Copycat by Kimberla Lawson Roby
From the New York Times bestselling author who “writes with high-octane levels of emotion” (USA Today).
Befriending Traci Calloway Cole is the best thing Simone Phillips has ever done. Traci is the kind of woman Simone wants to be–in every way possible. She begins copying her role model. Not because she wants to be Traci. She just wants to be exactly like Traci.
Traci doesn’t worry, though. She knows Simone doesn’t mean any harm and that her mimicry is only sincere admiration. Until she discovers how far Simone’s obsession has gone.
It is then that Simone’s entire world begins unraveling, and dreadful secrets from her past are exposed with no warning. Secrets that she’ll do almost anything to protect…
EXCERPT: Copycat by Kimberla Lawson Roby
Simone made a few more tweaks and then closed out of her Word software and went to Traci’s Facebook page. She read the five reader comments that had already been posted this morning and then pulled up Traci’s Twitter feed. The first thing she saw was Traci’s tweet from two hours ago. It quoted the scripture Philippians 4:13, and read, “‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ ~ (KJV).”
It wasn’t until now that Simone realized she hadn’t posted her own morning scripture, and she had to get better with remembering to do that. She needed to stay consistent—the same as Traci. She wasn’t sure what scripture to post, so she Googled “a great motivational scripture.” Then, when a number of web sites displayed, she clicked on the second one and saw John 6:47 from the King James Version: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” She wasn’t sure why, but there was something about that particular scripture that she liked. Maybe because it offered a certain sense of hope. But then she saw another verse that talked about strength the same as the scripture Traci’s post had mentioned, so she typed that one instead, Isaiah 41:10: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
Simone read what she’d typed but then went back to the site where she’d copied the scripture. She actually liked the New Living Translation interpretation better: “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” But since Traci always seemed to use the King James Version, Simone would stick with using that. Actually, the more she scrolled through other scriptures, she preferred reading those via the New Living Translation, too, because when she did, the words were much clearer.
Simone browsed Twitter for a few more minutes and then typed in the URL for Traci’s web site. When her home page appeared, Simone clicked on the “Media” link and then played a YouTube video of a television interview Traci had done with a Chicago news station last year. It was during the release week for her second book. Simone watched the four-minute segment. Then she watched it again. Then she watched it again. And again. And again. But now she replayed the intro.
“Thank you so much for having me, Donna,” Traci said, smiling. Simone paused the video. “Thank you so much for having me, Donna. Thank you so much for having me, Donna.” Simone played Traci’s response again. “Thank you so much for having me, Donna.”
Simone paused the video again. “Thank you so much for having me, Donna,” she said, but this time she could tell her tone and diction sounded much more like Traci’s than they had the last time. She also smiled and gave two fast nods, exactly the way Traci had. Simone played the video many more times, all while practicing Traci’s words and facial expressions. She also clasped her hands together and rested them in her lap…the same as Traci had. Soon Simone moved on to every individual response that Traci had given, still practicing and mimicking every aspect of what she saw and heard. Simone started and stopped the video until she had Traci’s behavior and enunciation down pat. Then she picked up her Smartphone and hit the record icon.
“Thank you so much for having me, Donna. Thank you so much for having me, Donna.”
She stopped the recording and played it back. Then she played this particular part of Traci’s YouTube video again. Then she played her phone recording. Then she played the YouTube video again. And then her phone recording. She was so happy with how close her voice sounded to Traci’s that her heart beat faster than normal. She was elated because when it came time for her to do TV interviews, she’d be well prepared. Although, there was one thing that bothered her, and that was her name. Traci Calloway Cole had a special ring to it, and sounded a million times better than Simone Phillips. This also made Simone want to forget about planning a wedding, so that she and Chris could get married right away at the courthouse. This way, she’d be able to use her maiden name and new surname as soon as possible.
“Simone Phillips McCann,” she spoke out loud. “Traci Calloway Cole. Simone Phillips McCann. Traci Calloway Cole.” Her future married name sounded okay, she guessed, but if only Chris’s last name could start with Ph the same as hers, it would be perfect.
She played around with a few examples that would work much better than McCann. “Simone Phillips Phalen. Simone Phillips Phifer.” She would even settle for a last name that began with F, since it would still create the precise kind of alliteration she was looking for.
“Simone Phillips Foster,” she said. “Simone Phillips Faulkner. Simone Phillips Freeman.” Simone knew there was nothing she could do about Chris’s name, but there was a way to fix this little dilemma. She would use a pen name for her books. Writers did this all the time, so why shouldn’t she?
She spoke out loud again. “Traci Calloway Cole. Simone Phillips Freeman. Traci Calloway Cole. Simone Phillips Freeman.” Simone smiled as she repeated Traci’s name with her new name, over and over and over. It was priceless, and she couldn’t wait to use it on her first book, social media pages, and future website.
( Continued… )
Copycat by Kimberla Lawson Roby was released January 31, 2017. © 2017 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Kimberla Lawson Roby. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.
More About Kimberla Lawson Roby
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kimberla Lawson Roby has published 24 novels which include A SINFUL CALLING, BEST FRIENDS FOREVER, THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL, A CHRISTMAS PRAYER, THE PRODIGAL SON, A HOUSE DIVIDED, THE PERFECT MARRIAGE, THE REVEREND’S WIFE, SECRET OBSESSION, LOVE, HONOR, and BETRAY, BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU PRAY FOR, A DEEP DARK SECRET, THE BEST OF EVERYTHING, ONE IN A MILLION, SIN NO MORE, LOVE & LIES, CHANGING FACES, THE BEST-KEPT SECRET, TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING, A TASTE OF REALITY, IT’S A THIN LINE, CASTING THE FIRST STONE, HERE AND NOW, and her debut title, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, which was originally self-published through her own company, Lenox Press.
Kimberla has sold more than 2.7 Million copies of her novels, and they have frequented numerous bestseller lists, including The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Essence Magazine, Upscale Magazine, AALBC.com, Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com, Wal-Mart, The Dallas Morning News, and The Austin Chronicle to name a few, and both BEHIND CLOSED DOORS and CASTING THE FIRST STONE were #1 Blackboard bestsellers for four consecutive months in both 1997 and 2000. BEHIND CLOSED DOORS was the #1 Blackboard Best-selling book for paperback fiction in 1997.
Kimberla is the 2013 NAACP Image Award Winner for Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction, the recipient of the 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013 Author of the Year – Female award presented by the African-American Literary Award Show in New York, the recipient of the 2014 AAMBC Award for Female Author of the Year, the recipient of the Blackboard Fiction Book of the Year Award in 2001 for CASTING THE FIRST STONE, the recipient of the 1998 First-Time Author Award from Chicago’s Black History Month Book Fair and Conference, and in 2001, Kimberla was inducted into the Rock Valley College Alumni Hall of Fame (Rockford, IL).
Kimberla’s novels deal with very real issues, including corruption within the church, drug addiction, gambling addiction, infidelity, social status, single motherhood, breast cancer, infertility, sibling rivalry and jealousy, domestic violence, sexual abuse, mental illness, care-giving of a parent, racial and gender discrimination in the workplace, sexual harassment, and overweight issues to name a few.
Kimberla resides in Illinois with her husband, Will. Her 25th title, COPYCAT, was released Tuesday, January 31, 2017. To share your thoughts with Kimberla regarding her work, please e-mail her at: email@example.com.
If you would like to schedule a speaking engagement, booksigning event, or media interview with Ms. Roby, please contact her by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Book Tour: http://kimroby.com/events