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278 pages
4 heures
Apr 22, 2013


Excuses is a novel of short stories. The first story begins with How Many? Carlton respects Shelly as his woman. However, the respect he has for her isn't stopping him from asking Shelly a question that could change or destroy their relationship. Next up is Facebook. Tim opens a Facebook page. Toya wants Tim to close his Facebook page. Tim refuses. The battle begins. Following is Twisted Love. Kecia and Jason's relationship is twisted into a knot held by lies and betrayal. Now they are forced to deal with their deception in order to save their relationship. And lastly Wedding Day. The guests are settled, the bridal party is lined up and the groom is waiting at the altar. Tiffany and Blake's wedding is ready to start but everyone is asking the same question. Where is the bride?

Apr 22, 2013

À propos de l'auteur

I was born in Harlem, New York. I graduated from Academy of Mt. St. Ursula High School and I earned an Associates Degree in Applied Science from Sullivan County Community College. Years later, I returned to school and received a Bachelors Degree in Business Management from Monroe College. I graduated Summa Cum Laude and I was inducted into the Sigma Beta Delta Honor Society. In High School, I realized I had a way with words. I took pride in submitting written assignments. In 1998 I started d’landa. d’landa takes your words, feelings and emotions and create a project that reflects exactly what you want to say. In addition, d’landa uses creativity and originality to make all projects a keepsake that will last a long time. Projects include: greeting cards, invitations, flyers, programs, and obituaries. In the last few years I added Photo Montage on DVD for weddings, birthdays, memorials, and anniversaries. I am happy and proud to add author to my list of achievements. My first novel Tell Him opened the door to a whole new world for me. I enjoyed watching my words come to life to create an interesting and entertaining story.

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Excuses - Deneen A. Connor


Deneen A. Connor


Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2013 Deneen A. Connor

ISBN - 978-0-615-73006-6

All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of the author.

This novel is a work of fiction. Any references to real people, events, establishments, organizations, or locales are intended only to give the fiction sense of reality and authenticity. Other names, characters, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, as are those fictionalized events and incidents that involve real people. Any resemblance to actual events or person, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Deneen A. Connor

PO Box 533

New York, NY 10037




Cover Design: Deneen A. Connor

Sketch Photo: Monica Culpepper

Editor: Monica Culpepper

Ebook formatting by www.ebooklaunch.com

Table of Contents

How Many?


Twisted Love

Wedding Day


God .. Thank you for the gift you have given me. Sorry it took so long for me to discover it. I promise to not let it go to waste. I also promise to always be humble and thankful for all the blessings you give me no matter how small. But most importantly I want to thank you for the greatest gift of all ... life.

James & Gloria Connor .. Thank you for your love and encouragement. A child who grows up to be an adult is a better adult when there are people who love them. I am happy and thankful that I have you in my life.

Steven & Sadie O'Neil .. No one could ask for better grandparents. I don't have half the energy you guys have. I can only pray to God that He blesses me to live to see my nineties in the same fashion He has blessed you two.

Judy Speight, Turrome A. Connor, D'relle & Tonnette Coston .. You guys rock. You've been in my corner pushing me to be better today than I was yesterday. If I said I can't you always responded with ... Yes you can. And for that I am forever thankful.

Family & Friends .. It's hard to accomplish anything in life without a strong support system behind you. You've supported me, encouraged me, and believed in me. I appreciate each and every one of you (even when you yelled at me to hurry up and finish the damn book).

Cousin Neil .. Thank you for providing and giving my books spiritual blessings.


November 13, 2012


Hey Ma ..

I have no idea where to start. So let me start out by saying what I am feeling in my heart and in my soul the most. I miss you!

A lot has happened in my life since the last time we spoke but you already know that. Just like you already know that I've finished my second novel. And just like before .. I acknowledge and dedicate what I've done, who I am and what I will become .. to you.

Please continue to watch over me, guide me and love me. I will always need you with me, around me, and a part of my life. I can't promise I won't cry anymore .. but I will promise to always remember how much you mean to me. I will never forget how much you love me and I know that your love for me hasn't stopped just because you are no longer physically here. Until next time .. I love you!

Love always ... Deneen

She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

Proverb 31:26

The Outlaw

Our time together was way too short. You made me feel at home the very first time we met in the chatroom. You also made me feel at home every Thursday at 7pm on The Writer's Block (even though the show never started on time). We joked, made fun of each other, and bonded every week.

I still remember our last conversation.. I asked: Outlaw, is that my couch? Did you steal my couch? And you replied: I shoooo did Feisty. Hahahaaaaaaaaa!! If I could just hear you shout out the chatroom just one more time .. Just one more time!

