New Season, a New Release, and a Giveaway!

Spring is here, and in the spirit of the season that brings in the new I’m thrilled to release my first self published title, Show Me How to Love! For a second I worried I wouldn’t get things done in enough time. I’ve been blogging AWOL mainly due to the stress of moving. But, despite all that, the old house sold, I’m in the new house and I met my personal deadline for this release … give or take a week 🙂

Show Me How to Love is the start of my Caldwell Family series and the story of an unlikely romance between a former tomboy and trying to have it all heroine, Mikayla Sanders and ruthless business man Andre Caldwell. Mikayla and Andre are both trying to succeed in life and business, but have gone about it the wrong way. Though an unfortunate circumstance they’re thrown together and sparks begin to fly.

Show Me How to Love will be on sale for $1.99 for two weeks before going up to the original price of $2.99. So be sure to download it quick.

I hope you enjoy this first installment of the Caldwell Family and are willing to watch along the way as the rest of the Caldwell clan finds love.

Giveaway:

Now for the fun part! To celebrate the start of my new series, I’m giving away a $10 gift card to Amazon or B&N to a lucky blog folllower. All you have to do is sign up to follow my blog if you haven’t already, and then comment below telling me some of your favorite couples who at first glance their happily ever after didn’t appear likely. One of my favorites is Penny and Leonard from The Big Bang Theory.

Contest ends Friday April 10, 2015 at 12:00 a.m.

Blurb:

Just when Mikayla Summers is convinced dating her boss is a good idea, she discovers him having sex in closet with someone else. Refusing to stick around for further humiliation, she escapes with the one other person affected by what happened her now ex-boyfriend’s cousin, the sexy, Andre Caldwell.

Though Andre believed the feud between him and his cousin over, he wasn’t surprised by what happened. What is surprising is how much he’s attracted to Mikayla’s personality and charm. As he gets to know her better, he realizes there is more than betrayal bringing them together.

But the Caldwell feud runs deep, and when family obligations threaten the fragile connection between Andre and Mikayla they’re both question if their love is real or a result of revenge.

Excerpt:

CHAPTER 1

Mikayla Sanders was never one to get drunk at weddings, but this wedding might make her consider getting rip roaring drunk. She quickly made her way to the bar setup in the lobby of the expansive estate. When a family hated each other this much, putting everyone together on a mountain for a weekend of wedding festivities made no sense. The various factions of the Caldwell family were half a step from strangling each other, and the luxury of the surroundings did not make up for the hostility.

She’d finally escaped the bride, who’d gone bat shit crazy about the wrong color ribbons on the two hundred bottles of bubbles. Mikayla flexed aching fingers after helping switch them out. Her shoulders were tense from listening to the bride-to-be complain about Mikayla’s bow tying ability, and her jaw in pain from clenching it to keep from telling bridezilla where to go and what flaming vehicle to take there. Especially considering Mikayla was the only one who offered to fix the bow fiasco.

As soon as she sat down at the bar, the bartender came over with a highball glass in one hand and a bottle of bourbon in the other. The unofficial Caldwell family drink.

“Care for a drink?” he asked.

Mikayla held up her hand. “Just a ginger ale.”

He raised a brow but turned to get her soda. Something stronger would be better. But a stronger drink would lead to an urge for a cigarette. She’d overcome that habit a year ago. Bridezilla and her family were slowly pushing Mikayla off the wagon.

The click-clack of heels against the marble floor came up behind Mikayla.

“Hey, Mikayla, I’ve been looking for you.”

Mikayla turned and smiled as her best friend, Renee Caldwell left one of the salons. “Well, you found me.”

Renee glided over with a natural grace Mikayla couldn’t imitate. “I was hoping you’d be with Ryan.”

The bartender gave Mikayla her ginger ale which she accepted with a smile. “I haven’t seen him since this morning.”

