To Find You
by Cerece Rennie Murphy
To Find Each Other...Again
How many times would you die to find your one true love?
The journey begins with Ama and Ekow ~ Two lovers betrothed, then torn apart by an enemy disguised as a friend. And in the midst of an unthinkable bargain, their freedom is sold for a bag of gold. But what their enemies thought would break them only unleashed a power greater than life itself.
From the ancient shores of Ghana to the streets of pre-colonial India,
From the burning embers of Oahu to the heart of a nation’s capitol,
Their souls risked war, death, and betrayal to bend destiny to their will.
Will they survive? Will they succeed? Join them on this timeless journey and see…
Excerpt from To Find You by Cerece Rennie Murphy
Part I: In The Beginning
I wait for him here, at the place where the night sky and the earth become lovers. In the tall grass of our homeland, between two kingdoms, we meet. Getting here first is easier than slipping away late, especially now when life in my village is bustling with the preparations for our wedding ceremony in just three days. But as the reeds lick the backs of my calves, I know that this is only part of the reason I wait. The truth is that I like to feel him coming. At this hour, when my imagination reigns over every shape and whisper, I can almost see him walking on limbs taller and stronger than mine will ever be. Cutting through the blue-black night that hides his slightly lighter shade, he stalks his prey. I cannot hear his approach, but I feel him drawing near, compelled by the same force that holds me where I stand – the scent of my desire in the air.
I close my eyes and breathe deeply, imagining I can taste him, too. The flavor is salt, sweet grass and home. It fills my senses and makes me thirsty. On the outside my knees shake and my heart pounds, impatient for her mate, while the deepest part of me grows still – stretching towards the peace that only his presence brings. And he’s close now, so close.
When we were children, he was such a scrawny thing. I used to like to wrestle him just to beat him, just to prove that I could. I was young and determined and more than a little jealous of the prowess of my older brothers. Secretly, I wanted to be like them, but my youngest brother was already 10 years my senior by the time I could walk. In Ekow, I could finally prove that no boy could match me. My laughter rumbles in the stillness as I think of it. Oh, how mad he would be every time I beat him! And in the beginning, there were many, many times when I did. He would get so angry that his ears would twitch. He would stomp away from his defeat with his hands balled up in knobby little fists – eyes glaring, ears twitching while one of our elders cackled nearby and me sticking out my tongue. We didn’t see each other often enough for me to beat him everyday, but I looked forward to it whenever I could. I was always stronger than I looked and even when he grew a little taller than me, his limbs seemed to flail awkwardly about him, so that he was never quite coordinated. And in my delicious reign as his tormentor, time seemed to stretch on forever, until one day it stopped.
I remember the sun burned low in the sky that day as the dust and amber light conspired against me in swirling fits that stung my eyes. Rolling around on the ground, I was shocked to find myself panting for air. Suddenly, his legs overpowered me. I couldn’t throw him the way I had been able to before. His grip was a vice that I had to sweat to free myself from and even then, he would catch me again, quickly - too quickly for my liking.
Unable to break free, I grunted and cursed as he pinned me down on my back. At first, I refused to meet his gaze. Beneath my eyelashes, I could swear I saw my own taunting smirk, the same one I had given him, year after year, curling the corners of his lips. Enraged, I shut my eyes to avoid my fears and kicked my legs furiously, all to no avail. I could feel the muscles of his powerful thighs holding me in place without the slightest indication of strain and I couldn’t stand it. As if sensing the scream that would send my brothers flying to my aid and gotten us both into a world of trouble, Ekow suddenly lifted his body from mine, then leaned over to adjust his grip so that our hands were stretched out above my head, palm to palm, fingers intertwined in the grass and the dirt beneath us.
How did I not know, even then…
Something about the gesture was so strange that it distracted me from my fury. The feel of his hands pressed firmly into mine made my stomach flutter and clench in a way that was startling, but not unpleasant.
