A Writer’s Running Log, Days 8 and 9

I don’t run. I do yoga. And yet…

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Random Thoughts While Running
day 8 – 3.4 miles
day 9 – 4.0 miles

  1. My day 8 run was so annoying because I cannot figure out how to get my Strava app to talk to me. This after complaining the apps are mocking me. But still – I need to know how far I’ve gone and how fast I’ve done it. And I need to know this information WHILE I’m doing it, not afterwards.
  2. I love running in the rain. I learned this on Day 9’s run. I was soaked to the bone and thrilled about it. Easily my favorite run.
  3. There is a point in my run through West and South Orange that I use as a marker of sorts. It lets me know where I am and how I should pace myself. This morning – Day 9 – maybe because of the rain – I was so into my run, I completely overlooked the marker. Ran right past it. And only thought about it maybe a mile and a half later.
  4. I averaged a 10:16 mile on Day 9’s run, but was on pace to break the 9 minute mark until it happened. The Tourists. Motherfucking tourists in the ‘burbs, I kid you not. At least they weren’t psycho killers or sex traffickers or something, which was what I thought at first when they followed me at a snail’s pace in their creepy white car. For a good three minutes, I kicked myself for not turning on the Beacon on my Strava app, especially when dude stopped the car and got out. But I’m here, typing this post, so obviously they didn’t kidnap me. Still. They ruined my time…jerks.

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7 Days From Now…JUMA

I died twice. The first time, when I was five, at the hand of a stray bullet, and then again when I was thirty-five, of my own volition. Neither death prepared me for the random and brutal agony of living.

And so begins JUMA, book two in The Keeper Series trilogy, available for download in seven days.

SEVEN DAYS.

This book is poetry and death and love and sex. It is blood and sweat and tears on the page. It is raw and honest, gorgeous and brutal. And Juma is just goddamned magic. I don’t know how else to describe her.

And I don’t know what else to say except that I cannot wait for its release. If you haven’t done so already, sink into DUTCH and then get ready for the dark magic that is JUMA.

She is coming.

And trust when I say, you won’t know what hit you.

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Buy links for DUTCH:

HERE for Amazon
HERE for Kobo
HERE for B&N
HERE for iBooks
HERE for Google Play

Pre-Order Links for JUMA:

HERE for Amazon
HERE for Kobo
HERE for B&N
HERE for iBooks
HERE for Google Play

A Writer’s Running Log, Day 7

I don’t run. I do yoga. And yet…

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Random Thoughts While Running – day 7 – 4.5 miles

  1. I joked to a friend the other day that I am a camel, hardly needing water. I learned on yesterday’s run that I am very obviously NOT a camel, and running while not well-hydrated leads to almost a mile and a half of cramps. I love learning lessons the hard way.
  2. J. Cole’s “She Knows” – killer running music.
  3. Even with those stupid cramps I could have run 5 miles yesterday, but I promised myself I would be smart and take it slow. Or slower. So I stayed under the 5 mile mark.
  4. Today is yoga and barre class, but my inner voice really wants to get outside and run. I don’t want to be stuck indoors. At the gym. I feel like my inner voice might win…

DUTCH, The Keeper Series Book One – Excerpt II

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“Full of sex, magic, and turmoil…poetic and utterly beautiful. I can’t remember the last time a book made me stop and think, wow.” – Meredith Wild, #1 New York Times bestselling author

JUMA, book II in The Keeper Series, is just 10 days from its release so I thought it might be a good idea to tease you guys with a little more of DUTCH.

This scene is significant because it’s the first time Dutch and Juma interact. They’ve seen each other before, but that’s it – eyeballs, not voices and personalities and total fuckery. Because as you’ll see, Dutch is up to his usual nastiness, this time drunk and despondent after being given an envelope with his next kill order.

Enjoy.

Then grab your own copies and get lost in the dark magic of The Keeper Series.


