Betrayed - By Suzetta Perkins

Given the present climate in our country—the recession with its high unemployment rate, the overwhelming number of fore-closures, business failures, and a president who is fighting to preserve the American dream for all humanity, I count it a privilege to be able to realize the birth of my sixth novel, Betrayed. Zane, thank you for giving me another opportunity to showcase my work, and to the Almighty I bow down because you said it was my season.

In spite of the economic downturn, my family, the readers, and book clubs have continued to support me in ways unimaginable. You could’ve spent your money on something else after the rent, groceries and light bill were paid, however, you put some change aside and picked up one of my novels from the bookstore, online, or at a book event.

I’d like to give special thanks to several book clubs who’ve made my year exceptional. To Edna Moore, Patricia McNeil and the Creative Crafts Book Club in Delaware, you made my nine-hour trip by car so rewarding. From each of the ladies wearing scarves to represent my character, Angelica, to the wonderful discussion, lunch, and book signing, it was a perfect day. To my sistahs in Danville, Virginia, the Round Table Literary Club—LaSheera, Tora, Vanessa, Twozynn, Roxanne, Tonya, Katina, Hannah, Taffene, and JaShaun: what a time, what a time, what a time. I had a knockdown, drag-out wonderful good time, so much so I didn’t want to go back to North Carolina. Each one of you are worth a book unto yourself. And to my sistahs in Jackson, Mississippi, All That Jazz and Circle of Color Book Clubs, you made me feel like a Queen. You embraced me, fed me, showered me with gifts, and chauffeured me all over the city and showed me what real love felt like. I’d like to give an extra shout-out to Barbara Williams, Margaret Bullocks-Matory, and Vanessa Wilson; you went over, above, and beyond anything I expected. A big hug to Emma, Yvonne, and Felisha. And to my sistergirl, Angela Moore, thank you for showing me Jackson by way of the side trip to the hood to get some finger-licking E & L barbeque ribs. Last, but not least, I thank Pat Mendinghall and the Sisters Unlimited Book Club in Fayetteville, North Carolina for loving me and saving a spot on their book club read list for me again. Your beautifully laid table, the unlimited glasses of wine, the great book discussion, and the good conversation was more than enough. However, surprising me with the presence of my dear friend, Sherry, who flew all the way from Detroit to be with us, was priceless.

A book can’t exist without the publisher who invests time and money to give an author voice. Zane and Charmaine, I appreciate you, Strebor Books, from the bottom of my heart for your continued support of my work. My endeavor is to always give the reader a good story and you’ve allowed me to do so. It’s a unique experience to be part of the great Strebor family.

To my agent, Maxine Thompson, you are a jewel. I appreciate you because not only are you a hustler, but you believe in me…my work and understand my passion. I promise to move on some of those promotion strategies we discussed.

I’d like to end with a salute to you my readership. Writing is my passion, but you give my passion wings. Your email that encourages me to write “the sequel” is the best form of flattery. I have stories waiting to get out, although, as my dear friend, Juanita Pilgrim tells me, I’m not moving fast enough. But I will get them out. I appreciate the two-page list of things that should be in the next book, Saundra Shorter. Emily Dickens, I appreciate the candid conversations we had about the characters as if they were real people. First Lady, Nancy Anderson, thank you for your unwavering support. LaWanda Miller, thanks for the cheerleading chants, and Mary Farmer, thanks for being my friend. Karen Brown, congratulations in advance because your book is about to be born.

September 27, 2008

I don’t believe in fairy tales or happily ever after. It’s not possible because I have a deep dark secret concealed in the bowels of my being, threatening to explode and expose what I’ve taken pains to keep hidden for the last nineteen years. There’s no need to try and figure it out since there’s nothing about me…nothing that I’ve said or done over