Liz is a single mother who fell in love with a man who didn’t love her enough to marry her. Liz was left broken after years of being disrespected, cheated on and lied to. But this was nothing new for Liz because she watched this same story play out as a child. Liz desires to be in a loving marriage. Anthony is a successful man living a dream life and happily married only to his career. As a top fashion photographer, he has no trouble keeping many of the world’s top models in his bed, but his heart is a different matter. Anthony has no plans to share his heart with anyone other than his mother.
Liz and Anthony are thrown together when his mother falls ill. Attraction is instant and love blooms quickly. Anthony is the man of Liz’s dreams, but their happily ever after is threatened by one of Anthony’s disgruntled ex-lovers. Liz learns the truth about Anthony’s past the night before their wedding. Can Liz forgive him for keeping such a big secret? Can she still love him knowing his past? Or will Liz call off the wedding?
Liz and Kara sat at the kitchen counter while Edna finished preparing dinner. Liz loved spending time in Edna’s home because it was so warm and welcoming, decorated in gold, brown and red hues. Her home wasn’t huge or decorated expensively, but it was full of love and peace. Unfortunately, today, the house hadn’t worked its magic on Liz yet, and she still felt miserable.
Liz looked from Edna to Kara, and blurted, “Brian is getting married.”
“And are we sad about it?” Edna asked.
“I’m sad about it,” Liz responded.
“Okay, then we’re sad, but tell me why,” Edna said as she cut the vegetables for the salad.
Liz looked at Edna, dumbfounded, and a few tears slipped from her eyes before she responded. “What’s wrong with me? Brian and I were together for thirteen years, and we have a son. Not once did he even hint that he wanted to marry me, but now he is marrying someone he met no more than one year ago. I’m sad, mad, hurt, disgusted, and devastated.”
Edna walked over to Liz and wrapped her arms around her. Liz cried on Edna’s shoulders.
“Wait, back up!” Kara interjected. “How did you find out he was getting married?”
Liz and Edna released one another from the hug. Edna pulled a handkerchief from the pocket of her apron and handed it to Liz. Liz wiped her face before answering, “I got a Save the Date card yesterday.”
“What an asshole! There was no reason for him to send you that card.” Kara insisted angrily. Everybody needed a friend like Kara, Liz thought. Kara was always ready to fight for her friends.
“I guess he sent it because he wants Justice to attend the wedding,” Liz guessed, but now she wondered why it was addressed to both of them. Brian could not possibly want her at his wedding.
“I’m sure he does, but he could have called Justice. Girl, he sent the postcard to hurt you. And it worked, didn’t it?”
Liz nodded her head and willed herself not to start crying again. Kara put her hand on top of Liz’s hand.
Edna shook her head in disgust, and admitted, “I never liked him. He didn’t deserve you, baby. You are much better off without him. As far as I’m concerned, you dodged a bullet. Remember what Pastor taught us, rejection is just God’s way of redirecting us to better. So, let’s make today the last time we cry over Brian.” Edna coughed, covering her mouth with her arm.
“I know I’m probably better off without Brian. If he loved me, he never would have left.”
“Or cheated on you,” Kara added.
“And he would’ve married you a long time ago,” Edna added.
“All of that,” Liz agreed. “Honestly, what his Save the Date card did was make me keenly aware of how Brian had moved on with his life while I’ve been sitting around waiting for him to come back.”
Edna wiped her hands on her apron, and asked, “So, does this mean that you’re ready to move on?”
“I think I am.” Liz wasn’t as sure about that as she sounded. Brian should be dead to her, but he was still the father of her child. She couldn’t just totally wipe him out of her life because unlike her, Justice adored his father. That wasn’t totally true. Liz had adored her father when she was younger, but she despised watching her mother suffer because of her father’s infidelity and total disrespect. He would leave the house to buy cigarettes on Saturday afternoon and wouldn’t return home until Sunday evening. When Liz was nine, she and her mother stopped going to church on Sunday mornings because her mother would be so distraught. Liz didn’t return to church until after her mother passed away.
“Good! Operation get-you-a-man shall begin,” Kara declared.
