Sharon C. Cooper

Just thinking…

Rendezvous Adventures

I’m so excited about a short story I have coming out in October 2012, that I had to share a little tidbit with you!

Secret Rendezvous

Prequel to Rendezvous with Danger

Former Navy SEAL, Quinn Hamilton, is a special operative for the U.S. government and has been secretly dating CIA counter-intelligence officer, Alandra Pargas, for eight months. She’s brilliant, excited by danger, and the sexiest woman he’s ever known. Together they are a force to be reckoned with – inside and outside of the bedroom. But while Alandra is on assignment in Guerrero, Mexico, she’s captured by the country’s most dangerous drug cartel, and Quinn sets out on a black op of his own to save the woman he can’t live without.

Secret Rendezvous
Available as a “free” read – fall 2012!

Stay tuned for excerpts – coming soon!

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September 28, 2012 Posted by | Coming Soon, Romantic Suspense | , , | 10 Comments

A Heart Not Easily Broken: A Story about More than Just Race

Today I have a fabulous blogger, M.J. Kane, visiting and introducing her newly released novel – A Heart Not Easily Broken.  Please join me in welcoming her! Alright M.J, take it away!

A Heart Not Easily Broken: A Story about More than Just Race

By: M.J. Kane

Career goals, family, relationships. No matter what race, we all face the same issues. It’s how we deal with them that sets us apart.

Ebony Campbell and Brian Young, of A Heart Not Easily Broken, are an interracial couple. Fear of disapproval from her family cause Ebony to question her sanity when she finds herself drawn to Brian. His persistence, confidence, and willingness to support her career goals have her falling for the man, not the color of his skin.

But will she be able to maneuver the minefield of problems that ensue?

Ebony’s independent nature leads her down a path that threatens to destroy their relationship. A decision she is forced to make rips her to the core. Friendships are tested, along with her ability to overcome a nightmare.

Love, no matter what color, can’t withstand lies and deceit.

Ebony is a smart, sexy, career-oriented black woman who wants nothing more than a summer fling with a man who challenges her mind and body. What she doesn’t expect is a blond haired, blue-eyed bass player—who won’t take “no” for an answer—to accept the challenge.

When Ebony’s attempt at a brief fling turns into more, despite negative reactions from friends and family, she finds juggling love, family, and career are nothing compared to the ultimate betrayal she endures. Now her dreams spiral into lies and secrets that threaten her future and her best friend’s trust.

Excerpt:

“I’m okay.”

Then why did it sound like a lie?

From the moment Ebony arrived, she’d been crying. I suspected something was wrong for months. But what?

Ebony never gave me the impression of being needy or clingy. She was strong and independent with a good head on her shoulders. Why the sudden change?

It still irritated me that she had refused my help before I left. Some of the women in my past would have jumped at the opportunity. I didn’t get it. Why would she think my helping her would be an inconvenience? Didn’t she know how much I loved her? How much I wanted to take care of her? I made my intentions clear.

We’d been together for nearly five months. We’d just scratched the surface of each other’s lives. A typical relationship would mean we would know more about each other than we did right now; but our relationship wasn’t typical.

While I was away, a part of me worried she would one day refuse my calls. Nothing, not even how good the sex was, required her to wait for me.

I risked everything we’d built when I accepted the job. I never asked how she felt about me leaving her behind. I assumed everything would work out, because it’s what I wanted.

The opportunity of a lifetime.

But love, true love, only happened once.

Did my decision to leave cause the change?

What I felt was real, and she seemed to feel the same way. We’d talked every day I was gone. I’d faithfully deposited money in her account every week, even when she said she didn’t need it.

I looked over at the love of my life as she slept. Ebony had no idea how beautiful she was. This was the image I took to bed with me every night while away. This is what I thought of when woman followed me around at the after parties or hung around backstage offering sex in order to get closer to the artist we played for.

Two weeks into the tour, I stopped counting how many women sneaked into my bedroom with offers I ordinarily wouldn’t refuse. Nobody could take Ebony’s place. Losing her because of some stupid one-night-stand would not be worth it.

Now we were together again.

