TWO FOR ONE: Tricks for a Trade by Lloyd Johnson

The Dog Catcher
by Lloyd Johnson

The Dog Catcher is about Cheryl Greene’s choices in men, and how those choices dismantle her life. She’s someone to root for because her intentions are good. She doesn’t dive into drama just for drama’s sake. There is a lot of growth in her arc. She's a woman most can identify with, in her struggles.

Plez Jackson is evil personified, though that isn’t what we see when we meet him. But he is beguiling enough to make this woman lose herself to him. He has a method to stripping Cheryl down. Plus, his brutality, anger and unpredictability keeps the reader on edge. Plez is a villain that many women have known. He stays with you long after the last page is turned.

Cheryl Green thinks she's found perfection in sexy Plez Jackson. But she soon finds what she thinks is hardly that!  Can she teach this DOG new tricks?  Or will she leave him where she found him, wagging his tail?

Chapter One: The Dog Catcher by Lloyd Johnson

Let me go ahead and put it out there; men are ridiculous. Worse than that, they’re dogs. They all start biting sooner or later.  All the men in my life have been dogs. My daddy, dog number one, is probably the grandfather of all hounds. He finally stopped beating my mama when I turned 15, around the time we moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, from Jackson, Mississippi.

Mama got a job as a surgical tech at Mount Sinai Hospital, but Daddy could barely hold a job that first year. Instead, he spent his days at some bar, usually the Spruce, chasing butt. Not a day went by that Mama and us kids weren’t finding some strange woman’s earrings or watch in the car. One time I found some lady’s nasty panties underneath the car seat. After awhile, Mama stopped letting on that she knew what was happening, even though we knew she knew. She was from that generation where marriage really was, “Till death do us part.” But that meant putting up with all the bullshit in between.

I don’t know how she made it through all of that. Maybe it was her faith in God. She believed that everything was possible through Him. Yeah, everything but my daddy keeping his pants zipped.

By the time I turned 16, I’d had enough. Mama kept turning her head to what was going on, and Daddy wasn’t even trying to hide the women he was laying up with.

I got so fed up, I wanted to ask Mama why she didn’t leave him. At that point she was practically supporting us all by herself, so it’s not like she needed him for anything. But I knew she’d say that I needed to stay in a child’s place. That’s one of the things I hated about my mama. She never took the time to explain anything. If she told you to do something, you couldn’t ask why, because she would just say, “Because I said so, damn it!”

When my body first started changing, I don’t think she even took the time to explain what I was going through, or what I could expect. The day I first got my period, I was scared. I didn’t know why there was blood in my panties. When I told her, all she said was, “Oh, you’re startin’ to get your service once a month.” Then she went into the closet and fished out a pad and said, “Here, use that.”

Daddy had been getting paid under the table, working as a second-rate fix-it-man around the neighborhood, but finally got a real job unloading trucks downtown. I was just as glad because instead of him being home all day, telling me how no good I was, he’d work all day and hang out at the bar all night. But when he was liquored-up I’d hear it.

One night, I got up to get a drink of water from the kitchen. When I went downstairs I overheard Daddy telling Mama how I had all kinds of boyfriends. “Ain’t you noticed anything different about your daughter?” Daddy asked, deep in the booze.

“Which daughter you talkin’ about, Joshua? Cheryl or Marva?”

“I’m talkin’ about Cheryl. You don’t see nothin’ wrong with her wearin’ all that makeup?”

“Well, she’s gettin’ to that age, Joshua. She don’t wear nothin’ but a little lip rouge,” Mama said.

“She’s gonna be a tramp. You mark my words,” Daddy said, taking another swig of booze.

I snuck back upstairs and went to the bathroom to run my hand under the faucet and drink some water. Then I got into bed and cried myself to sleep, because it was sad to live under the same roof with folks who were supposed to be family, and yet they didn’t even know me. If my parents had taken the time to ask me, they would’ve known there was only one person I cared about; dog number two, and his name was Diallo Washington.

 ( Continued... )

*NOTE* The following excerpt has been modified from its original text and is suitable for general audiences.

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Lloyd Johnson. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. 

Purchase The Dog Catcher by Lloyd Johnson
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Tricks for a Trade
by Lloyd Johnson

How far would you go to get what you want?

After receiving an indecent proposal, Armando must decide if he's willing to do anything in the name of love. Or, will his girlfriend's insecurities about his past drive him away for good?

Tired of living under his wife's shadow, Gary is offered the opportunity of a lifetime. Can he go the distance? Or, will his wife's ambition ruin them both?

Cabrien falls in love with his client, a man who knows how to pull everyone's strings. But Cabrien makes a discovery that threatens to destroy the lives of those involved!