CHAPTER TEN – DUTCH

“Easy there, gorgeous.”

Her voice curved around every sharp edge, like being licked from shaft to head and then sucked nice and slow until nothing else mattered. It was perfect, low and sexy with a hint of rasp, and it moved through me and settled in the spaces of my being that nothing and no one touched. She might have been beautiful but nothing compared to what her voice did to me, how it made me want to be someone I wasn’t, hadn’t been in years, would never be again.

But that mattered little because I was a fucking black hole of shit with an envelope containing my next walk through hell and she was beautiful and magic and stunning and not a black hole of shit at all. And like Avery said, she was probably an amalgam of all the things I decided years ago I could no longer tolerate, would no longer tolerate.

“Fuck off, bitch.”

She laughed, and for the second time that night my dick fought to escape its confines and slam so deep inside her neither of us would be able to think straight, walk straight, talk straight.

“I love a dirty mouth as much as the next girl, but we hardly know each other for you to be getting all familiar and shit with me,” she purred as she looked down at me with a smile curving her big, wide, full mouth. The mouth I wanted all over my dick.

I leaned back in the booth and glared at her, wanting her badly but also wanting her to move very far away from me, pretend she never saw me, never walked over here to annihilate me with that perfect voice and that perfect face and that perfect everything.

“Are you still standing here because you want to fuck or are you just stupid?”

She smiled and those stormy grey eyes of hers danced with amusement as she contemplated me in my sorry state, verbally abusing her with a stream of noxious diarrhea. And finally she decided something because she leaned down and I glanced up and she moved closer still and licked her lips and I could smell the peppermint of her breath and I worried that she was going to touch me and I was going to have to fuck her up but she stopped a hairsbreadth away from my mouth as if she knew she was already too close. She stilled and smiled.

“I just want to know what’s in the envelope.”

And like that, reality slammed into me. I sat back suddenly, extricating myself from her wondrous orbit. Sensing the change in my person, she pulled back and stood straight but she didn’t leave. She just smiled that smile so full of mystery and mirth and dirty jokes and sex and she remained ignorant of the fact she was engaging a cold-blooded, black-hearted, diabolical killer. An individual so depraved and demented he could no longer stand himself so he drowned that self in bottle after bottle after bottle of bourbon and smoked hundreds of cigarettes and fucked and choked and cursed and sucked and came, and did it all again and again and again to blot out the black.

She knew none of this, the beautiful brown woman at the bar who became the beautiful brown woman who leaned so close to me she could have licked me, only to evolve into the beautiful brown woman looking down at me with a bemused expression on her face and a twinkle in her eye.

“Hey Juma,” the bartender called out. The beautiful brown woman finally stopped studying me and turned slightly. “I’m out. Can you close up here?”

She glanced around the room as if worried about something, realized I was the only fuck still in the place, and nodded. “Sure thing, babe. Just leave me the keys.” She then tapped my envelope, turned on her heel, and headed back to the bar. The bartender watched me the entire time, as if not so sure he should leave his friend alone with me. I smiled at him and he turned away, refusing to return my gesture but passing along the keys to the beautiful brown woman whose name I now knew to be Juma, thus making some sort of positive decision about me and whether he could trust me.

What a stupid fuck, I snickered to myself. His stupidity left open the opportunity for me to stick my dick in the beautiful brown woman named Juma and fuck her hard and fierce and senseless and then pat her ass and walk away, never to think of her and her perfect voice and perfect face and perfect everything ever again.

I toyed with the envelope as she moved around the room, wiping down the tables and putting up a few chairs and stools. She said nothing as she worked and I said nothing as she worked and the silence was fine. Instead I studied her, the way she moved, how her shirt slid up a little each time she bent over, the lower left lip she constantly worried as she worked her way around the room, the glances she kept tossing over her shoulder until she finally gave up the internal battle she waged and locked the door.

