What Doesn't Kill You
“I really thought I had a handle on life—then it broke off.”

Straight-talking and witty, Tee is a fly forty-something. Divorced since her daughter was young, Tee has been “handling her business,” and she’s done all right. Organized, responsible and loyal, Tee went from being the first employee of a start-up purveyor of organic lotions to the right-hand of the president of what became a major player in the home and personal fragrance market.

But then everything changes and for he first time in 25 years, Tee doesn’t know who she is or what she’s going to do. She spent her life investing her hopes and dreams in someone else’s. Now it’s her chance to invest in herself. Can she step out on faith and a dream?

Chapter 1 Excerpt




Gotta Keep on Tryin'

Gotta Keep on Tryin’ is the long awaited sequel to the smash hit, Tryin' to Sleep in the Bed You Made. DeBerry and Grant have brought back the heroines who remind you of women everywhere—women who realize the power of friendship is stronger than any trials they face, either apart or together.

Gayle and Pat’s continuing story explores the way lessons not learned from the past can poison the future, the toll professional success can take on personal relationships, and the healing potential of forgiveness. Pat and her husband Marcus must deal with a paternity crisis after a teenager shows up, claiming to be Marcus’s daughter. Gayle has her own family drama, as the ghost of her gambler husband Ramsey continues to cast a shadow over her attempts to start a new life with her daughter Vanessa. Will the new business Pat and Gayle have started together crash and burn as a result? Real, honest and relatable, Gotta Keep on Tryin’ ultimately shows a life-long friendship at its best.


Chapter 1:





Tryin’ to Sleep in the Bed You Made

Gayle Saunders and Patricia Reid were total opposites who chose each other as best friends when they were children. Through the years they were raised together, as close as sisters. Gayle, the beauty pampered by her working-class parents, believes a man will make her world complete. Pat, the brainy one, is the hand-me-down child whose mystery parentage haunts her. She's determined to finally make a home for herself: in the executive suite at the top of her career. And then there is Marcus Carter, linked to both women from the moment a childhood tragedy bonds them in secrecy. Tryin' to Sleep in the Bed You Made is more than a novel--it's the reading experience that swept the country. You will be drawn into the lives of these honest and believable characters from the first page--and they won't let you go until the last.



Click To Far From The Tree Excerpt



Far from the Tree

Celeste English and Ronnie Frazier are sisters, but they couldn't be more different. Celeste is a doctor's wife, living a perfect and elegant life. But secretly, she is terrified: her marriage is falling apart and her need to control the people around her threatens to alienate her entire family. And Celeste allows no one to see how vulnerable she really is. Ronnie is an actress, living in New York. Her life, however, is a lie: she has no money, has no home, and her life is held together by chewing gum, paper clips, and spit, though she wants everyone to think that her life is one of high glamour and budding fame. When their father dies, the sisters inherit a house in Prosper, North Carolina. Their mother, Della, is adamant that they forget about going there and dredging up the past. Because Della has secrets she'd rather not see come to light-secrets and heartbreak she's kept from everyone for years. Neither Ronnie, Celeste, nor Della realize just what their trip to Prosper will uncover and they must discover for themselves who they really are, who they really love, and what the future holds for them. Far From The Tree is a novel that asks the questions: can the past ever truly remain hidden? Can mothers and daughters put aside their usual roles long enough to get to really know each other? Long enough to see they each have felt the love, loss, heartache and joy that they share as women. And can two strangers realize that they are, and always will be, sisters?



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Better Than I Know Myself

The beloved #1 Essence bestselling authors of Tryin' to Sleep in the Bed You Made now deliver a novel in which you'll meet their most unforgettable characters yet. Carmen, Jewell, and Regina could not be more different. When they meet as freshmen at Columbia University, they're pretty confident that a friendship among them isn't in the cards.

Jewell is Hollywood royalty: as the teenage star of the TV show Daddy's Girl, her face is instantly recognizable all across America. Now, though, she wants two things-to get a serious education, and to leave her controlling stage mother behind. Regina is the definitive upper-middle-class African-American girl. Her picture-perfect parents are what she calls black Ward and June Cleavers and their goals for her are like a stranglehold. No one can see, though, how far Regina's rebellious side will take her (or how treacherous it will become). Carmen is just trying to get by. A child of the projects whose father is dead and whose mother has vanished, Carmen has been raised by her abusive brother. Columbia is the way for her to get a better life-if she can hold down two jobs and keep her GPA up.

When the three of them meet, their lives are at a crossroad. And as the years progress, from the 1980s to the present day, they are challenged by drug addiction, fame, secrets from the past, sickness, betrayal, and the darkest things women can face. One of them won't survive. But what will be the lasting legacy of their friendship? Better Than I Know Myself is a novel of heartache, triumph, tears, and the unshakeable bonds among women.



Click To View Exposures Excerpt




Our first joint effort was written long before Waiting to Exhale paved the way for African American writers of contemporary  fiction-- the characters in Exposures are not Black. But we think you'll find they are drawn with the same care and attention to detail we became known for in Tryin' to Sleep in the Bed You Made, Far From the Tree and Better Than I Know Myself.

Brett Larsen is a fashion photographer and Exposures, set in the fashion capitals of New York & Paris, is a tale of friendship, family secrets, betrayal, love, loss and Brett's search for self and the truth.

We wrote Exposures under a pseudonym--Marie Joyce-- (Donna Marie & Virginia Joyce), because way back in 1989 no one thought two people could write a novel together. If you're not running for President when do you really get a chance to use your middle name anyway?
Exposures now available in ebook edition from your favorite online retailer




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