July 2021

Sebastian Hatchett joined the Navy merely for a paycheck, but when war breaks out, he finds himself stuck in Annapolis, Maryland, training steward’s mates for naval duty. When one of his trainees invites him to Chicago, he reluctantly goes, expecting little. But to his everlasting surprise, his trainee has the most interesting sister…

Calista Brantley was an ace journalist just a few short months ago, but the inspiration is gone, and the stories have all dried up—until she gets a visit from a woman with information that might rock her community. In the midst of deciding just what she wants to do with this knowledge, she meets her brother’s friend, Sebastian Hatchett…

Embarking on a one-week flirtation, neither of them expects anything from the other. But when their time is up, deciding whether or not they will form a lasting connection becomes the least of their worries as Sebastian is finally sent to war—and also finds himself being blackmailed for events that he had long since thought were forgotten; while Calista is thrust into solving a murder that carries grave implications.

When the storms of life rage their way, Sebastian and Calista, two people from very different walks of life, must decide whether they will navigate the seas together.

***

When I first began to outline this series, this was the book that I was most concerned about (that has since changed, in case you’re wondering!). To the point where I was going to switch the order in which each person’s story was told and move this one to the backburner. But I prayed about it, and I felt like the Lord was telling me to stick with my first mind. So I did even though I wasn’t sure if I would be able to make Sebastian and Calista’s story interesting. Unlike Henry, Bev, and Monroe, Sebastian and Calista play a slightly bigger role in The Rolling Thunder and I sort of knew their story before I started this series. I just didn’t know how to make their romance capture readers’ attention.

But this book has truly been a blessing in more ways than I can count. For those who have read my blog before, you know that All the Day Long was a tough write for me. I finished up that book unsure of what my future looked like as a writer. And it was with great reluctance that I sat down to write this one. But the story, to my surprise, flowed. And it reminded me exactly why I loved writing.

I love this book. I love these characters. It’s within to me to put out a disclaimer–I don’t know if that’s because of my personality or because that’s the lawyer in me–but I’m not going to do that. I’ll let you read the story for yourself and make your own decisions! 🙂

Thus, the book is written, I’ve gotten in back from the beta readers and it will be on your devices shortly! Probably around the time when you can expect fireworks…

Coming End of March 2021-All The Day Long

If you have been following my website for some time, you might realize that the fact that this book is coming out at the end of March means that there was a hiccup. It was supposed to release this month. In an effort to pull back the writing curtain a bit for those who are aspiring writers, writers, or just interested in the writing process, here’s what happened:

Did I finish the rough draft on time?

Yes.

Did I give it to the Beta Readers on time?

Yes, but this is where things broke down. I have three Beta Readers who I can count on to read my books and provide very specific feedback. I’m appreciative of them all. They have often brought to my attention changes that I needed to make with regards to certain characters and situations. Based off of their recommendations, I have changed the ending of books or even added (or removed) chapters. I don’t always agree with their assessments but so long as I understand what didn’t work, I will either make a change or try and provide clarity within a novel. Here’s how the feedback went:

Beta Reader #1: I received a very long review that could be summed up in three words: this is bad.

Beta Reader #2: This is a person who has read all of my books, many of them twice. They still haven’t finished the first draft yet.

Beta Reader#3: Informed me that by now I have some consistent readers and those readers will enjoy the book. (thanks mom!)

Criticism is hard. Especially when it’s the whole book being criticized. I sat in a daze for a month, refusing to look at the manuscript at all, and wondering slightly if I had told all the stories in me to be told. I’ve had writer’s block before but for the first time in my life, I wrestled with crippling doubt. I’m still wrestling. I literally have to pray before I start writing to work up my courage to put thought to paper. And I’ve never had to do that before.

But I knew this series would be a challenge when I started. In the beginning, it felt like it might be too big of a story to tell. And yet, I’m still so excited about it. When I re-read the first paragraph of the manuscript after ignoring it for a month, I just felt overwhelming love for my characters and the story I’m telling. And everyone won’t like it. I wish they would, but that’s not how life works. Nevertheless, I hope to be able to look back on what I’ve accomplished with pride.