“Ama,” he called. “Ama, don’t scream. Ama, please, surrender.” It must have been the “surrender” that made my eyes fly open to meet his in absolute indignation. Sometimes, I like to think that if I’d never opened my eyes, it never would have happened, but this is, of course, foolish. I was meant to see. When I opened my eyes, I found him staring down at me. The smirk I’d feared was nowhere in sight. Instead, his eyes wore the same wariness I felt as I looked back at him, then quickly dissolved into something I’d never seen in him before.
He eyed my mouth with what I understand now as a mixture of surprise and captivation. Back then, I still had no idea what was happening, but as his gaze continued to linger over me, I became aware that I felt like someone was seeing me truly for the first time in my life. I remember fighting the nameless emotion that closed my throat and pricked my eyes.
“Ama, surrender,” he whispered, “Please.” And that’s when I understood that I held him in place as much as he held me. Neither one of us could leave without the other. “Please,” he said again and I finally realized what I needed to do all along.
Seeing the answer there in my eyes, he released my hands and rose to his feet. I remember averting my eyes against the sudden sense of loss that came as he left. But at the corner of my vision I saw it, his hand extended out to help me up. He’d done it before, even as I beat him and he’d risen in defeat while I remained holding my belly in victorious laughter on the ground. I’d always ignored the gesture until that moment, when suddenly it felt like the most natural thing in the world to accept his help. When I finally stood, I noticed for the first time that he was a full foot taller than me. Despite my daze, I frowned. “You’re taller than I am,” I said in dismay.
“No, Ama,” he replied. Ekow’s voice was deep and heavy as he stepped forward to take my other hand in his. “We are now exactly the same height.”
I was 13 years old; Ekow was 16 and, after that, nothing between us was ever the same.
( Continued... )
© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Cerece Rennie Murphy. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.
About the Author
Cerece Rennie Murphy fell in love with writing and science fiction at an early age. It’s a love affair that has grown ever since. In 2012, Mrs. Murphy published the first book in what would become the best-selling Order of the Seers sci-fi trilogy.
In addition to publishing her first time-bending romance titled, To Find You, Mrs. Murphy is working on the release of the 2nd book in the Ellis and The Magic Mirror children’s book series with her son and developing a 2-part science fiction thriller set in outer space.
Mrs. Murphy lives and writes in her hometown of Washington, DC with her husband, two children and the family dog, Yoda. To learn more about the author and her upcoming projects, please visit her website at: http://www.cerecerenniemurphy.com
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To Find You by Cerece Rennie Murphy. Historical Romance.
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Conversation with Cerece Rennie Murphy
Cerece Rennie Murphy fell in love with science fiction at the age of seven, watching "Empire Strikes Back" at the Uptown Theater in Washington, D.C., with her sister and mom. It's a love affair that has grown ever since. As an ardent fan of John Donne, Alice Walker, Kurt Vonnegut and Alexander Pope from an early age, Cerece began exploring her own creative writing through poetry.
She earned her master's degrees in social work and international relations at Boston College and Johns Hopkins School for Advance International Studies, respectively, and built a rewarding 15-year career in program development, management and fundraising in the community and international development arenas - all while appreciating the stories of human connection told in science fiction through works like Octavia Butler's "Wild Seed," Frank Herbert's "Dune" and "The X-Files."
In 2011, Cerece experienced her own supernatural event - a vision of her first science fiction story. Shortly after, she began developing and writing what would become the best selling "Order of the Seers" trilogy. Cerece lives in her hometown of Washington, D.C., with her husband, two children and the family dog, Yoda.
Can you imagine saying that to GOD? Yeah, exactly - me neither! My fear of wasting the breathe of God within me trumps almost any fear I have. But that doesn't mean I no longer feel afraid. I think, with each thing I do, I just get better at managing the fear, so that I can get what I need to get done. If that doesn't work, then I remember that the bottom line for me is, these stories are not about me at all. They are about the people who will be blessed, inspired and entertained by them.
BPM: As a full time writer, how did you get to be where you are in your life today? Who or what motivated you?
