4 Author Book Blast – Angelia Vernon Menchan, Michelle D. Rayford, Naleighna Kai and Pat Simmons

Today I welcome authors Angelia Vernon Menchan, Michelle D. Rayford, Naleighna Kai and Pat Simmons to my blog. They are on a book blast tour promoting their latest work.

Angela Vernon Menchan

Book Blurb

Kent and Cina Markham are returning home to start their own business with the thirteen year old son, Kente. Kent has decided that though Kente is a good kid with great grades he is too soft. To correct that he tells Cina ‘hands off’ he’s taking over from there. Cina is miffed but concedes. The thing is who is really schooling whom? Not only that who assists Cina when Kent is mostly focused on his son? Schooling His Son deals with complex father and son and husband and wife issues, realistically.

You can purchase Schooling His Son? on Amazon.

About the Author

Angelia Vernon Menchan is wife, mother, nana and mentor. Since January 2006, she has published 34 printed books and an additional 124 ebooks through her small publishing company, MAMM Productions. She is also the Co-founder of Honorable MENCHAN Media, through which she has published books for 15 authors to date.  Her personal motto is, ‘There is abundance through God for all of us; we simply have to be open for our blessings.’

In 2017 she decided to add her hallmark phrase “Just LOVE” to coffee mugs and tee-shirts. This phrase has taken on a life of its own! In addition, Angelia is a prolific public speaker and mentor to women of all ages. She resides in Jacksonville, Florida with her husband and cover designer, Maurice Menchan.

You can find out more about Angelia on her website.

Michelle D. Rayford

Book Blurb

Adrienne always wanted a child. Too bad her husband, Logan, doesn’t.

When Adrienne decides to have the baby, her marriage is tested in new ways. Her husband’s reluctant acceptance of their son comes at a price Adrienne doesn’t know she is paying. She has the life she always wanted. So, why isn’t she happy?

Logan’s focus has always been on taking over the family law firm. Having a beautiful woman as his wife completes the picture. When a wealthy client comes to town, Logan seizes the opportunity to surpass his father and put the law firm on the map. If only he can keep his wife in line and his own secrets from coming out.

About the Author

Michelle D. Rayford knew she wanted to write books the moment she won a literacy contest in the fifth grade. The writing seed was planted. It only took a couple of decades for that seed to bear fruit. Michelle was never good at gardening.

Even while pursuing a degree in Business Administration, working a government job, getting married and having two daughters, the stories didn’t stop churning in her head. Some even made their way into print in the form of poems, short stories and blog posts.

Michelle lives in a Southern city where she spends any free time reading, writing, listening to 80’s music and playing NBA2K. She can be contacted at mdrayford@gmail.com or through her website.

Naleighna Kai

Book Blurb

Michael “Magic” Arrington’s sudden fame and startling climb up the music charts skyrocketed him into the world of Hollywood glitz and glamour. While all was exciting and wonderful at the beginning, the shady undertakings of the music business caused his life to take a downward spiral, ultimately separating him from his family and his hold on reality. Then he met Maya.

Maya Gervais has completely distanced herself from her past, even going as far as changing her identity to protect her from the one man who wants her dead. She is a civic-minded lawyer who champions for clients who are victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. So trusting someone enough to fall in love was never a consideration, especially since it could cost her much more than she was willing to give.

After the two have a chance meeting at a concert, a daring escape leads to an exploration of pain and pleasure that sets them both on the path to healing and an into an unlikely romance. However, the path to blissful happiness is never an easy one, as they both have their own demons to confront, including Michael’s jealous manager and Maya’s reluctance to deal with things she would rather forget.

She Touched My Soul is a gripping, engaging novel of loss, love, and everything in between.

You can purchase She Touched My Soul on Amazon.