She lingered at the door knob, holding it a few seconds longer than normal, a sure sign she was worried, whether it was because of being stuck inside and alone with me or because of something or someone out there, it was hard to tell. And I shouldn’t have cared. I didn’t care, I just wanted to watch her every move.

“You should take a picture, drunk boy,” she broke the silence, a laugh in her voice, “it lasts longer.”

“I’m not fucking drunk and who said I was watching you?” I growled and poured myself another bourbon, the foul effects of the last few hours fading quickly, my Keeper body doing everything necessary to always be in perfect condition, no matter how badly I abused it.

She simply laughed and continued making her rounds.

Juma.

I rolled her name around my head over my tongue listened to its cadence and decided in the name game, her people hit a home run. There wasn’t a more fitting sound to describe her perfection and sexiness to capture the beauty of her warm brown skin or the miracle of her freckles. As I watched her from the corner of my eye, I found myself burning to uncover every brown mark on her body and press my lips to all of them.

I blinked and spit.

“Hey mister,” she was at my feet, wiping up the mess I just made, “cut that out.”

I mumbled some sort of half-assed apology, wanting her to move away from me. Far away before I grabbed her and slammed her into the bar and did something we would both regret.

“Don’t apologize,” she stood and returned to the bar, “just don’t do that shit, it’s disgusting.”

Pause.

“Plus, I’m sure there are much better things you could be doing with your mouth.”

Without looking at her, I knew she was smiling and I made a decision right then and there about the remainder of my night. I pushed out of the booth, finished off the bottle of Scout, grabbed my envelope, and headed for the door. I didn’t look at her as I tossed the bottle into the trash and reached for the doorknob.

“I know you’re not leaving without telling me what’s in that envelope.”

I paused and closed my eyes, pressing my hands to my lids and releasing a long, slow hiss.

“You should just let me go.” I turned back to her and leaned against the door.

“But that’s no fun.” She came from behind the bar, drying her hands on her jeans.

“Nothing about me is fun.”

“Oh, I doubt that, drunk boy,” she stated without a smile, a certainty in her tone as if she knew me.

“Don’t,” I warned as she neared.

“Don’t what?” She stopped about a foot away, leaving enough space between us for me to almost breathe easy.

“Engage me.”

She laughed, low and sexy and deep.

“Who said anything about engaging you? I just want to fuck you.”


For the record, those two are just getting started. That scene only gets better.

“If you were (God forbid) limited to buy only one book this year, this is the book I would recommend hands down.” – Amazon reviewer

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DUTCH is available now and book two in the trilogy, JUMA, releasing on June 6th, is available for pre-order.

HERE for Amazon
HERE for Kobo
HERE for B&N
HERE for iBooks
HERE for Google Play

A Writer’s Running Log, Day 6

I don’t run. I do yoga. And yet…

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Random Thoughts While Running – day 6 – 4.1 miles

  1. I’m about to go out on my first run with my girlfriends…who are both marathon runners. And it just hit me – not wanting to run with them probably has less to do with me being a solitary creature and is in fact all about not wanting to embarrass myself. Either way, they’re not buying what I’m selling and have let me know that we are running together and there will be chatting.
  2. Can I really run 4 miles? Without stopping? Ummm…yes, in fact, I can.
  3. My girlfriends from above, the ones I was nervous about running with – during our run, one of them turned to me and called me “dangerous.” I love her.
  4. Also, I lied. I was totally chatty throughout the run. And it’s nice to run alone, but I think running with them upped my game. I averaged a 10:01 mile.

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A Writer’s Running Log, Day 5

I don’t run. I do yoga. And yet…

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Random Thoughts While Running – day 5 – 3.2 miles

  1. Led Zeppelin’s Ramble On got into my bones during this morning’s run.
  2. I like running alone. Tomorrow I have my first run with two girlfriends who are already amused by my desire to wear my headphones and be non-social while we’re together.  I think they think I’m playing…
  3. Despite the treasured alone time, I must admit to always being aware of my surroundings and the fact I am very much alone as I run. It’s a woman thing – we are always on guard, we have to be. I shared this with a friend today and asked him whether he ever worries about being alone on his runs, already knowing his answer: No. Never.
  4. I decreased the time of my mile to 10:53. Not sure I can do much better – that felt really fast. Despite the fact it is not fast at all.