Renee sat on the stool next to Mikayla. There wasn’t a strand of Renee’s perfect pixie cut out of place. She wore full face of makeup, Mikayla had never seen Renee without makeup, but she always looked natural and flawless. Renee’s genuine heart and smile only enhanced the caramel glow of her friend’s beauty. “You two should be sneaking off into a secluded corner or at least still wrapped up in each other’s arms in bed.”

Heat spread through Mikayla’s cheeks. She clutched the glass of ginger ale and took a sip. Of course, Renee would expect for her and Ryan to be off making love. It would mean Renee’s matchmaking skills had once again proven effective.

“How you talk about your brother’s love life without feeling grossed out is beyond my comprehension,” Mikayla said shaking her head.

“Oh please, Ryan’s my twin we tell each other everything. Besides, it would be nice if at least one of us could find some romance this weekend.”

The bartender came over and gave Renee the same bedazzled smile most men got in her presence. “Can I get you a drink?”

Renee raised a sleek, arched brow. “What Malbec do you carry?” She turned away from Mikayla to peer at the wine list he pulled out.

While Renee drilled the guy on the wine selection, Mikayla gave thanks for the interruption. After three years of working with Ryan, becoming friends with him and Renee, and pushing aside not only his advances but the hope from the rest of his family that she and Ryan would work out, she’d finally agreed to date him and be his plus one at his cousin’s wedding.

The moment Ryan invited her she’d known the offer was an excuse to finally get her in bed. She was procrastinating and hadn’t gone to bed the night before until after she’d figured he was asleep. Having sex would make them really real. So real, there would be no turning back.

Maybe tonight she’d have her head fully wrapped around the fact that they were in a relationship. Once she overcame the shock of believing that she, former tomboy and fashion police repeat offender, was actually dating the hot rich guy so many women chased after.

Don’t sell yourself to get what you want. Her dad’s words rang through her head. She promptly pushed them aside.

When Renee turned back to her, Mikayla spoke up before her friend continued the previous line of questioning. “What did you want with me and Ryan?”

Renee’s eyes lit up and she clapped her hands together. “I was hoping you and Ryan would want to escape this place with me. My family is driving me crazy.”

“Maybe later, I want to lie down for a few minutes. My fingers need a break.” Mikayla stretched her aching hands.

Renee’s froze in the middle of taking a sip of the wine the bartender set before her. She placed it back on the bar with a resounding thud. “You didn’t help her with those stupid ribbons?”

“I did.” Over an hour removing perfectly good grape, a.k.a. dark purple, ribbons from over a hundred bottles of bubbles and replacing them with passion, a.k.a. light purple, ribbons.

“Why?” Renee asked.

“Because if someone hadn’t jumped in to change the ribbons your cousin would have had a major break down. Or destroyed the entire mansion in a fit of bridezilla rage.”

Renee rubbed Mikayla’s shoulder and spared a better-you-than-me smile. “You should receive a medal, sainthood, and a star named in your honor for doing that.”

“Either way, you can’t leave,” Mikayla said. “Isn’t there something else on the wedding itinerary?”

“Don’t remind me.” Renee dropped her hand from Mikayla’s shoulder and reached for the wine. “I didn’t come to this wedding and expect to have my entire day planned out down to the minute.”

Mikayla sipped the ginger ale and grinned. “You know all brides make demands?”

A burst of laughter came from the opposite end of the lobby. They both glanced that way. Three teenage girls stood huddled near a closet in the corner. They were a set of Caldwell cousins Ryan had introduced to her the night before

Renee’s smoky brown eyes narrowed. “Most brides aren’t my crazy cousin.”

“As if you and Ryan aren’t just as demanding. No wonder you all don’t get along.”

Renee twisted in her seat and peered at the girls. They continued to giggle and had moved closer to the door of the closet.

“It goes beyond demanding,” Renee said. “That side takes family feud to a different level. I still can’t believe my dad and uncle came from the same parents.”

