“Free, A Novella”

(I started this allegedly short story back in mid-Spring on my blog site, Nesie’s Place.  As I approached what I believed to be the third and final installment, story characters staged a mutiny! New characters were introduced and current leads had more to say. My husband had just been diagnosed with End Stage Kidney Disease, and I was in the middle of edits for my first novel, so I politely sent Lennie and company to the corner to sit quietly…and wait.

Life has quieted down…a bit…and I’ve gotten in front of “Free” enough to begin posting again with weekly updates. It will be a side companion to my NaNoWriMo project. I look forward to your comments.)


“Free, A Novella”

by Felicia Denise

Part 1

Lennie sat her suitcase near the front door. She knew she should just leave without looking back, but she could not resist one more walk through of the house that had been her home for the last twenty-four years.

She couldn’t help but smile when her gaze fell upon the large oak bannister…with the nick in one of the railings. After watching the Winter Olympics, Myron and RJ decided if the Jamaicans could bobsled, so could they. Fashioning their version of a bobsled from the box her computer paper was delivered in, her two youngest sons even donned their winter hats and mittens. For “realism” Myron proclaimed.

What would have been a few minutes of fun and a great memory, took a turn for the worst, when older brother Duncan decided just pulling each other around the patio wasn’t good enough. They needed an incline.

Lennie heard Randy’s wails and rushed into the foyer to find them all at the foot of the staircase –  Myron rubbing his head, Randy covered in blood, and Duncan looking extremely guilty.

Four hours later, after a mind-numbing visit to the ER, Lennie returned home with her troop of wannabe bobsledders. Myron had a simple bump on the head, and no concussion. RJ was the puzzle. They could not figure out how he knocked TWO of his teeth out – and a canine and a molar at that, and NOT his front teeth. Lennie was fully prepared to be arrested for child abuse, when the kindly doctor just laughed, commented on the crazy things kids do and told RJ he hoped he found the missing teeth so he didn’t miss out on a visit from the Tooth Fairy. Thank God they were his baby teeth.

Lennie chuckled softly as she ran her hand over the two small indentations where she’d found RJ’s teeth later that night, sticking out of the wood like something straight out of a horror movie.

Making her way across the foyer, Lennie walked down the three steps into the sunken living room. Despite all the wonderful memories she had of Christmas mornings, birthday parties and family get-togethers, Lennie still hated this room. If she were being honest, she had to admit she never really liked the house. He wanted THIS house. He loved the idea of the grand staircase, the cathedral ceilings and the sunken living room. Lennie wanted the ranch style home a few miles away with the pool and a second kitchen on the enclosed patio. But this was his status symbol to prove to himself…and his father…that he had ‘made it’ after only two years in research and development at the chemical company. How ironic that he had spent even less time in the home than RJ who hadn’t been born yet when they bought the house.

Walking over to the patio windows, Lennie looked out over the large backyard as if she could still see her children playing with their cousins on a summer afternoon. Lennie smirked as she watched the water shimmer across the pool. “You didn’t win that one, did you, Ranard?” He had vetoed the idea of putting in a pool, saying they were too deep in debt. Yes, they were. After buying HIS house. But six years later, business was booming for Lennie’s catering business, “Always…From Scratch!” What started as a lunchtime specialty sandwich business had grown into a full service catering business. Her background in nutrition and her killer cooking skills made her a stand out among the city’s league of caterers, and she soon became a favorite of millennials in search of healthier, but trendy menus.

At the end of the fifth year, after paying her quarterly taxes, updating her service supplies, and even giving a holiday bonus to the small team of soccer moms who doubled as prep and wait staff, Lennie had more than fifty percent of the cost of a pool. She knew financing wouldn’t be a problem. But she thought maybe it was time to dip into her nest egg.

Her Aunt Diane, her mom’s oldest sister, had passed away shortly after Lennie and Ranard’s third wedding anniversary, leaving everything she had to Lennie. Diane’s husband had been killed in Vietnam, they had no children, and she never remarried. Diane and Lennie had been close all of Lennie’s life. It was Diane who taught Lennie to play the piano. And Diane taught her the secret to a killer pound cake. Even though Lennie was shocked to find out she was Diane’s sole heir, it made sense to the rest of the family. Lennie was always Diane’s first concern.

