They say love is blind, and growing up as a little girl lost, Aniqa Haddon is now a woman that’s had enough of no love. She loved Je’Marcus Watford past his flaws and stayed loyal, even when he failed to put her first. She dove head first into their young love, allowing Je’Marcus to be her lifeline when her mother abandoned her to chase the street life, but when the smoke clears and those blinders come off, Aniqa finds herself living a heart-breaking nightmare.
Hoping to give her baby girl, Essence, the world, Aniqa is faced with a tough decision: move on from Je’Marcus’ abusive love drought, or stay blindly committed to a disloyal dude. There’s just one problem, though: the only way Je’Marcus plans to let her go is through death.
Linc Carmichael is a low key boss that wants no parts of the L word. Determined to take the family business to the next level, he plays it close to the chest when dealing with chicks. He sticks to chicks that don’t expect a commitment and has one main rule: no chicks with kids. That all goes out the window when he meets Aniqa; her natural beauty and heart of gold bring Linc to his knees, and he knows he has to have her—no matter who has to die in the process.
Crushed is what you feel when love doesn’t love you back, but Linc just might be the one to renew Aniqa’s faith in love when she finds herself Crushin’ on a Boss…
Today was the first day in four months that I was off from both school and work, and while I usually had to drag myself out of bed in the morning, I was up early and in a good mood today. I refused to spend what little bit of free time I had locked up in this stifling house.
I let out a long yawn and stretched my arms toward the headboard of the bed. The coolness of the other side of the bed let me know that Je’Marcus hadn’t bothered to come home last night which, in all honesty, was just fine with me. It looked like today really would be a good day.
I looked to my left and found that, as usual, my baby girl had found her way into bed with me. Essence had no problem sleeping in her own bed at night, but the minute her little eyes popped open in the morning, she climbed into bed with me and snuggled up under me until it was time to get our day started.
“Mmm, hey my Essie,” I winked at her, and her little face lit up as she flashed me a toothy smile, still sucking on her favorite two fingers.
Essence was the perfect combination of my and Je’Marcus’ imperfect relationship. The tawny brown eyes that she’d inherited from me were always so full of life, and they gave such a stark contrast against the chocolate brown complexion that she shared with her daddy. Her third birthday was coming up in a few months, but she was already the same height as most kids entering kindergarten, so it was clear that she would take after Je’Marcus in height, who stood at 6’4. Baby girl’s smile was so bright that you couldn’t help but share in her joy, no matter how bad of a day you were having. I still wasn’t sure where she got the cute little dimple in her chin from, but it only added to the cuteness overload that you got each time you laid eyes on her.
Essence reached her free hand over and placed her teddy bear on my chest, which I affectionately referred to as her ‘ride or die’ because you never caught her without it.
“And hey to you too, Mr. Rumpy.”
Now satisfied that I’d properly greeted her teddy bear, Essence’s smile grew even wider as she rubbed her little hand across the left side of my face, which was one of the ways that she let me know she was pleased with something.
As hurtful as Jamiya’s words were the night before, they still rang true; my baby was three and still wasn’t talking. She was born premature, though you’d never know it since she weighed just as much as a full-term baby at birth. I expected a few developmental delays here and there, but when I saw how much other kids her age were babbling in their little toddler talk, I became more and more concerned. Hearing her doctor toss out terms like autism and hearing loss only made me more sick to my stomach, so I just brushed it off and loved on my baby every chance I got.
Essence reached her hand up and tapped my lips, then grabbed Rumpy and slid down off the bed.
“Okay Ms. Bossy, I’m up, I’m getting up now,” I sighed, swinging my legs over the side of the bed so I could head downstairs and make breakfast for the two of us.
~ ♥ ~
“Where is the…cow?” I smiled and without hesitation, Essence pointed at the farm scene on her placemat.
“Very good, Essie. Show mommy the…duck!” Again, she pointed to the correct animal as she fed herself another piece of the waffle I’d cut into small squares for her.
