Before Dawn by Laura F. Murphy released last month in the Black women, women’s fiction, contemporary fiction genre.
Feisty New Yorker, Max, falls for her mysterious coworker, Tommy, who is fourteen years her senior. Wanting to please him and meet his beauty standards she conflictingly conceals her natural hair from him and avoids tanning so her skin doesn’t get too dark. Max tightly holds onto their forbidden romance while trying to figure out who she is and her place in a world she doesn’t always fit in. Too caught up with her feelings she becomes oblivious to the consequences of her actions. As tragedy strikes Max has to face her own worst enemy, herself.
Laura F. Murphy (Author of Before Dawn) | Goodreads
(Tommy breaks up with Max, the main character, after years of a secret affair on the same day she lays her mother to rest.):
“Tommy,” I said as soon as I saw him beside his old black Mercedes up the street. Knowing it was dark and there was no one around us. I reached over embracing him in a hug. I took a deep breath as I laid my head on his chest.
“I really don’t wanna talk. Just hold me.”
“Max-,” he said once more, pulling me away from him.
“What?” Sensing something was amiss I moved my hands over to his chest.
“I’m sorry,” he replied, refusing to look at me.
“You’re sorry? What?” I held onto his sports jacket a little tighter, having a feeling of what he would say next.
“I can’t do it anymore. It’s not fair to Dina,” he said, taking my hands away from him.
“Don’t leave me, Tommy,” I begged, feeling my heart rip again. How could Tommy dump me on this day? He might as well have grabbed the knife they used to slice the sausage to cut my already breaking heart. Tommy leaned against his car with his arms crossed. “No, Tommy, not today. Not on the day of my ma’s funeral. Not on the day that I need you the most-”
“Was I supposed to tell you tomorrow? Do you hear yourself, Max? Are you that selfish that you can’t even listen? I am staying with my wife-”
“I don’t care if you stay with her, but stay with me too. Tommy, I need you- I love you,” I cried trying to convince him to continue our affair.
“You don’t love me. You’re just a kid.”
“I’m not a kid. I’m twenty-four,” I snapped. Tommy shrugged his shoulders as he reached in his pocket for a smoke. “So, that’s it? We’re done,” I said, hoping he would say we weren’t.
“Yeah. Like you said before, you were just my mistress.” He lit up his cigarette and took a huge blow before finally looking at me. “You had to know it would end. I love my wife and ya ma dying made me realize what’s important and how special Dina is. We have been together since high school. She always has my back, bore my two daughters, cooks and cleans and takes care of me. Besides she is one hundred percent Italian. She doesn’t have nappy hair like you do. You gotta straighten your hair, put weave in it and wear so much makeup to turn me on unlike my wife who is a natural beauty-”
Vexed, I impulsively threw my backhand across his cheek. “Screw you, Tommy,” I snarled pointing my index finger in his face. I was over all of his microaggressions, using my blackness against me whenever he was displeased with me. His eyes lit up from the slap.
“Sorry for ya loss,” he mumbled with his loosie hanging out the side of his mouth. Instead of reacting to me striking him, he climbed into his car and sped off leaving me behind.
Author bio: It is imperative that I create characters that are strong and likable, despite their flaws. Nothing about the main characters I pen are black and white. They are all multi-layered individuals who may not always make the right choices, but most times learn from their shortcomings. I try to keep the storylines relevant and realistic by addressing topics such as family relationships, friendship, relationships, mental health, amongst other topics that many women can relate to.
As a Haitian American writer I find it necessary to have diversity in my writing. What makes this novel unique besides the multi-layered characters and strong storylines are the strong dialogue that captivates readers and makes this book a page turner.
In 2009, my dream came true when my first young adult novel, Reckless Perfection, was published. I received multiple positive reviews on the coming of age story. In 2016 I published the sequel to the above novel, Chasing Ghosts which was also well received. Other than several book signings, interviews, and book festivals. I aam excited for my new chick-lit novel Before Dawn because I was able to write in first person and tap into a new genre (chick-lit). On my free time I enjoy spending time with my loved ones including my husband and parents, adventures, traveling, and trips to the beach.
Here is a link to my website: Laura the Writer (godaddysites.com)