Best friends since high school, Rhonda, Karen, and Patrice are now in their mid-30s and early 40s, at a crossroads in their relationships with the men in their lives, causing them to question what if they weren’t meant to participate in long-lasting relationships or do they have what it takes to live up to being a wife. Through their stories, they realize that all of their decision making and communication with their partners boil down to one question: What Is Love?
In his debut novel, Demiere Lee captivates the minds and hearts of readers entertaining them through humor, wisdom, and offering his psychological perspective on what it means to be joined together. What Is Love? is a must-read for anyone who has ever been in multiple relationships that don’t lead to marriage, in relationships where the basis is sex and not intimacy, and if the spouse if causing to question whether their marriage is worth holding on to.
Sensual, empowering, and uplifting with elements of epigrammatic storytelling and wise aphorisms, readers will come to love Rhonda, Karen, and Patrice and hold them in a special place in their hearts.
About the author
– Demiere Lee was born in St. Petersburg, Florida on October 5th (Yes, he’s a Libra). The oldest of two children, Demiere enjoys being the oldest. He says of this, “I have control because I’m the oldest. There is a cardinal rule, in general, that everyone dotes on the oldest because he or she is the most successful out of the children, everyone dotes on the oldest, and the oldest makes it harder for any children afterward because they have the pressure of living up to your reputation.”
He was raised in Orlando, Florida until he reached the ago of twelve and he became a “military brat” by default. His list of travels hasn’t taken him out of the nation yet but he has lived as westward as Alaska and as eastward as Florida. A writer since the fourth grade, Demiere didn’t seriously consider writing as a career or become as involved and dedicated to the profession until the seventh grade when his English teacher introduced him to NanoWriMo and CreateSpace, a self-publishing platform that partners with Amazon Publishing Company. His first published work(s) was a compilation project with The American Library of Poetry where he wrote two poems in two volumes of their poetry for the year 2012 and 2013.
In August 2015, Demiere embarked on a project that would ultimately end up being his debut novel, What Is Love? The contemporary urban romance was published on January 26th as Paperback & Kindle/e-book. Demiere does plan on working on a sequel for the project but no time soon. He is quoted saying, “I dedicated five months of my life to this project and although it has been an incredible journey with much progress, I was glad when I published the novel so I could focus on other projects and endeavors.”
His next project, The Wives of Genoa Cove, a women’s fiction saga in a new series that’s set in a fictional affluent community. The novel tells of five women, four of them married, apart of a social circle that is lethal, all the while battling personal demons of their own, privately. The saga is set to appeal to soap opera fanatics and enthusiasts, with elements of glitz and glamour, secrets, betrayal, and revenge. It will be released March 27, 2016.
Demiere encourages his readers and fans to contact him via email at email@example.com, visit his websitewww.demierelee.com, follow him on Twitter @LeeDemiere, and to visit the What Is Love? Fan Club Page to enter giveaways, get discounts, find more about the next release of his novel and to most importantly buy the novel and share, like, post, and tweet about it!
Look below for an excerpt from “What Is Love?”, available now on Amazon!
Love. It’s such a complicated word with an indecisive definition. Being a marriage counselor with fifteen years’ experience, I’ve heard it all. The act of a spouse (usually the husband) committing adultery; the husband and wife going through dramatic physical changes to help them through their midlife crisis; the newly married couple so full of optimism that when they eventually hit a brick wall they call it quits and go ahead with the annulment. It’s because of these experiences with my clients’ that I start off the first session with new clients with the question: “What is your definition of love?”
Nine out of the ten times I get some cliché answer about the act of God playing a role in a marriage or how the wife’s role is to be submissive to her husband and to accept him for all of his faults. With all of my education and expertise helping others work out their marriages, it is quite ironic that I have played a role in forsaking my own.
Never in my life have I felt so alone, so without focus or without a plan. But it’s the complete opposite with my husband. Something is different about my husband, Eric, as he divulges all of this “confidential information” to Dr. Lauren Schultz—a fellow colleague of mine—about how he felt neglected and abandoned during the course of our marriage, due to my longer work hours and my fatigue when it came to intercourse. I just can’t put my finger on it, like an itch that you know is there but can’t seem to find it. Of course Eric opening up and willingly attending the therapy session aren’t bad qualities in retrospect but given the history of our seemingly unbreakable marriage it means trouble. Big trouble.