Why the hell was I paranoid?

A Heart Not Easily Broken is available now from 5 Prince Publishing! Buy Now!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

M.J. Kane stumbled into writing. An avid reader, this stay at home mom never lost the overactive imagination of an only child. As an adult she made up stories, though never shared them, to keep herself entertained. It wasn’t until surviving a traumatic medical incident in 2006 that she found a reason to let the characters inhabiting her imagination free.  Upon the suggestion of her husband, she commandeered his laptop and allowed the characters to take life. It was that, or look over her shoulder for men caring a purple strait jacket. And the rest, as they say, is history.

No longer a television addict, if M.J. isn’t reading a book by one of her favorite authors, she’s battling with her creative muse to balance writing and being a wife and mother. She resides in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia with her high school sweetheart, four wonderful children, and two pit bulls. MJ can often be found hanging out at the local library where she is director of a local writer’s group, or online connecting with readers and other authors. Other activities she enjoys include: creating custom floral arrangements, assisting her children in their creative pursuits of music and art, and supporting her husband’s music production business, 3D Sounds.

You can find MJ on social networking sites, sharing writing tips, talking about music, life, and family. She’s always excited to meet new people. Connect with her via the websites below.

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

This Writer’s Life Blog

The Butterfly Memoirs Blog

Google+

Linkedin

Email

Thanks for stopping by M.J and sharing a little about your debut novel, A Heart Not Easily Broken! I love the title by the way!

Okay, all, M.J. is doing a giveaway!! Here’s how it works: Everyone who comments will be entered into the A Heart Not Easily Broken Blog Tour Drawing for a chance to win an autographed copy of the book! For contest details, visit http://thiswriterslife-mjkane.blogspot.com/p/blog-tour-roll-call.html.

Let’s show M.J. some love by leaving a comment!

September 26, 2012 Posted by | Guest Post | , , | 9 Comments

Your Discipline Level

Do you ever wonder why when some people put their minds to do things they not only accomplish it, but they soar like eagles? Or why, with some, it seems as if everything they touch turns to gold (Oprah, Jay Z, Donald Trump, etc)?  Well it might have something to do with talent, passion and discipline…but specifically discipline.

A friend of mine introduced me to Elizabeth George’s book, “Write Away,” where she states, “You will be published if you possess three qualities – talent, passion and discipline.” She goes on to say that you’ll “probably” be published if you possess the combination: talent & discipline or passion & discipline; and you’ll “likely” be published if you possess discipline.

Do you see a pattern? Like me, you probably noticed that the common denominator is – discipline.

I was having my morning cup of tea and started thinking…we can use Ms. George’s example in every aspect of our lives, whether it’s starting our own business or keeping the house clean. It’s all about having discipline – self-discipline to be more exact. We all know people (or are those people) who have a list of goals, a bucket list, or even a dream that they want to see come to fruition, but many are slow to put forth the effort needed to accomplish a goal or a dream. They find everything to do or work on, but that. Or they give up too quick, claiming there aren’t enough hours in a day, or someone did them wrong, or this happened or that happened. I could go on and on, but the fact of the matter is – if you lack self-discipline, you are not going to accomplish your goals! Those individuals mentioned above, accomplish as much as they do because they possess self-discipline. Okay, I’ll admit, they probably have a few other major qualities…and a good support team, but you get what I’m saying.

I can’t help but think about something else Elizabeth George said in her book – “do what needs to be done first and then play later.” Sometimes this might mean delaying gratification, but I guess you have to decide – how important is that goal you’re trying to accomplish or that dream you want fulfilled?

So…how’s your self-discipline level these days?

September 20, 2012 Posted by | Encouragement, Just Thinking | , , , , , | 24 Comments

Excerpt – Something New

For those of you who still haven’t had a chance to read, Something New, I figured I’d give you a little excerpt of what you’re missing! NOTE: Something New has been on the top 100 best-selling ebooks on Amazon’s -multi-cultural list for the past three months!

