BEJEWELED: STANDING STRONG
Olivia has overcome many challenges and disappointments in her life. Yet, when faced with an unexpected death of a family member, and witnessing the murder of someone she cares for, she isn’t sure she can survive. The losses incurred on this journey may cause her to pay the ultimate sacrifice.
The return of Black and Kianna means the puzzle pieces of Angel’s life are finally locking into place. The picture is different than she envisioned. Angel must determine if uncovering the truth of their past, is worth the sacrifice of her new relationship.
Kianna’s played dirty in the past, but this time the fight is deadly. She’s willing to go all in to expose the truth, which will cause everyone in the game to ante up. Will her sacrifice be more than she bargained for?
Black’s gambled several times in the past, but this time the stakes are high. With his life and those of his family serving as the bargaining chips, it isn’t that easy to fold. To protect those he loves the most, he may have to sacrifice his own life to save theirs.
Angel. Kianna. Black. In the end everyone must bear their cross. And the truth is so explosive, the House will never be the same. One will stand strong and walk away. One will stand strong and make the ultimate sacrifice. And one will stand strong and won’t survive!
BeJeweled: Standing Strong:
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EXCERPT From Standing Strong:
It was always so much easier to give it when it didn’t impact you directly. The benefit of the doubt. That’s what Olivia was thinking about. There were so many things that needed her attention at the moment, but she couldn’t move past the funeral. Bethany’s funeral had been explosive in more ways than one. She had been strong through it all, even when Anne, Bethany’s mother, had announced in front of just over a hundred strangers that Raymond had been trying to re-ignite his marriage to Bethany and had even shared her bed after marrying Olivia.
A weaker woman would have broken. A weaker woman would not have walked out of the funeral home with her head held high. A weaker woman would not have held her composure on the ride back to the hotel with her husband and step-children, or on the return flight home. But Olivia was anything but weak. Her strength and faith in God kept her through it all…until they returned home.
Throughout it all, Raymond had attempted to explain it. She told him in no uncertain terms she didn’t want to discuss it until they returned home.
They had arrived back at their house just after midnight on Sunday. She pretended to be asleep even when Raymond reached for her in bed. She had pulled away and spent the remainder of the night with questions floating in her head. She would have her say. But not in front of the children. So the next day when her father asked if he could take the children for ice cream, she jumped at the opportunity.
“Baby, I’m telling you, Anne is evil. She twisted everything into something ugly. It never happened like she said,” Raymond pleaded, as he sat on the bed bench with his hands clasped between his knees.
Olivia sat at her dressing table with her back to her husband.
“Why would she lie about something like that, Ray?”
“Because she’s hateful. She wants to see me unhappy and miserable,” Raymond reasoned.
“But why, Ray? What have you done to her that would make her so angry she would tell such vile lies?” Olivia asked. She still refused to turn around and face him.
“I don’t know, baby. She’s angry because her daughter died, and she’s always hated me. The woman is prejudiced. I mean, don’t get me wrong, she loves black people as long as we’re not mixing with her precious blue blood. But once you cross that line you’re an enemy for life,” Raymond clarified.
“Raymond, this is the worst excuse I’ve ever heard. Tell me,” she said, turning around in her chair and facing her husband for the first time. “Did you tell Bethany you wanted to work on your marriage?”
“No!” Raymond adamantly denied.
“Did you ever want to work on your marriage?” Olivia interrogated.
“No, baby. At least not once I decided to divorce her. By the time you and I got together, I had left all of that behind me,” he explained.
Olivia could see the pain in his eyes, but she couldn’t help but think of all the return trips he made to Boston in the beginning of their marriage. Many of those trips had resulted in an argument between her and her husband.
“She said there were times you were staying up there and the kids were with her and Cal. What about that, Ray? How do you explain that?” she asked, pursing her lips.
“Beth knew I was coming to see the kids, but hadn’t told them. On a couple of occasions they asked if they could spend the night with their grandparents. And she took them, never telling them I was on the way into town. I usually didn’t arrive until that night some time, and it would be too late to get them by then. So I would have to wait until the next day to pick them up,” he explained. Raymond stood up and began crossing the room to his wife.
Olivia held up her hand to stop him in his path.
“Did you ever sleep in the same bed as her, Raymond?” Olivia asked. Her heart fell when her husband lowered his head. “Ray-did-you-ever-sleep-in-the-same-bed-with-Beth?” Olivia asked in a slow, drawn-out tone.
He held his head up and looked her in the eyes. “Yes, but—”
“Get the hell out of my home! Now!” she screamed, when it took a moment for him to take in what she was saying. “Get out!”
She fast-walked to the closet and began pulling his clothes out and throwing them at him.
“Ivy…baby, listen!” Raymond pleaded, pulling on her arm.
“Raymond, don’t you dare touch me! Get the hell out, now!” she growled.
He began picking up his items from the floor and left the home before the kids returned.
All alone in her bedroom, she screamed until she grew hoarse, and then she lay down and wept until she fell asleep.
ABOUT CHELLE RAMSEY:
An original Georgia Peach, Chelle Ramsey is a fiction author, writing stories to encourage, empower, entertain and strengthen readers. Many of her stories are based in her birthplace of Atlanta or her husband’s hometown of Cincinnati, where readers can relate to local hot spots and events. She wants her readers (women and men) to become empowered to rise above adversity, with faith in God, and belief in themselves.
Chelle holds an MBA in Human Resource Management, which she puts to use in her HR generalist role by day, while she writes her women’s fiction and Christian fiction novels by night. She is also a romance ghostwriter, a genre very diverse from her own.
Her most important roles are those of a wife and mother of three. During her “me time,” she loves listening to music, and becomes enraptured with the enthralling stories of Terry McMillan, and Nora Roberts. She especially relishes trying to solve the engaging mysteries of James Patterson and Stuart Woods, while eating a bowl of her favorite butter pecan ice cream. Chelle resides in a rural community of Atlanta, GA and enjoys writing, family time, and watching NBA games with her husband.