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#Writing Contemporary Romance: AMAL, Part 11

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I’ve been so caught up in The Keeper Series and promoting DUTCH and getting ready for the release of JUMA and mentally preparing myself to begin editing DEATH, that I completely forgot about my contemporary romantic threesome, Amal and Jackson and Andrew.

So while we wait for JUMA and all of her beautiful magic to land on folks’ eReaders, how about a little more Jackson and Amal and Andrew and whatever the hell they’re up to now…


CHAPTER EIGHT – ANDREW

Infidelity.

Cheating.

Adultery. 

Duplicity.

Immorality.

Deception.

You didn’t wake up one morning and tell yourself, you know what, today is the day I’m going to pull some really foul shit out of my ass and fall for another man’s woman. You didn’t walk down the street, listening to your music, thinking of ways to violate the silent promises made between two lovers. You didn’t stroll into a bookstore to buy the required reading for your last year of law school, expecting to bump into the most stunning woman you had ever seen in your life. And you sure as hell didn’t expect that woman to have a mouth and mind damn near as dangerous as her body.

It didn’t happen. Ever. Until it happened to me. And then everything that was moving so fast, light speed towards becoming the most brilliant attorney in a family tradition of attorneys, came to a screeching halt with three simple words: Amal Warrier Naipaul.

I don’t think I’ll ever remember what hit me first, her smile or her growl of a voice or her ass that demanded all of my attention and honestly, I don’t think it mattered. Because once she entered my line of vision, everything ceased to exist but her.

When she walked out of that book store without ever looking at me or telling me her name, I knew I would follow her and do whatever I had to do to get her name and number. Because even though I knew she had someone else — women like her always had someone else, it was an inevitability of being so fucking exquisite — I didn’t care, I didn’t think about them, they were inconsequential to my game plan. So when she forgot her syllabus, I snatched it off the counter and followed her up Broadway, finally catching her on the corner of 116th street to return it, even though I hated that motherfucker Professor David Andersen — smug bastard —  because I knew this was my chance. Now or never. Speak or forever be haunted by that stunning creature.

The funny thing is when she told me her name, her voice inched slightly higher and the pulse at her throat raced and I realized the slim chance existed that whatever I wanted from her, she wanted something from me as well. And yeah, I had that effect on women more often than not, but mostly because they knew my last name and the expanse of my family’s wealth, not because they were interested in me, as a person, separate from all of that money and prestige and upper east side bourgeoisie. 

It was different with Amal Warrier Naipaul. 

How could it not be different with a woman who insisted on giving me her full birth name when introducing herself? Who did that? No one but Amal Warrier Naipaul. 

She didn’t know me, she had no idea about my wealth, and she definitely did not know the numerous and storied branches of my family tree. There was no flicker of dollar signs when our eyes locked, no sadness mingled with pity when she recalled my mom’s death, no twitch of irritation when she tallied all of the women who shared my bed. There was none of that because she didn’t know me at all.

I had a clean slate with her, a blank page upon which to write a new story, and I had every intention of making sure that story ended how I envisioned: happily fucking ever after.

That was until I learned three other words: Jackson Rashard Davis.

And my happily ever after seemed a dim possibility.

“Did you contact Dr. Davis for dad’s fundraiser?” my older brother, Dax, partner at Maynard Brothers, whiskey connouisseur, serial betrother, asked all those weeks ago. 

“No, I did not,” I growled in response, my nose deep in an argument for my final moot court competition, “one, because I don’t know the man and two, because I don’t know the man.”