About the Author

Naleighna Kai is a national bestselling and award-winning author of several controversial novels, contributor to a New York Times bestseller, and the E. Lynn Harris Author of Distinction. She has penned Every Woman Needs a Wife, Loving Me for Me, Was it Good For You Too?, Open Door Marriage, She Touched My Soul, Rich Woman’s Fetish and other contemporary fiction novels that plumb the depth of unique love triangles and women’s issues.

In addition to successfully cracking the code of getting published and landing a deal with a major publishing house, she continues to “pay it forward” by organizing the annual Cavalcade of Authors which gives readers intimate access to the most accomplished writing talent today. She also serves as CEO of Macro Marketing & Promotions Group which offers aspiring authors help with editing, publishing, marketing, and other services to jump-start their writing ambition. Additionally, she is Editor-in-Chief for Naleighna Kai’s Literary Café Magazine and Acquisitions editor for NK Recommends—a mail order book service that caters to a select audience. She was born and raised on the Southeast side of Chicago, the setting for most of her novels and where she is currently working on her next books: Slaves of Heaven and Mercury Sunrise.

You can find out more about Naleighna on her website.

Pat Simmons

Book Blurb

Three sisters living in three different cities (Baltimore, St. Louis, and Nashville) make a pact to share responsibilities for their aging relative after authorities find Aunt Tweet across state lines. Her destination had been a neighborhood grocery store. The siblings soon learn the definition of caregiver includes a cup full of patience, a slight sense of humor, and when to cry out for help. Women juggle between career and family all the time, but Tabitha Knicely (St. Louis) is struggling to find a balance. Romance is the last thing she is trying to add to her list. The Aunt Tweet she knew all her life is not the same one who is residing in her home when she accepts the role as a caregiver for six months. Overwhelmed can’t begin to describe her emotions. Marcus Whittington is an opinionated, successful business owner, but he has a soft side when it comes to the elderly. They remind him of good memories of his grandparents. When Aunt Tweet is the mystery woman who stakes out his porch, he becomes concerned that she is not being taken care of properly. He sheds his misconceptions about what Tabitha isn’t doing right when he discovers that every caregiver needs a caregiver. Marcus knows in order to win Tabitha’s heart; he has to charm Aunt Tweet’s too.

You can purchase My Rock Tabitha on April 3. You can pre-order the paperback here.

About the Author

Pat Simmons has penned more than thirty-five titles. She is a self-proclaimed genealogy sleuth who is passionate about researching her ancestors, then casting them in starring roles in her novels. She is a three-time recipient of the Romance Slam Jam Emma Rodgers Award for Best Inspirational Romance. Pat describes the evidence of the gift of the Holy Ghost as a life-altering experience. She has been a featured speaker and workshop presenter at various venues across the country. Pat holds a B.S. in mass communications from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts.

You can find out more about Pat on her website.


Today’s Featured Author – Cheryl Robinson

Please welcome author Cheryl Robinson to my blog. Cheryl is on a virtual book tour promoting her new book, Ex-Ray, which came out January 26th.

Guest Post

To Curse or Not to Curse in Fiction

Most of us know someone who can’t get through a full sentence without using a four-letter word. And even though I don’t curse, I cannot say that I never have.

Every time I start writing a new book, at some point I find myself Googling using profanity in fiction, knowing full well that at least one of my characters will curse, Isn’t that one of the benefits of writing—freedom of expression? Why should I deny my characters that same right?

Maybe I’m thinking about my mother’s Red Hatter group and don’t want to embarrass her. After all, for years whenever I finished a book, my mother’s first question was always the same: “Will the Red Hatters be able to read it?” After my sixth book, I started saying no.

Cursing is a part of my DNA. My father openly cursed without a problem and regularly listened to comedian Richard Pryor. Although he always waited until his children went to bed. One night, however, I didn’t go to sleep. I was nine at the time and listened from the stairway. I had to hold in my laughter. I didn’t know who that man was whose voice was coming through the speakers, but everything he said was funny to me. Richard Pryor soon became someone I snuck and listened to. I even memorized the set he did that dealt with the Patty Hearst kidnapping.