Mikayla didn’t argue. The total cold front that occurred whenever the two men were in the same room validated Renee’s statement.

“Plus they’re stuck up,” Renee continued. “The money they spent on this wedding is obscene.”

“Everything is nice,” Mikayla said in a voice that tried, but failed, to hide how much she agreed with Renee.

“Nice is a tasteful country club wedding with a few family and friends,” Renee said not taking her eyes off the giggling girls. “Opulent is renting out a mountain estate for three hundred of your closest friends, importing wine from France, flowers from Brazil, and hiring a celebrity chef to cater.”

“It’s not as if your side isn’t wealthy.” Renee’s father started Caldwell development twenty years ago and quickly grew it into one of the top builders in the United States.

“True, but when Ryan or I get married, we won’t be giving out iPads as wedding gifts.”

Mikayla laughed and raised her ginger ale in a salute. “Point taken.”

Renee spared no expense on clothes, accessories and beauty products, but Mikayla would be the first to admit there wasn’t an arrogant bone in her friend’s size four body.

The girls laughed again. Renee motioned to them. “What are they up, too?”

“Being teens laughing at something silly.”

“They’re probably laughing at someone instead of something. You never know with Aunt Joleen’s kids. Those girls are spoiled rotten.”

Renee tilted her head to the side “I wonder what’s behind that door.”

“A broom closet.”

Renee shot her a how-do-you-know-look that she ignored. She gulped her drink, but the liquid did nothing to stop heat from spreading up her face. No way would she admit Ryan had tried to convince her to have a quickie in that same closet. She’d left him pouting in order to help bridezilla reorganize her seating chart.

“Those kids take pleasure in tormenting people.” Renee broke through her thoughts. “They’ve probably locked someone in the closet. I want to see what’s going on.” She grabbed Mikayla’s arm and pulled her along.

Arguing with Renee when she thought someone was being bullied was useless. Nothing angered her friend more than a person taking pleasure in another’s suffering.

“What’s so funny?” Renee asked when they reached the girls.

The three teenagers jumped and turned. They looked like cut outs from the latest reality show, makeup that made them look like little adults instead of teenagers, long weave down their backs and clothes that probably cost more than Mikayla’s monthly salary. Their giggling hadn’t bothered her in the least. She’d missed the opportunity to laugh in corners with girlfriends growing up. Her dad focused on making sure she passed her classes and knew how to change a flat tire.

The oldest of the three twisted her glossed lips. “Somebody’s getting it on in the closet.”

Renee and Mikayla’s jaws dropped. The other two girls burst into laughter.

Mikayla pressed her hand to the side of her face and shook her head. “You can’t be serious.”

The oldest grinned. “I know what sex sounds like. And somebody is definitely going at it in there.”

Renee grabbed the arms of two of the girls and attempted to pull them away from the hall. “Then you don’t need to stand here listening. Go find something else to do.”

“Oh, no. I want to know who it is.” One of the girls pulled out of Renee’s grasp and crossed her arms. “I’m staying here until they come out.” The other two followed suit.

Renee sighed and looked at Mikayla. “It’s the middle of the day. Who’d do this?”

Mikayla shrugged. “Maybe they’re mistaken.”

A rhythmic thud against the door along with the unmistakable sounds of a woman’s moan undermined her words. The teenagers erupted into another fit of giggles.

Renee rubbed her eyes. “This is a disaster.”

“Why are you so upset? It’s not your wedding.”

“I’m cool with ignoring the itinerary, but watching my cousin have a full blown meltdown because someone is tacky enough to screw in a closet is more drama than I want to deal with.”

The thumping increased. Mikayla cringed. “Maybe they’re finishing up.”

“What’s going on over here?” A deep voice said from behind.

Mikayla turned and met the ebony eyes of Renee’s cousin Andre. Her heart did a traitorous thump in her chest. Andre was from the other side of the Caldwell family. For him to bother coming over and ask what they were doing was surprising. He’d been brief and cold when Ryan introduced her the night before.

