Praise for Victor McGlothin
“McGlothin weaves convincing historical elements into a fast-movingcaper, and Baltimore Floyd is a delightful scoundrel.”
Ms. Etta's Fast House
“A talented storyteller with a knack for telling a convincing story, McGlothin manages to weave an entertaining story that may indeed ring true to many readers ...
What's a Woman to Do
will introduce readers to yet another new and refreshing voice in the world of contemporary African-American fiction.”
“4 Stars ... Victor McGlothin has written a superb, true-to-life book. With a masterfully created plot, it explores the turbulent lives of three courageous women. This book offers a gripping, emotional glimpse into the dark world of the unknown.”
What's a Woman to Do
“A fast-paced, soulful, dramatic story.”
âThe Sunday Oklahoman
What's a Woman to Do
“The pacing of the story and the storyline itself ought to keep the reader interested until the last page is turned since there's plenty of drama and secrets to keep you wondering and guessinguntil the end. Victor McGlothin has told a story that is sure to satisfy fans of his first novel, AUTUMN LEAVES, as well as new readers.”
“McGlothin's tale is sophisticated and sexy, with the plotting and pacing of first-rate noir.”
“Ms. Etta's Fast House
is a captivating and enjoyable read that takes you on a unique journey into the past.”
“An absolute page-turner ... intriguing and thought-provoking.”
âKimberla Lawson Roby,
New York Times
bestselling author on
Flextime with Tyson
race Hilliard sauntered into the lobby of the Hotel Carlylejust as she had done once a month for the past year. Her canary yellow skirt swayed in step with her confident strut. An impish grin danced on her full lips when the doormanstopped dead in his tracks to inventory the most attractivecurves he'd seen all day. Upon stepping inside the elevator, Grace turned around slowly, wearing a self-assured smirk befitting a woman who was quite accustomed to drawingattention. She wasn't in the least bit surprised when she noticed that the doorman hadn't moved an inch from the very spot where his curiosity had rendered him defenseless. He had seen Grace on several occasions, gliding past with a patented, carefree ease that accompanied her like a silken shadow. Regardless of how often he'd viewed that perfectly framed picture, the way she moved captivated him every time.
Although Grace was attractive in her own right, including being blessed with radiant skin, the deepest shade of chocolateconceivable, she would have been categorized as overqualified in the assets department compared to America's flawed idea of beauty. Fortunately, she wasn't the kind of woman who wasted her time trying to live up to fashion-industrystandards. She was way too busy working her shapely size twelve like a part-time job to give it much thought at all. Grace wore self-confidence as if it were a badge of honor. In fact, she was honored to be a proud black woman, although she'd discovered wearing that particular designer label was at times as much a blessing as it was a curse after having to deal with male business associates, who rarely knew how to manage a working relationship to benefit both parties involved.She had discovered for herself some time ago that manipulating circumstances as a means to an end offered better results when it wasn't personal, but rather for the sake of business. Because of her strong work ethic, Grace didn't allow anyone to confuse one with the other under any circumstances.
Likewise, Grace wasn't the type to become disillusioned immediately following casual, albeit mind-blowing, sexual acrobatics. After experiencing her share of disappointment, she understood the high cost associated with permitting her emotions to climb into the same bed she shared with a man that wasn't hers. “Check your emotions at the door, girl,” Grace whispered softly, to remind herself, whenever tempted by the silly notion that casual sex, no matter how physically rewarding, ever resulted in anything other than what it actuallywas, fun and games.
That's exactly what Grace had in mind with Tyson Sharp, the epitome of fun and games, sensual bliss, and good times, when suddenly, her purse began to vibrate. She slid her hand inside the brown leather tote bag dangling from her manicuredfingertips. While fishing around inside it, her heart rate quickened. “Oops, that is not a cell phone,” she chuckledquietly, after discovering that it was another battery-operateddevice vying for her attention instead. She flipped the “off ” switch and then wrestled it back to the bottom of the bag. “Got to be more careful. Ain't that right, Big Mike?” she said jokingly. No sooner had she stepped off the elevator onto the ninth floor, than her bag started up again with anotherchorus of “Good Vibrations.” This time, it was the flip phone summoning her.
“Hey you,” Grace cooed seductively into the tiny handheld.“I'm running a bit late, so I knew you'd be calling. How did I know? Because you always get impatient when you want some. Yes, I do like that about you. Huh? What else? Oh, don't trip; isn't being my sex slave good enough?” Grace strolled down the long corridor leading to room 921, their favorite pleasure nest, where Tyson was undoubtedly undressed, cocked and ready for her arrival.
“Hey, I'm here. Yeah, right outside,” Grace confirmed, anxious and aroused. “What, you want me to knock? All right then, get your naked self out of that bed and open up.”
When the door swung slowly from the inside, Grace tilted her head to catch a glimpse of what wasn't concealed behind it. “Ooh, is all that for me?” she asked, knowing that it was.
Tyson's smile widened. “Every inch. Just tell me how you want it,” he answered cunningly, with the same dose of spiritedverbal foreplay that Grace had initiated. As he hung a
DO NOT DISTURB
sign outside and locked the door, she leaned against the mahogany armoire to watch him. Tyson's muscles seemed to gather together in all the right places when her eyes traveled his entire body. She studied his dark skin, deep set dark brown eyes, sculptured arms and thighs, washboard abs beneath a developed chest, broad shoulders, and the tightest butt she'd ever seen. And as usual, Grace blushed seductivelywith her gaze trained on the talent.
Imagining what the opening act would be when the talent show began, Grace became giddy with anticipation, knowing that sooner or later Tyson Sharp always got around to doing what she liked best of all. Today, however, Grace was hardly in the mood for appetizers. She slipped out of the skirt and let it hit the floor, noting how Tyson's eyes narrowed when they landed on her thighs. “What you looking at?” she teased as he took two measured steps toward her.