The four-letter words that Richard Pryor used saved my play cousin and me from being beat up after school. Actually, the hit was placed on her, but I couldn’t let anyone beat up my play cousin. I loved her, and she had already saved my life by pushing me out of the way of a moving car as we were walking home from school, so I owed her, too.

It had circulated all day that two girls were planning to beat up my play cousin. I had never been in a fight, then or now, but I was determined to defend her. So, what did I do as the large crowd descended upon us? I cursed those two girls out, and they were visibly scared. Words truly do have power. I watched as their eyes enlarged and their mouths dropped. I was a very quiet child, so I know they weren’t expecting that. Clad in my plaid uniform and loafers, I had transformed into Richard Pryor in front of Gesu Catholic School. And that’s when my love for comedy and my affinity for four-letter words first started.

Being around comedians when I was in my early twenties and hosted a weekly comedy show that featured Faizon Love, Downtown Tony Brown, and Mike Bonner, to name a few, fostered my affinity for profanity.

I never want to use unnecessary profanity in my writing. I never want to have a character curse if it doesn’t add to the dialogue. I only want my characters to use profanity if that’s really what they’d say at the time.

So, now, instead of Googling using profanity in fiction, I read the dialogue the way I originally wrote it, leaving the profanity in and then removing it. Then I ask myself if having that word adds anything to the character’s dialogue—the only thing it would add is realism. If the answer is no, I try to remove it. It’s in my DNA, so sometimes I do have to wrestle with myself.

How do you as the reader feel when you read profanity in fiction?

Book Blurb

In this journey into second-chance love, author Cheryl Robinson invites us to ponder whether we would rekindle a romance with someone who had broken a promise to forsake all others.

Meet Ray and Sarita Saint. In 1987, they pledged to love, honor, and cherish each other until death. When Ray goes missing a year later, Sarita wonders whether he’s dead or alive. While she was dreaming of their happily ever after, Ray was exploring greener pastures, a new relationship. Sarita—a virgin until marriage—took her vows seriously and believed Ray did, too. Instead, he left their marriage and their life in Detroit to reinvent himself. Sarita always held out hope that he would return one day. And he does. It’s twenty-seven years later, and Ray is determined to find his one true love. What he discovers has him question everything he thought he knew about Sarita, as well as himself.

About the Author

Cheryl Robinson has the Until Ray trilogy set in her beloved hometown of Detroit, Michigan. Cheryl currently resides in Central Florida. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Wayne State University. This is her eleventh book.

You can find out more about Cheryl on her website or follow her on Facebook.

You can purchase Ex-Ray on Amazon.


Today’s Featured Author – Chioma Nnani

Please welcome to my blog author Chioma Nnani. Her book Forever There for You came out in November.


Where were you born and where do you call home?

I was born in Port-Harcourt (in Nigeria), went to school in Nigeria and the United Kingdom, and Abuja (the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria) is where I call home.

What or who inspired you to start writing?

Writing is something I’ve done from childhood; it wasn’t like I was trying to try out a career path for the future.

How much of yourself, your personality or your experiences, is in your books?

To be honest, a fair bit. The protagonist in “Forever There For You” attends college in the city of Oxford and I attended college in the city of Oxford. She worked herself to the point where she got an ulcer, I did the same – although the ulcer showed up much later in my case. She finds that the British weather is not a friend of any Black girl’s hair; that was a traumatic lesson I had to learn … my hair was literally falling off. I can’t even laugh about it now; it was that bad! There are a few bits and bobs … “Forever There For You” isn’t about me, but some of the characters lived through what were my experiences in real life. One of the really weird things, though – in the book, the college accommodation where Nadine lives when she’s in Oxford is called “McMillan Student Village”. After the book was released, I found out that there is a real “McMillan Student Village” but it’s in London! A bus that I was on, broke down and it happened to stop beside the “McMillan Student Village” in London. It was very surreal!

Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?

Yes, I have started my next projects. As an author, there’s a collection of short stories to be released very soon. I read something in one of Faye Kellerman’s novels a long time ago, in which a character said, “Everybody is either running away from, or towards something.” But it dawned on me that you run till you get home, because home is that person, place or thing where you can be naked and unashamed. So, this collection of short stories is about finding home, being home and … just what home means to a lot of people despite our external differences.

Do you write full-time? If so, what is your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?

(laughing) I almost wish I could afford to. But I run The Fearless Storyteller House Emporium Ltd; it currently consists of an “Authors Services” department, an “Office Angels” department, a “Learning & Teaching” unit, a “Services to Media” wing, and a “Mentoring Club”. There is one other component to the Emporium that I don’t think I should talk about publicly right now, because it’s still being worked on … but I also run a blogazine – Memo From a Fearless Storyteller – and present a radio show – The Fearless Storyteller PX Show – with a London-based radio station.

My work day tends to be … semi-organized chaos. Generally speaking, I’m up by 6am, meditate a bit, check my emails and social media, have a shower during which I go through some part of my day in my head. I have breakfast either at my desk, or on the go if I have to be out for a meeting. What I actually do during the day will depend on what needs to get done. I may liaise with a school to run a training program for them, a prospective client who needs more information on a service or product, an affiliate marketer who wants to sell our products or service, a media outlet trying to get an interview, an author whose marketing plan needs tweaking, my PR people to discuss a concern or a plan of action or an advantage we have, an editor or graphic designer who needs me to sign off on their work, a supplier to pay, a guest blogger whose content I need to approve, a mentee I need to get back to, a blog that I need to send content to (because I guest-blog as well), or my account manager to understand why I don’t like what I’m seeing on my bank balance. I might also have an event scheduled, so I would need to speak to my stylist or skin person or hair person … or all three (laughing). I actually have to create time for writing and that’s important to me because that’s actually at the core of who I am. I try to put my phone on silent from 9pm, which is when I start trying to wind down for the day. I will usually eat lunch and perhaps dinner at my desk, or on the go.

Having said that, there are days I just shut down because I need a break.

Please tell us about your current release.

“Forever There For You” is a cocktail of love, friendship, sisterhood, religion, domestic violence and cultural clashes. There’s quite a bit going on … it’s coming-of-age, chick lit, women’s fiction, Afro-centric stuff and sorta religious fiction going on. It’s also set in a number of places – Nigeria, London, Oxford, Paris and Bristol.

What kind of research did you do for this book?

There’s a case that shocked England when it happened, that I made reference to – a woman named Kiranjit Ahluwalia was brought from Punjab to England, via an arranged marriage to a man who turned out to be really violent. One day, when he was asleep, she poured gasoline or something on his feet and burned him. He died. Her case changed British legal history because at first, the judge ruled that her defense of self-defense wasn’t valid because she wasn’t in immediate danger. However, for some weird reason, the catalog and intensity of abuse Kiranjit had suffered, weren’t heard by the judge or jury – so, she went to prison. This organization, Southall Black Sisters, heard about her and felt she had been unjustly treated, that there had been a miscarriage of justice. So, they got involved and helped her tell the full story … they got a lot of publicity and celebrity support, and the case went back to court. The charge of murder was downgraded to manslaughter and because she had already served time, they let her go. She did a book, then there’s a film on it called ‘Provoked’ with Aishwarya Rai-Buchnan playing Kiranjit. That case literally changed the meaning of ‘provocation’ in a legal context in British law … when I studied it in my first year (Criminal Law was a compulsory module in first year), I had no idea that years later, I’d be writing a book and recalling that. It does pay to listen in class (laughing)!

Did you base any of your characters on real people?

Yes. The best friend of the protagonist, Nadine is called Stella and she’s based on two people I know. So, I got their best and worst traits and exaggerated them and Stella came forth (laughing). The abusive character, Tony is based on my brother – abusive, violent and in many ways, a coward.

