Spoiler alert if you haven’t read the entire trilogy!!
I am really proud of this story, probably more than the rest because the story of Jasmine and Montana began January 2018 and finally came to completion in July of 2019, and is my longest running story. And some of you reading this may remember I started their story on wattpad…got inspired after seeing Black Panther and created Forbidden with Michael “Bakari” Jordan and Chadwick “Aaron” Boswick as two brothers fighting over the same woman. Then finished up Game Changer, the last of the Endgame Trilogy before returning to Jas ‘like a flower’ and Ana to complete Essence of You in November of 2018. I then published on Amazon and got feedback it was too long for readers and I revised and made it into two and Essence of You became Essence of Me as well.
I’m from New Orleans and though I don’t live their anymore, I used my experiences while living there and attending the Essence Festival to inspire their story. There are some readers who may see Jasmine as weak and not strong for someone like Montana but all I tried to do was make her human. Although I write romance, I strive to make my stories with flawed characters and she may have been my most flawed thus far. I hoped I gave enough backstory on why she struggled with liking herself and self-doubt at different points in her life. She had those issues and I as well as other women I know have had struggles with self-love. I wanted to show that it’s really all in your mind how you feel about yourself because in spite of her self-doubt (spoiler alert) as Dr. Zoe Broussard-Carson pointed out, she did love herself and in her relationship with Montana we see how they both have grown through their love for each other.
In Montana, I explored how family trauma has lasting impact on how you perceive self, others, and relationships. Often our parents and for those who are in relationships and have children don’t realize how their actions and behaviors influences their children. Parents have to be aware of their actions and that children may see what’s really going on though often adults think that they don’t.
This was my first story without feedback and my stomach was in knots about how it would be received. I poured my heart and there were times I teared as I wrote (e.g, when she had the baby, the therapy chapter, and their wedding) and I hope my readers felt emotions as I did writing about them. I started having regrets that I even announced that there would be another book after the long first one that was so long it was split into two still long stories (I swear my long ass stories are a thing of the past, especially since my most consistent book in terms of popularity has been One Week, a stand alone that I didn’t think readers would take to it as they have.)
I was told that there was nothing left to write about Jas and Montana and if you knew personally all that I went through this past year (even having a moment where I shut out the world because life was too much) it’s a miracle I even completed their story. As you can see I found a lot to still talk about with this couple. I will miss Jasmine and Montana, and their family and friends…
Please share with me:
- Your favorite characters
- Your favorite love scenes
- Your favorite moments
- Which of the characters showed the most growth?
- Which supporting characters would you like to read more about in a story or a novella? (Aaron Youngblood’s story is on the horizon for my Forbidden fans)
- Do you think Jasmine was wrong for not telling Zena about Tarik and Cali?
- Did you believe that the baby was Montana’s? Why or why not?
- My stories often deal with forgiveness. Is there anyone that should not have been forgiven for their actions in your opinion?
- Is there ever a reason to lie or withhold information from a loved one?
- Which of the trilogy is your favorite story and why?