“Everything I see,” he told her convincingly.
“Tyson,” Grace whispered urgently, her white silk blouse falling onto the cloth-covered chair near the thick drapery. She fell back on the bed, pulling Tyson down with her. “Mmm, what are you going to do to me?”
“That thing you like,” he answered softly, tracing her body with his soft lips and fingertips. “That thing that keeps you running back to me.”
Grace caressed his bald head gently until the irresistible urge to guide it between her legs refused to be denied. “Ooh, yeah, that's it,” she moaned passionately. “That's it. That's what I want.”
Of course, Tyson knew exactly what Grace wanted, as well as how she wanted it. He'd made time in his busy scheduleto get away from a thriving financial services business to do just that, before she returned the favor with unrivaled proficiency.While Tyson was a brilliant money manager, drop-deadgorgeous, and generous to a fault, at age thirty-five, he had yet to grow into the kind of man who possessed the maturityrequired to look past his own accomplishments in order to applaud someone else's. He wore shallowness like the impeccable designer suit tailored to perfection that hung in the hotel-room closet. Other than that, Tyson Sharp was a single woman's dream, and a married woman's fantasy.
Hours after receiving more of what she wanted, Grace was staring at her own reflection in the large rectangular bathroom mirror, once she'd wiped the steam away with a bath towel. She opened the miniature makeup kit she'd brought along, then paused to get a glimpse at what a single and satisfied woman looked like after an afternoon rendezvouswith one of Dallas's finest bachelors. Grace ran her fingers along the ridges on her supple breasts, admiring how they were still holding their shape and fullness after thirty-sixyears. Then she giggled quietly when she noticed her hair sticking up in a hideous telltale just-got-laid fashion. She quickly made herself presentable, collected her clothing, and exited the lavish den of sin, with Tyson sleeping off the aftereffectsof Grace's naughty nimbleness. The thought of snugglingup next to him zigzagged through her mind, but she chased it away before it caused her to do something stupid, something emotional, something she would have regretted. Grace had to remember that flextime with Tyson was simply an exercise in futility, nothing more. Besides, she was alreadyup against Friday evening traffic. She was forced to hurry to make it home in time for dinner with the one true love of her life, her thirteen-year-old son, AndrÃ©.
It was half past five when Grace zoomed out of the hotel parking garage. During the thirty-five-minute drive home, she grew increasingly uneasy. Having feelings of culpability and exhilaration, an edgy twinge gnawed in the pit of her stomach. As she pulled into the driveway of her two-story buff-colored brick home in a well-to-do subdivision, it occurredto her that she had forgotten to pack a spare pair of panties. In such a hurry to make her scheduled appointment, it didn't cross her mind until then.
Grace parked her Volvo SUV in the garage and entered through the laundry room, with intentions of slinking past AndrÃ© undetected. She tiptoed around the cherrywood dinnertable and eased into the mouth of the hallway leading to the master bedroom. When it appeared the coast was clear, Grace quickly realized that the jig was up.
“Hey, Ma,” AndrÃ© said loudly, with his hands fastened to the controls of a PlayStation video game, his elbows resting on his bony knees.
Grace smiled awkwardly as she entered into the den. Deliberately,she moved directly behind the evenly brown-hued teenager when she answered his standard salutation. “Hey, yourself,” she replied pleasantly to the gangly boy evolving into a young man before her eyes. “And what did I tell you about that âHey, Ma' stuff?”
AndrÃ© continued wrestling with the video-game controls until he realized what she'd said. After placing the joystick on the coffee table, he climbed off the walnut-colored sofa. Grace panicked when he approached her from the opposite side of the broad sectional. “Where are you going?” she stammered, fearing the inevitable.
“To say hello proper, like my mother taught me.”
Grace wanted to back away as he reached out for her, but she couldn't think of an acceptable excuse for doing so. “You didn't have to get up,” she said, in an exasperated tone. “All I expected was a sensible acknowledgment.”
“I know. That's what I got up to do,” AndrÃ© told her, with a warm embrace. “How's that?”
“Uhh, very refreshing actually,” she answered, then immediatelychanged the subject before her peculiar behavior was called into question. “So would you like to go out later, or should I whip up something for dinner?” Suddenly, AndrÃ© leaned away from his mother, wrinkled his nose, then sniffed the air.
Oh my Lord
, Grace thought to herself, hoping to high heaven that her child didn't recognize the remnants of grown folks' business or have a clue what she'd been up to on the other side of town.
“Mom, you smell kinda funny,” he said as he continued sniffing around her. “Kinda like those stinky little soap bars from that hotel on the San Antonio Riverwalk that gave me a rash.”
Frozen in her humiliation, Grace played it off as best she could. “Don't be silly, DrÃ©. I haven't been anywhere near San Antonio.” She was thoroughly relieved that he hadn't learned enough about life to ask whether she'd been anywherenear a hotel. Immediately following a narrow escape, Grace snatched up the telephone and hit “2” on the speed dial to order a pizza. Then she slid into the shower again to rinse away the incriminating evidence. While languishing in her solitude, a single tear streaked down her cheek. It occurred to her that AndrÃ© was no longer the boy she'd said good-bye to that morning before heading off to work. His senses were sharpening, and there wouldn't be many years left to offer motherly advice or see to it that his homework was completed to her strict specifications. She wasn't preparedfor AndrÃ©'s ascension into manhood or having to increaseher level of cleverness to get around his impending understanding regarding her indiscretions with men. Grace remained in the shower for quite some time to conceal her sadness and troubled soul with undeniable traces of gratuitoussex hiding just beneath it.