A Blurb About the Book

Entrepreneur, Simone Edwards, did what any intelligent woman with a ticking biological clock would do: she asked her longtime boyfriend to marry her. Devastated when he turns her down, and fed up with dead-end relationships, Simone swears off men … and takes a vow of celibacy. How hard could it be? She soon learns it’s harder than she thinks when the most irresistible man in the world, Tim Hollister, shows up at her job. She hasn’t seen him in over ten years, and quickly realizes he is a temptation she doesn’t want to resist. But isn’t there some rule about dating your friend? Simone must decide if a romance with Tim is worth risking their friendship, and her reclaimed virginity.

Tim Hollister has placed a padlock on his heart. But when Simone, an old high school friend, falls back into his life, he soon forgets his promise to stay clear of beautiful women. Simone was always like a sister to him, but he discovers that his feelings for her aren’t very brotherly. He’s captivated by the woman she’s become and is on a mission to take their friendship to the next level, and prove that he’s the man for her.

****

Excerpt – This is part of a scene where Tim finally let’s Simone know that he’s interested in taking their friendship to the next level.

****

“Hey. You left your notes for the new business plan in my office,” Jessica said and handed them to her. She propped her hip against the edge of Simone’s desk and crossed her arms. “I guess that means you’re still a little distracted by thoughts of a tall, dark, and fine brother who I haven’t seen in a few days.”

Simone smiled at her friend, knowing she was fishing for information. “He’s not scheduled to be back here until the day after tomorrow. I still have a little more information to put into QuickBooks before he returns for my next lesson.” Her mind burned with memories of them standing on her front porch, kissing. The more she tried to ignore the thoughts, the more they persisted. It had been over a week since she’d last seen or heard from Tim, and she missed him.

“Are you going to share what’s been going on with you two, or do you plan to keep it to yourself?” Jess asked and moved to sit in one of the upholstered chairs near the desk.

“Well, we put most of the accounts into the QuickBooks software, the employee information, and now I need to—”

Her partner glared at her through narrowed eyes. “You are not funny. You know what I’m talking about. Last I heard, you guys were going to a movie, but you didn’t tell me how things went.”

“You were at meetings all last week, and besides, there’s not much to tell. We went to the movies, then—”

Two light taps against her closed office door stopped her explanation.

“Come in,” Simone called out.

Nothing could’ve prepared her for the tall, devastatingly handsome body that stood in the doorway. Her heart jolted at the sight of Tim. He walked into her office, and her eyes traveled from those inviting lips to his broad shoulders covered by an expensive-looking double-breasted suit. She stood slowly, gripping the edge of her desk while her pulse pounded in her ears. She hadn’t seen him in a suit since he first showed up at the school, and he looked hot.

“Hey,” he said, his voice like silk against her skin.

Had she imagined it, or was that a smoldering flame she saw in the depths of his eyes?

He turned to face Jessica, whom Simone had forgotten was in the room. “Can you give us a moment?”

A wide grin curved her friend’s mouth. “Of course.” She stood and glanced at Simone. “We’ll finish our discussion a little later.”

Once the door was closed, Simone gave her attention to the man standing before her. He walked around the desk, grasped her hand, and pulled her body tightly to his. Before Simone could say anything, his mouth covered hers in a sweet, delicious kiss that caused her to mold into him. Moments later, he raised his mouth from hers and gazed into her eyes.

“We need to talk.”

She groaned inwardly, preferring a kiss over talking, as he led her to the cozy sitting area on the left side of her desk. She sat on the sofa, while he unbuttoned his suit jacket before sitting next to her.

“First, let me say that I’m sorry I haven’t called you.” He reached for her hand and held it snugly within his. His eyes trained on her. “Though I haven’t called, there hasn’t been a day that’s gone by that I haven’t thought about you. Hell”—he shrugged—“a night either. You have me so turned out I can’t think straight. I haven’t been eating, sleeping, or able to concentrate on my work because of you.”

She looked down at their joined fingers, enjoying the way his thumb caressed the top of her hand. “If it’ll make you feel any better, I haven’t been faring much better.”

He smiled for the first time since entering her office, and her heart leaped into her throat. The fact that he could turn her on with just a smile let her know that she was losing her heart to this man.

