Hey y’all. I don’t want you to be surprised when you buy this latest offering in my Demon Series and see some tough language – the n word specifically.
The word has evolved considerably, been essentially taken back by black people, which I’ve always found extraordinary. But it’s still emotionally charged, full of shitty historical context and wrathful feelings most black and white folks would gladly leave by the wayside forever. But its modern iteration is still perfect for this particular book.
My heroine Steele explains it briefly in the book, asking our hero Miles to look up the word niggardly in the dictionary.
The word doesn’t appear often in the book, and when it does it’s in very natural conversational situations. I know people these days tend to go from 0 to 100 for even the slightest offense. It’s doubtful this blog will allay that sort of response completely if folks are determined to go down that road. But at least this little preface is here for those who care to look, read and understand.
This word’s use is not intended to intentionally rile up or create drama. If you’ve been following my work you know I’m not about that life. Action yes, petty drama and tricks, no. It’s not even a political statement. My writing has just taken a turn. It’s more honest, more reflective of the world that we live in, and whether some like it or not, that word has its place. That said, I hope you won’t find the few instances where it appears burdensome.
I love these characters. Steele has appeared in several of my other books, and she’s scheduled for an appearance in at least one other – when I write Tommy’s story – but she doesn’t live an easy life. Certain language is par for the course in her environment.
I hope you’ll open your heart to her and Miles’ love. The same open heart that makes it easy for you to accept that an alien from another planet can love a human woman with everything he has and everything he might be.
Despite its limited presence here, the n word will not make a regular appearance in my work. It’s unnecessary for most of my characters’ communication styles, and it’s too heavy, too contentious, too unnerving, and I don’t want you to feel that way over a word. I want you to feel that way over my work. *winks*
Now, here’s the next lil snippet where my last blog let off. Enjoy!
Steele woke early the next morning. Her cousin’s house was silent, which meant everyone was still in bed. Quickly she cleaned her face and teeth, made the bed, and slipped away. Tommy would chastise her for not staying for breakfast, but she already had several texts from customers. It was past time to start her day.
She sent some texts, set up some meets. Then she went to her little spot to get product and feed her dogs. Daisy and Duke were ecstatic to see her. She took ‘em for a good 30-minute walk, their leashes dangling from their thick necks.
She ignored the people glaring at her as her rotts walked free. The dogs were dangerous, no doubt, but only to someone who meant her harm. She’d trained them perfectly. They responded to the quietest command or the most subtle hand signal. But she never had to use them.
One busybody dared to ask if she thought it was a good idea to have such powerful dogs roaming free. She stared at him for a moment, then replied: “They’re never unleashed in a crowd, only early in the morning when there were few people around. If there are kids anywhere, I leash them immediately. If that’s not enough for you, I carry a gun. Would you like to see it?”
He left in a hurry.
Her girl Reiko laughed her ass off when she heard the story. “Would you have showed it to him, E?”
Steele’s look was answer enough. “You know better. The only folk see my pistol are folk who may catch a bullet.”
Reiko just grinned and shook her head. “I’m surprised he had the balls to even speak. That cold-eyed stare is deterrent enough. Between that and that Glock, the dogs are damn near overkill.”
Steele just grunted. She knew she was intimidating. No one was ever surprised to learn she’d spent almost a decade in the military. Her posture was always perfect, and she was always plainly, even severely, dressed in grey, dark blue or black. Mostly jeans and v-neck cotton t-shirts with short or long sleeves depending on the weather. She carried no purse, but she was always carrying, and had licenses to do so in three states.
She’d been told by many that she was beautiful. But she had no vanity. She could care less. However, her looks could be helpful, and she had no compulsion about using them ruthlessly to get what she wanted.
She understood the advantages in being tall and slender with large breasts and creamy skin the color of a pale peanut. But that was never her first plan of attack, and she never, ever courted sexual attention. That shit could turn bad in the blink of an eye. And while she had no qualms about using any one of her seven guns, she’d prefer not to have to because some man got stupid with the scent of pussy in his nose.
It helped that she kept her wavy hair cropped close to her well-shaped head. She cut it herself when it grew long enough to curl. She never wore makeup and needed none. Her skin was flawless, her lashes thick and long, her brows naturally dark and perfectly arched. Her full pouty lips were plump and pink without gloss, which was good since she seldom wore anything but lip balm.
Her only concessions to femininity were a few pieces of modest jewelry, all gifts from family and friends. Her earrings were gold or diamond studs. Nothing big or ostentatious, nothing that dangled or could be caught if she needed to get into some shit. She had a few rings, dainty gold things she’d been gifted over the years. On special occasions she might put on a few gold chains.
Because she was quiet, disdained clubs, social gatherings and spent most of her time working, she managed to stay neatly under the radar, and that’s how she liked it. Tommy liked to say she played maudlin and mysterious very well.
Steele just laughed. Her cousin had all sorts of clever ways to describe things, but the bottom line was, she wasn’t a flashy person. She wasn’t stupid either. Even if she wanted to be fancy, fancy and selling dope do not go together unless you like going to jail.