Sunday, June 08, 2014

Coming soon...Unbreak My Heart by Rhonda McKnight

Jacob Gray believed he’d spend the rest of his life loving his wife, Cameron Scott, that is until he discovered she was pregnant and there was no way it could be his child. He tried to put Cameron out of his mind and heart, but five years have passed and he still loves her.

Cameron Scott’s reality T.V. show career is spiraling into an abyss. She’s desperate enough to do almost anything to keep a roof over her head and provide the financial support that’s needed for her ailing grandmother. When her ex-husband, Jacob Gray, reenters her life offering a lifeline she realizes she still loves him, but can they forgive the mistakes in their past and allow each other to heal their broken hearts?

                                               Chapter 1

Fame came with a price. Cameron Scott knew that better than anyone in her circle. One day you were “fab” and up. The next day you were down, walking the streets like a nobody with a hashtag on your forehead in front of the word FAIL. Fans, the media, friends and family talked about you on either end of the extreme, but you were invisible when you fell in the middle which was where Cameron was thought to be at this point in her career. Technically, she was actually at the bottom, but no one knew it yet. Her contract with RAT Productions, Real American Television, was not going to be renewed. The show, similar to The Chew and The View, but sexier because it was mostly relationship chatter was replacing her. Her former boss was clear that she wasn’t gritty enough nor had she brought authenticity to her feelings about what was going on in the featured guest lives. Authenticity of her feelings? He didn’t want that. She was fed up with men. That was what was REAL. Every experience she’d ever had was negative, from the first man in her life to the most recent, her ex-fiance, Reverend Doctor Rick Housley. If her thoughts could kill he’d be resting in peace right now. Announcing their break-up on television before he even told her? And she thought the folks sending break-up text messages were bad. 
Housely was being interviewed on Entertainment This Week. When the interveiwer asked him about their wedding date, he'd turned toward the camera and with the sincerity that only those dreamy eyes of his could convey, he’d said, “I love you, Cameron, but I’ve searched my heart and prayed with my God. I’m not ready for marriage. I hope you’ll forgive me. I hope America will forgive me.”
“Have you forgiven yourself,” the interviewer asked pushing the microphone further into his face. If she wasn’t careful she’d hit that new cap he had on his front tooth and he’d jump on her.
Rick continued, “I have, because I know we’re human and we make mistakes.”
Human. Rick was barely that. Ambitious. That was more like it. And gay. Most definitely gay. If she hadn’t searched her heart, she’d shout that out to the entire world. But she had searched her heart and realized there was no reason to out Housley. Telling the world she’d fallen in love with a gay man was way down on the list of things she wanted to talk about it. In fact, falling in love with any man bottomed out a long time ago. And the truth was she didn’t love him. He’d lied about his sexuality and she’d lied about a few things of her own, so they were even.  
“You look familiar,” the taxi driver stated. Cameron noticed he’d been peeking back at her every so often and she knew that peek. It was the, ‘I’ve seen you on T.V.’ look that she’d grown accustomed to getting. “Weren’t you on that show with that guy?”
Cameron bit her tongue to keep from rolling her eyes and looked down into her purse. “Yep. Is There A Saved Man In The House?”
He popped his fingers. “That’s right. That’s right. The dating reality show.” He nodded his head a few times. She could tell he was smiling to himself like he’d figured it out on his own. “Sorry about the breakup.”
Cameron looked up and forced a smile. “Thank you, but I’ve decided to assume it’s for the best.”
“Yes, but to put it on the T.V. like that,” he began. He shook his head. “I don’t know how you Hollywood people do it. I don’t think you could pay me a million dollars to be on T.V. with all those cameras following me and knowing all my private life.”
Cameron took in his reflection in the rear-view mirror then sized up the condition of the grungy taxicab. Couldn’t pay him a million dollars? She wondered what one had to pay him to get a haircut. People loved talking about what they wouldn’t do for money until money was offered to them. “The show was mostly scripted,” she replied.
“Script what?” he asked, his thick African accent was getting stronger.
“We have lines. We’re like actors. It’s not all real.” She waited a beat and then added. “It is entertainment you know.”
“But people think it’s real.”
Touché . Valid point. And what people thought did matter. At least it did to her, but again, she wasn’t outing Housley. Theirs was a relationship built on mutual need. Housley needed to launch his ministry and she needed money, lots of it. That’s why she’d  auditioned for Is There A Saved Man.
