Today author Natalya LaBauve stops by my blog as part of her spotlight book tour. She is promoting her book, What It Do!, and her upcoming book, Bow Down!
Excerpt – What It Do!
When we finally arrived at the concert, I walked in with Ronald and his friends, Pete and Vic. Rhonda was behind us with Wayne and since I heard music coming from inside the coliseum’s arena, I figured we must have been missing one of the acts. People were walking around the outer part of the coliseum’s corridor, talking about the act that was on before. I punched Ronald in the shoulder and said, “see, we missed one of the acts because of you.”
Ronald jumped back. “Be cool girl. Don’t be hitting on me! It ain’t my fault.”
Then from the back of us, Rhonda and Wayne yelled, “yes it is!”
“Just keep walking.” Ronald directed. “Let’s find our seats.”
As we continued walking, suddenly, a crowd started stampeding straight toward us. Quickly! I didn’t know what to do. My heart began pounding. My neck went stiff. My body tightened up. I guess I just panicked. I didn’t know what was going on. For some reason I couldn’t move. I just froze in place. I heard someone yell, “they fighting!”
My mind quickly saw Faye’s face. I thought about what Faye said, then I thought, oh no, I’m supposed to be running!
Still unable to move an inch, I looked all around for Ronald or Rhonda. I must have gone into shock. Oh my God, where are they? I didn’t even see Vic or Pete. Not even Wayne. But one thing I did see and it was coming right for me, the guys that were fighting.
I closed my eyes, clinched my fist tightly together and held them as close to my cheeks as I could. Right when I knew I was about to be run over by the fight, I was grabbed by the arm and firmly placed up against the wall. Because of the strong snatch, I assumed it was Ronald. Oh thank God, Ronald.
I grabbed hold of his arm as tight as I could and with my eyes still closed I started saying my prayers. “Our father, which art in heaven…”
The heavy voiced asked, “you alright?”
I quickly cut off my prayer. That didn’t sound like Ronald’s voice. I slowly opened my eyes to see who it was that I had grabbed on to so tightly. When I did, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was that guy. That, that, that guy! For a moment I forgot what was going on around me. I quickly thought back to the first time I had seen him before. It was the afternoon after I had first arrived in Oakville.
I never brought the subject up to Rhonda or Ronald, but every time he would pass by the house, I wished I could have gotten up enough courage to speak to him. He would stare, even speak, and I’d just freak out. I’d go run into the house or something, play like I didn’t see him. Rhonda would come chasing behind me, “why you running girl? He likes you. You better get with that!”
Just then I heard the smooth midnight voice again, “Hellooooo. You alright?”
His name was Terrance, I did know that much. His voice snapped me back into the reality that I was still at the concert. I hadn’t realized that I had lost all consciousness, I turned and looked at him. We were standing way too close together.
He searched my eyes. “Are you okay?”
“I…I…I lost my sister and brother.” My stomach was nervous.
Still holding my arm, but a lot gentler now, Terrance began looking around the crowd as if he were trying to find them with me.
He asked, “Ronnie’s your brother right?”
I took a deep breath, exhaled, and then smiled, “yes.”
Then he appeared to give me a mischievous smile, “I don’t see him.” He let my arm go. “But if you want me to, I’ll walk you to your seat.”
An instant hot flash rushed through my body. What should I say? But before I could really think it out, my mouth opened. “That’ll be nice, thanks.” My sandy brown cheeks turned beet red.
I just wanted to die. I could not believe I was walking with, as well as talking to, that guy Terrance. As we continued walking, security passed by with about five young guys that they were escorting out of the concert.
Terrance pulled me close, “be careful.”
The guys were putting up a fight with the security guards now.
“What happened,” I asked, thinking Terrance might know.
“Just some knuckle heads.”
“You know them?” I asked, looking into his strong black eyes.
He laughed. “Yeah…I know em.”
As we proceeded inside the concert arena toward the seats the tickets had designated on them, I couldn’t help but wonder what had happened to Ronald and the others. I was getting a little nervous. Terrance kept touching me and, don’t get me wrong, they weren’t bad touches, they were good touches, very good touches, it was just, the touches were freaking me out! Every time we needed to turn, Terrance would grab my hand and pull me or guide me. Grab my waist or place his hands on my shoulder. Then the final thing that got me was when he whispered gently in my ear, “you alright?” I felt the heat of his breath on the back of my neck. I know that he knew that he was just too darn close! I was feeling things that I had never felt before. I didn’t know any way not to let it show. I tried my best to stay calm…
Book Blurb – What It Do!
For most seventeen year olds, graduating from high school is something to look forward to. But not for Victoria Johnson, who has just learned, two days before graduation, that she has been living a privileged and sheltered life in the gated community of Laketon, with ‘adopted’ parents. “What It Do”, is the story about what life does to a young girl of class and prestige, when her biological mother arrives and wants to spend time with her. The weekend after graduation, Victoria finds herself being driven from the happy world of two story homes with Mercedes Benzes parked out front; to the mean streets of Oakland, where being naive and simple-minded, are just not allowed. With the help of a street wise younger brother; a strong willed little sister, and the admiration of a handsome young street thug, Victoria learns very quickly – What it do!
Book Blurb – Bow Down!
Victoria thought her wedding day would be the happiest moment in her life, but strange coincidences and enigmatic guests hint at a mystery that will reveal distressing secrets about her new marriage and the man she’s given her heart to.
It took some smooth talking, but Victoria’s parents have finally accepted Terrance Seals as their son-in-law. Their summer wedding is beautiful, but Victoria begins to believe that something isn’t quite right. It would be one thing if the only problem were Edward Bordeaux, Victoria’s old beau. Edward’s mere presence might cause Victoria’s whole body to heat up, but she knows she can handle him—even after he coughs loudly when the minister asks if anyone objects to the marriage. The real problem is a strange woman with some connection to Terrance.
When Victoria can’t get answers from her new husband, she turns to her girlfriends—her best friend, Jana; new girl Meagan; and self-professed psychic Jennifer. With their support and encouragement, Victoria starts trying to get to the bottom of Terrance’s strange behavior. With the help of prayers, miraculous coincidences, and even psychic visions, Victoria discovers something unexpected about her husband and their shared future that will change everything.
About the Author
Natalya LaBauve was born in Los Angeles, California, and raised in Oakland. She studied at Ohio State University, UC Berkeley Extension, and Laney Community College’s theater program.
LaBauve spent twenty-eight years working for the US Attorney’s office. She has resigned from her work in the federal government to pursue her dream of becoming an author. LaBauve has written five novels about good girls, bad boys, and the love they share.
LaBauve lives in the Bay Area with her two children. She’s hard at work on her next book!
You can find more about Natalya on her website or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.
You can purchase What It Do! on Amazon. Her book Bow Down! will also soon be found on Amazon.