You encouraged me to grow as a writer and to never give up. I was lucky to have known you .. even if it was briefly. As I said before .. sometimes you don't have to physically meet someone in order for them to have touched your life. RIP .. The Outlaw


Jayda Culpepper

This dedication is for you because you never gave up. You were determined to make it through and you did. I am so proud of you. You are such a beautiful, loving, crazy and silly individual. Never stop being that person .. Never stop being who you are ... Love ya chickie!


Excuses are tools of the incompetent used to build monumental nothingness, those who use them seldom amount to anything ...


(By way of - Kappa Alpha Psi)

How Many?


What's up?

Nothing much, what's going on with you?

Taking it easy as usual. Lisa and I are going to Red Rooster in Harlem for dinner. Lisa wanted to know if you and Shelly want to join us?

I took a deep breath. It was at that moment I realized my status had changed. I was no longer in a relationship. I was single. The break up was so new I hadn't told anyone, not even my closest friend Devon. I was sure he would find out through Lisa. Lisa and Shelly were best friends. Since he asked us to dinner, it was safe to say that Shelly hadn't told Lisa. It was only a matter of time before the news got out. After all, it's only been a few hours since we broke up. Or shall I say I broke up with her.


Devon's voice brought me back to our conversation. I let out a big sigh, he was going to find out sooner or later and there was no time like now.

Shelly and I broke up.

I heard the words as they left my mouth. I knew it was true because I said it. So why didn't I believe it? Was it because I didn't believe I'd lost the woman I loved, or was it I couldn't believe how foolish and stupid I was? Either way, I was hurting and I was sorry for hurting Shelly the way I did. I caused her to hurt in so many different ways. I will never ever be able to forgive myself.

There was a long silence over the phone. Devon's silence meant only one thing, he didn't know what to say. Who was I kidding, I was speechless my damn self. The silence continued to dominate our phone call. I recalled the last time Devon was speechless.

After meeting Shelly and dating for a couple of weeks, we decided to be exclusive. I told Devon I was settling down with Shelly. Devon didn't say anything for about five minutes. Finally Devon rubbed his head and told me, she must be special. And she was, Shelly was very special and I was glad and thankful she was mine.

Soon after, Devon informed me I was in love with Shelly. He claimed it was written all over my face. Of course I denied it at first. I deeply cared for Shelly. I was enjoying our relationship, getting deeper and deeper each day. But the L word didn't exist in my vocabulary. Now don't get me wrong, there was no doubt in my mind Shelly was the one for me. I knew the L word would show its face sooner or later. According to Devon, it was sooner rather than later.

It wasn't long afterwards I finally admitted it. I loved Shelly. Who knew that I, Carlton Armstrong would be in love? And not only was I in love, but I wanted to take our relationship to the next level. Shelly had me thinking about marriage, and building a life together. I couldn't believe it. I was throwing around the L and M words like they were everyday words. In addition to those words, I was also talking kids. Of course I wanted to have kids but that was way, way down the line. But with Shelly I wanted those things now. She was my world. I would have done anything for her. She opened my heart and allowed love to enter and take up residency. And now four months later, the relationship was over.

Damn! Devon still hadn't said anything. His brain had to be fried by now trying to figure out why his friend's relationship was over so soon. I prepared myself for the questions.

Finally he spoke.

What happened, I thought things were going well between you two?

I thought things were going well too. Every time I thought about not being with Shelly, I felt a sense of emptiness inside. And knowing I was the reason, I felt like dying. It had only been a few hours and I missed her already. I wanted her back but that wasn't going to happen. The more I thought about what I did, the more depressed I became. The bottom line was I wasn't ready and I didn't feel like talking about it.

I don't want to talk about it right now. Look, go have dinner and give Lisa my regards. Lets meet up next week and I will fill you in.

Devon wouldn't push the issue. I was willing to tell my friend what happened. Right now just wasn't the right time. The reality of it all hadn't sunk in yet, my heart was aching, and the pain of it all ran through my body. I needed more time. My relationship with the woman I loved was over. And I was the one to blame. How did a man get over that? How did he come to grips with a stupid decision he'd made? My life right now was full of questions. Unfortunately, I didn't have the answers to them.

After I hung up from Devon, I wanted and badly needed some fresh air. I stepped out onto my terrace. There was a slight chill in the air. Fall had arrived. I saw more leaves on the ground than on the trees. My velour jogging suit was enough to keep me warm. I closed my eyes and inhaled the evening. I needed the air to fill my body with its peacefulness. I sipped on my B&B and waited. I waited for peace to completely take over my mind, flow throughout my body and fill my soul. After I inhaled about five deep breaths, the thoughts in my head slowed down. Although my heart was still hurting, the beats slowed down as well. I was relaxed - peace had arrived.