Everyone has an angle, and deception and manipulation are the laws of the land. In a time of instant gratification, TRICKS FOR A TRADE asks: Does the end always justify the means?

Chapter One: Tricks for a Trade  

Friday, June 6, 2008

5:40 AM

“You on your period, now? Really?” Karen turned her back to Armando in bed. He didn’t know why she would even bother telling that lie. Was a time when I’d bring the thunder in the bedroom, and ol’ girl would be so tired, she couldn’t fuss or ask a lot of questions, he thought to himself. Now, Armando was getting nonsense excuses AND no sex. He wondered if he was losing his touch.

Karen wasn’t drop-dead gorgeous, but she was cute to look at. Medium brown, with long-lashed, warm eyes. She kept her hair done--always permed and together. None of that new-growth-busting-through stuff.

There was a gap between her two front teeth, but it didn’t make her teeth look wrecked. You had the feeling her smile wouldn’t have been as beautiful if she ever got her teeth fixed. God must’ve skipped out on her in the self-esteem department, though. It seemed like everyone but Karen knew she was a good woman. Sure, she’d tell you that she was, but it’s not like she really believed it. Every time Armando stroked her hair, he was stroking her ego. He was a good man who’d found his good woman. He was just waiting on her to believe it too.

“So, I guess I can’t get none before work, huh?” Armando asked, his thick arms crossed, his gray eyes seductive.

She sat up in the bed, intentionally allowing the bed sheet to fall. “Boy, you better stop playing with me,” she said, unfazed by his eyes’ magic. She’d seen them before.

Armando jumped from the bed and stared at Karen with both anger and lust in his eyes.

Determined to remain strong she asked, “Have you given any more thought to what we talked about?”

“Karen, don’t start that again, all right?”

“No, Armando. I’m going to keep on it. I’m getting tired of hearing my mama suck her teeth, telling me how I’m living in sin.”

“I don’t know why you gotta tell your mama everything in the first place,” he said.

“Because she’s my mama!”

“Oh, please. Y’all don’t even get along.”

“Don’t try and change the subject,” Karen said, shaking her always well-manicured hands and rolling her neck. “When are we getting married?”

“I gotta go to work.”

“Yeah, that’s right. Take your black ass to work. But we ain’t finished with this conversation. Believe that. But I know one thing; I better not find out that you’re sleeping with some other woman, Armando. Because if you are, you better take a good look down below, baby.”

“What, you’re gonna go Lorena Bobbitt on me?” he asked with a chuckle, trying to lighten the mood.

“Hell yeah. But in your case, they won’t find it in no bushes.”

“Why is it every time you hear something you don’t like, I gotta be messing around?”

Karen didn’t care how many times he claimed his whoring days were over. He hadn’t proposed to her yet, so he must be out laying every female who would let him. She gave him the iciest of stares, her arms folded, like she was expecting a full confession to some bogus stuff he’d been doing.

Instead, Armando went to the bathroom; his jet stream of piss turned the toilet water yellow as Karen stood in the doorway. Her words began sounding like Charlie Brown’s teacher’s “Wah wah wah wah, wah wah wah wah!”

Armando flushed the toilet, hearing her say, “Enough of the dumb stuff!” He slammed the door in her face, which was met with angry pounding. He locked the door and turned on the shower, jumping in quickly. She didn’t deserve his thunder anyway.

After his shower, Karen had quieted down. But he wasn’t going to risk starting her up again, so he avoided eye contact and put on his underwear, undershirt, black work pants, and white golf shirt in record speed. Karen sat on the side of her bed with her back toward him.

Karen had told him a thousand times--she felt used and abused. He got it. And he was sorry she felt that way, but it wasn’t going to change who he was. He did want to marry her…someday. But since leaving home at eighteen to get away from his mother and her boyfriend drama, he’d been in survival mode, always thinking, “Be loyal to yourself. Everything and everyone else comes after.” Freedom pulsed through his blood, and Armando wasn’t ready to give that up.

Why couldn’t she just relax and enjoy the orgasms he put on her? But maybe that was the problem. Maybe she wasn’t strong enough to handle it. It spun her around and left her all out of breath…and paranoid.

Armando walked up to Karen, kissing her on the side of her temple. “I’ll call you later,” he said.


He left for work, not feeling too badly about any of it. She was twenty-seven, just like him. They were both grown and she knew how he was. Armando had to do things on his own timetable. He had told her that a thousand times.

( Continued... )

*NOTE* The following excerpt has been modified from its original text and is suitable for general audiences. 
© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Lloyd Johnson. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Purchase Tricks for a Trade by Lloyd Johnson