Anyway, I said all that to say that the series is slightly delayed, but it’s coming. Since I can’t release on time, I will at least provide you with the premise:

***

Henry Jones Dabney-Sinclair of the towns of Dabney and Sinclair, Mississippi has always done exactly what has been expected of him…with the exception of one night. A night Henry has long since erased from his thoughts and his memory. But, that night hasn’t been forgotten by all. On the eve of Henry’s leaving for basic training—having received his letter from Uncle Sam—Henry receives another letter: a blackmail letter.

Since the murder of her mother, Petula “Tula” Ann Taggart has lived most of her life bouncing from one relative to the next doing whatever was required to make sure she had a roof over her head at all times. When she is offered the chance to work as a junior hostess at a USO with the same people who had been around her mother the day she died, she realizes she is also being offered an opportunity to discover who killed her mother five years ago and to possibly exact revenge.

When Henry and Tula, two people who have lived in the same two towns their whole lives, knowing of each other but not knowing each other, are drawn together by necessity, they come to realize that working together might be in their best interest and maybe their situations aren’t so different after all.

See y’all in March!

The Rolling Thunder

         

  Today, I press the button making The Rolling Thunder go live. But first, I wanted to explain a bit as to why this book. It all started with a film called The Peanut Butter Falcon. I’m not here to promote this film, I didn’t even finish it, but there was something about it that planted a seed that kept growing (okay, if you must know, it was Shia LaBeouf’s character). I had no plans to write a book in between Salis and my new series entitled The Lost Boys. But the Salis Plantation Series was a mentally heavy series to write and when I finished the last book, I was not in the place to jump into another series. Especially one that is requiring so much research and is not exactly a light read considering it takes place along the backdrop of World War II. I needed, not necessarily a palate cleanser, but something totally different to think about. Something light and fun and fluffy…so of course I went with a murder mystery.                                                          

        I think it worked out well because The Rolling Thunder manages to serve as a fun introduction to The Lost Boys. It is not a prequel, but in fact, a sequel. For some reason, it made sense to me to set it up this way. 

     Here’s the blub:  

Taking a break from her life as a lawyer in Chicago, Theodosia “Theo” Brantley decides to spend the summer of 1955 in Carlin, Louisiana visiting her southern relatives—and to see if she can possibly make a go of a new career as a photographer. But when her grandmother asks her to look into a mystery surrounding a girl who drowned in the Mississippi River nearly sixty years ago and then a dead body found in the same river is literally brought to her grandmother’s doorstep, Theo quickly realizes that her summer is not going to go at all like she planned. 

With the help of some unlikely characters, old and young alike, Theo Brantley begins to realize that the more the town of Carlin comes into focus, the more it’s clear that things are not all as they appear to be. 

      And the Cover: 

I hope you enjoy!

                                                                       

                                          

Coming July 1, 2020

A Quiet Hope

With the War Between the States over and slavery now a thing of the past, Sylvester Hollis—a man born for the saddle and a gun– finds himself at a crossroad in life…and he doesn’t like the looks of any of the paths laid out before him.

As one of the few slaves that stayed at Salis Plantation before, during, and after the War, Hagar has spent her whole life in service to others, unsure of who she is and what she wants in life. But when the straw breaks the camel’s back, Hagar knows one thing—she wants off the plantation. Remembering the name of Arrow Creek, Hagar packs her bags determined to take herself West. What she doesn’t plan for is Sylvester Hollis.

On a journey that neither one expected, from West Virginia to Oklahoma, Sly and Hagar come together as circumstance after circumstance is thrown their way. Forced to deal with bandits, townspeople, and ghosts from both of their pasts, Sly and Hagar cling to the one thing that has kept them going so far—hope.

 

Can’t wait to share Sly’s story with you all! I had so much fun writing it, I hope you have just as much fun reading it!

 

Coming Soon!

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Logical, serious-minded Keturah Hollis has been a slave all her life. When her brother Sly Hollis deposits her in Arrow Creek, Oklahoma, a town run by Negroes, Keturah has to learn for the first time ever what it is to be free.

Irreverent and cynical, Manny Day, a runaway slave from a tobacco plantation in Kentucky, has a pretty good life in Arrow Creek. No longer at the whims of other men, he runs a general store with his brother, taking each day as they come. He lives a quiet, mostly content life—until he stumbles across a dead body.