Tim stood, walked a couple of feet away, and then turned back to her. “I want more. I know we agreed to rekindle our friendship, but I no longer want to be friends.” Apparently noticing her surprised look, he added, “I want to be so much more.”

Simone sat speechless, fighting to control the nervous flutters in the pit of her stomach. She ran her sweaty palms over the thighs of her pants and stared at the floor. Yesterday, she had made up her mind that she would keep her relationship with Tim at a friendship level, nothing more. But now, with the way he was looking at her, and the way he made her pulse quicken with just his presence, she wasn’t so sure.

Tim sat next to her and lifted her chin, forcing her to look at him. “All I’m asking is for a chance. I know you just got out of a relationship, but give me a chance to show you how a man treats a woman he cherishes.”

Simone shook her head, though loving his words. “I don’t want to lose you,” she whispered.

“Sweetheart, you’re not going to lose me.”

Before she could say anything, she heard a series of beeps and looked around to see where the sound was coming from.

“I’m sorry, that’s me,” Tim said and stood. He pulled his cell phone out of his pocket and turned off his alarm. “I have a meeting in a little while, and that was my reminder.”

“Oh, okay.” Simone made a move to stand, and he helped her up. With one arm around her waist holding her close, he caressed her cheek with his free hand, his face inches from hers.

“I meant everything I said a few minutes ago. I want you, and I plan to do whatever it takes to have you.”

His mouth came down over hers, and within seconds, a wave of pleasure crashed through her body, sending her desire from one to ten within a heartbeat. His lips devoured hers, coaxing her without words to agree to dating him, and at the moment, she wanted to scream to the world: Yes!

He lifted his head, and his dark, assessing eyes stared into hers. “I’m looking forward to being more than your friend.” And with that, he buttoned his jacket and walked out of her office.

Lord have mercy.

****

Tim shook his head as he slid behind the wheel of his car minutes after leaving Simone’s office. Never had his feelings been so intense for a woman like they were for Simone. Was he nervous about taking their friendship to the next level? Yes. Could he picture his life without her if things didn’t work out between them? No. Was that going to stop him from pursuing her until she was all his? Hell no.

He groaned out loud and closed his eyes, his head falling back against the headrest. His fixation regarding her was scaring the hell out of him. He thought about her constantly, even in his dreams. And no way was this lust he was feeling. He had no doubt that he was in love with Simone Edwards.

Buy Links:

Amazon          Barnes and Noble          Smashwords          All Romance ebooks

In Paperback:  Createspace    Amazon

September 8, 2012 Posted by | Books, Romance, Something New - Novel, Sweet Romance | , , , | 7 Comments

Special Guest: James Fant

It is with great pleasure that I introduce my special guest – James Fant! James is the author of The Mended Fence, The Secret Branch, Close the Door, and An Ode for Orchids. But before he tells us about An Ode for Orchids, his  latest title, let’s find out a little about him.

James, why don’t you tell us about youself.

I’m a Kingdom business man, husband, father and friend, striving to fit it all into the God-given 24-hour day.  I’m passionate about helping people to improve their relationships with others and that passion shows up in my writing. I guess you could call me a champion for the “mended fence,” which incidentally is the title of a short story that I published back in November of 2011 – the first work that I ever published.

I was born in the Upstate of South Carolina. And yes, I am a country boy by heart. Every now and again, if I’m not careful or just really relaxed, that deep country twang comes out. People used to ask me all of the time if I was from Atlanta. I laugh about that even today. But no, I’m from Greenville, a city that grows more and more beautiful each time I go back to visit.

Hey! What are you trying to say about those of us who live in Atlanta? Lol! No but seriously, James – I didn’t grow up here, and sometimes it catches me off guard when I hear people talk with that heavy “twang.” Lol!

Okay, but getting back to the questions – your featured book is An Ode for Orchids. Where did you get the idea for this engaging story?

The novel was definitely divinely inspired. I started writing the story in 2006 and nearly shelved the idea after I started graduate school. But the story would not go away. No matter how busy I was with school work, with church, or family life, the story would come back to me. It needed to be told.  I’m sure readers will be able to identify with the story and say, “Yes. I went through something similar.”  I believe God inspired me to write the story to be both entertaining and edifying.

