Work In Progress: Marie’s Story


Marie-Therese Alexander is my favorite character in the Kandi's Crush novel.

Marie-Therese, affectionately known as Marie, is Kandace's aunt. Marie is in her early thirties and is the most reasonable of the Alexander clan. She is intuitive, sensitive and loving. Plus she has a wicked sense of humor.

Marie-Therese also has a thing for high-fashion—Chanel, Aquazzura, and Alaia. On the surface, she is pulled together, but when you lift under the hood her life is in shambles.

Her male counterpart is still a work in progress, but he is an inspiration from this summer's travels.

Coming in February 2020.

What is Kandi’s Crush?

Check out the details of my debut novel - Kandi's Crush!

Having lived a strictly PG-13 life, Kandace Alexander has vowed to get a little wild during her last summer as a college student. She has it all mapped out: dabbling with online dating, bestie beach outings, shopping until her feet ache, and late-night parties. But that all changes when a simple request from her mother puts her in temptingly close contact with her longtime crush.

Real estate entrepreneur and modern-day Lothario, Chadwick St. Clair, has known Kandace since the day she was born. No longer a little girl in pigtails, she’s grown into a woman with enticing attributes he can’t ignore. If her family knew of his growing attraction to the curly-haired beauty, they would be furious. Even so, there’s no denying the chemistry sizzling between them.

What begins as a casual summer of dating mishaps blooms into a string of addictive encounters that leave them both breathless. But when the real world pressures start to mount, the couple is left scrambling to decide just how much they’re willing to sacrifice for a chance at forever.

From author Michelle Karise comes the sizzlingly sweet debut, Kandi’s Crush!

Who Is Michelle Karise?

I am an avid reader. 

My love for reading began at the tender age of three. We were seated at the breakfast table. I began to read the comics aloud. My father thought we were playing a joke on him. He pointed to random words and asked me to read it.  I read all of the words! 

My life was never the same.

I read for anyone that would listen: my mother, my father, my cousins, my pre-school class.  My love for reading shaped one of the most significant moments of my life.  My first and only week in Kindergarten concluded with me reading a film strip aloud in class.  After several rounds of testing, I landed in the second grade.

Over the years my tastes have changed, I love romance novels with a strong male lead that has a shady past or a darker present.  A man that has a tough exterior with a kind heart for the woman that he loves.  A man that meets a woman and falls wholly and hopelessly in love.  A love that may take years to evolve or be at first sight.

I love female leads that are sensitive, smart, and kind.  I like female leads to have doubts about falling for the bad boy, but she follows her heart.  I want her to exhibit against or find strength in him.  If she walks and does what is best for herself, then she is a part of my squad.

Why aren’t these novels written with a black woman lead?

Most novels portray black female leads as strong, extroverted, resilient, super-curvy, and the voice of reason.  She always does the right thing. She is usually super sassy and comedic.  If it is a book with a black woman there may be gang activity involved or has drama with her “baby daddy.”

It is frustrating.  I would totally support a book where the black girl falls in love with a vampire that sparkles like diamonds.  Or an accident-prone, young black woman who literally falls into a loving relationship with a billionaire.  I would be all over that!

My goal is to write books with delicious, fun, quirky, and smart female leads.