Here’s what happened: I got too comfortable in my marriage to him. There’s an unwritten rule in your vows that a woman never lets her right hand know what her left hand is doing. My mama ain’t raise no fool. She just forgot to teach me how to give a man just enough room. Eric cheated on me with his blonde bombshell secretary, Rebecca. I saw the signs but chose to ignore them. The plum colored lipstick on his white collared button downs, the expensive perfume that reeked of seduction and lasciviousness, his normal conservative demeanor so peppy and positive. The man I married didn’t act like that. The man I married was my better half, the one that kept me in line. And unfortunately the one who lied to me about it when I confronted it with him about it per advice of Dr. Schultz.
How he could look me straight in the eye and lie to me was beyond my belief and the fury that swept me like a broom to a kitchen floor was beyond my control. I admit I slapped him and threatened his life, shouting obscenities that would make Lil’ Kim blush. But afterwards when I drove to my mother’s house, I was a disheveled, confused, weeping mess.
“Baby, you got to learn men are gonna be men rather we like it or not”, she had said as she cradled my head on her pink satin full slip, the familiar odor of lavender and vanilla intermingling together and calming my fury disposition. The pink sponge rollers in her thick, lengthy salt-and-pepper hair swayed as she rocked me back and forth. “All you got to do is pray for Eric and hope the good Lord shows him the error of his ways”, she continued. Only Mama had a way of saying things that made no sense make sense.
I looked up to her with tear-stained eyes, my mascara running down my cheeks, snot coming out of my nose. I was sure I looked like a clown. Or my friend, Patrice, when she has to take care of her three younger bad-ass children. “Mama?” I whimpered, lifting my head off of her ample bosoms.
“Yes Ronnie?” That nickname made me smile. It was always distinguishable. Whenever I was in trouble by Mama or Daddy and they took a switch to my behind, they called me by my full name LaRhonda Shauntell Jackson, now Green.
“Did daddy ever cheat on you?” I asked.
“Hell no!” The sudden strength and formidable look she gives me astonishes me. She continued, “I would’ve whipped his ass clear across the state of Georgia. Even till this day he knows better. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t done unforgivable things.”
“Like what?” I asked, bewildered by this confession. My parents had been married fifty years and bore four children—my older sisters Lisa, Yvette, myself, and our younger brother, Ron III, after our daddy and granddaddy—in this very house. We never heard arguments, threats, violence, or cursing. It was always happy at home, at least the way I remembered it.
I couldn’t say the same for Morgan, Eric and I’s only daughter. After Eric’s “extracurricular activities” took place, she was privy to knowing more information than she needed to know about the opposite sex. No wonder one day I looked up and my baby was thirteen and entered womanhood. “He never told me he was married prior to our relationship and that he had an illegitimate child with some woman. A little girl by the name of Roniece.” Mama’s hands are now folded on her lap and as she rocks back and forth on the sofa so gently, I can’t imagine how I would’ve reacted to the news.
“He did what?” My perfectly arched eyebrows lift sky high.
“But y’all never fought or argued. You were perfect examples of a marriage. All of us looked up to you when we got married”, I informed her referring to my sisters and myself. Ron III hadn’t managed to settle down yet. He claimed he was a bachelor for life and as sad as I am to say it at thirty-six I’m beginning to think he’s right.
Mama looked me dead in the eye and I noticed she stopped swaying. “Just ’cause we ain’t argue in front of y’all don’t mean we didn’t have our issues. We just didn’t put our stuff on display for young chillun to hear.”
“I didn’t know that.”
“You wasn’t meant to. That was grown-folks’ business. Why, your’ Daddy would wait till y’all would go to bed and take his pillow and sleep on the sofa. He’d be gone by the time you would wake up. We put on a front for you kids I reckon to keep some type of peace in the home. Sanity even. But eventually we put aside our selfish ways and worked out our issues.
“That goes without saying baby. Life has a way of explaining itself to you. Marriages are going to have highs and lows, ups and downs, some days be good others bad but that’s where you come in. You cain’t count on no man to look after himself. He may be the head of the house but like in anatomy, the head can’t function without the neck. You got to be that neck. You understand Ronnie?”
“Yes ma’am,” I nod slowly, taking in all of her words.
“One more thing I want to leave you with.”
“My mama told me something fifty years ago, the day I married your’ daddy and I’ve thought of it ever since. I asked her ‘Mama what is love?’ She kind of look at me puzzled like and didn’t respond for the longest time I thought she forgot what I ask. Just as I was about to repeat it again she says, ‘Yvonne, let me tell you what love is. Love is like candlelight. It burns but after a while it flickers until there isn’t nothin’ but a used up wick.’ Ronnie, it’s exhausting and it gets harder to love someone when they continue to hurt you. But you took the vows ‘for better or worse’. Now you got to see them through.”
She placed her slender cool palm on top of my clammy one and gazed at me with her big brown doe like eyes. It was only then that I found the strength to do what I needed to do. And that was to save my marriage.