Which of your characters is your favorite? Do you dislike any of them?

Oh, wow! I don’t have a favorite character. I do have different feelings about some of them … the protagonist is “Forever There For You” is completely different from her friend, Stella who is cheeky and mischievous, but fiercely loyal. I think we need different kinds of people across the spectrum for life to be as interesting and colorful as possible. Some characters, I don’t dislike, but I dislike some of the things they do – like Stephen, because he’s friend-zoned himself with Nadine. He loves her, but is too terrified of saying anything till it’s kinda late …

Can you tell us a little about the black moment in your book?

There are quite a few of those … there’s a bit about a plane crash in the book, but it’s not fiction. It happened in December 2005, in the city where I was born and it was really bad. There were only two survivors. About 61 of the passengers were schoolchildren who were coming home for the Christmas holidays from their boarding school in Abuja. A plane crash is never nice, but these were kids. And one of the really horrible things about it was that the plane actually got to the airport and parents were waiting – because obviously there was a schedule, they knew when their kids were due to arrive … and the plane literally burst into flames on the runway, in front of parents! It’s probably one of the blackest Christmases that the city of Port-Harcourt has ever known; it felt like everyone was directly affected, or knew someone who was. I knew someone who lost her sister, I know someone else who lost her dad, and one of my mum’s former colleagues at work was on that plane. There was this one woman who lost all three of her kids … you do tend to send all your kids to the same school, if you can. And you book them on the same flight or bus going or coming … all her kids were on this flight and she was waiting at the airport to receive them. I think one of the worst parts is that till today, over a decade later, nobody knows what actually happened that day. The investigation was a shoddy disgrace and left everyone with more angst than answers.

Now, in the book, it’s the aftermath of the plane crash that pushes the protagonist, Nadine in a certain direction that kinda determines the rest of her life …

What was the most difficult thing/scene to write in this story?

The abuse. It was mentally difficult. I had to go to places literally and metaphorically, that I really didn’t want to go. But I put in the work, because it had to be done. And having the kind of result that it’s birthed – not even about the awards or recognition or career trajectory – but the impact it’s had on people … a woman contacted me after reading it and was like, “I just read your book and I’m going to file for divorce right now”. It turned out she had been living in limbo for 17 years, her husband was a violent man who abused her terribly, they were separated but she hadn’t had the nerve to file for divorce because she was afraid of judgment from the church (which is something that the protagonist in “Forever There For You”, Nadine had to deal with).

If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?

This is actually from a book that we’re scheduling for release in autumn, this year. The name of the character is Claire and I’m not even sure how I’m going to get away with calling her the protagonist, because she’s something else! (laughing)

If you could jump in to any book, and live in that world, which would it be?

Hmm, I think it would be the futuristic New York, in which J. D. Robb sets majority of her “In Death” series.

Do you have an all time favorite book?

No, but the “In Death” series by J. D. Robb is amazing; Cecelia Ahern’s “P. S. I Love You” made me bawl from maybe page 30 till the end, Martina Cole is in a league of her own, and a part of me sees Jeffrey Archer’s writing and is like, “I want to be like that when I grow up. Without the going to prison part, of course!” (laughing)

What book are you reading right now?

“Survival” and “Sun Sets At Vanity Fair” by two new authors, being published by my company, this quarter (January – March 2017).

If you could meet two authors, who would you pick and why?

Lynda La Plante, because of what she’s been able to do with her work in terms of creating multiple streams of income and a platform; it’s almost like a franchise. Then, there’s Barbara Taylor Bradford, just because her book “A Woman of Substance” is everything!

Book Blurb

foreverWhen NADINE is confronted with the reality of her failing marriage, her first instinct is to work it out. She has had it drummed into her that marriage is ‘for better, for worse’. Walking out is just not an option – her faith would condemn her and her culture would make her a pariah.