The fall air continued to soothe me, however it did nothing for my heart. My heart was an open wound and Shelly was the Band-Aid filled with medicine to heal it. I missed her. Part of me wanted her back while the other part of me knew it wasn't going to happen. The excuse I used to break up with her was bullshit and what I did to her was unthinkable. I asked myself over and over was it worth it? Were my excuses and actions worth losing someone who was just right for me? Was it worth losing the woman I loved? If given the chance to do it over I would have done it differently. I was stupid and I will never forgive myself. I thought back four months to when Shelly entered my life.


C'mon, Carlton I know you two will hit it off.

Just because you say so doesn't mean it will happen.

Well you won't know unless you agree to meet her and see what happens.

Lisa was very persistent. She wanted to hook me up with her girlfriend. Yes, I was single and so was her friend. Those two factors alone didn't mean we'd be perfect for each other.

Lisa, I know you are trying to help but I am good. I didn't want to be rude or disrespectful to my man's girl.

I know you are good Carlton. I am trying to make you better. Is there anything wrong with that?

Better? I had to laugh. Lisa, I am comfortable at good. Better is somewhere down the line.

See that is what's wrong with you men. Y'all are always putting things off. You can't put off finding a woman or finding love. Men want to wait til later. Later is retired and traveling with your wife. Later is watching your grandkids grow. Later is lying in bed all day. You can't have a later if you don't build a future with a woman right now. Later is now, Carlton.

Look Ms. Plan My Future. I'm still a young man. I have plenty of time before my later is here.

Not at the rate you are going.

I loved Lisa, especially her I'mma say what I want to say attitude. Sometimes she did push too far but she was good for and to Devon. I considered her more of a sister-in-law since Devon was my brother from another mother. I knew she only wanted to see me settled down and happy like her and Devon.

The idea of settling down had crossed my mind several times. I was willing. I just hadn't found that special woman. If Lisa had the slightest hunch I wanted to settle down she would be on my case twenty-four-seven, trying to hook me up.

Carlton how can you say no, I haven't even told you about her.

I don't do blind dates. They are a disaster waiting to happen. And besides, how come I never heard you mention this friend?

She just moved back to New York from Atlanta. We went to Syracuse University together. I know you will like her.

I heard the excitement in Lisa's voice as she talked about her friend. Lisa talked as if this friend was someone who was dear to her heart but I wasn't buying it. Women always praised their friends, even if she was the ugly friend who held the purses at the club. Instead of telling it like it was, they lead with, she has a great personality, or looks aren't everything. Those two lines were a clue the girlfriend wasn't a looker. I stopped and thought about it. Lisa didn't have any ugly girlfriends. I'd met several of her friends at birthday gatherings and dinner parties given by her and Devon. And I never saw an ugly girlfriend.

I secretly envied Devon and Lisa's relationship. They'd been together for five years and engaged for the last year. The wedding was planned for June of 2012. I looked forward to my best man duties. Devon and Lisa deserved each other. I knew someday I wanted what they had. What man didn't want a strong woman to stand beside him through thick and thin? Any man would want a woman to share his hopes and dreams with, as well as support him through his failures and disappointments. I truly understood how and why Devon was in love with her.

Lisa was an attractive woman. She was five-five, kept her hair in a short style like Haley Berry. The cut fit her and definitely complemented her looks. Her complexion was brown, about the same color as Nikki Manaj. I saw why Devon was attracted to her. She was a beautiful woman - inside and out. But the question of the day remained the same - Was she a good matchmaker?

Lee-Lee ... Lisa cut me off before I could finish.

What is it Carlton? I know when you call me Lee-Lee you are about to either disagree with me or you have some great point you need to make.

I had to laugh. She was right. Lisa was one of the few people who knew me. I did have a so-called great point to make. The bottom line was I wasn't interested in meeting anyone via a blind hook up. Call me what you wanted but it would be a cold day in hell before I went out with a woman that I had no clue as to what she looked like. Although I had to admit, curiosity was starting to get to me. I had an idea.

Does she have a Facebook page?

If she did, I'd have the advantage of seeing what she looked like before actually meeting her. I leaned back in my computer chair and smiled. I was confident with my smart move. Women are always trying to get over on men. It was good to know I was the one getting over.

Yes she does. Her name is Shelly Carter. Her page is semi-private but you will be able to see some of her photos.