‘Everything’ turned out to be Diane’s home, two cars, two rental properties, three hundred acres of land in San Luis Obispo, California, and an extremely generous amount of cash. After having Lennie sign all the necessary documents and arranging for her to meet him first thing the next morning to receive her new banking and tax information, Diane’s attorney left. Linda Kelimore, Lennie’s mother, sat silently fidgeting with her hemline until her husband returned from seeing the attorney out.

Burt Kelimore stood in the doorway of his home office and exchanged an uneasy glance with his wife before sighing heavily and taking a seat next to her. Lennie watched her parents, confused. “Mom? Daddy? What’s wrong? Did I miss something?” Linda grabbed her husband’s hand and squeezed as her eyes filled with tears. Lennie sat forward on the sofa and leaned towards her parents. “You’re really starting to scare me, Please, tell me what has you so upset.” Burt let go of his wife’s hand and reached for Lennie’s.

“Lenore, you know how very much we love you, and the last thing we want to do is upset you or try to tell you what to do.”

“Just say it, Daddy, please! I’m starting to freak out here!”

“Babygirl, it’s about the inheritance you just received.”


Part II

©Felicia Denise, 2016

“In The Best Interest of the Child” by Felicia Denise #SundaySnippet


Sunday Snippet

“Forgive me if I’m being forward, Ms. Chandler, but I wanted to give you my business card. I own Bellamy’s over on Mason. If you ever need anything…um, for your car…give me a call.” She reached for the card. “Anything…at all.” The man was positively shameless. Olivia couldn’t help but grin.

“Call me Olivia, and thank you. That’s nice of you.” Glancing at the card in her hand, a realization suddenly dawned on her. “Wait. You’re that Bellamy? Bellamy Motorsports of “We have twelve locations to serve you in Hennepin and Olmstead counties?” His face took on the brightest shade of red as he blushed uncontrollably.

“Guess you’ve seen our commercials, huh?” She laughed as she backed towards her car.

“Yes. A time or two…or twelve. The commercials never mentioned you were so…hands on.” His eyes widened, but she pointed at the tow truck and continued before he could respond. “The boss answering service calls?” He slid his hands into his back pockets and cocked his head to the side.

“Okay, you got me. But Court won’t let anyone else touch his Precious. I was with him the day he bought her, but I’m not sure who owns whom? Marissa always teases him by telling him she’s leaving and he can have the house, but she’s taking the kid and the car. He nearly has a heart attack.” She reached her car and noticed Rena was still sleeping. There was no sign of Courtney at the front door yet. She heard movement behind her and noticed Bruce had taken a couple of steps in her direction.

“I didn’t see a ring. Are you married?”




“Do you wanna be?” Olivia tried without success not to laugh.

“You’re definitely not the shy type, are you Bruce?”

“Nope. But I’m usually not this forward either.” Suddenly serious, he continued. “It’s just not every day I meet a woman I’m so drawn to. Actually, this is the first time it’s ever happened.” The sincerity in his voice caused her pulse to race.

“I’m flattered, Bruce.” He started to say something else, but both their attention was drawn to the front door as Courtney backed the wheelchair down the one step entrance, then turned and headed towards Olivia’s car.

“Olivia?” She glanced in Bruce’s direction, but looked away quickly, unable to hold his intense gaze. “Olivia?” Taking a deep breath, she met his gaze. “Call me.” She smiled and gave him a single nod. His attention made her feel light-headed, but she knew she’d never call him. She couldn’t. He definitely seemed like the type of man who wanted all or nothing…and nothing was all she had.

Download today – only #99cents!

Amazon US 
Amazon UK 
Amazon CA
Amazon AU
Barnes & Noble

Add to Goodreads

B13585_Felicia Denise_Logo_02

“Writing is WORK!” #Update


Wow! What a month I’m having!

I go from diligently working on finally getting my first novel published, to balancing three WIPs!

Why didn’t someone tell me this is WORK? I don’t want to work, I just want to write. Oh, well. That being said, I’m definitely deep into it. In The Best Interest of the Child went live on September 30th – but who knew it would have a BOOK TWO? I surely didn’t! SURPRISE! With a word count of nearly 150K, I had to back off and streamline book one…and it still came out at three hundred pages! But book one has NO cliffhanger – I loathe those! Book two will be another leg in Olivia Chandler’s journey (and it had better end in book two – who knows with my characters).