The combination of Nadine’s background, education, social standing, friendships, faith, experiences and past relationships is meant to equip her to become a success. Failure is alien to her and love means forgiving at all cost.

As she tries to survive and make the most of the curves that life has thrown her, she discovers that ’success’ is a subjective term, and ‘happily ever after’ is something that you have to discover and define for yourself …

About the Author

chiomaChioma Nnani is the author of FOREVER THERE FOR YOU. She is an award-winning storyteller, as well as a two-time UK BEFFTA (Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television and Arts) Award nominee, in the ‘Best Author’ category. A talented ghost-writer who is known for “being able to get into your head and under your skin, before writing down exactly how you’re feeling”, Chioma is also a 2016 DIVAS OF COLOUR finalist (in the category of “Diva Author”), a 2016 CREATIVE AFRICAN Awards finalist (in the category of “Best Fiction Writer”), and has been named “One of 100 Most Influential Creatives” by C.Hub Magazine. She holds a Law (LLB) from the University of Kent and a Postgraduate Certificate in Food Law (De Montfort University, Leicester).

She is the founder of THE FEARLESS STORYTELLER HOUSE EMPORIUM LTD (a premium storytelling outfit based in the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, where she lives), typically contributes to lifestyle and literary publications, and runs the “Memo From A Fearless Storyteller” blogazine at www.fearlessstoryteller.com for which she won the 2016 BEFFTA (Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television and Arts) Award for “Blog of the Year”.

You can purchase Forever There For You on Amazon, Amazon UK (and all other Amazon locations – simply search Chioma Nnani). It is also available on Smashwords, the Kobo Store, The Apple Store, Barnes & Noble and Okadabooks.

#NewRelease – Under Wrapped by Charmaine R. Parker

Charmaine R. Parker just released her latest book – Under Wrapped – a sequel to her book The Next Phase of Life.

Book Blurb

underwrapTai, Nevada, and Candace—who cherish their sisterly bond of exotic vacations, ladies nights, and unbreakable camaraderie—reunite in this dramatic sequel to The Next Phase of Life.

A savvy entrepreneur and happily married woman, Tai Wilson’s life couldn’t be more complete. But just when she’s getting comfortable in her new lifestyle, she starts to suspect that someone is stalking her, attempting to make her world miserable. Or is her mind playing tricks on her? When things go awry, Tai’s intuitive sidekick, Nevada, a successful Washington, D.C.-based detective who took down a pair of bank robbers, offers to assist. But even the seasoned sleuth is in for a shock when she discovers who the culprit is…

Meanwhile, fashionista Candace has been enjoying her boyfriend and patiently waiting for that permanent diamond on her finger. Once the ultimate pursuer of adventurous men, she was swept away by Don, a pilot who took her all over the world. But despite these pleasurable heights, she becomes disenchanted. Something is amiss and she can’t figure out what’s keeping him single. So like with Tai, Nevada’s efforts lead to the ultimate truth.

It’s another phase of life for Tai, Nevada, and Candace, and a lot of questions are up in the air: Who’s trying to ruin Tai’s life? How will Nevada track down the elusive stalker? And will Candace’s dreams of married life ever come true? Add to the mix Tai’s younger sister, Trista, who has her own complicated relationships to sort out, and life for these three girlfriends is Under Wrapped.

About the Author

Charmaine R. Parker is the author of The Next Phase of Life, The Trophy Wives and Under Wrapped. She is a former journalist who has worked as a reporter, copy editor, and managing editor. The publishing director for Strebor Books, she is the sister of New York Times bestselling author Zane. She received a bachelor’s of fine arts from Howard University and a master’s in print journalism from the University of Southern California. Born in N.C. and raised in Washington, D.C., she started writing stories, poetry and skits during early childhood. She lives in Maryland with her husband and daughter.

You can follow Charmaine on Twitter or Facebook.

