Hello my blog friends! Long time no read!
Y’all know I usually try not to come to this space without something to say, but every once in a while, I like to remind folks that I’m OUTCHEAH. So, I’m here.
It’s finally warming up, bit by bit, here in the gentle south. Winter went on far too long in Atlanta (FYI no one here calls this city HOTLANTA so if we could get other people to stop doing it too, that’d be greaaaattt…) and we’re just now hitting mid 60’s and 70’s. This time of year always has me dreaming of warm spring and summer days, flip flops and open toed shoes, sundresses and sleeveless shirts and so. many. beach. trips!
Thoughts of beach trips guide me, of course, to my ODE TO SUMMER, my #beachyblackromance BEACH THING, borne out of a want to write a sweet, steamy, romantic vacationship that also has a little bit of personal drama for both characters that help give the story some depth. Wade and Ameenah are definite #goals– upwardly mobile African Americans who are both making a mark on society in their own way. Bringing them together was fun, a pure pleasure.
If you haven’t yet read this title, I’m including an excerpt that I hope will spark some interest. Click on the link above or the book cover in the center of this page to grab this novel any way you want it– eBook, paperback or audio. #Putitinyourface and enjoy!
I had everything all set up outside on the deck. The grill was warm and holding a cast iron skillet with steaks and scallops and the steamer for the fresh cut green beans was on standby. I’d also grabbed a nice white wine, which was currently chilling in the wine fridge.
I stepped back into the house in time to hear my phone chime a familiar tone. Gage was calling, probably about the samples I’d sent him the night before.
“What up, playa?” I called into the phone as I put it on speaker. I had a few things yet to do and I still had to change clothes, so I was going to talk and work.
“What up yaself? You workin’?”
“Not right now.” I searched through the drawers in the kitchen for the candlesticks I knew I saw at some point. I found them, grabbing them and the linen napkins from their hiding place.
“Not right now? What are you doing right now? Sounds like you’re looking for something… what do you need? I probably know where it is.”
“Nah I’m good. I’m just… busy.”
“Busy doing what?”
The cagier I got, the more Gage laughed. We were always wide open with each other—couldn’t afford not to be, so my not coming right out with what I was doing at the moment was probably funny to him.
“I’m about to have a guest, if you just gotta know everything.”
“A guest? Like, the female kind? You met somebody that quick out there?”
“Kind of. It’s uh… you know, that girl from the smoothie shop? Remember the first night—”
“The one that ran her mouth, then shut right up when she realized who we were?”
“She backed off before you introduced yourself. But yeah, I’ve been…” I blew out a breath, puffing out my cheeks. “We’ve been hanging out. Or whatever.”
“Huh. The smoothie shop girl. I mean…” Gage sucked his teeth. I could just see him brushing a hand over his signature waves, then pulling at his goatee. “She’s fine and everything but you think it’s a good idea to be like… dating?”
“Not dating. We’re just hanging out. Seeing each other. It’s just a beach thing for right now.”
“Does she know it’s just a beach thing for right now?”
“Yeah, man. Yeah. She’s cool with it.”
We’d both made sure we were clear about the details of our relationship. Neither of us were looking for anything long term or long distance. I lived in Brooklyn. She lived out in Black Diamond Bay. Having someone out here to visit every once in while was nice, but I had no plans on making regular visits to this town.
“I hear you now. I don’t want to hear you later, talking about how she misses you and she wants you to move out there.”
I rolled my eyes, stepping back outside and setting up the candles, laying out the napkins. “It’s not like that. It’s not gonna be like that. Yo, what do you want, man? I’ve got a lot going on here and I need to change my clothes.”
“You still think somebody cares about your dirty shirt.” Gage laughed, then went on. “What do you think I want? These samples you sent last night are tight. I wanted to talk about using a couple of them. The ideas are flowing right now. I wish you were here; we could get some serious work done.”
“Yeah, well. That’s the whole reason I wasn’t allowed to go on vacation with y’all this year. We worked the whole time last year. Sheree is still pissed about that. And on that tip, don’t get me in trouble this year either. You’re supposed to be on vacation, not working.”
“Sheree will be alright. She likes the paychecks.” His voice rose for a few seconds when he asked, “Don’t you, bae? You don’t want me to work but you like that money!” Sheree said something I couldn’t understand, tinged with a thick Jamaican accent. The tone alone told me Gage better watch his step. And his mouth.
“Ay, man. Keep me outta this. Happy wife, happy life works for me, too. Which ones do you want? I can work on them later and shoot them over to you.”
We talked about a few tracks he really liked. I agreed to work on drawing them out from the 20 second samples to full 2-3 minute tracks. Once he had a good idea of how the beat transitioned throughout the song, he could start writing. We would round out the sound with layers and other tricks of the trade when we were back in the New York studio.
The doorbell rang as soon as I hung up. “Shit,” I muttered, glancing down at the shorts and t-shirt I’d worn earlier. I pulled open the front door and let Ameenah in.
“Hey, pretty.” I greeted her with a kiss on a full, round cheek, then tipped my head to catch her lips. She hummed, then giggled, the longer the kiss lasted. She finally broke away and stepped back.
“I didn’t realize we were dressing down tonight.”
“We’re not. I’ll get you set up with something nice to drink and then I’m going to go shower and change so I’m a little more presentable.”
She was elegant but casual in a thin blue and white flowered dress that flowed to her ankles. It tied around her neck and was sleeveless so she was showing off the golden tan she’d earned earlier in the day. And it had a split up the side so her shapely thigh made an appearance every other step.
I wound my fingers between hers and led her through the family room to the deck, where I’d set a table for us with a perfect view of the sun on its descent.