Okay Ms. Match.com. I will check it out and get back to you.

Don't take all day. She thinks you're cute and she is interested in meeting you.

Wait! I sat up in my chair. How does she know what I look like?

Negro please, we were all up on your Facebook page days ago. Catch up!

Damn women! Here I was thinking I was slick by getting the upper hand. They beat me at my own game. It appeared the rules of the game had changed and I wasn't notified.

You women are too much! You got me, this time.

I ended my conversation with Lisa and signed into Facebook and went straight to Lisa's page. I searched her friends and found her. Shelly Carter!


Okay girl, I just got off the phone with him. He is interested. Of course, he has to be a man about it and be stubborn.

Stubborn? What do you mean he is being stubborn?

Oh relax. You know how they can be. They don't want you to lead them to the well, they want to find the damn well all by themselves. Bottom line is, it doesn't matter how you get there - just drink the damn water.

This is so true but we are not talking about a thirsty man.

I hoped Lisa didn't think I was desperate. I didn't have a problem meeting men. When Lisa suggested I meet Devon's friend, I was reluctant at first. I wanted to get situated after my move back to New York before I started the dating scene. However, Lisa spoke so highly of this man. I trusted my girl and I trusted her judgment. Besides, I was definitely feeling his Facebook profile picture.

For the next hour or so, Lisa and I talked more about Carlton. I didn't want her to leave anything out. I wanted to know the good, the bad and the ugly (even though there wasn't a damn thing ugly about Carlton or his body). The bad and the ugly included everything she knew. Everything she knew about all the women she had encountered or heard about. I wanted no stone unturned. I respected Lisa's honesty and because of it, I wanted to know what I was up against.

The move back to New York six months ago was stressful but I was almost situated. When my retired parents announced eight months ago they were moving to Florida, they asked me if I wanted their brownstone. Since I was moving back to New York, I was relieved I didn't have to be bothered with looking for a place to live. I was ecstatic to move back into the place where I grew up.

My parents brought the brownstone, located on One-hundred-and-twenty-six Street between Fifth and Lenox, in the early seventies for about twenty-five thousand dollars. Today, it was paid for and worth over half a million dollars. It was also located in an area considered the 'heart of Harlem'. And being near all major train stations was definitely a bonus.

Decorating the place wasn't hard since my parents left most of their furniture. I purchased a few updated pieces, changed the paint and remodeled the kitchen. Thank God for a credit card with Home Depot. It took some time but my place was almost the way I wanted it. A few more pieces and it would be complete. Of course, I'd need a part time job just to pay off my Home Depot card.

In the beginning I wasn't extremely interested in meeting Lisa and Devon's friend, especially a blind hook up. However, Lisa could be very persistent, too persistent if you asked me. I knew she meant well and she wanted to see me in a relationship. I only agreed so she would leave me the hell alone. I figured I would meet him, go out on a date and tell Lisa it didn't work out. My game plan was airtight.

I returned to Facebook to get another look at Carlton. There was something about his picture that enticed me. He gave off a vibe that pulled me in. Carlton was sexy and handsome. He reminded me of the actor who played the married boyfriend in Tyler Perry's film, I Can Do Bad All by Myself. I couldn't think of his name at the moment. All I knew was I hated his character and at the same time, I loved him because he was so damn fine. When he jumped out of the tub naked, I gasped hoping to get a peek at what he was working with. Unfortunately, millions of women (including me) were disappointed - we didn't see crap!

Carlton's eyes were deep brown, not too thick eyebrows, long eyelashes, semi full lips and a well-manicured goatee with a few strands of grey. His hair was cut low. It was so low that from a distance he looked bald. Any sensible woman would want him. I judged him to be around six two or three. His body matched his looks - nice. There were muscles where a man should have them. Although his stoned washed blue denim shirt was a little baggy, I could tell there was a six-pack under it. Yeah, the man had it going on!

I went over his profile with a fine toothcomb. He was born on December 10th, his favorite movies were action and adventures, comedies and documentaries. He was a sports lawyer. I thought it was the perfect profession since it seemed like he enjoyed damn near every sport known to man. Carlton had over twelve hundred friends. I scanned his friend's list. I wasn't surprised the majority of them were women. I went into jealousy mode. I was sure all those women were waiting for the opportunity to dig their claws into him and have their way. I laughed as I came back to reality. The reality was - I was one of those women. I continued my search.

We had seventeen friends in common. The majority of them were friends shared with Lisa and Devon. I wanted to poke him just for the hell of it but decided against it. I would wait until we

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