“You are just too smart! Can you show me the blue car?”
Try as I might, I still hadn’t figured out a way to coax Essence into talking, but I still wanted to do my part to make sure she didn’t fall too far behind. What she lacked in speaking, she more than made up for in other areas, so I knew for sure that she was still a smart little girl, and there certainly wasn’t anything wrong with her hearing. She knew most of her colors, could recognize objects and letters on sight, and was quick to respond to any verbal cues in her own little way.
BZZZ BZZZ BZZZ
My phone vibrated on the table just a few inches away from my plate, and I saw that I had an incoming text.
BEE: 11 good, chick?
ME: Yup, we’ll b ready
BEE: K, c u then, chick ♥
Aside from my sweet baby girl, my best friend, Beautiful, was the only other person that put a smile on my face most days. We met when me and Mama first moved to Newport News. When I walked into Mrs. Downing’s sixth grade class at Huntington Middle School, Beautiful was the only person to speak to me that entire first day. A few of the other kids came around eventually, particularly after Mrs. Downing affectionately named me Sunshine, but the way that Beautiful went out on a limb and took a chance on the new girl stuck out in my memory, so we became fast friends and had been tight ever since.
Beautiful had an up-close seat right beside me as my mom became less about motherhood and more about street life, so I was sure that her pity for me was part of what drew her to me. Still, she had a good heart and had proven that she loved me like a sister time and time again, which kept me sane on the many days that I just wanted to give up and say fuck it. Being the only real friend I had, Beautiful was Essence’s godmother as well, and was probably the only other person that loved my baby as much as I did.
“Oops, did I miss it? Where’s the blue car, pretty girl?” I returned my attention to Essence. Unfortunately, she didn’t even get a chance to point out the car before her grandmother stepped into the kitchen.
“Check you out, got it smellin’ like IHOP up in here…you done cooked up all the bacon, too? Oh, you must plan on just giving me all your lil’ check, huh?
“Good morning, Ms. Shirlene,” I clenched my teeth, completely ignoring her slick comment.
Army brat. Soldier. Vet. Army wife. Mother. I wear several hats, fill many roles, and never manage to get enough sleep. My life has the perfect balance of chaos and calm, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m an author, blogger, editor, journalist, and screenwriter with big plans to ride my #bookDreams just as far as they’ll take me; hopefully, all the way to the top. Long before I was an author, I was a reader, so I inhale life and digest it as the muse for my next bestseller. Can’t wait to hear what you think of it 🙂 My biggest success to date? Having my very first published novel, I Should’ve Cheated, in production to become a web series. #BossMove
I’m a pretty chill chick with a simple mantra: #writeOrDie. If I think it, I WILL write it… God put me on this rock to do many things, and I plan to change the world one story at a time. I’ll always be that rowdy lil’ diva from the East coast, but I’m LOVING this #islandLife in the natural, breathtaking beauty of Hawaii… think I might say goodbye to the mainland and perfect my #beachBum vibe… as long as I have my family and my furbaby, Kardi, by my side (and the color pink), the sky is the limit!
Get to Know Author Tysha Jordyn:
Tysha, the industry is constantly changing; in a world full of authors, how are you able to stay afloat?
Well, I’ve been a published author for just under 4 years, and whew! I’ve seen and felt a lot of change in the industry. I think it’s easy for authors to feel pressured to follow the trends or even compromise their craft for likes, shares, and to hit the top of the charts. I stay afloat by staying in my own lane and writing from the heart. There are readers for every story that’s told; we just have to do the work as authors to find them.
How did you get into writing? Was it always a gift, or natural talent, or was it something you studied?
A blend of all three, I think. I’ve loved reading since before I even started school, and always loved writing, so the more I read and wrote, the better I got at it. I’m a teacher by trade, teach college courses now, so writing has really always been a natural fit for me.
