Thursday, June 26, 2014

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Something About April by Cheri Paris Edwards

Something About April 
by Cheri Paris Edwards

In Something About April, Carla Jefferson meets the perfect guy, but he's not quite the man of her dreams. Will she hold on to love, or let it slip away hoping for a chance at the life she's imagined?  A rediscovered photograph and the return of old friends stir memories and a desire to reclaim the past, setting into motion events that may change the Jefferson family forever. 


Something About April  is the second novel in a planned series of four books about the midwestern Jefferson family introduced in book one, The Other Sister. In this fast-paced story focus shifts to older characters, and moves from the conversation of faith to the daily struggles of the Jefferson family and their friends as they strive to meet life's challenges.
 
Meet the Jeffersons:    James Jefferson is a driven man, motivated by love for his family, devotion to church members and concern for the community. After centering her life around the interests of others, Lena Jefferson must readjust now that her adult daughters are living lives of their own. Older daughter Carla Jefferson juggles the responsibilties of a demanding career while hoping for love, while her younger sister Sanita strives to move through life with the same self-confidence that made her an athletic star. Get to know the Jeffersons as they navigate a season of love, laughter and heartache, wrestling with life's challenges while holding on to friends, faith and one another.
James Jefferson – is the father who is driven by his own humble beginnings by a need to give back to the community and take care of his family, so he’s a bit of a social activist with a pulpit. He defines himself as “project boy” and he is the son of single mother who struggled to raise him and a sister. A promising athlete, he grew up in the church, and his faith and the church became a respite leading him to eventually followed become a minister. Faith Community is not a mega-church but does have a thriving congregation. He also owns and sells real estate, and while not wealthy, has provided a middle-class lifestyle for his family.

Lena Jefferson – is his wife who spent much of her life shaping herself into the person she thought a minister’s wife should be. She served as part-time church secretary, and was a homemaker. Now that her daughters are adults and living on their own she’s left with a void in her life.

Carla Jefferson – is the older Jefferson daughter who’s always tried to do the right thing. She’s a bit of a perfectionist, a school administrator at a charter middle school who has felt eclipsed by her younger, athletic sister Sanita who is also more outgoing. In the first story, she had been on a few dates with ex-pro basketball player Terrence Catchings who fell head over heels for Sanita when she returned to town.

Sanita Jefferson – the younger Jefferson sister, who also is an ex-athlete. Poor decisions while she was away from home, put her both her health and freedom at risk, but with a cleared slate, she is rebounding, living on her own now and taking courses at the community college.

We learn more about James and Lena in this story and Lena’s attorney friend Nadine, Javier Quintero, and Mandy who is Carla’s good friend are introduced in this book.

 

Purchase Something About April (The Jeffersons-Volume 2)
Link:  http://amzn.com/0991458710
 
The Other Sister (The Jeffersons) (Volume 1)
Link: 
http://amzn.com/0991458702
  



 
 
 

Excerpt from Something About April 

CHAPTER ONE
 
She couldn’t sleep. All day, sleep had wooed her with heavy-lidded promises, but as soon as she got into bed, the flirtation was over. She closed her eyes and her mind reeled and lurched like an uneven film. Lifting on her elbows, she squinted. The clock’s bright digits seemed to glare at her — another hour had passed. She sank onto her pillow. Hopeful, she shut her eyes, but as soon as her lids lowered, the show spun into motion again. Flashes from yesterday melded into this day’s events before whirling into plans for tomorrow. With a sigh, she sat upright. Peeling back the covers, she glanced at her husband. His gentle breathing sang a rhythmic hum. Sliding into her slippers, she snagged her robe from the footboard post, and tied it on. She stepped into the hallway, and gently pulled the door closed behind her.

Gliding stealthily through the darkened house, she moved as though she had a plan, but she did not. She paused in the kitchen to open the refrigerator and peer at the contents before settling on a bottle of water. Resting the bottle on the counter, she scooped used glasses into the sink before dampening a cloth to sweep away evidence of a late-night sandwich he made. “How many times have I asked him to not leave crumbs?” she grumbled.

Bottled water in hand, she padded through the dining room and into the wide expanse of the family room. At the fireplace, she drew the metal curtain to prod the simmering wood with a poker, then, rubbing her chilled arms, fell into the seat of a chair in front of her desk. She lifted the lid to her laptop.

“Why do you need a password?” he had asked the other day as he watched her logging in. His eyes deepened with curiosity. “It’s not like anyone else has access. It’s your computer.”

“From the writing class I was taking,” she explained. “We had to write poems now and then, and sometimes I still journal my feelings. Guess it’s like a diary,” she continued. “Giving it a password is like it has a key. Makes me feel safer writing about my feelings if I know I’m the only one reading it,” she finished, hoping she wasn’t talking too much.