Growing up around a lot of guys didn’t give Mikayla many opportunities to feel feminine. But Andre towering over her all dark and imposing made her feel downright dainty. A reaction she surprisingly liked. His dark grey sweater clung to broad shoulders and dark jeans fit just enough to hint at muscular, strong legs. Add to that a voice that would put the late, great Barry White to shame and it was no wonder her body reacted.

Renee crossed her arms over her chest. “Someone is having sex in the closet.” She sneered at Andre. “While it won’t ruin your sister’s wedding, it will send her into hysterics if she finds out.”

Andre’s dark eyes narrowed. “Stepsister.” He spit out the words like he’d tasted something nasty. The thumping grew louder. Andre ran a hand over his face. “Damn.”

“Exactly,” Renee said.

Mikayla glanced toward the bar and cringed. “Renee, your dad’s at the bar.” They swore in unison as the groom and his groomsmen left the billiards room and joined Renee’s dad. That meant the rest of the family would soon be returning.

The teens laughed again and a loud slap against the closet door echoed throughout the lobby. The men turned their way. This tryst wasn’t going to be a secret much longer.

A woman’s voice came slightly muffled from the other side of the door. “Oh, daddy, just like that.”

“What the heck?” Renee said pressing her hands to her temples.

Andre shifted at Mikayla’s side. A scowl twisted his handsome face. His shoulders were rigid. Hands clenched into fists at his side. She glanced at the door then back at him. He took a step forward and she placed a hand on his arm. His very firm arm. Her stomach did a little twitter that she decided to pretend wasn’t happening.

“Don’t open the door,” she said.

His eyes met hers, coal black and hard with fury. She remembered the way he held onto his girlfriend Angelica the night before. At the time, the prideful manner he’d used when introducing her to Ryan made her assume Angelica was just a pretty armpiece for a rich man.

Another thump from the door came right before the men reached their group. “What the hell is going on?” Renee’s dad, Philip Caldwell, asked.

The teen with blonde weave giggled. “Someone’s getting it on.”

The men’s faces lit up with both bemusement and enthusiasm. Mikayla inwardly scoffed. What was it about the idea of sex in a closet that got men so excited?

A slap against the door was followed by, “That’s right, whose is it?”

Mikayla’s hand fell from Andre’s arm. Her jaw dropped. Everything in the background became a dim murmur as a sinking feeling rushed through her midsection.

No.

This couldn’t be happening.

He couldn’t be the one in that closet. One glance at the astonished look on Renee’s face confirmed Mikayla’s thoughts.

Everything seemed to move in slow motion, but she had to have moved quickly because she was right in front of the closet door. Vaguely she noticed movement around her, the cackles of the girl’s laughter, and maybe even someone calling her name. She snatched open the door.

Andre’s girlfriend fell with a loud smack on her back, Ryan bare assed on top of her. They both stared up at the group, while the teenagers laughter increased to the crescendo of a pack of hyenas.

Mikayla’s gaze swept the spectators. Needles of heat spread over her body. They were laughing at her. The laughter picked at internal cuts she’d thought long since healed.

Mikayla shook her head and stepped back. Disbelief and anguish churned like hot acid in her stomach. Her dad’s “I told you so” ran through her brain. Pain tore through her chest while humiliation, her old companion, set her cheeks on fire.

Ryan held up a hand but didn’t move from his position between Angelica’s thighs. “Mikayla, look, this is not what it seems.”

Anger spouted within like molten lava. She clenched her teeth and pressed a hand into her rolling stomach. She wanted to scream, curse his ass out. But she would not act a fool in front of these people.

Ryan’s mother Victoria pushed through the group. She took one look at Ryan on the floor and groaned. All hell broke loose as the rest of the family and guests came from the far corners of the estate.

Mikayla couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think, with the noise and commotion. She spun on her heels and ran upstairs.