Since the second book is mostly written, I was shooting for a release date of somewhere between December 1 and the 15th. However, my editor is currently handling a family emergency, so I may move the release date to January. Yes, I know I could get another editor, but she did a great job with the first book and knows the story line – why tamper with a working formula?

What will be releasing soon is the print version of book one! I’m a big fan of print books and still buy them frequently. Okay, too frequently. But other print lovers have sounded off loud and clear. It’s a go for December!

My NaNoWriMo project is shaping up quite nicely. The working title is “For Worse” (as in ‘for better or for worse’) and tells the story of Quinn Landon, who finally files for divorce from her lying, cheating husband, and believes she’s on a new path to a new life. Only, she isn’t.  More about ‘For Worse’ as we get into NaNoWriMo country.

This is the cover…and please do not fall out and have a fit! It’s just a placeholder for NaNoWriMo. I would not subject the planet to my limited, amateurish art skills. Maybe one day.


“In The Best Interest of the Child” #MondaySnippet


“In The Best Interest of the Child”

by Felicia Denise

Women’s Fiction/

Release Date: September 30, 2016


Remembering all the cars parked out front, Olivia knew there were quite a few family members in attendance, but when Marissa threw open the family room doors, Olivia was stunned. There had to be at least forty people before her, and a third of them were children. Leading the overwhelmed attorney through the throng of family, Marissa loudly announced, “Bellamys, this is Olivia Chandler. Olivia…the Bellamys. You’ll learn names in time.” Olivia managed to give a short wave as her evidently new life coach forged on. Passing through a doorway into the formal dining room, they approached four older women sitting at the table in a very animated discussion.

“You were always wearing ruby red lipstick, trying to get attention!”

“Well, you were always dying your hair blond!” Marissa dropped Olivia’s hand and threw her own up in frustration.

“Please tell me you’re not having another ‘Who Was the Biggest Floozy’ argument? What if any of the grands heard you? Don’t make me call the Bellamy men in here!” Olivia figured that was not something the women wanted because they remained quiet and looked properly chastised. Marissa moved to stand behind the two bickering women, resting her arms on their shoulders. Motioning to the woman on her right, Marissa introduced her. “Olivia, this ruby red lipstick wearing firecracker is my mother-in-law, Bernadette Bellamy, and the bottle blonde here is her sister-in-law, Bettina Bellamy. They are married to brothers, but they are also cousins.” Olivia smiled at them both.

“Mrs. Bellamy and Mrs. Bellamy…it’s a pleasure.” Bernadette held her hand up.

“None of that Mrs.-stuff. I’m Aunt Bernie and she’s Aunt Bettie. She’ll answer to ‘streetwalker’ too!” Olivia’s hand flew up to cover her mouth and muffle her laugh, but the other women roared with laughter. Through narrowed eyes, Bettina glared at her cousin.

“You’ll pay for that.” Bernadette pulled a face while still laughing. Marissa shook her head and stepped behind the other two women.

“And this is my mom, Gladys Monroe, and her sister, Darlene Preston.” Olivia smiled at the women, but this time was hesitant to address them. They resolved the issue for her.

“You can call me Lena”, Darlene grinned broadly and nudged her sister. Gladys waved her off.

“You can call me whatever you like if you give me that gorgeous suit you’re wearing.” Olivia glanced down at her suit and back at Gladys Monroe, who wasn’t much taller than her daughter.

“Um, thank you…for the compliment.”

“Don’t mind my mom, Olivia. She’s just always been a fan of tailored clothing.” Gladys waved her daughter off.

“Olivia has excellent taste and a great eye. I wish I was built like you, young lady. You’re probably beating the guys off with a stick.” The flustered attorney grinned.

“I’m not. But I do appreciate the compliment.” Marissa saved Olivia by changing the subject.

Olivia’s journey is filled with fun and laughter…and tears and sadness. Will she get her happily ever after?

Find out by 1-clicking today!

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Amazon AU 

Barnes & Noble