A CHRISTMAS PRAYER by Kimberla Lawson Roby


Alexis Fletcher hasn't had a merry Christmas in five years-not since her mother passed away. Every December she remembers the joy her mother brought to everyone during the holiday season and feels the pain of her absence, even more so now that she and her sister are barely speaking. More than anything, Alexis wishes her family could be whole again.

However, with her wedding fast approaching, Alexis might just be ready to make some holiday memories with a new family of her own. Alexis's fiancé, Chase Dupont, is everything she ever dreamed of. He's kind, handsome, fully supportive of Alexis's career, and the CEO of a large company. But outside forces threaten to derail this happy couple from ever reaching the altar.

As tensions rise, a dramatic event causes Alexis to question everything. Will fate give her what she needs to finally embrace the season that has brought her so much pain? Will Alexis get her wish for a happy holiday? Or will her Christmas prayer go unanswered?


Chapter 2 - A Christmas Prayer



Alexis stretched her arms toward her headboard, yawned, and opened her eyes. She was still a bit groggy and felt as though she’d been sleeping for days, but she smiled when she saw Chase sitting next to her on the side of her bed.

“Good morning, sleepyhead,” he said, smiling.

“Good morning,” she said.

“I didn’t think you were ever going to wake up. Even when I came by last night, I couldn’t get you to say more than a few words.”

“You were here?”

“Yeah. I’d been calling you all afternoon, and when you didn’t answer I got worried. So when I left work, I decided to drop by. Thank goodness I have a key. You were really out of it, though.”

“I was tired.”

“Maybe, but I’m sure those sleeping pills had a lot to do with it, too.”

Alexis wondered how he knew about those.

“You look surprised. Which means you don’t remember anything you told me last night, do you?”

Alexis stared at him but didn’t say anything.

“You said you only took two of them, but if you can’t even remember our conversation, then that must be some very strong medicine.”

“I just wanted to sleep.”

Chase caressed the side of her face. “I know this is a tough time for you, and I’m really sorry I had to go in to the office yesterday. I never expected to be there for as long as I was. I didn’t get out of there until after six.”

“It was fine.”

“No, it wasn’t. You sounded so sad when I called you yesterday morning, and I should have been here for you.”

“It’s not a problem, and I’m good now.”

“You sure?”

“Positive.”

“You wanna go out for breakfast?”

Alexis paused because she didn’t feel much like going anywhere, but she still said, “Sounds good to me.” Then she flipped the comforter and sheet away from her and sat up.  When she stood, Chase pulled her back down beside him.

“What are you doing?” she asked.

“You know,” he said, running his hand through her long hair.

“You know the rules, though, right?”

“Yeah, but how about we forget those rules for a change? Just for today.”

“Chase—” she began, but then lost her train of thought when he kissed her up and down her neck. “Chase, don’t. Breakfast ends at eleven.”

“And?”

“You know we can’t do this.”

“Baby, come on. Just this once.”

“No,” she said between breaths while pushing him away. “We agreed, remember?”

“Some agreements are made to be broken,” he said, unbuttoning her pajama top and kissing her chest.

Alexis closed her eyes and hung her head back, moaning.

“Lexi, please” he begged. “I really wanna make love to you.”

She wanted him, too, but she whispered, “No. Baby, it’s wrong.”

“But remember how good it was when we first met?”

Alexis could barely contain herself, because she actually did remember. She’d never felt better in her life. She hadn’t been with a lot of men, but none of them had made her feel as wonderful as Chase had. It also didn’t help that he looked so good. She hated to refer to him as tall, dark, and handsome because it was so clichĂ©, but that’s exactly what he was. He was six foot two, and he had short coal-black hair with a slight wave to it. Alexis was five foot nine, though, so when she wore heels, that made her love his height even more.

Chase slid her pajama top down her shoulders, lay on top of her, and kissed her on the lips.

But then his phone rang.

Alexis tried to push him away, but he kissed her more intensely.