When she entered the room, she’d shared with Ryan she wanted to set the place on fire. The king sized four poster bed was made, rose petals and chocolates rested on the pillows. Bridezilla had mentioned the resort staff were given instructions to create a romantic setting for all rooms with couples. Her stomach heaved and her mouth went dry. If she’d come to bed early, he would have had sex with her the night before. If she hadn’t caught him today, he might have tonight.

She threw the few items she’d taken out of her bag back inside. Angry tears blurred her vision, but she refused to shed them here. Not where he’d have the chance of ever seeing how much he’d humiliated her.

Ryan burst through the door. She jerked the zipper closed on her bag. Somewhere he’d found his pants. He glanced from her to the bag before stepping forward. “I’m sorry.”

Mikayla held up her hand. “Just get out of my way.”

“I know it seems bad, but it’s not what you think.” Ryan’s usually perfect posture gave way to stooped shoulders.

She closed her eyes, unable to meet his stare. “Get out of my way, Ryan.”

His footsteps on the hardwood floor were slow as he crossed the room. She stiffened when he gently clasped his hands around her shoulders.

“Mikayla, please, let me explain.” His voice dripped with regret, as if he were actually sorry about what happened.

She opened her eyes. Even with the remorse in his eye, he still reminded her of the guy she’d considered her friend. Piercing brown eyes that had been full of sincerity when he’d insisted his feelings were real. The same full lips that comforted her when he’d kissed her forehead after she’d come to bed late the night before.

She took a deep breath. The pungent smell of sex coated him. Revulsion twisted her stomach. She pushed his arms off her shoulders. Anger lifted her knee as she sharply kicked him between the legs.

A piercing cry burst from his lips before he curled into a ball and fell to the floor. She stepped around him, gently pulled her coat off the hanger, and walked out the door. She may not really be a socialite, but she could hold her head high and walk out like one. The noise in the lobby hadn’t died down. Philip Caldwell’s voice arguing with another that she recognized as his brother’s overpowered the other voices.

So much for keeping the peace at this damn wedding.

Renee waited for her at the bottom of the stairs. Hands wringing before her and, lips turned down into a frown. Renee opened her mouth to speak, but Mikayla lifted her hand. Right now Mikayla couldn’t stomach seeing Renee, she looked too much like her twin.

Maybe her friendship with Renee was just as superficial as her relationship with Ryan. Another person she thought she had a connection with but was only fooling herself. Pain flashed across Renee’s features, but thankfully she let Mikayla pass.

She strode out of the estate into the cold February air with her head held high. Quickly, Mikayla put on her coat and stared at the icicle lined trees. What did she do now? She’d ridden up with Ryan, but she’d be damned if she stayed here all weekend. She pulled her cell phone out and searched for a cab company. The list of local cabbies had popped up a second before Andre burst through the front door, a single overnight bag in his hand.

Their gazes locked. Mutual understanding flowed between them. He may be from the side of the Caldwell family feuding with Renee and Ryan’s side, but right now he was the only other person who wanted to get the hell off that mountain as much as she did.

“Can you give me a ride?”

He hesitated. She didn’t blame him. They’d barely talked the night before, and she was the girlfriend—former girlfriend—of the man who’d just fucked his woman in a closet. Mikayla considered taking back her request when he held out a hand. The tension in her shoulders eased a bit as she placed her palm in his. The warmth of his grasp traveled up her arm and spread like fingers inside her chest. His brow furled before he looked away and walked her to the black Mercedes S 550 brought out front by the valet.

The snow that fell the night before crunched under their feet. She lowered her head and watched as the fragile crystals shattered by their steps. Shattered, much like her earlier enthusiasm of being invited away for a weekend with Ryan Caldwell. Just moments ago she’d thought her life was perfect. That she’d arrived. Instead, she was once again the outcast who didn’t belong with the cool kids.

Andre dropped her hand as soon as they reached the car. The loss of his warmth seemed like another fist to her gut on a crappy afternoon.