You can purchase Under Wrapped on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Today’s Featured Author: Mohammed Refaat

Today I have Mohammed Refaat on my blog. Mohammed is currently working on his first novel, a contemporary fiction piece, The Crack in the Ceiling. Here is an excerpt from his work in progress.


“Help me out man”, the homeless guy on my street says, his voice muffled behind the closed window of my car. This morning mantra snaps me back from my memories about Claire. Since my brief lunch with Claire yesterday, those memories from two years ago have been playing on a loop in my head; a nagging loop that keeps reminding me that maybe I’m no different than all her neighbours, all her work colleagues and that old man.

I hand the homeless man the usual folded bills and as I roll the window back up, I leave it only half-closed and light up a cigarette.


I don’t feel like doing any work today, so I hide behind my cubicle, leaning back in the chair and gazing at the open sky through the slice of window that I can see from over the cubicle wall. I let my mind run free with images of a brightly lit street, a riverside café and a smiling baby. And then Claire’s battered face flashes before me, reminding me of the reality of life. I consider asking her to join me for lunch again today but a quick visit from Edward to my cubicle reminds me of the reality of this office. I decide it’s a safer idea just to pass by her desk a little earlier on my way out so we can have some more time to chat.

At lunch time, I slip into the men’s room until I’m fairly sure everyone has left for their break and then I go back to my desk and pull out a few empty sheets of paper and start writing. I want to try to capture as many of the details and feelings of those visions as possible, but everything seems blurry in my mind’s eye.

“It’s about time.” Those words, and the voice that spoke them, are the only thing I can recall as clearly as if they were being spoken to me right now.

I pass by Claire’s space on my way out and we chat for a short while before I excuse myself. I mention I need to pick up a couple of things on my way home to prepare for Joey’s visit tomorrow.

“Oh, right, it’s time for his weekly visit.” She says. “Are you going to be ok?” She asks, sounding concerned, no doubt referring to me seeing Lillian when she drops Joey off.

I force a smile. “Sure. I can’t keep getting worked up over it after all this time. See you tomorrow.” I say and make my way to the fast elevator. I take out my lighter and a cigarette. The stares of the people around me remind me that I’m still inside the elevator. I keep my hands busy flicking the lighter open then flicking it back shut until I’m out on the street.


After a few hours of cleaning, the place is ready for Joey’s visit tomorrow. I throw myself back on the couch and sit there facing the window with a fresh box of cigarettes, the lighter and an empty plate/ashtray on the table. Next to them a paperback copy of the best of Edgar Allan Poe lies open at a page half way through the book. The title at the top is (The Tell-Tale Heart).

I fight the urge to check my watch, but when I get up to get the prescription bottles from the night stand, the sky outside is dark, the plate that was empty is now full and the box of cigarettes that was full is now empty.

I sit back down in the same spot. I line all the remaining six tablets on the table. I begin to take them one by one. With the last pill, my eyes glance over the open book on the table. I throw back what’s left in the glass of water; place it on the table and sit back, thinking to myself, “It’s about time.”

As I succumb to the invisible power pulling me into limbo, the opening lines ring like an echo, “TRUE!-nervous-very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?”

Book Description

A man torn between two worlds struggles to grasp what is real and what is not, trying to put together the pieces of his shattered life. As he journeys through the labyrinths of mind and soul, will he find what he wants? And will he be able to pay the price of discovering the truth?

About the Author 

mohammedMohammed Refaat is a freelance writer and blogger. With a degree in pharmaceuticals and 6 years of experience working in the field of psychotropic drugs, he decided to write about the more subtle effects that every day stress can create in people’s lives. Being an introvert and an avid reader, Mohammed posts regularly about reading, writing and introversion on his blog. You can also follow him via Twitter. Mohammed currently lives in Qatar with his wife and three-year old daughter. The Crack In The Ceiling is his debut novel. It will be released in 2014.

For more news about The Crack In The Ceiling, follow #TheCrackInTheCeiling on Twitter.