CAROL TAYLOR

BROWN SUGAR WANDERLUST THE EX CHRONICLES AND INSIGNIFICANT OTHERS

PRAISE FOR
THE EX CHRONICLES

"It's a familiar premise—four 30-ish, New York City friends... navigating the perils of single life. Thankfully, Taylor makes it fresh again in her delicious debut novel by punching up the ante with some intriguing Terry McMillanesque twists."
— Publisher's Weekly



PRAISE FOR BROWN SUGAR

"Audaciously refreshing."
—Essence
"A stylish anthology."
—Publishers Weekly
"As smart as it is sexy."
—Honey



CONTRIBUTORS

Sapphire, Pamela Sneed, Natasha Tarpley, Jabari Asim, Tony Medina, RM Johnson, Leone Ross, Reginald Harris, Marci Blackman, Kwame Dawes, Lisa Teasley, Michael Gonzales, Lois Griffith, Chris Benson, Diane Patrick.



CONTRIBUTORS

Glenville Lovell
Deep Bronze
Miles Marshall Lewis
Nina Foxx
SekouWrites
Sandra Kitt
Preston L. Allen
Carol Amorosa
Jervey Tervalon
Nalo Hopkinson
Brandon Massey
Tracy Price-Thompson
Sandra Jackson-Opoku
Melvin E. Lewis

THE EX CHRONICLES


Precious, a struggling writer, discovers her fiancé Darius in bed with another woman, though she ends the engagement it doesn’t stop her from wanting him. Bella, the wise-cracking, over-indulged child of an absent diplomat father and pill-popping socialite mother, knows her musician boyfriend Julius is using her, but before she can give him up she has to give up her first love, alcohol. Half-British, half-Jamaican, Zenobia, sacrifices a successful modeling career for Malcolm, her overly critical boyfriend, but when he strays she fears she’s made a terrible mistake. Bourgie Hope, the editorial director of a high fashion magazine, is working double time to hide the effects of caring for her dementia-ridden mother and her own debilitating depression, while trying to resist a strong attraction to her new driver Derrick, a single dad from the projects.

Funny and sexy, heartbreaking and inspiring, the Ex Chronicles is a novel about faith in one’s self, trust in one’s friends, and the sacrifices we make in the name of love.



EXCERPT FROM THE EX CHRONICLES


Pushing back the duvet, Precious pads into the bathroom shading her eyes from the blinding beams of light coming in from the window. She looks in the mirror. Her eyes were puffy, accented by dark circles. She has a pimple, no two. Her skin has the greasy sheen of someone who didn’t wash her face before dropping drunkenly into bed, then falling onto the floor and staying there until 6:30 in the morning. We won’t even talk about her hair, which is standing up around her head. She didn’t know why she bothered to try to keep up with Bella when they went out drinking. She always lost.
Precious brushes her teeth, splashes water on her face, and then picks at the pimples. She puts some tea tree oil on the quickly developing blemishes then sighs. Precious makes her way back to the bedroom, slips on her favorite tattered sweatpants, sneakers, and her zippered hoodie to keep out the crisp September chill. Raking her hair back with her fingers she pulls the hood over her head grabs her wallet and cell praying she won’t run into anyone she knows. Only people on the walk of shame, or gym freaks would be out so early on a Sunday morning, she figures.
Stepping out of her building she walks smack into her ex. Damn, why don’t they just move to another country when you break up? Precious wonders. Three months later and she still wasn’t over Darius. He was her deep chocolate dream; fat sexy lips, body of death; all her favorite things. Damn him to hell for continuing to breathe, she silently cursed him.
After running into each other, about twice a week, they’d progressed from screaming matches to stony silence with murderous looks, then finally to “How’s it going?” with fake smiles. She was gearing up to move to full-fledged sentences to show him that she’d moved on, and she’d be gorgeously decked out when it happened and now this. Fuck!
Darius was walking his dog and clutching a plastic container of fruit salad from the Korean grocery store around the corner. He was, of course, freshly showered and wearing baggy sweatpants that looked sexy on him. Precious’ sweats just look baggy on her.
“Hey.” He says, kicking some trash with his sneaker.
“Hey.” She mumbles, looking everywhere but at him.
“Ahm. . . How’s it going?” He asks with a fake smile.
“How’s it going?” Is he kidding? She thinks. I look like I’m sneaking out of my own apartment with toothpaste probably dried to my face.
“Good, good. It’s good. Good, good.” Precious answers. Good grief, she thinks, I can’t even form sentences.
As they both stand there smiling awkwardly in the evil patch of early morning sun, his dog starts to pee on her garbage cans. Great.
“Hey, stop it, Miles, cut it out.” Darius chides the bulldog.
This was disingenuous and entirely for her benefit as it was probably why Darius had stopped there in the first place.
“Look,” he says, dramatically flipping his locks out of his face. “I know this is awkward. I’ve been meaning to stop by to get my stuff.”
“The stuff I threw out?” She asks.
He looks at her. When she smiles, he laughs. “You always had a funny sense of humor, Precious.”
She didn’t bother deconstructing the sentence; brains hadn’t been his selling point.
“Yeah, I’m just kidding. It’s upstairs. I’ve put most of it in a shopping bag.”
“Can I get it? It would just take a minute. Are you on the way out…? He asks, not really caring because he ran into her walking out of the building. He certainly hadn’t changed. She thinks. He was still selfish, and self-centered, and he was still the hotness. Her panties were soaking wet.