“You’re a Maynard for god’s sake,” Dax replied as he paced the room, “maybe here and there, instead of using the name to collect more pussy than is humanly possible to consume, titillate, and fuck, you could use the name for some good in this world.”

“Said the man who’s been married five times,” I laughed and closed my notebook. 

Dax tossed a stack of papers my way and grumbled about something or other, annoyed I brought up the wives, annoyed I was right about the wives. 

“What’s this?”

“Not what. Who? Jackson Rashard Davis,” Dax replied, “son of Dr. Davis. Sadly, he does not skateboard, mostly because he is older than thirteen and has some goddamned sense, but I’ve heard he’s nasty on the squash court and an outright killer at lacrosse. Perhaps the younger Davis is more up your alley.”

“Fuck you, man,” I laughed as I flipped through the photos, “shit, this guy’s perfection. His clothes, his smile, his fucking wingspan. I don’t want to be in the same room with him.”

Dax peeked over my shoulder and grimaced, “I’ve done it and trust me, these shots don’t come close to the magnetism that guy gives off. It’s sick. He’s smart, funny, charming, down-to-earth, and real. Ten times the man his father is, yet he dotes on the old man’s every last word.”

I listened to my brother go on about Jackson as I continued flipping through the photos until I came to one and froze. 

The woman from the bookstore. With the dirty mouth and body made for all kinds of sin. And that voice that made me hard just thinking about how it curled around everything, all low and sexy.

Amal. 

Amal Warrier Naipaul to be exact. Every perfect, brown, beautiful inch of her, wrapped around Jackson, her head tossed back, both of them laughing. They were stunning and breath-taking and for two seconds, I found it impossible to move. 

“Ahhh,” Dax caught a glimpse of the shot in my hand, “Ms. Naipaul. Amal Warrier Naipaul, of the Doctors for Hope Naipauls. Scion of her family, a writer instead of a surgeon, and Jackson’s one flaw.”

“This woman is no one’s flaw,” I shot Dax a look and he grinned.

“Oh yeah, she’s perfection, don’t get me wrong. She’s stunning, smart, and talented, with a body that makes everyone stop and take notice. Added to all of that is the fact that although she comes from money, she’s not good at this world, the charming, the buttering-up, the air kisses and fake friendships, all which makes her quite endearing,” Dax explained, “but Dr. Davis fucking hates her. And he makes it known he hates her. And let me tell you, it’s awkward to be around when the old man gets going, but I have to hand it to Jackson. For being the son who always yes-sirred his father, he’s stood his ground with that girl. He will not give her up.”

I knew I could find her if I wanted, mostly because as Dax so rightfully attested, I was a Maynard, meaning I could get someone to look under every rock necessary until I knew every last detail about her. And trust me, there were many nights I lay in bed next to some woman I met here or there or anywhere, listening to the quiet sounds of her sleep, all the while wondering about the woman in the bookstore and whether or not she was fucking David Andersen. Which I knew she was not, nor that she wanted to, but if I relegated her to that one moment, that one conversation about that motherfucker David Andersen, then I knew I wouldn’t fall into the abyss of wondering about her everything. This way I kept her contained, boxed in so to speak, and she didn’t overtake my entire life. 

Because she couldn’t.

As much as I wanted my life to be all about learning every last detail of Amal Warrier Naipaul, I knew that could not happen, would not happen. 

Because Amal Warrier Naipaul already had Jackson Rashard Davis. And because I was not the type to interfere with great love. 

So instead I won Moot Court, edited my last law review article, graduated number three in my class, and aced the bar exam. All things expected, but done with an intense fervor in hopes of wiping out any thought of the woman with kissable brown skin, a voice full of sex, and lips meant for all kinds of bad acts. 

And for the most part, it worked. I kept myself ridiculously busy, wrapped in other people and things, time sucks and fucks, mostly meaningless but distracting nonetheless. I started working at the family firm and teaching a class at the law school once a week, I bought a new apartment, I spent six weeks in Africa, I met a woman named Reese, I settled into adulthood.