His phone rang again, and suddenly she heard her home phone ringing, too. When she looked at her caller ID and saw their church’s toll-free number, she knew it was a sign from God. Whenever there were new church announcements she received a recorded call, and this one couldn’t have come at a better time.

“Baby, I can’t do this,” she said. “I’m sorry.”

Chase looked at her and then lay on his back with his hands over his eyes. “You’re killing me.”

“I know you don’t like this, but I’m just trying to do what’s right. And having sex before marriage is wrong.”

Chase sighed. “Maybe, but this celibacy thing is driving me crazy, Lexi.”

She leaned over and propped her elbow on the bed. “We barely have six months to go, and then you’ll never have to go through this again.”

“It feels like a decade. But I will say this…at least you know for sure that I’m really in love with you.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Because I would never deprive myself this way otherwise. I’m suffering like a starved animal.”

“Whatever,” she said, laughing.

“I’m serious. You have no idea what this feels like. Women can go without for years if they have to, but men? We’re in a whole different category.”

“Like I said, it won’t be long. And anyway, you’d better check to see who called you.”

Chase reached across the bed and pulled his phone from his black leather jacket. He must have laid it there while Alexis was asleep.

“It was Mother,” he said. “You don’t mind if she tags along with us, do you?”

Alexis wanted to scream. It was bad enough that she’d had to spend hours with Mrs. Dupont on Thanksgiving, so the last thing she wanted was to see her again today. Mrs. Dupont—or actually, Geneva, since that’s what she insisted Alexis call her—had even gone so far as making disapproving facial expressions when she took a bite of both the yams and the dressing that Alexis had made, even though everyone else had raved about them.

“She’s been pretty lonely since my dad passed away, and I sort of feel bad about leaving her alone during the holidays.”

Alexis knew a number of women who’d lost their husbands, but none of them had moved in with their children. Chase’s dad had passed two years ago, so Alexis wondered why Geneva was still living with Chase. If she’d been ill or didn’t have the financial means to take care of herself, Alexis could understand it, but Geneva had a huge mansion of her own and was extremely wealthy. Not to mention, the woman was sixty-five years old and feistier than most forty-year-old women. She was headstrong and noticeably independent, so none of this made sense.

Chase continued. “Since I’m her only child, I’m all she has. But she’s definitely moving out before our wedding. She’s already promised.”

Alexis didn’t say anything, but now she was sorry she’d agreed to go to breakfast with him. She fully understood how much Chase loved his mom, and she had the utmost respect for any man who took care of his mother the way Chase did, but Geneva Dupont was a real handful and one of the most controlling mothers Alexis had met. Geneva also didn’t seem too fond of the idea that Chase had asked Alexis to marry him, but in front of Chase, she pretended she was ecstatic about it.

Just as Alexis got up to go take a shower, Chase’s phone rang again. She knew it was Geneva, because whenever Chase didn’t answer his phone, his mother waited maybe five minutes to call him again. Sometimes she called back within seconds. She did this sort of thing all the time, calling him for no reason—especially when she knew he was visiting Alexis or they were out somewhere together.

He finally answered. “Hey, Mother…no, it was in my jacket, and I didn’t get to it in time,” he said, looking at Alexis.

Alexis shook her head and left the bedroom. She’d do anything to get out of going to breakfast with this woman, but she didn’t want to disappoint Chase. All she could hope for was that her time with Geneva wouldn’t be as bad as she was imagining. Maybe Geneva would treat her nicely for a change. It would take a miracle, but that’s what Alexis was counting on.

( Continued... )

As the online publicist for EDC Creations, hired by Kimberla Lawson Roby, I have her permission to share this excerpt. 

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Kimberla Lawson Roby.  This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher's written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this promotional excerpt.
 