Both filled with a desire to protect Arrow Creek, Keturah is reluctantly pulled into a profession she never would have considered while Manny is reluctantly forced to solve a mystery he hoped to avoid. Unlikely friends and even unlikelier allies, Keturah and Manny must work together and learn to have some faith.

 

 

Coming in December 2019

A Quiet Peace 10-14-19 B

Prince, steward and personal manservant of the master of Salis House Plantation, has been quietly biding his time in hopes that he would one day be given his freedom. When his master unexpectedly dies, it sets off a chain of events that forces Prince into a corner of his own making.

Annie, head cook of Salis House Plantation and known for her extraordinary beauty, has longed all of her life to be free, but due to her own life circumstances has never seen a way out—until now.

When Prince and Annie reluctantly join forces to escape Salis House Plantation together, they find themselves embarking on a journey that stretches the boundaries of both of them and eventually leads to something they have both desired all of their lives—peace.

Upcoming (tentative):

A Quiet Faith-April 2020

A Quiet Hope- July 2020

 

Coming this September!

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Laura has been quite content as the head seamstress at Salis House Plantation. But when it is decided that two of her brothers are to be sold, she is forced to make a decision she never hoped to make.

Sam’s greatest desire is to be free. Free from the bonds of slavery, free to choose his own path, free to become the man God created him to be. But when circumstances conspire to lead him only further into slavery, he is pressed to make a choice that will change the course of his life forever.

When Laura and Sam cross paths, they find themselves on an unlikely journey to freedom that spans the western United States and leads them on a journey that requires all of their strength.

 

It’s in the last stages of editing, so it’ll be out soon and very soon!

 

What’s Next?

 

If you have bought or read Through the Fire, thank you! You also probably know that I am leaving the Tate Family…most likely for good, but you never know when inspiration hits. Which means, what’s next?

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Around 2013, a movie came out called The Lone Ranger. I can’t remember if it was an article I read or a history channel documentary that I watched, but I remember there being discussion as to whether The Lone Ranger actually existed. The conclusion was this, if The Lone Ranger was based off a real person, it was most likely based off a black man named Bass Reeves. Naturally, I had to research this. And I was kind of left in a state of disbelief that there was this history out there, this person who had done these great things…and his story had been almost completely erased, his actions apparently ascribed to a white man.

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From a story point, I was intrigued. I was knee deep in the first Tate book but I told myself that when the series was over, I would look into writing my first western. Let me tell you, six years is a long time to think about a book. That book has since expanded into it’s own three-book series (in my head). And not only that, the book that I plan to write about Bass Reeves (except not really because it is NOT a biography) is the very last book in the series.

So, what’s next? This unnamed series that starts in 1855, and yes, that means that all of my main characters start off as slaves (Bass Reeves was one too). If all goes well, the first two books in the series will be released this year. Here’s to hoping. Going back in time means that there is a ton more research to do and it’s not exactly easy. I love learning, but trying to combine it all does make me write slower. Regardless, the first book will definitely be out this year. It is currently untitled, but coming together…I think.

From an administrative point of view, Through the Waters is now available as a paperback! I’m working on getting the rest of the books done as well.

On a fun note, I have been writing a Young Adult fantasy series. It will have seven books in it, and six of them are done. They are approximately the same size as a typical novel (75,000 words) or longer. My hope (my dream!) is to actually not self-publish those, but to get those published traditionally. It’s so, so, so different from everything else that I write in just about every single way. Which actually makes it a great stress reliever to spend time with in between my other books.

Well, that’s all from me, here’s to more writing in 2019!

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Through the Fire is Live!

Through the Fire (Tate Family Book 4) by [Susberry, Embassie]

After the sudden death of her husband a year ago, Norma Tate Cummings is still learning how to manage it all: her children, her farm, and her sanity. Finally realizing that she cannot do it all alone, she does the unthinkable: she hires ex-convict, Clyde Halpern.
When a body is unearthed on her land, Norma and Clyde find themselves unexpectedly immersed in a mystery from the past that threatens both of their futures.
Together, Norma and Clyde learn that to get to the road of peace, you may just have to go through the fire.

IT’S LIVE!!!!!