I never once considered touching Amal Warrier Naipaul, I didn’t fantasize about her, I damn sure didn’t jerk off to her. As much as I could, I forgot her. 

Until. 

“Andrew, take one for the goddamned team,” my eldest brother, Theo, argued across the dinner table. 

Since I could recall, my family had eaten dinner every Sunday together at 7 on the dot. Our mom began the tradition when she noticed our dad getting sucked into his home office too often on the weekends and us boys running wild with various sports and adventures and no one ever having the time to spend ten minutes in each other’s presence. 

She announced it the night before Thanksgiving the year I turned ten in that way only Kate Maynard could do, steely-eyed and serious-toned with a hint of laughter underlying it all.

“Boys,” she began, “that means you, too, Brax,” which made us hoot and holler and point at our dad until she shot us a look that shut us up in seconds flat, “beginning this Sunday, we will come together as a family every week to have dinner at 7, no excuses tolerated.”

My dad and brothers began to grumble and grouse, one having a date, another needing to prepare for a meeting, another needing to study for an exam, but mom wasn’t hearing it. She let them go on for a bit, buttering her bread and passing me some green beans with a wink, then tapped her plate with her knife and demanded quiet. 

“I said no excuses and I mean no excuses,” she picked up her fork and continued, “you will all be here, you will all be on time and that is final.”

And so it began because quite frankly, when Kate Maynard decreed anything, the world listened. 

When she died four years later, succumbing to the aggressive ovarian cancer that stole her from us in under ten months, my aunt stepped in and made sure we never missed a Sunday dinner until my dad was ready to make the tradition his own. It made us all feel closer to mom in those immediate months following her death and probably saved us as a family, forcing us together during a time of such extreme duress. More than one of those dinners turned into full-blown emotional breakdowns, but the four of us broke down together, sobbed and raged in each other’s presence, then calmed and moved forward as a unit. Without being there in the flesh, rather like some guardian angel watching over her boys, mom saved us all. 

It was so very Kate Maynard.

“Fuck the team, Theo,” I cut my steak, swigged some whiskey, and groused, “I’ve got plans and even if I didn’t, it’s your turn.”

We attended so many galas and functions and charity events, that we put ourselves on a schedule, each taking turns spending the evening with dad and one of his million and one pet projects. 

“I realize it’s my turn,” Theo pushed his glasses up his nose and pointed at me with his knife, “I just need a favor. And fuck your plans.”

“Theo, that’s no way to speak about Andrew’s conquest for the evening,” dad caught my eye and joked. 

“Come on, dad. Not you, too,” I set down my knife and fork and poured another drink. 

“Just stating facts, Andrew,” dad laughed, “and the fact is you have more women in one month than the three of us will know in one lifetime. I get exhausted watching you.”

My brothers laughed and even I couldn’t help but smirk. It was rare dad commented on our personal lives, feeling it was mom’s domain and out of respect for her memory, he hardly ever trespassed the invisible line created in the sand with her death. Did we miss some sage advice over the years, could it have helped Dax avoid his trail of bad marriages or Theo his broken heart at the hands of a beautiful French woman? Possibly. Would it have made a difference with me and my used and abused mattresses? Definitely not, but that didn’t mean I didn’t appreciate the moments dad wandered into the advice-giving arena. 

“But since you apparently have the stamina of sixty men, then you most definitely can handle your date and my fundraising event. We’ll go together,” he pointed his knife at me and winked, “I’ll see you tomorrow at 6:45 sharp.”

Theo smirked while I leaned back in my chair, sipped my drink, and silently cursed my brother.

“And cover the tattoos, Andrew. It’s a respectable function, I expect you in your tux.”

Which explained how months after crossing her path in the Columbia book store, I came to be in the same room as Amal Warrier Naipaul.


Oh Andrew, he’s so respectable and yet…

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