Your writing career has been a bit up and down. What would you say is the most important thing to remember in the down and up season?
One of the most cliché, but true sayings I’ve heard is that the dream is free, but the hustle is sold separately. There are definitely authors out there that make a lucrative living writing full-time, but I predict that the large majority of us juggle writing with full-time careers. Sometimes, you love your career just as much as your dream and don’t want to choose. That (and life, in general) can lead to inconsistency with the frequency of releases, but even when I don’t have books dropping, I’m still writing. At present, I have easily over a hundred manuscripts in progress. I think it’s important to remember that the only person we’re in competition with, as authors, is ourselves. Keep that in mind, and don’t let another author’s performance make you feel inadequate or like you’re not hitting the mark. Your season will come; just keep pushing.
As an author, we hope you were a reader first because, as you know, it is one of the only ways to continue working on your craft, but who is an author you draw inspiration from?
Wow, there are really to many to name, but let me see… Eric Jerome Dickey, my all-time favorite, and Dean Koontz. I’ve been reading EJD since his very first book, and he was one of my biggest inspirations to step out on faith and submit my manuscript to a publisher. Now, I discovered Dean Koontz the summer I was pregnant with my youngest son (who turns 16 in a few days). I was high-risk and on bedrest, and no lie, I read 248 books that summer. Every time I went to the library, I kept seeing a Dean Koontz book in the New Arrivals section, so I decided to give one a try one day and became hooked! He’s an awesome story teller whose work challenges me to push myself beyond my comfort zone and pen the type of stories that show how diverse my writing style can be.
What does the perfect day for writing look like for you?
That’s easy. Everyone tucked away in bed, my fur baby (Kardi) curled up under my feet, and either the ID Channel or my Bryson Tiller Pandora station playing in the background. I write better at night, and I think it’s because that’s when my mind is less occupied. I have ADD, so it can feel impossible to focus and stay on task when it comes to outlining and writing, but late night is when I’m most in my zone, when I can silence the world long enough to slip away and live in my thoughts. I’m all about that vamp life!
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Absolutely, I read them all. Like a lot of authors, I stalk my reviews on release day. I’m a perfectionist, so I’m always antsy about whether my books hit the mark and whether readers enjoy them. I take my craft seriously and appreciate that I’m able to use my gift to touch people thousands of miles away from me. Of course, the good ones will have me milly rockin’ in traffic, and while the bad ones can sometimes sting, I take them both in stride. I learned in year one that you must have thick skin to make it in this business. Not everyone will enjoy your work, and that’s fine because there are several authors to choose from, but don’t take a bad review as a personal criticism. Readers don’t know you, they know your work. Keep that degree of separation, learn what you can from the reviews, and use what you’ve learned to improve your craft for your next release.
What advice do you have for aspiring authors or even vets in the business that feel stuck?
Rome wasn’t built in a day. You must be willing to give your writing your all to achieve whatever your definition of success is. You must be willing to invest and spend money without immediate return. There will be times you see others shoot to the top with what looks like very little effort, but avoid feeling envy or jealousy. Your time is coming and, most importantly, there is plenty of room in the industry to do you— nobody can do YOU like yourself. Avoid industry beef; most often, it doesn’t concern you anyway. Always be professional in all that you do; YOU are your brand, and all that you do is a reflection of that brand, good or bad. Your publisher will not make you famous or bestselling; feel like I need to repeat that one. It is your hard work, your perseverance, your sleep deprivation, your craft, and your intellectual property that will get you there. Remember that and use everything that comes along your way as a stepping stone to get to your destination. Support each other; need to echo that one as well. I have few author friends I’ve made along the way that are key in helping me keep my sanity. I talk to them nearly every day, and there’s no way I’d still be on this journey without them. Most importantly, never sacrifice self-care for word count; the keyboard will still be there when you get yourself together. Oh, and have fun!
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Excerpt from book: same as the excerpt above
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Author site: www.tyshajordyn.com