“Safer? That’s a strange word to use. I’m your husband. Why do you need to keep your feelings safe from me?” A smile lifted the corners of his lips, but his eyes searched hers.

Waiting to find the right words, she was grateful when his phone alerted him of a new message. Distracted, he turned to his own computer and began to peck away.

Guilt stiffened her. I’m sorry, she thought. The excuse was true — it just wasn’t the whole truth. Conscience prickling, she shifted a glance at the doorway, expecting to see her husband’s frame shadowed there. Her eyes drew back to the computer, and she started the mail client. She watched the software whirr into view. Swallowing a gush of water, she willed the process faster, sighing aloud when mail finally began its descent into her inbox.

She didn’t know what had possessed her to do it. She hadn’t even thought about him in years.

At loose ends after completing a writing project for class, she tapped the name into the search box.

D-e-r-r-i-c-k   T.  J-a-s-p-e-r-s-o-n.

Her heart quickened when a dizzying number of links filled the screen. That he had done well for himself, was now a professor at a large university and a published writer, she knew — she just hadn’t realized how much he’d accomplished. Probing the pages, she paused and tapped a link. Colorful illustrations of figures holding trombones framed a web page heralding “The Effect of Jazz on Culture,” his latest book, hailed by Academic Press as “well-written dialogue about the importance of the distinctly black music’s effect on culture and society as a whole.” She clicked a link to an NPR interview but, startled by the sound of his voice, tapped the site closed and logged off.

Recalling the deepness of his tone made her heart race faster, and suddenly heat roared through her body with such ferocity that it sent her scurrying to slide open the terrace door, where she leaned against the frame and let the breeze cool her. Though weeks had passed since she looked him up, she could almost smell Derrick’s cologne as she pictured his horn-rimmed gaze staring at her from the web page. He had matured, but his features hadn’t changed much. Clicking one link after another, she had read about him. She studied photos, his face, the shape of his hands, the angles of his body.

Afraid to allow herself to think, she had quickly tapped a link, and the mail client churned into action. The untitled message window sprang to life and waited silently.

She had hesitated.

Then her fingers tapped the keys. I don’t know if you remember me. Fingers trembling now, she added, We went to college together. She hurriedly clicked in her name and tapped send.

Shivering, she pushed the patio door closed, and drifted to the couch, draping a worn plaid blanket around her shoulders before dropping onto a chair in front of her computer.

Every morning, she admonished herself for rushing to check her e-mail, yet swallowed disappointment when none of the incoming messages flooding her box bore his name. Throughout the day, she stiffened each time the alert sounded, but only junk mail, correspondence, and notes from the social site she used to communicate with the girls slid into her box.

“I’m being silly,” she told herself before swallowing a stream of water. “He probably doesn’t even remember me.” As the words left her lips, the alert sounded, and the address on the downloaded note seemed to shout: D. T. Jasperson, Ph.D. 


( Continues... )

Copyright © 2014 by Cheri Paris Edwards. All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Cheri Paris Edwards. 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.


Something About April (The Jeffersons-Volume 2)
Read more about the series: 
http://www.cheriparisedwards.net/#!books/cnec 

 
 
 

Intimate Conversation with Cheri Paris Edwards

Cheri Paris Edwards is a writer and educator originally from East Central Illinois, and now living in Denton, Texas. Cheri is the author of 3 novels, “Plenty Good Room,” “The Other Sister” and “Something About April.”  Cheri was an instructor at North Central Texas College and is now a Teaching Assistant at Texas Woman’s University where she will complete a Master’s Degree in English this summer. In the fall, Cheri will be a Teaching Fellow at The University of North Texas where she will begin work on her PhD in English with a focus on American Literature.

Something About April  is the second novel in a planned series of four books about the midwestern Jefferson family introduced in The Other Sister. In this fast-paced story focus shifts to older characters, and moves from the conversation of faith to the daily struggles of the Jefferson family and their friends as they strive to meet life's challenges.

Edwards is the mother of adult sons, Charles and Sam, and a toy poodle named Mocha. She lives sin Denton, Texas where she's at work on Book III of the Jefferson stories, Music in the Night.

BPM: What motivated you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?
The catalyst for the story was a personal experience that happened several years ago. I looked up an old friend from college, who responded with a note and an old photo of myself that brought on a rash of unexpected emotions. After thinking about the story a while, I began working on the manuscript shortly after I’d moved to Texas about 3 years ago. It was a tumultuous time and writing helped calm me. I’d left my two part-time jobs, because I couldn’t do them anymore, then my mother passed, and I somewhat impulsively packed my 3-bedroom townhouse into a storage unit, loaded all that I could and my doggie Mocha into my car and traveled through the pouring rain to get here to Texas. It was tough start in recreating a life for myself here, and I typed the beginnings of this story seated on the floor of my apartment because I had no furniture other than an inflatable mattress and some odds and ends I’d collected for about a year and half.

