About The Author:
Yolonda Tonette Sanders took a leap of faith in 2004 when she resigned from her job with the State of Ohio after only three and a half years to focus more on writing. It was a leap that she has never regretted. In 2005, her debut novel, Soul Matters, was published by Walk Worthy Press and Time Warner (now Hachette Book Group). In 2008, her second book, Secrets of a Sinner, was published by Harlequin/Kimani Press. That same year Yolonda started Yo Productions, LLC, a Christian based literary services and theatrical entertainment company, which she used to launch and create her first stage production. The theatrical version of Soul Matters debuted successfully in September 2009 at the Capitol Theatre in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Since then, Strebor Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster, is planning to release four of Yolonda’s titles by April 2015. Currently, Yolonda resides in Columbus, Ohio and is the loving wife of David, proud mother of Tre and Tia, and joyful caregiver of her mother, Wilene.
Genre: Christian | Contemporary | Inspirational
Publisher: Simon and Schuster/Strebor Books
Release Date: April 23, 2013
Divorced, single mother Lisa Hampton is grateful for a fresh start after a humiliating scandal forced her to relocate from Maryland to Ohio. Her biggest issue nowadays is dealing with her rebellious teenage daughter, Chanelle, who is one smart comment away from being toothless!
Other than the stress of dealing with Chanelle, life is perfect. Lisa has a new beau and a steady job that allows her the opportunity to rub shoulders with very wealthy and influential people. She is best friends with Isaac and Olivia Scott, an extremely rich and powerful couple.
When Chanelle accuses the Scotts’ son of rape, Lisa learns how quickly her friends become enemies as Olivia and Isaac use their wealth and power to manipulate justice. The Scotts prove that they are willing to go to extreme lengths to protect their son, even if it means destroying both Lisa and Chanelle in the process.
“Don’t jump to conclusions,” Lisa said to herself as she reached for the phone, flipping through the Caller ID. She hoped Chanelle had tried to call when she was asleep, but was disheartened to find no evidence supporting her theory. She quickly dialed Chanelle’s cell phone, hearing the hip-hop music selection that preceded her daughter’s voice mail. She didn’t bother leaving a message.
Dashing up the stairs, Lisa knocked on her mother’s bedroom door as a courtesy, but didn’t wait for a response. “Mama?” She peeked inside.
Arial, sans-serif;”Hattie lay like Sleeping Beauty underneath a tan comforter that blended in perfectly with her light skin tone. She looked so peaceful that Lisa really didn’t want to disturb her. She stood for a split second, admiring her mother’s beauty. Though she was in her mid-sixties, Lisa’s mother looked great—still-mostly-black hair, a shapely size ten figure and no wrinkles. Lisa hoped she’d inherited her mother’s genes and would also age gracefully. So far so good, but if Chanelle kept working her nerves, she’d surely look old and gray within a few years.
“Mama!” Lisa spoke with more force.
“Sorry to wake you . . . I want to know if you’ve heard from Chanelle.”
“No, why? She’s not home yet?”
“No, but don’t worry. I’ll find her.”
Her mother quickly sat up. “Did you call Jareeka? Maybe Chanelle accidentally dozed off over there.”
The girl’s name was actually Gericka, like Erika, but Lisa didn’t bother correcting her mother, who was notorious for renaming people. “Calling there is my next step. I wanted to check with you first.”
Lisa ran back down to the kitchen where Chanelle’s best friend’s telephone number was posted on the small magnetic bulletin board attached to the refrigerator. By now it was a few minutes shy of one.
<The phone rang several times before Marlon Young, Gericka’s father, answered.
“<Hi! I’m sorry to call your house so late. This is Lisa.”
“Yes, what can I do for you?”
“Is Chanelle there?
“No, why do you ask?”
Lisa’s throat tightened. “She’s not here yet. Do you know what time she brought Gericka home from the movies?”
“I don’t know what Chanelle told you, but she didn’t go to the movies with Gericka,” Marlon firmly stated. “Gericka and Karen went to Louisville on Friday to spend the weekend with my mother-in-law.”
“I’m sorry…I thought. Never mind. I’m sorry I woke you.”
“It’s okay. I’m sure you’re concerned about your daughter. I pray she gets home safely,” he said, before hanging up.
With no other options, Lisa reluctantly dialed RJ’s number, which she had unfortunately memorized by now. She hated calling her ex-husband, but figured the situation warranted such an action. It was a waste of time because he hadn’t seen or heard from Chanelle either. As if his presence would calm Lisa’s nerves, RJ had offered to come over and wait with her until Chanelle arrived.
“No, thanks!” Lisa quickly declined. He always seemed to be looking for an excuse to be near her, but the only man occupying her time was Minister Freeman, whom she had been out to dinner with on several occasions.
“Please let me know the minute you hear from her,” RJ requested.
“I will,” she assured.
He had some nerve, acting like a concerned father when he was the reason why she and Chanelle had left Baltimore and come to Ohio in the first place. Had she known several summers ago when she moved here that he would follow, she would have accepted a job elsewhere.
Feeling her blood pressure rise with each passing second, she went back into the living room and sat on the couch. She began fiddling with the charm on the necklace she never took off, which had become a habit whenever she became nervous or angry. The time was exactly 1:07 a.m. and that meant her daughter was now sixty–seven minutes past curfew. Lisa was fuming!
Though the “God, please don’t let anything bad happen to her” prayer cycled through Lisa’s head a few times, she honestly didn’t feel a need to panic. For some reason, Lisa knew Chanelle was okay—wherever she was. Chanelle was okay now, but Lisa couldn’t promise that she’d be later when she finally brought her behind home and parental justice kicked in.