Purchase  A Christmas Prayer  by Kimberla Lawson Roby

On Sale Date: 10/28/2014;  Novella - Pages: 192


B&N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-christmas-prayer-kimberla-roby/1118862156

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Prayer-Kimberla-Lawson-Roby/dp/1455526045


View the full list of places to purchase A Christmas Prayer  by Kimberla Lawson Roby

http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/kimberla-lawson-roby/a-christmas-prayer/9781455526048/buy/#resellers



A CHRISTMAS PRAYER NATIONAL BOOK TOUR

 
ROCKFORD, IL

Tuesday, October 28, 2014
7:00 PM
Speaking and Book Signing
Barnes & Noble
7200 Harrison
Rockford, IL



CHICAGO, IL

Thursday, October 30, 2014
7:00 PM
Speaking and Book Signing
Barnes & Noble
160 Orland Park Place
Orland Park, IL 60462



COLUMBUS, OH

Friday, October 31, 2014
7:00 PM
Speaking and Book Signing
Barnes & Noble
1560 Polaris Parkway
Columbus, OH 43240



DETROIT, MI

Saturday, November 1, 2014
2:00 PM
Speaking and Book Signing
Barnes & Noble
6800 Orchard Lake Road
West Bloomfield, MI 48322
 


BATON ROUGE, LA

Saturday, November 8, 2014
2:00 PM
Speaking and Book Signing
Between the Lines Bookstore
Inside the McKinley Alumni Center
1520 Thomas Delpit
Baton Rouge, LA 70802


Meet Kimberla Lawson Roby

New York Times Bestselling Author Kimberla Lawson Roby has published 20 novels which include  THE PRODIGAL SON, A HOUSE DIVIDED, THE PERFECT MARRIAGE, THE REVEREND’S WIFE, SECRET OBSESSION, LOVE, HONOR, and BETRAY, BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU PRAY FOR, A DEEP DARK SECRET, THE BEST OF EVERYTHING, ONE IN A MILLION, SIN NO MORE, LOVE & LIES, CHANGING FACES, THE BEST-KEPT SECRET, TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING, A TASTE OF REALITY, IT’S A THIN LINE, CASTING THE FIRST STONE, HERE AND NOW, and her debut title, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, which was originally self-published through her own company, Lenox Press. 

Kimberla Lawson Roby  has sold more than 2,000,000 copies of her novels, and they have frequented numerous bestseller lists, including The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Essence Magazine, Upscale Magazine, Emerge Magazine, Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com, Wal-Mart, The Dallas Morning News, and The Austin Chronicle to name a few, and both BEHIND CLOSED DOORS and CASTING THE FIRST STONE were #1 Blackboard bestsellers for four consecutive months in both 1997 and 2000.  BEHIND CLOSED DOORS was the #1 Blackboard Best-selling book for paperback fiction in 1997.

Kimberla is a 2013 NAACP Image Award Winner for Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction, the recipient of the 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013 Author of the Year – Female award presented by the African-American Literary Award Show in New York, the recipient of the 2014 Literary Excellence Award from Black  Pearls Magazine,  the recipient of the 2014 AAMBC Award for Female Author of the Year, the recipient of the Blackboard Fiction Book of the Year Award in 2001 for CASTING THE FIRST STONE, the recipient of the 1998 First-Time Author Award from Chicago’s Black History Month Book Fair and Conference, and in 2001, Kimberla was inducted into the Rock Valley College Alumni Hall of Fame (Rockford, IL).

Each of Kimberla’s novels deal with very real issues, including corruption within the church, drug addiction, gambling addiction, infidelity, social status, single motherhood, infertility, sibling rivalry and jealousy, domestic violence, sexual abuse, mental illness, care-giving of a parent, racial and gender discrimination in the workplace, sexual harassment, and overweight issues to name a few.

Kimberla resides in Illinois with her husband, Will.  Her 21st title, A CHRISTMAS PRAYER will release on October 28, 2014.









Popular posts from this blog

Preparing Your Work Space for a Post Trump Election by Gregory Harris

Intimate Conversation with Eartha Dunston

Intimate Conversation with Divas LNPU Book Club