Cameron never expected the on screen chemistry between herself and Rick Housley to be so strong, especially since they really didn’t have much off screen. Rick had set his eyes on her early and their cat and mouse game had captured the hearts of America; the last show being the one where Rick proposed and placed a huge diamond ring on her finger. Cameron said yes, but reluctantly because she knew she didn’t love him. He didn’t love her. And there was the matter of his questionable sexuality. She knew they would eventually break up. But even with all anticipation of that moment, the show had been Cameron’s lucky break in more ways than one. She had the diamond, but more importantly she was reality television star. Every television program from Good Morning America to The View to Jimmy Kimmel wanted to interview her and then out of those interviews came a weekly spot on The Real TV to do a piece about Christian dating. Then she got her big break with her RAT for the I Heart Show. But she’d blown it. She’d blown it because she couldn’t go the distance with the pretense.
Initially, she’d been fine with the dismissal. The show was stupid. She was sure she’d get another job, after all, she was Cameron Scott, America’s reality show sweetheart, but after meeting, after meeting, after meeting there hadn’t been a single offer. Not one call back. No interest in her. She was out of meetings and more importantly, she was out of time and money.
“401 Fifth Ave.” The taxi driver’s voice awakened her from her musing or was the blues a better way to describe her thoughts? She was feeling sorry for herself. Cameron turned toward the passenger side window. Through the light misting of rain she she glimpsed the aging building that housed the studio. She wrinkled her nose disapprovingly. Times Square was the home of many of the country’s T.V. studios as well as the heart of the theater district. This building was less than a mile away, but it felt like it was on the other side of the world. Hastag FAIL. She couldn’t escape thinking it.
“Thanks.” Cameron handed the cab driver the fare she couldn’t afford and accepted the receipt he’d dutifully printed without asking. The cab ride was a splurge. It had been pouring when she left home. She didn’t want to wrinkle or stain her Armani suit traveling on the train in the rain, but she’d definitely be on the subway for the trip home.
She stepped out of the taxi and unbeknownst to her right into an invisible hole in the asphalt. She gasped and twisted her body awkwardly to keep from falling. Fortunately, the taxi door provided support otherwise she would have surely fallen and hit the pavement.
“You okay, miss?” the driver asked. His concerned was genuine, but it was not appreciated. Cameron shook her head, turned to him and shot him the stink eye. He should have been more careful about where he’d stopped the passenger side door.
“I’m fine. No thanks to you!” she yelled in true New Yorker fashion and slammed the door. Glad that the heel of her Manalo shoe hadn’t come off in the tussle, she stepped up on the sidewalk, smoothed her skirt and stopped breathing. Her attaché case. She turned, the taxi whizzed down the street. She’d left it on the backseat. Not only was it her favorite Coach bag, but it held her resume and references. How was she supposed to show up for a job interview without them?  
Cameron swallowed, let out a long breath and counted to ten. “Pull it together. You know what this is about. You can’t let it rock your confidence.” She spoke the words out loud to herself, but thought inwardly, If you don’t get this job you’ll be homeless.
Sufficiently motivated, she shook off thoughts of what she didn’t have. She’d have to improvise. It wasn’t the first time and as long as she was in the entertainment industry it surely would not be the last. But, she did want her bag back. Glad she had noted the taxi number, as she always did, she tapped on her phone until she found the main number for Yellow Taxi, filed a missing item report and put in a request for the driver to call her to get it redelivered. Then she entered the building, showed security her appointment letter and rode the elevator to the third floor.

“I’ve never seen the righteous forsaken or his seed begging bread.” She closed her eyes tight and whispered it over and over during the ride. The elevator doors opened. She walked into a lobby full of women. Most of them were familiar: A couple of former stars from the Housewives franchise, one of the twins from that show about the sisters, she could never remember which was which, Tia or Tamala something and one of the youngins’ from the Kardashian clan. Her breath caught in her throat. So much competition. She wanted to repeat the scripture again, affirm what she knew by giving the Word power, but the only thing she could think as she approached the receptionist desk was maybe she wasn’t the righteous.


Unbreak My Heart is the second book in the Second Chances Series about second chances at love. It will be available on July 16th on Kindle/Nook and in paperback on August 5th.  Please visit me at my website and join my mailing list for updates. and like my page on Facebook at