Wow, we're starting right in with the deep stuff! OK. You know, I really think that God has led me to where I am in my life today. As a young girl, I never expected to be happily married with two beautiful children. I never expected to be a writer, much less a published author. Honestly, I expected my life to be rewarding career wise and lonely in every other sense. I'd worked hard to get a good education, so I expected to be financially independent. I also knew I wanted children, so I planned to be a mother, but I expected to be on that journey alone. If I got married, I expected to get divorced and have to raise my children alone. I know that sounds pretty bleak, but it's the truth of how I saw my life right up until my early 30s. When I look at my life now, it is very clear that this is God's vision for my life, not mine, and I'm so grateful that God had bigger dreams for me than I ever could have imagined for myself.
But through everything, I always knew that God was with me and I got that knowledge from my mother, who is THE MOST spiritually connected person that I know. She prays without ceasing with a prayer book that was handed down to her from my grandmother who was a PRAYER WARRIOR. Grandma Mary was NO joke! No weapon against her had any hope of prospering! Though she passed more than a decade ago, I know I live in the benefit of her prayers today. These two women, my mother and my Grandmother, are women of incredible faith and courage. I stand on their legacy and it has always motivated me to do and be my best.
BPM: Was there ever a time in your life you let FEAR block your path? If so, how did you overcome it?
Me and fear are well acquainted. Though I don't know if I've ever let fear block my path, it sure has slowed my progress quite a bit. The fear and doubt around writing and publishing the Order of the Seers trilogy was brutal at times. With the second book especially, it was like doing battle every day, just to get a page written. I would cry and shake, convinced that no one would like what I'd written, that I had no talent or no right to do what I was doing.
But the thing about me is that, on some very visceral level, I hate being afraid. I hate letting fear control me. There are many good reasons not to pursue something, fear is rarely one of them. I have been an avid reader since I was 5 years old. I know what a story can do. I know that each story you are given is a blessing from God - a calling. That's why I feel so honored to be a writer, to be given a story to tell. So if I let the fear win, what I'm saying to God is, "You gave me this blessing, but I'm too afraid to share it. I know you would not have given me this blessing if I wasn't equipped to share it, but hey, it doesn't matter. I think my fear is more important than your purpose."
BPM: As the author of novels for adults, who does your body of literary work speak to?
I think my work speaks to people who are seeking thought-provoking literature that many not be conventional - readers who want to be spiritually-inspired and entertained. Although Order of the Seers is adult science fiction and Ellis and The Magic Mirror is a children's fantasy adventure, they are essentially about the same thing - people discovering their true calling and power and using that gift to change the world for the better.
Watching the news these days can be a soul crushing experience. It's so easy to be overwhelmed by all the horrible things that are happening. But I believe that ordinary people can save the world. I believe this because I know there is no such thing as an ordinary person. We are all superheroes, but most of us have no idea how powerful we are and so we act like ants when we're actually giants - giants who can see the future because we create the future with our thoughts, our words and our actions. We can do these things because we are children of God and God has given us these abilities.
My writing is all about finding that awareness in myself and helping my readers discover the same truth for themselves because I believe, once we understand our true power, nothing can stop us from healing this world. If you like your spirituality wrapped in an action packed adventure, you'll probably enjoy my books.
BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Well, first of all, thank you for this wonderful interview. It really gave me a chance to explore my journey in a new light. :-) Recently, Aryeh and I were honored to be the featured authors on the cover of the Winter 2016 Children's Book Edition of SORMAG! To learn more about our journey to writing our first book together, you can get the magazine and read the article here.
If you'd like to learn more about Ellis and The Magic Mirror, you can visit the series website at: http://www.theellisseries.com.
For more on my science fiction trilogy (and me, as a writer), visit http://www.cerecerenniemurphy.com
Twitter at: @cerecermurphy.
Instagram at: https://instagram.com/cerecermurphy
Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cerece-Rennie-Murphy/205753729546299