This is super cool.
On the advice of a very good friend and reader, Courtney Purifoy, I decided to submit State of the Affairs to the 2018 ScreenCraft Cinematic Book competition. I wasn’t expecting to be placed, honestly. The fact I advanced this far is pretty neat.
I thank everyone who has supported the State of Affairs series. You’re the best.
For more information, click here.
This is a special ThrowbackThursday post:
Every Queen needs a King.
Briana Gooding has a lot on her plate and being a full-time social activist leaves little time for romance. When the NFL’s most controversial quarterback approaches her, she suddenly finds time.
NFL standout Caleb Kelly is known for his exciting plays on the field and his messy personal life that leaves many women thirsty to be a part of his harem. When he decided to take a controversial stance against the National Anthem, he found a strong ally in Briana. It’s only a matter of time before the activists are viewed as the country’s most dangerous couple and harassment ensues.
Senator Jay Edwards and his wife, Sanora, are making big plans for Briana and Caleb and have no qualms being their private support. When their detractors threaten those plans, it’s time to use a deadly reminder to show who’s really in charge.
All is fair in sex, love, and power.
Superpower is the second book in the State of Affairs series. It deals with social justice, activism, political aspirations, and if true love conquers all. It is a New Adult erotic romance.
Caleb was quite misunderstood.
He had his childish moments, Briana figured. He was the youngest of two children and very used to getting things his way. Being a multimillionaire athlete didn’t help matters. All he had to do was to request something and everything was done for him, no questions asked.
Yet, he went out of his way to please Briana.
He opened doors for her and ordered food on her behalf. He kept a respectful distance and only held hands with her. They did give each other hugs, however. They weren’t the church hugs where it was just a pat on the back and the front body parts couldn’t touch.
No, they were the full body embraces that touched Briana’s soul and spirit. The kind of hug she didn’t want to let go.
As she stood on the deck of Caleb’s home, Briana enjoyed the sunset view and wondered if everything was a dream. She fell hard and fast for a man who hadn’t even kissed her lips and never shied away about how much he wanted to taste the sweet honey between her thighs. They could chill and talk about how profound Lalah Hathaway’s music was before they moved on how much they unabashedly love Lil’ Jon.
He introduced her to Chinua Achebe while she introduced him to Nikki Giovanni. They were a match made in Woke Heaven.
Before they could jump the broom and have a New Year’s feast of Black Eyed Peas, Briana needed to confess to him. She had big dreams but they came at a cost. She just hoped her new Woke Bae understood enough on how she got to where she was.
“I need to be honest with you about me and the Senator,” Briana began.
“Oh?” Caleb softly played on her fingers with his. “What is it, Queen?”
Once again, the shivers prickled along Briana’s spine like a musician to a cello. She would never get used to Caleb calling her Queen. “He was the one that put me on and is pretty much responsible for all of this.”
Caleb read between what Briana said. He had a feeling something went on but didn’t want to confirm. He also didn’t want to know details. “Is it still ongoing?”
“No,” she shook her head, “in fact, you’re the reason why it’s stopped. He thought you would be a perfect match for me.”
Caleb grinned and slightly chuckled. “Am I?”
“You are,” she softly replied, “I wanted to come clean with you because I don’t want any secrets between us and I don’t want you to be shell-shocked later on. Jay is sincere and he wants to help as a silent and private ally. He has the resources to take this to the next level.”
It was news Caleb had heard before and he wondered if they both were being played like fools. “What did he promise you?” Caleb asked.
Briana debated if she should share the news with her boyfriend. It sounded pretty unbelievable just thinking it and she only knew saying would make it sound even worse. “He promised me the White House.”
Caleb slowly nodded and looked into the distance. Briana tried to read his face and couldn’t tell if he was pissed or still taking in all of the information. His brown eyes blinked a few times as the small rise of his chest indicated he was still alive. For all Briana knew, she was looking at a Madame Tussand’s wax figurine.
Her eyes followed his body as he got up and stood next to the railing on the deck of his home. Briana immediately went into panic mode. “If this news makes you uncomfortable, I totally understand and I’m willing to say goodbye. I just wanted to be real with you.”
“Do you want the White House?” He calmly asked as he looked out into the distance.
“I don’t know,” Briana answered as she joined him, “It sounds promising but I don’t know. I’m barely running for Congress now and I don’t have any foreign policy experience. Hell, I barely have political experience as it is. Yeah, being the first Black female president sounds awesome but it also sounds like good fiction. Everyone dreams about it because they know it’ll never happen.”
“It’s not a job for everyone, but if you really want it, I’ll support you one hundred percent.” Caleb nodded, “but you need to be aware of you’re getting yourself into. People are going to dig up your past, bring me into it, and make it very difficult for you to run. They’ll question everything, even the time you stole gum from the grocery store when you were six.”
“And that’s what I’m afraid of, Caleb.” Briana shook her head. “People already have an image of me that’s not flattering in any way. I’m sure I’m not doing you any favors.”
“Oh?” He challenged her. “What makes you think that?”
“Come on,” she shook her head again, “I know what the press has been saying about me.”
“So?” He replied. “I don’t care about that.”
“You should,” she replied and he glanced over to her, “you need to care about your brand.”
“My brand, huh?” Caleb looked back into the distance and sighed. “You are a politician.”
“Every person has a brand, Caleb. It’s what people think of you when they hear your name or see your face. You choose what to put out and the public decides if it’s great or awful.” She was met with more silence. “Caleb, you don’t understand,” Briana began to explain and he dismissed her, “listen, I have to make changes for the future. If I want to make a difference, I have to start by doing certain things and presenting myself in a certain way to be accepted.”
“Well, I have to change my look,” she stated, “I need to look more political.”
Caleb ran his hand through her locs. They were soft, silky, and smelled like coconut oil. “I think you look pretty political right now.”
Briana released the breath she didn’t realize she held. “That’s not all. I also need to start dressing more appropriately.”
Caleb eyeballed Briana’s outfit. She wore jeans, sneakers, and a sweater. “What’s wrong with what you have on?”
“It needs to be classier,” she explained.
“Hmm…” Caleb nodded.
Briana studied his face. His eyes were blank and his face equally matched his hard stare. It was clear he was simply humoring her. “Speak now or forever hold your peace.”
“Tell me,” his eyes never left the view of the mountains, “is the White House dream yours or the Senator’s and his wife?”
“You sound like you don’t support me,” Briana was weary.
“I support everything you do, Queen,” Caleb retorted, “but while your head is in the clouds, I also want you keep your feet on the ground.”
“I’ve been threatened, already,” she began, “they’ll reveal my past and yours.”
“I’ve done some stupid things but I’m not ashamed of any of it.” Caleb admitted. “If that comes out, I’ll go to battle.”
“They’ll drag out every little detail of yours, Caleb,” Briana doubled-down, “everything.”
“And like I said, I’ll go to battle.” He stood his ground.
Briana’s heart did a praise dance. “Are you ready for this, my King?”
“I’m ready for anything, Queen.” He pulled her close to him.
His hand moved to her cheek and Briana grabbed his hand and kissed his fingers. “I need to start taking down my hair. It’s going to take all night.”
“And what do you know?” He pulled her close to him. “I can go all night.”
State of Affairs I and II are available now.