Join RNIC in welcoming author Shewanda Pugh to the site! Today, Shewanda is introducing us to her novel, Crimson III: The Finale and doing a giveaway of the previous ebooks in the series Crimson I (which our reviewer gave 4 stars!) and Crimson II. But first, let’s get to know her.
What types of books are on your bookshelf at home?
My bookshelves truly look like the public library. On it, you’ll find most of the runaway young adult bestsellers: The Hunger Games, Divergent, Enclave, Legend etc. You’ll also find Stephen King, Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston, Phillipa Gregory and Amy Tan. As for nonfiction, Michael Eric Dyson, Cornell West and a half dozen reference books are pretty prominent.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be?
Are you a good girlfriend/wife/boyfriend/husband? Explain why or why not.
I’m terrible. I can admit it. I spend most of my time writing something, reading something, or talking about writing and reading. I couldn’t possibly date me.
What adjectives would your close friends use to describe you?
Goofy, snarky, sarcastic, playful, impatient, supportive, and a wee bit mischievous.
Finish this sentence: I’m addicted to…
Reading. If I’m not immersed in a book or if I haven’t made plans to get immersed in a book, then I get snarky.
Did you always want to be a writer? If not, what else did you want to do?
I didn’t decide to become a writer until the day I dropped out of law school. While writing had always been my passion, it wasn’t until that day that I embraced its possibilities.
What is your greatest accomplishment as an author so far?
Crimson Footprints III: The Finale was written under difficult circumstances. Early on in the venture, I was diagnosed with a life threatening, incurable illness. Much of it was written not because of how I felt, but in spite of how I felt.
Do you have a single book or character that’s dear to your heart, and why?
I adore Takumi Tanaka, the alpha male of the Crimson Footprints series. In the earliest stages of Crimson Footprints, every character—including the heroine—was developed with him in mind. He was the seed from which the first novel grew. The heroine, Deena, was created because she was who I pictured him with. His father, who figures massively in the first book, was also crafted as a response to his personality. His complexities formed, inspired and explained everything and everyone around him.
On your road to mega stardom, what types of interesting or odd jobs have you held?
My first job was at 14. I worked as a street cleaner for my housing projects, picking up broken bottles and assorted trash during the day. In college, I worked at the Burger King on campus. I’ve also worked as a camp counselor, a grant writer, an editor, a ghostwriter, an ESOL teacher and a social studies teacher.
What can readers expect from you next?
I plan to release the first book in a young adult romance series. It’s about an African American ballerina and the Asian Indian boy next-door with dreams of the NFL. When the two fall in love, it upsets the bond between the two families.
Crimson Footprints III: The Finale
Deena’s grandmother is dying. Her final wish is for a Hammond-Tanaka reunion. Both sides set out for Aruba, and once there, all hell breaks loose. Then they miss the evacuation order. Threatening floods push Hammonds and Tanakas up, up to the top floor. No secret is safe on the top floor. Even if Tak and Deena do survive, the question is: will their marriage?
The moon hung like a sliver on invisible thread, yellow-tinged and ominous in a star-lit sky. Tak stood under the hooded covering of the back terrace, eyes fixated on his wife. He could watch her, he thought, with those thick rivulets of hair in every shade of brown, already saturated to dripping in the water. Even, creamy skin with a smattering of freckles across the cheeks and full lips that turned up with a pout. He had traced those lips with a thumb, with a tongue, with lips of his own. Most every inch of him knew what those sweet beauties felt like and most every inch of him wanted reacquainting. Their last few days had been so busy lately; their moments together too brief. He could watch her, he knew, or could do more.
How he had gone without touching her, he couldn’t know. How had he gone without tasting her, he couldn’t know. Not when she stood before him, a lexicon of sweet curves, a blueprint for all others.
Two hints of wet white fabric cut low at cleavage and high at hips. Deena filled them with supple softness. He knew those curves with his finger, knew them with his lips. Somewhere in South Beach, was a woman desperate to purchase the same–full breasts, the same sleek hips and rounded backside, the same smooth, heat inducing body.
The kids were asleep. He’d put Noah down himself and checked in on the other two, plus Deena’s grandmother. But it didn’t mean that no one else was around.
Some part of him wondered if he cared. After all, he had that feeling. That superhero feeling. It made him think he could tear through reinforced steel to get to her.
His wife’s eyes closed and her head tipped back, arms resting on the edges of the hot tub with a pink cocktail in hand. In that moment, Tak envied the drink under her touch, firm against her hand.
He’d been a little tired…and consumed lately. By work, family responsibilities, and all the little things that had a way of wedging between husband and wife. It wasn’t as if he didn’t know all the ways he’d been unfair either. Unfair in that he loved her in that tired way husband’s loved their wives—quick, cursory, with results as the primary goal. She’d known pleasure, yes, but only because pleasure was the inevitable outcome in a series of well-tried steps.
Tak thought of her legs wrapping him, her back arched for him. He wanted her pulling and tearing and insane with her want for him. No talk of meetings or colleges or children acting out in school. Just him, her and sweat.
He crossed terrace to the hot tub straddling the pool. He peeled off his shirt and jeans, leaving just the boxers, before splashing in and earning a yelp from Deena. The sound buried with his kiss as Tak’s hands found employment lower, dropping to explore.
They should have found calm waters there, having sailed these currents so often. They should have found the steadiness of familiarity, the evenness of rote memory. But it wasn’t meant to be.
Maybe it was him, maybe even the urgency of his touch. When he drew her near, she mewled for him, a soft sound of yearning he hadn’t anticipated. Fingers ran up through his hair and clutched, entangled as their mouths grew urgent. Moonlight fell like a spotlight on them, illuminating for whoever cared to notice. Together, they counted the seconds in kisses, measured the moments in touches.
Buy it Now: Amazon
Here’s the info on the giveaway!
Prize: One winner will receive ebook copies of Crimson Footprints I & II.
Eligibility: You must be a subscriber to the RNIC newsletter.
How to enter: Leave a comment
Deadline to enter: Deadline is 11:59 pm EST on January 24, 2014
Note: By participating in this contest, the winner has given permission to RNIC to share his/her name and email address with the person conducting the contest so they can forward the prize(s). Prizes opened to U.S. and international entrants.
You can reach Shewanda online:
About the Author
Shewanda Pugh burst onto the literary scene with her debut novel, Crimson Footprints, in 2012. Short listed for the National Black Book Festival’s Best New Author Award, the AAMBC Reader’s Choice Award and the prestigious Rone Award for Contemporary Fiction, she’s best known for brazen, out-the-box romances that delve deep. Pugh whips up wit, charm, humor and a dose of heartache, for a sophisticated recipe all her own. Crimson Footprints I, Crimson Footprints II: New Beginnings, and Crimson Footprints III: The Finale are available now, in stores and online.
Laurel Cremant is an opinionated author and reader of romance with a wicked sense of humor. RNIC was smart (or crazy) to bring her on as a blogger. In 2016 she took over the management of this site and relishes her new title of “Overlord of Awesome”