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Affect-Effect
Azia Squire


Our Price: 5.99 USD

ISBN-10: 1-55404-557-6
ISBN-13: 978-1-554045-57-0
Genre:  Romance/Fiction/Adventure
eBook Length:  218  Pages
Published:  March 2008





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From Inside the Flap

Monty never intended to hurt anyone, but not knowing who or what he wants is tearing his relationships apart. The fact that he spent his childhood being told by his father that loving a woman is something to be done moderately and at the same time, having his beautiful mom whispering the secrets of the stars in his ear, telling him that love is the most wonderful gift you can ever give someone doesn’t help. Being pulled in two different directions ultimately made him afraid of love and what it can do to people and him. He never understood how much damage his parents actually did to him until now, while he’s trapped in love and lust with four different women, all of whom carry some part of him with them.

Affect/Effect is a story that explores the complexity of the female/male relationship simply through the everyday lives of a select few of them. Men and women somehow manage to see the same love but contrary to each other. With Monty, as with a majority of men, the lust lingers within love and he struggles to decipher each relationship to see which he is in--love or lust? While the women, Monty’s love interests--Angel, Ice and Mildred continue to love Monty for who he is, seeing the physical aspect as just a continuation of the love shared between them. And Daria, well, Daria just wants someone to take care of her, always using Monty’s love and lust for her against him and for her advantage.

Even the gentle connection of friendship holds matters of the heart. Mildred is proving that to Monty by having him dangling from her finger for loving him as her weakness first, still remaining his strength. Love makes it’s way into Monty’s friendships without him being able to stop it, starting with Mildred and ending with Angel and Ice who accept each other like family without ever really understanding or even truly knowing who the other one is and now they’ve fallen in love with the same man--Ice falling for him behind Angel’s back--only brings the situation to light, proving just how complicated love is when added to a friendship. Monty manages to put two full, committed friendships in danger simply by allowing his love to ease into them.

The problem with human relationship, supported by Monty’s own reality, is that our flaws are inevitable and our quests for perfection just push us farther away from perfection, itself. As Monty tries harder and harder to change for the sake of not breaking anyone’s heart, he causes more pain than he ever imagined he could be capable of. Still, it allows him to open his eyes to his own fears of loving again after the devastating disaster that was Daria, the hidden, but mutual feelings with his best friend, Mildred and also allows Angel and Ice to see the very extreme problems threatening to destroy their relationship.

Humans affect each other as love affects our relationships, but the effects of it are just what we make them. Throughout the story of Affect/Effect, these characters cause drastic changes in their own lives and the lives of each other, as we do to one another everyday. Affect/Effect is very much a story of love and life.




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Excerpt


PROLOGUE
PART ONE: THAT

Chipped pieces of wood fell from the cracked edging around the shelves in the new library. At least I thought it was new. The graying lady behind the front desk didn’t bother to correct me when I referred to it as new. She just smiled, the wrinkles around her mouth curving at a sickening angle-very disturbing. I walked away without bothering to return the smile. I’m not generally rude, just not one for crinkling wrinkles that curve during a smile. Or any wrinkles for that matter.

Not that I didn’t enjoy the library in my neighborhood, but the book I was looking for was checked out. It’d been out for about two months (exactly two months of debating on whether to read it or not on my part until settling on ’yes’ when the promotions started to overwhelm my patience). Just my luck, the three libraries I’d stopped by were all checked out. This one; final resort, or I’d just have to buy it.

PART TWO: INTO

"Anyway, I think, as I community, if we come together in a unity and attack the issue head on, there is no way we can lose. Thank you."

Bowing the head, applause, applause. Shake hands, shake hands, sign this and sign that; and then, I can step into the relaxation time, go home and chill, aka drink. Mildred’s expression was anything but pleased. Her strumming eyes intensified when I stepped off the stage, employing a smile to see if it’d work on my behalf. It didn’t.

" Mil, Mil…come on, Mil. That’s a solid speech."

"Monty, you didn’t say anything with body. Nothing with substance. Nothing worth listening to."

Edson walked by with a cheese-worthy grin shredding his cheeks to bits, his glasses hiding those beanie eyes under the glare of the sun.

"Get out of here, Edson."

I tipped to him through a tightened jaw. That, for unidentifiable reasons only made his grin widen. I was convinced his cheeks were going to start bleeding any second.

