Really?” He sounded sceptical. “You’ve changed?” He was remembering the scrawny kid with the foul mouth.

She took a shuddering breath knowing he didn’t really believe her. Not that she cared what he thought.

“Yes really,” she snapped. “Look, can you go and get my friends please. I’m not going back in there,” she admitted tightly.

“You were sensational Felicity.” He smiled down at her. “My crowd loved you.”

“Yeah right,” she scoffed. “They loved me so much my ears are still ringing from all the appreciation they showed!” She finished on a wobble. She was not going to get emotional, especially in front of him! “And why do you keep saying your crowd?”

“I own the place,” he admitted. “And they were struck dumb by how good you sounded and not expecting it. Jesus Christ Fliss! Where does that voice come from? It’s amazing.”

“Stop lying Teddy.”

“I’m not lying. They want more!” He grabbed her hand. “Come on let’s go.”

“Are you fucking crazy?” She yanked violently out of his grasp and stepped away from him. It was beginning to drizzle. It had drizzled that infamous night too.

He grinned at her. “Ah, now, here is the Felicity I know,” he laughed. “I could always depend on your, dare I say, vocabulary to lower the tone of any conversation.”

“You can say what the fu-hell you like.” Why was she letting herself down like this, she thought, fighting the tears. “Please Teddy, go and get my friends. I’m getting wet.”

“Only if you promise to come back tomorrow night and do a whole set. When are you going back up to Notts?”

“We’ve got another night,” she said without thinking. “And I’m never going on stage again.”

“Come back tomorrow and have dinner with me then.”

“No. Why? So you can laugh at me. No thanks,” she questioned and answered all at once.

He chuckled deep in his throat. “I want to know what’s been going on with you, I’m curious that’s all.”

“You can take you’re curiosity and sh—”

“How old are you?” He cut in and watched with amusement as a shade of red touched her cheeks. She’d always been fiery. She’d always fascinated him.

Fliss felt like an idiot. She didn’t know why she was behaving like this in front of him.

“Twenty.”

“Hmm. Come, I’ll buy you a drink before you go.” He took her hand.

“I don’t drink.” She grumbled.

He stopped walking and turned to look at her in that intent way of his, with his head to one side. He nodded silently and then did what he’d done all those years ago. With one hand he cupped her face and used his thumb to stroke her cheek. A tender moment from him. He shook his head as though getting rid of unwanted thoughts and dragged her inside.

Looking to purchase it now? Click on the purchase links to check out more!

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About The Author

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Caroline Bell Foster was born in Derby, England and with her family went on a six week holiday to Jamaica. She stayed for 18 years!
Ever the adventurer Caroline bought her first pair of high heels in Toronto and traded her pink sunglasses for a bus ride in the Rift Valley at 18. She wrote her first short story on that bus and had it published the following year in a local newspaper.

Caroline has always written in one form or another from a very young age. She started her first diary at age 7 and short stories and articles kept her occupied throughout her teens. Feeling the restrictions of short stories for newspapers, Caroline switched to full length novels letting her creativity flow.

Caroline is also known as ‘The Caribbean’s Leading Lady of Love’ as her novels Ladies’ Jamaican, Caribbean Whisper’s, Saffron’s Choice tend to reflect her love for the Islands. Caroline’s fourth novel Call Me Royal has just been released.

The author now lives in Nottingham, England with her husband and two children.

On a virtual road trip this week with Caroline Bell Foster!

magic size (1)Fellow author Caroline Bell Foster and I are on simultaneous blog tours this week! :D

I’ll be sharing insight into Maybe Baby and Maybe Tonight, and Caroline will be giving us the scoop on Call Me Lucky! Get to know us, our books and our characters a little better, and find out what we’ll be up to next. :) We always love to hear from our readers, so check out our tour schedules and pop by!

Here’s my schedule  and here’s Caroline’s. Many thanks to the team at Diverse Book Tours for helping us arrange our mini-tours!

Other news? I should be getting Maybe Forever back from the editor tomorrow, so soon I’ll now how much of a rewrite is necessary. :) Once that’s done, I’ll finally be able to share a release date with you. :)

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Happy Birthday, Maybe Baby!

Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 20.50.11It’s Maybe Baby‘s first birthday, and I couldn’t be happier. It’s hard to believe that a year ago I pressed publish on Amazon and people began discovering Laney & Mads’s story.

To celebrate, there’s a giveaway or two on my FB author page. So head over–you could win one of three autographed Maybe Baby notecards or an autographed paperback of Maybe Baby.

It’s my little way of thanking everyone who fell in love with Laney’s story of self-discovery, her story of falling in love and understanding what she really needed.

Soon the continuation of Laney & Mads story will be out–will keep you posted with the release date, but it’s with an editor now, so I hope that I’ll have good news for you in a few weeks.

So, once again, thank you for all your love and support! Your enthusiasm for Laney, Mads and their love story has been amazing. This has been a wonderful year–and I couldn’t have done it without you! :D

30 Days, 30 Stories may be over but I am still writing…well, not today because I am ill…

30 Days30 StoriesYesterday marked the end of the 30 Days, 30 Stories challenge. I was hoping to end it with a personal piece, but I started feeling ill on Wednesday and by Friday it was a full-blown cold. Any attempts at writing were aborted due to my head feeling like it was the size of a pumpkin. Instead, I shared the opening scene from a WIP novel that I haven’t quite figured yet.

Many thanks to all of you who followed the progress of the stories on my Facebook author page. You can now find all thirty stories here on wattpad. At some point, I will compile them into a proper e-book. It will have to be later rather than sooner. This cold has sapped me of any energy.

Hopefully soon I’ll also be able to get back to you all with release dates for Maybe Tomorrow and Maybe Forever. I’d initially planned to have both books ready by March, but that’s not going to happen. Work + life + writer’s block got in the way.

Before I sign off I want to give a shout out to Carrie Elks, Christina C. Jones and Inger Iversen–congrats, ladies, to launching new books this week! I’ve got them all lined up on my Kindle. :)

I will try to write today. I don’t have any high hopes of greatness unless it’s thanks to a Nyquil-induced haze. Happy weekend…happy reading (and maybe even happy writing).