JUST LIKE OLD TIMES

After closing the door to the apartment she turns to Darius. He smiles a big wide grin and opens his arms.
“How about a hug, Baby girl? It’s been a while.”
He really is beautiful. And she’s missed him so much. Instead of stabbing him with her keys, she steps into his arms. His muscular biceps, outlined by his tight thermal top envelope her. He smells the same, like musk and wet dreams. His dreadlocks frame her face as he puts his cheek against hers. They stand like this, not saying a word as Miles roams the tiny apartment finding familiar smells. Precious feels the outline of his body, his dick hardening against her.
“I missed you,” he whispers against her ear.
She can barely hear him; the blood is pounding so loudly in her head.
“Baby, I can’t apologize enough. It was just a fuck. She meant nothing to me.”
It was the same thing all over again. He’d sung this same sad song for a month after she’d walked in on him and that white girl.
He lifts her chin and looks in her eyes. “You know you overreacted. It’s you I love. You know that. I asked you to marry me. I’ve never asked anyone else.”
Precious pulls her chin out of his hand but hasn’t the strength to pull away. “How can I ever trust you again? How long have you been lying to me, fucking other women?”
“We were getting married in four months. I’d be spending the rest of my life with you. It was a last fling thing. If you want me to promise I’ll never do it again. Okay, but baby, what’s done is done. I want you back. I miss you. I hate myself for missing you but I do.” Darius tightens his arms around her.
“I don’t know...” Precious feels her resolve slipping. She couldn’t think straight so close to him. They’d been together for two years. It had been three months since she’d gotten laid. She wanted him. She always wanted him. They were so good together.
They stand there in silence for several minutes. Then Darius slips his hand down the waistband of her sweats, between her legs and smiles against her cheek.
“You’ve missed me too, I can tell. Take off your clothes.”
Precious knows she shouldn’t do it. He’s bad news, bad, bad, bad. But he was so bad, that he was good. Knowing better, but not caring, she steps back and pulls off her hoodie. She kicks off her sneakers, steps out of her sweats, and stands there in her panties and wifebeater.
Darius smiles and looks her up and down. “Mmm, you’re still so sweet and juicy.” he says, slipping the rubber band off his wrist he ties his hair back up off his face then says, “Now mine.”
Precious still wants him. It had always been like that with them; a physical attraction so strong, just standing near him made her heart pound. Even after his betrayal it hadn't changed.
She pulls his top over his head, and his sweats off as he steps out of his sneakers. He stands for a minute in his jockeys watching her. Then he takes her hand and pulls her onto the bed.
This is how Precious finds her ex’s mouth between my legs. He looks good enough to eat. She apparently is.
“Mmm. How’s that?” he asks, sucking harder.
“Yeah, that’s good.” She moans. “Just like that. Just like that. . . . Oh, yes . . . Just like that . . .”
“Mmm, that’s it,” he urges, “come for me, baby, come for me.”
And she did. She always did.
As he lay in the V between her thighs, the muscles in his back, ass and legs ripple as he lifts her hips up to his mouth. She knows she is lost. He is the man of her dreams. The man she’d prayed for. The man she was going to have kids with, the house, and the dog, all of it. And he’d shown up, they’d fallen in love and they were to be married. How could she possibly start over with someone else?
She still loved him; loved everything about him; his walk, the dimple in his cheek when he smiles. The way he used to fall asleep still inside her. How they’d talk five times a day and he’d hide little gifts around her apartment. How could they not have another Christmas together, or another Thanksgiving gorging themselves on Turkey and pie? Had they spent their last weekend in bed fucking, sleeping and talking, not leaving the house.

This is how they ended back at square one, in her bed, their clothes on the floor, Miles eating her favorite sandals and Demon hissing at him from the windowsill. It was just like old times.

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SELECTED WORKS

New Four-Book Novella Series
Book 1 coming spring 2013, with a new book published every six months.
BellaOnline Interview Part 5
Carol Taylor shares her 18 years writing and editing experience with BellaOnline.
BellaOnline Interview Part 4
Carol Taylor shares her 18 years of writing and editing experience with BellaOnline.
BellaOnline Interview Part 3
Carol Taylor shares her 18 years writing and editing experience with BellaOnline.
BellaOnline Interview Part 2
Carol Taylor shares her 18 years writing and editing experience with BellaOnline
BellaOnline Interview Part 1
Carol Taylor shares her 18 years writing and publishing experience with BellaOnline.
Book Review
Read the review at BellaOnline http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art174517.asp
Magazine Article
Society Column, Dwell Magazine 2001
Is there a crisis in black relationships? Despite millions of examples of loving couples, do black women and men still have negative perceptions of each other? If so, where did they come from and are they true?
TANGO MAGAZINE 2009
Interview
An Editor on Editing and Writing
The Life of an Erotica Writer
Excerpt
Bronx Biannual Literary Journal #2
Advice Column
Advice on Love and Lust
A novel
In a New York City rife with emotional landmines, four friends search for Mr. Right but often end up settling for Mr. Right Now.
Books
A Los Angeles Times Bestseller and Winner of the 2001 Gold Pen Award for Best Short Story Collection
The second book in the best-selling Brown Sugar series
The third book in the best-selling Brown Sugar series.
The fourth book in the best-selling erotic collection
Read an excerpt from the book
Short Stories
Uptown Magazine September 2005
Dwell Magazine April 2001
Oneworld Magazine Feb/Mar.2002
Oneworld Magazine Sept./October 2003