"Monty?"

"Yes, Mil?" Directing my attention back to her.

She rose to her feet; strutted over to me in the same seductive manner in which she strutted to everyone, and enclosed my tie in her thin palms.

"The speech has no substance," forming every word, as if each one needed arduous hours of analyzing to be fully comprehended. "No power. We, as the community, the people you’re talking to, well, we need to feel that you care. Not just know it, but feel it. Make us feel it; all right?"

A gentle smile eased over her full lips and those baby-like palms slid to my chest; those prancing eyes fell to my lips as if she was going to do something that was definitely worth some substance, but instead, she threw back her head in anything but discreet laughter, her caramel complexion being washed in the radiant sunlight spilling over us.

"What’s funny, Mildred? My awful speech; that’s what’s funny? The end to my career? You are so supportive, the best assistant ever."

That just made her laughter turn into giddy giggles before she ambled her runway model walk away from me, twitching those hips from side to side with so much experience, the ringing cell phone in my pocket was the only thing that stopped me from following.

PART THREE: INCLINE

"Ice, you have to be more diligent. Okay?" is what she said to me, tempering the edge with a smile.

I, being the poster child for tolerance, was tempted to respond with my middle finger. But I didn’t. Instead, I nodded and smiled a smile so fake I had to throw it up upon my face.

"Yes, ma’am. I understand. I shouldn’t of been…"

"Shouldn’t have been."

"Right. Shouldn’t have been slacking on the job, and if I wasn’t the aisle three spill would not have caused an old woman to fall and nearly break something."

"Now, Ice, I’m not blaming you. I’m just saying, we must be…"

"Aware."

"And…"

"Helpful."

"And…"

"On task."

"If we want…"

"Faithful consumers that love us."

"Exactly. What’s the motto?"

Don’t vomit, Ice. Don’t vomit. Just say it. Just say it. Say it. Say it.

"We replenish with deeds…for those in need."

"Exactly. And why?"

"Because we’re," she leaned in, with arching eyebrows, waiting for the punch line, "Pezley’s Palace. The best darn market in the land."

"Yes. Very good. Now, whenever you feel like slacking off, remember that. What is it?"

"We replenish with deeds for those in need."

"We replenish with deeds for those in need. Now can we do that if we’re asleep in the deli section, Ms. Dassi?"

I shook my head, mouthing the word, "no" along with her.

"Great, as long as we understand each other. Now, put your hat on and get back to work."

And with a burst of courage I never knew I had I put my Pezley’s hat back on-a propeller hat decorated in blinding bright colors just to torture those who wear it-and strolled out her office to fulfill my duty to replenish with deeds for those in need."

PART FOUR: INSIDE

"Angel Oz, super lawyer!" Deyan McMabs called, smiling and pointing at me as he made his way down the hall.

I shrugged, playfully replying, "It’s true. It is."

He laughed, taken aback by my good mood. "Man, when was the last time you joked around?"

"June of ’97. The party was a hoot." Deyan shook my hand with meant-to-be-intimidating strength that I returned easily. "When did you get with the firm?" I asked, gesturing for him to join me in my steady walk and sizing him up against his knowledge.

Tan suit is a nice touch, fits him nicely, though I remember him as a trimmer and neater guy. He flattened his short black hair with a dark palm that carried fingernails that gave away to the fact he’d become a nervous nail-biter. Nervous being the key word. It’s easy to tell if a person is a nervous nail-biter; they tend to file after a session of biting unlike regular nibblers, which, oddly, gives the nails an unbalanced look. Either way, it’s a weakness-nervous or not nervous. Noticing other people’s weaknesses is precisely what got me through law school.

"Um, a little over a year ago. So, what are you doing here?"

"I came to see an old friend, Douglas F. Palmer."

"Yeah? Well, it was nice to talk to you again, Oz. Stay in touch."

"Hey, of course."

He extended that rough hand again, and I took it eagerly. I could tell by his darkened skin that he’d spent a lot of time in the sun since we last bumped into each other. He’d also started smoking; it was in the yellowing of his eyes and faint aroma of his clothes. And he probably hadn’t gone home to Harlem to visit his family in a while; too focused on the big New Yorker lawyer get-up. Reading people is precisely what got me through college.