In keeping with my theme of diversity (with a focus on underrepresented women of color in publishing), I’ve got a New Adult romance featuring a young woman who discovers just how strong she really is:
If a six foot-something man could shrink to two feet, that’s what Tyshawn did. My words seemed to make him fold into himself. His shoulders slump, and his face is crestfallen. “Bree, please . . . I just need to explain.”
“No, you-you get back. Get back or I’ll scream. You were there, and you didn’t do a damn thing except laugh. You saw me on the ground, but you didn’t do anything to help me-”
“I didn’t know you needed help! Jamie said you had too much to drink, and he was gonna help you get home.”
“And you believed him.”
“Why wouldn’t I? Jamie’s a good kid.”
“WHAT ABOUT ME!!” I screech, and the whole campus appears to stop to listen. Even the birds stop chirping. A couple of girls run over, asking if everything is okay.
Tyshawn throws his hands up, like he wants no part of this. He turns to leave, but not before giving a parting shot. “Jamie doesn’t remember what happened either. He says he was only trying to help you, and bam! someone attacked him.”
No he didn’t. No he didn’t just paint my attacker as the victim. “He’s a liar. And he’s going to jail. Tell your ‘friend’ that for me.” I refuse to say my attacker’s name. I will not let him have that kind of power over me.