The idea came from my appreciation of the enduring strength and tenacity of all of the women in my life.  My hardworking mother, my loving grandmother, my strong sisters (related and non-related), no-nonsense aunties, and last but definitely not least, my beautiful wife.  A lot of women are holding it down on their own for one reason or another.  They endure many hardships and have become tougher for it.  However, they still have the power to be nurturing and sweet.  So I believe that God gave me this story to edify not only women, but also the men that want them and must have them in their lives.

So, what makes your characters unique? 

The characters of An Ode for Orchids are unique in that they shed light on many misconceptions, not just for women, but for men also. Karen is a gorgeous young woman with fiery red hair and naturally blonde streaks.  Every man she meets is amazed that she’s still single.  Just because she’s attractive, she has to be with someone and if she’s attractive and single then something’s wrong.  That really may not be the case.  Cicely is beautiful as well.  She’s very confident and aware of her sexuality, to put it mildly.  But she’s not happy with herself and it’s not because of the promiscuity. There’s a big misconception that a smiling face is always happy.  Behind the fun times and the free spiritedness there may be hurt.  The twins, Brook and Dawn look just alike but their personalities are so different that just about everyone can tell them apart.  They’re really like night and day.  Brook is two hours older than Dawn, yet she acts like she’s two years her senior.  She’s the entrepreneur that covers every base.  But when it comes to her relationship with her husband Walter, her due-diligence is sorely lacking.  Dawn is interesting because she’s unabashedly down to earth.  It’s all about the dollars with her.  And that doesn’t necessarily make her a gold digger.  She has love and appreciation for hustlers and go-getters.  But she finds out that a hardworking, law-abiding man can be every bit the hustler as a dope dealer.  And there’s no risk of jail time with the law-abiding man.

The novel also has lesser characters that are extremely distinctive.  There’s the barbershop hopping pimp named Calvin Bass that so casually speaks of himself in third person that you’ll really think that he’s talking about someone else.  There’s the busty and voluptuous Tamara and her three-date, “put it on ‘em,” rule.  There’s a mysterious old lady with an effervescent gold tooth and disturbingly sickening smile.  I love putting colorful characters in the story so that people can identify with them or just get a really good laugh.

Lol! These “lesser” characters definitely sound like “characters”! So tell me, how long have you been a writer and what keeps you writing?

I have been writing seriously since 2003.  I released three short stories as ebooks titled The Mended Fence, The Secret Branch, and Close the Door.  But I’ve been writing stories for much longer than that.  I remember winning an award in the third grade for a story. I wrote about three pirates and a witch.  The pirates killed the witch. Then her ghost haunted them for a while.  Eventually, the ghost ate the pirates. What was I thinking at 8 years old?

What keeps me writing? I have to give credit to God for the ideas that He gives me because that keeps me going.  He’s the Master Communicator and everything started with His Words.  So I’m a big student of communication and the art of wordplay. An author can project a certain theme and really draw the reader in just by choosing the right words and putting them in the right place at the right time.  It’s really a beautiful thing.

Also, as a story teller, you have the luxury of creating utter chaos for the reader’s enjoyment.  I recently read One Blood by Qwantu Amaru and the chaos was in full swing.  Powerful storms, heated battles, tragedy and triumph. All without the need of a stunt double.  Knowing that I have the opportunity to write literature that is both endearing and exciting motivates me to want to write forever.

What types of books are on your bookshelf at home?

There’s a wide range of literature on my book shelf. You’ll find books on entrepreneurship, marketing and cost accounting on one shelf (I’m a M.B.A. graduate).  On another shelf you’ll find some religious/motivational books from authors like Cindy Trimm, Joyce Meyer, and John Alsarraf.  I have some love stories on the shelf as well: Adrienne Byrd’s “My Destiny,” and Anne Rice’s “The Feast of All Saints.”

Tell us what An Ode for Orchids is about.