BPM: Does your upbringing or life experiences inspire your writing?
My upbringing inspires me to write about families like those I knew and the diversity I’ve experienced in my background and life. This story could be described as multicultural although the primary characters are black. Moving here to Texas has influenced me as well, prompting me to include even more to include diversity in my characters, because the friendships and relationships I see here are definitely diverse.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven?  
I think my books are character and plot driven. I’m definitely invested in the characters, and I try to present them as full-bodied individuals. However, I am equally concerned with the plot and the structure of the story. Sometimes I’m working from inspiration that may have been a catalyzing moment or even a song. My interest is in how characters’ choices create drama and challenges in their lives and how the consequences of their choices affect them (and their family and friends in some instances) and how they handle those effects.

BPM: Introduce us to your current work. What genre do you consider your book? Is this book available in digital forms like Nook and Kindle?
My current work is
Something About April. It is the second Jefferson story and the focus is two characters who had limited exposure in the first story. The genre is woman’s contemporary, multicultural/African-American general fiction. To some the story may have a chick-lit feel, because there’s definitely humor, but the writing is not the traditional chick-it first-person and the overall themes are not as lighthearted. Though father James Jefferson is a pastor by vocation, there is no Christian focus.

BPM: Give us an insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special? 
This family is interesting to me, because they seem to have little dysfunction. But, as we get to know them better, they’re inner struggles and idiosyncrasies are revealed. My background and life (especially as an adult) has been much more complex than the Jeffersons, but I believe its true that everyone has struggles and often react to life’s challenges in similar ways.

James Jefferson – is the father who is driven by his own humble beginnings by a need to give back to the community and take care of his family, so he’s a bit of a social activist with a pulpit. He defines himself as “project boy” and he is the son of single mother who struggled to raise him and a sister. A promising athlete, he grew up in the church, and his faith and the church became a respite leading him to eventually followed become a minister. Faith Community is not a mega-church but does have a thriving congregation. He also owns and sells real estate, and while not wealthy, has provided a middle-class lifestyle for his family.

Lena Jefferson – is his wife who spent much of her life shaping herself into the person she thought a minister’s wife should be. She served as part-time church secretary, and was a homemaker. Now that her daughters are adults and living on their own she’s left with a void in her life.

Carla Jefferson – is the older Jefferson daughter who’s always tried to do the right thing. She’s a bit of a perfectionist, a school administrator at a charter middle school who has felt eclipsed by her younger, athletic sister Sanita who is also more outgoing. In the first story, she had been on a few dates with ex-pro basketball player Terrence Catchings who fell head over heels for Sanita when she returned to town.

Sanita Jefferson – the younger Jefferson sister, who also is an ex-athlete. Poor decisions while she was away from home, put her both her health and freedom at risk, but with a cleared slate, she is rebounding, living on her own now and taking courses at the community college.

Marcella Lewiston- is the well-dressed church founder’s daughter who’s in everyone’s business, critical of everybody and annoys everyone. *LOL*

Denesha Lewiston – schoolteacher, best friend to Sanita and Marcella’s daughter.

We learn more about James and Lena in this story and Lena’s attorney friend Nadine, Javier Quintero, and Mandy who is Carla’s good friend are introduced in this book.

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed in the series? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? 
The Jefferson stories will eventually grow to four novels that reflect a season in the life of this family, although artistic license allows that the seasons aren’t necessarily in succession and it’s not necessarily just a year that’s covered. The first book took place autumn, and this book is set in spring. The rebirth of nature that happens in spring reflects in blossoming romance for one character, and themes of rediscovery, renewal and rejuvenation thread through the story. The romantic story is a multi-cultural one and stirs questions about prejudice, and unreal expectations.

BPM: What defines success for you, as a published author? What are your ambitions for your writing career?
A success for me is just finishing a book, which is no easy feat, because writing and revising is ongoing and takes great swaths of time, discipline and effort. The second is publishing it, which is just as difficult. I decided to self-publish this time (I fell into it last time) and that made the process an even more challenging experience. Putting works into the world for others to read carries responsibility and it’s not a venture that I take lightly.

My goal is to keep on writing. As a graduate student and instructor, I have a full plate in the other parts of my life, but creative writing gives balance for my life. It was my fiction writing that landing me back in college and having the ability to structure fiction writing has impoved my effectiveness as an academic writer.

BPM: Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included? How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Readers may find out more about my books at my website: http://www.cheriparisedwards.net, where they can also friend me on Facebook, and follow me at Blogger and Twitter.  Read more about the series:
http://www.cheriparisedwards.net/#!books/cnec 

The Other Sister (The Jeffersons) (Volume 1)
Link:
http://amzn.com/0991458702 

Something About April (The Jeffersons) (Volume 2)
Link:
http://amzn.com/0991458710 

 

 

 

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