I’m so giddy right now…the lady I want to introduce to you is who I consider my mentor, big sis, friend, bestest author…okay you get the picture right? I simply love her. I was reading her work far before I knew I’d write and way before I ‘met’ her. She is just I imagined she’d be…sweet, kind and loves her some Jesus. She is the queen of African American Christian Romance…yep, that’s my tag for her. I can’t begin to tell you which of her books to read cos I love all of them. But I want to introduce you to her latest release. Okay, Imma be quite now….
Lately, nothing in Garrett Nash’s life has made sense. When two people close to the U.S. Marshal wrong him deeply, Garrett expects God to remove them from his life. Instead, the Lord relocates Garrett to another city to start over, as if he were the offender instead of the victim. Criminal attorney Shari Carmen is comfortable in her own skin most of the time. Being a “dark and lovely” African-American sister has its challenges, especially when it comes to relationships. Although she’s a fireball in the courtroom, she knows how to fade into the background and keep the proverbial spotlight off her personal life. But literal spotlights are a different matter altogether. While playing tenor saxophone at an anniversary party, she grabs the attention of Garrett Nash. And as God draws them closer together, He makes another request of Garrett, one to which it will prove far more difficult to say “Yes, Lord.”
Garrett Nash’s Boston homecoming was bittersweet. The majority of his family and most of his friends were glad to see him—but not all. There were some who found pleasure in his discomfort in the aftermath of his breakup with his ex-fiancée. At least their whispers couldn’t be heard in Philly where he had relocated months ago.
If only he hadn’t had to return home so soon, but it was his grandparents’ fiftieth wedding anniversary, and nothing could keep him away. But one problem had arisen as the event neared. While spearheading the entertainment for the program, the original band canceled, and Garrett had to scramble to find a replacement.
John Whitman, an old college buddy and band director at his new home church in Philly, had offered the band’s services and had been a godsend. Garrett didn’t think twice about accepting the offer.
The band members would arrive an hour or so before the ceremony. Garrett’s only request was that someone perform one of his grandparents’ favorite old songs. John assured him that a fellow saxophonist could play the selection flawlessly.
He hoped so. The slightest off key would be blaring to his grandfather who taught music theory in high school and at a historically Black college before retiring. Plus, Grandpa Moses had toured with a band in his heyday. Most in the Miller dynasty didn’t bother reading music and could play almost anything by ear. His grandfather was convinced his family scripted notes on musical sheets before they were born.
Sighing, Garrett glanced out the window from his old room in Roxbury. The radiance of the moon was surreal. It seemed like yesterday when his fate was sealed without a heads up.
His maternal grandfather, Moses Miller, had been livid when he got the news that Garrett’s fiancée, at the time, was expecting a baby. The rumors, accusations, back-biting and most of all shame from longtime friends in the church caused the Miller clan to call for two days of consecration with fasting and prayer. After all, they were a godly family, living a God-fearing life and scandal was not something that was connected with the family name.
Then on the infamous night of the gathering, a family member had spoken in tongues, and Garrett and his grandfather both received the interpretation.
“What did God tell you?” His grandfather’s eyes had been weary, reflecting the same heaviness Garrett felt in his heart.
Garrett had frowned, confused and disturbed. The Word from God didn’t make sense. The Lord wanted him to just walk away from the job and family he loved and the woman he vowed to love—everything that was in Beantown. “I’m supposed move.” That hadn’t sounded right to his ears then, and a couple of months later, he was still baffled.
Deborah, his older sister by two years, was outraged. “Your fiancée got herself pregnant.” There had been no lost loved between his only sibling and Brittani.
The fault didn’t lie with his ex alone. Regardless of his sister’s outburst, Brittani hadn’t gotten pregnant by herself.
“Granddaughter, my spirit bears witness to Garrett’s. God’s ways aren’t like ours. His decision is final,” their grandfather had stated in a voice that left no room for bargaining.
Their grandmother, Queen—a classy, garrulous grand diva who was appropriately named—seemed to age in seconds. Sniffing, she held her peace as she linked her arthritic fingers with her husband’s.
“This pregnancy is not only an embarrassment to our family but a humiliation before God. There’s no excuse for any sin, and sexual immorality…” Moses shook his head.
His grandfather had preached to the choir. The Millers were three—going on four—generations strong of committed Christians. Garrett had been born, reared, and educated in Boston public schools; completed his undergraduate studies at Boston University, and at thirty-one, had just transferred from Homeland Security to the Justice Department as an U.S. Marshal less than a year earlier. Life was good. Everything had been going smoothly, until through no fault of his own, a night of passion—one that never should’ve happened—had altered his life forever. Garrett scowled whenever he thought about it.
“All the years I’ve talked to you and your cousin Landon—my only two grandsons…” Moses had no shame doting on the boys in the family. After having seven daughters, he couldn’t get enough of male grandsons and great-grandsons. “You’re supposed to walk upright before God, not touching a woman unless she’s your wife. I’m so disappointed. Your ex was bewitching from the start, but God can forgive instantly, as each of us is a work in progress. Look at your moving as a blessing in disguise.”
Deborah snorted. “A blessing, Grandpa? I see it as Brittani dolled up in a church disguise.”
Their mother frowned and shook her head. She was long-suffering toward her children until they stepped out of place.
Garrett cleared the memories. That night had been traumatic. At times, he hadn’t known where he was going—city, job, place of worship. There had been so many questions, but one by one, the Lord had opened doors as if leading him to where he lived currently—in Philly and attending a great medium-sized church where he was a new kid on the block and no rumors.
About the Author
Pat is the multi-published author of several single titles and eBook novellas, and is a two-time recipient of Emma Rodgers Award for Best Inspirational Romance. She has been a featured speaker and workshop presenter at various venues across the country.
As a self-proclaimed genealogy sleuth, Pat is passionate about researching her ancestors, then casting them in starring roles in her novels. She describes the evidence of the gift of the Holy Ghost as an amazing, unforgettable, life-altering experience. God is the Author who advances the stories she writes.
Currently, overseeing the media publicity for the annual RT Booklovers Conventions, Pat has a B.S. in mass communications from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts.
Pat has converted her sofa-strapped, sports fanatic husband into an amateur travel agent, untrained bodyguard, GPS-guided chauffeur, and her administrative assistant who is constantly on probation. They have a son and a daughter.
Read more about Pat and her books by visiting http://www.patsimmons.net, or on social media.