An Ode for Orchids is a story about four young women and the challenges that they face, such as making bad choices in men, dealing with infidelity, struggling with promiscuity, and dealing with rejection. But perhaps the most daunting challenge is dealing with the animosity that one woman can have for another woman. Time will reveal whether or not each of them will be strong enough to face the challenges that life will offer them.”

Here’s an excerpt from An Ode for Orchids:

Heaven.

Cicely was there as she rested next to Vincent Mann on sweat-dampened Egyptian cotton sheets.

Heady.

That was the feeling Cicely felt as Vincent Mann sexed her with animalistic passion.

Harlot.

Cicely’s promiscuity and pilfering of seeds that rightly belonged to Vincent Mann’s wife earned her that moniker. The theft was no accidental occurrence. She gave Vincent Mann the best of her loving because she wanted to own every ounce of him.

Harlot.

Cicely wore that name. She earned that name.

After collecting himself and gathering his strength, Vincent Mann sat up at the edge of the bed. He glanced back at his harlot, the woman that sexed him crazy. He sighed.

“You’re too much, Cicely Shaw. Too much for a man like me.”

“You bring it out of me. When I’m with you, I have no inhibitions. It’s like I become your personal porn star or something.”

Her lover found the strength necessary to pour a glass of wine. He motioned to Cicely to see if she would join him in the nectar of Dionysus. She declined even though it wasn’t her desire to do so. She very much wanted to sip a few glasses, to let the buzz fill her head and make her more receptive for round three. But instinct had taken over. She had to make wiser decisions.

“He couldn’t possibly stay with his wife much longer,” Cicely whispered to herself as she closed her eyes. “Especially not now.”

Vincent Mann, fighting wobbly legs, returned to the bed puffing on a Cuban cigar. The stench from the cigar tickled and annoyed Cicely’s nostrils. She opened her eyes; her instinct kicking in immediately. She faked a cough and placed her hands over her mouth.

“What? The smoke bothering you?” Vincent asked as he looked back at Cicely. His tone implied that it shouldn’t bother her because it never bothered her before.

Cicely sighed and pulled her locks to the side, tucking her hair behind her ear.

“Well, I was going to wait until dinner at The Zebra tomorrow evening, when the ambience would be perfect for my news. But I’ll tell you now.”

Cicely lifted herself so that she sat right behind her lover, her skin sticking to his.

Then she whispered into his ear. “Vincent, I’m pregnant.”

Vincent was frozen.

Whew! I can’t wait to find out how Vincent responds to that!

Well, James, thanks so much for joining me today! How can people get a copy of your e-book?

People can get a copy from the following distributors:

Amazon.com     Barnes and Noble    Smashwords

CHECK OUT THIS GIVEAWAY!

James is giving away a copy of his ebook –An Ode for Orchids – to one lucky winner! Stop by his blog site to enter for a chance to win!  www.jamesfantbooks.wordpress.com

In the meantime, please show James some love by leaving a comment or a question for him in the comment section below.

September 6, 2012 Posted by | Special Guest - Interviews | , , | 10 Comments

Romancing the Hop – Winners

Congratulations to yesterday’s winners – Romancing the Hop – By Any Means Necessary!

If you missed it – for the last four days I’ve been participating in the Romancing the Hop – blog hop. The turn out was fantastic! Readers/followers hopped around to over 200 blogs for a chance to meet authors, find out about their novels, and win hundreds of prizes!

These were the prizes you could win by leaving a comment on this site.

An e-copy of Blue Roses AND a $10 Amazon gift card

An e-copy of A Hard Man to Love

Here were the Grand Prizes you could win:

A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet

 A $130 Amazon or B&N Gift Card

And/or the following Swag Pack!

The Winners Are:

An e-copy of Blue Roses and a $10 Amazon gift card – Delphina

An e-copy of A Hard Man to Find – Lisa W.

Grand Prize Winners:

Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet- Laurie G.

$130 Amazon or B&N gift card – Ellie

Swag Pack – Cassandra

Note: All winners have been contacted via email.

Thanks to everyone who participated!

September 4, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Comments Off on Romancing the Hop – Winners