Author Raykel Tolson wrote her first book in the 5th grade and gifted it to her grandmother. She published her first book, Just a Little Talk With Jesus in 2000 as a tool to help her heal and to help others suffering from depression in silence. Raykel has had devotions published in the Women of Color Devotional Bible. In 2014, Raykel made a choice to focus more on writing and published her first novel, Single and Saved. She writes both fiction and non-fiction books that enlighten, encourage and entertain. Her latest non-fiction is Why Are Church Folk Poor. Her books are classified as Christian, but she says her new release, Undefiled, should be considered an African American Inspirational Romance instead of a Christian Romance because the characters are filled with flaws, like everyday people. Her characters are Christians and believe in God, but they also curse, drink alcohol, smoke, and they have sex. Many devout Christians don’t want to read about people like that.
Raykel has a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy from Florida A & M University, a Juris Doctorate from Florida State University College of Law. She also has and a master’s degree in counseling from Capella University. She has worked as a family and criminal attorney, a pharmacist, a professor, and workshop presenter. In her spare time, Raykel volunteers as a mediator for Centinela Youth Services in Los Angeles where she uses restorative justice principles to encourage young offenders to repair the harm their legal records. Raykel is also a mentor to young airmen at the Los Angeles Air Force Base, who encouraged her to start her YouTube channel “Ask Auntie Ray.”
The 40-something year old author has one adult son. She was raised in a suburb of St, Louis, but has lived and worked in Los Angeles for more than a decade. Raykel considers herself a God-loving, Bible-believing, church-going Christian on a mission to help people to know God as love and not judgment.
Get to Know Author Raykel Tolson:
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am the mother of a 23-year-old son, but we are often mistaken for siblings which he hates. I’ve asked him to call me by my name and not mama when were out in public, but he refuses. Seriously, my son, Larenz, is my greatest accomplishment and my motivation to be my best self.
I was the only child for my mother but the youngest for my father. I have the personality of both an only child and the youngest. I am an extroverted introvert who cherishes alone time but great at making friends and enjoys being the center of attention.
I love learning which is why I’m still paying student loans. I truly believe knowledge is power, but not just that you gain from a formal education. My greatest knowledge comes from simply listening and observing.
What book or author made a difference in your life?
The Bible is the one book that continues to inspire me. I love the stories, the poetry and the wisdom that inspires generation after generation. It is a book that provides guidance, encouragement and even entertainment. My goal is to write stories that do the same.
Tell us about your most recent work.
Undefiled is my new novella available on Amazon as an e-book and paperback. The audiobook is coming. Undefiled is an inspirational romance that deals with forgiveness, love, and acceptance. Scriptures teach us that the marriage bed is undefiled, but what could your fiancé or spouse ask you to do in the bedroom that would be a deal breaker? If you haven’t pondered that question, you will after you read Undefiled.
Who do you want to reach with your book and its message?
I want to reach church-going Christians in the African American community. We have to stop placing people in boxes and labeling them as bad. God made us all good, and the blood of Jesus covers us all. There is no hierarchy of sin, and there is not one sin that can separate us from the love of God. I just wish we would focus more on sharing the good news of Jesus, exhibiting the love of God and leave changing people’s behavior to God.
What should readers do after reading this book?
First, I want them to leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads without giving away the ending. Next, I want them to tell their friends, family, co-workers, and followers to read Undefiled so that they can discuss the book. I want wives and husbands to discuss the P-spot. I want women to forgive their fathers so they can receive the love they desire. I want men to trust the women they love and feel comfortable to discuss their past and share their secrets.
What are your goals for this book?
I want Undefiled to be a bestseller, but most of all I want it to provoke thought and to elicit conversations. I would love to see this story become a feature film.
What is your next book?
My next fiction will be a follow up to my novel, Single and Saved. I’m toying with the title, Love, Honor, and Respect. My former pastor used to say woman need love while men need respect.
My next nonfiction book will be Too Comfortable in the Wilderness. The children of Israel got too comfortable living in the wilderness and didn’t want to go to the Promised Land. Many of us today are too comfortable with just making ends meet, managing our health problems with prescription medication and living vicariously through the Housewives of Atlanta.
Where to find the author & the book:
Get Undefiled book on Amazon Link: http://a.co/d/0qxXFfi