Ryan burst through the front door. His concerned gaze darted first to her then Andre. He hobbled toward them. “Mikayla!”

She ignored Ryan and stared at Andre, “Let’s go.”

Andre cracked his knuckles. She expected him to cross the distance and beat the crap out of Ryan. Instead, he clenched his jaw and entered the car. She followed and slammed the door. Closing her eyes, she blocked Ryan’s calls while Andre speed out of the driveway.

###

Show me How to Love is live on Amazon and Kobo. Barnes and Noble is coming soon!

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About Synithia W
I write love stories filled with passion and drama at night, I improve air and water quality during the day, and I love my husband and kids in between.

38 Responses to New Season, a New Release, and a Giveaway!

  1. anne3230 says:

    I enjoy Leonard and Penny’s relationship and how it developed, but I honestly keep expecting it to blow up. Kate Daniels and Curran Lennart from the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews is my favorite couple starting from a bad first (and second) meeting. Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas’ characters from the Romancing the Stones movies was another. They had even more bumps on the way to lasting love.

  2. Mary Preston says:

    I’m going back away but I always loved the unlikely relationship between Dharma & Greg of Dharma & Greg.

  3. debby236 says:

    I thought Roarke and Eve would never make it but they are solid. I love Penny and Leonard. I hope they stay together. I am also not so sure that Emily is for Raj

  4. Denise Stokes says:

    First couple that comes to mm ine is Ross & Rachel

  5. kp says:

    I love Sheldon and Amy on the Big Bang…..

  6. Yolanda says:

    Love the cover. Congrats on the new release.

  7. Kay Edmondson says:

    The Big Bang Theory is my favorite show. Howard and Bernadette on The Big Bang Theory.

  8. Wendy hutton says:

    ok this is going way back Joanie and Chaci from Happy Days

  9. Charnetta says:

    DeWayne Wayne and Whitley Gilbert from A Different World.

  10. Congratulations, Synithia!! Wishing you all the best!

  11. Jo-Anne Boyko says:

    I couldn’t believe that Joanie and Chaci from Happy Days got together. It didn’t look like they were a match.

  12. Congratulations, chica! Wishing you much success. Can’t wait to read it!

  13. William Shatner as Denny Crane and James Spader as Alan Shore in the series Boston Legal.

  14. Jennifer Thomas says:

    I have been watching Amish Mafia since the first season it appeared. On its last season, which just aired, two characters, Mary and Merlin ended up marrying. I could tell they were getting close and their relationship was the most sincere on the program. I never pictured them as a couple and I hope their relationship lasts.

  15. I was just thinking of Steve Urkel and Laura Winslow hooking up in the end!!!

  16. Ruby says:

    I would say Kensi and Deeks on NCIS: Los Angeles since they are polar opposites.

  17. Stacey Washington says:

    Dwayne and Whitley – A Different World. That was a great story line to me.

  18. Shamae Crosswhite says:

    My couple is Melissa and Joey from the show called Melissa and Joey.

  19. Heather B says:

    I’ve got to agree with Penny and Leonard! I LOVE that show!

  20. Synithia W says:

    Congratulations to Ericka LadyStarr!! You’re the winner of the $10 gift card. (
    Chosen using Random.org). I’ll be emailing you soon!

  21. stephaniebartley1 says:

    Hi Ms. Cynthia,
    So sorry I am responding to this post so late but I’m just now able to go through my email. I like the excerpt from the book. I have purchased my copy and will be sure t leave a review once I finish it. Congrats to you on the move and to your new boo, it’s going to be a hit. Congrats to you also Ericka LadyStarr.

    • Synithia W says:

      Thanks, Stephanie! I hope you enjoy the book and thanks for all your support! 🙂

      • stephaniebartley1 says:

        Sorry about your name, Ms.. Synithia but spell check on kindle changes things so quickly… I did get it right when I posted it on my FB page…….

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