Sharon C. Cooper

Just thinking…

Book Spotlight: Fourteen Pages by James Fant

It is with great pleasure that I have James Fant, the author of An Ode for Orchids, visiting my blog today! He’s sharing an excerpt from his latest release, 14-Pages. Check it out!

14-Pages Ebook Cover New (1)


A nasty divorce is about to destroy Marco and Venice Goldsmith. Bitter arguments, and slammed doors have plagued their three-month long marriage. And when Venice proclaimed her hatred for Marco divorce seemed inevitable.

Then a marriage expert named Garfield Moody offers the Goldsmiths a solution to save their marriage: a 14-page contract that includes step by step marriage instructions. Their contract even includes safeguards for noncompliance like “Chill Therapy” and “The Tip-Out Clause.” Everyone thinks the idea is crazy. However, Marco and Venice think it’s just crazy enough to work. Will 14-Pages be enough to save their marriage? Or will they cause one of them to lose their life?


Silence commanded the entire drive home from the benefit dinner.  Thirty minutes after Venice crashed down into her passenger seat and slammed her car door, Marco pulled into their driveway.  Venice was the first out of the car.  She sped into the house as Marco lagged behind.  Just as he was about to walk through the front door, she slammed it in his face.

Marco busted in the door and screamed, “Woman! Are you crazy?!”

“I’m tired of you walking out on me, Marco.  You act so childish sometimes.”

“So now I’m a child?”

“No. I said you act childish. Stop putting words in my mouth.”

“I’m not putting words in your mouth.  You have a small opinion of me.”

Venice spun around, quite amazed at what he said.

“Where in the world did you get that from?”

“You’re ashamed of me.  You can’t leave me alone with your geeky friends for too long because you’re afraid that I’ll embarrass you with my culinary school education.”

“Marco.  For the last time!  I AM NOT ASHAMED OF YOU!”

“Then why did you tell McHenry that I was opening up all these stores. ‘Oh yes.  He’s opening up restaurants all up and down the eastern seaboard.  He’s going to be a household name,’” he mocked.  “But Venice, the reality is I only have ONE restaurant; it’s a restaurant that I built up from the ground.  And that ONE restaurant is doing very well.”

Venice threw her hands up and walked into the kitchen.  A bottle of water was just what she needed to cool her jets.  If only Marco would have given the moment time to breathe.  It is amazing how an argument, if allowed, takes on a life of its own.

“And just where do you come off speaking my name to this Garrett Anderson guy?” Marco asked as he followed Venice into the kitchen.

“Garrett is very successful at turning small companies into larger enterprises, especially if he sees potential,” Venice replied, now quite annoyed.  “He saw your potential right away.”

“You’re undermining me, Venice.”

“Undermining you?”

“Yes.  You don’t like the way I run my business, so once again, since you are a know it all, you’re gonna take it upon yourself to manage it.  Because you are a genius, right?”

“Marco—Watch it.”

“But you weren’t so smart when your broker was rear ending you with no Vaseline. That’s right, I said it.  You were losing money until you met me.  You barely knew what a stock was.”

“And I’m sure Benjamin knows all about finance, doesn’t he?” Venice snarled as she rolled her eyes and sucked her teeth.

“What is that supposed to mean?” Marco asked.

They stared at each other for a moment. The tension in the air allowed the extremely vicious comments to now surface.

“Alright, Venice.   Leave Benjamin out of this!”

“You started with the low blows first, Marco.  You know what?  Just—nothing.  Forget about it.”

Venice walked into the family room because she knew where the argument was going.

Marco again followed her and barked, “What?  You don’t think that my restaurant is successful?”

Venice spun around to face her husband.

“Marco Goldsmith.  You are a fabulous chef.  Your business idea is incredible.”

“There’s a but coming.”

“But you need a real business manager.”

“See, I knew you were going to go there.”

“I mean for Pete’s sake, Marco.  Benjamin as your business manager?”

“Leave my brother out of this Venice.  PLEASE!”

“Marco, come on!  You have this big extravagant office for him. And for what?”


Venice paused to allow the tension to ease.

“Marco I’m tired.  I’m going to bed.”

Venice walked to their bedroom with Marco close behind her.  Unfortunately the argument followed them as well.  Sooner or later, all of their arguments led to their bedroom.

“I’m just saying, Marco.  I want to be solid financially when we have kids.”

“Kids!  Kids!  Kids!  That’s all I hear from you, Venice!”

“Well we’re married.  Children are a part of marriage.  Family.  I want lots of kids.  You knew that before we were married.”

“It’s not that I don’t want children.”

“What’s it about, then?”

“Your mother suffered from preeclampsia.  Your aunts suffered from preeclampsia.  One of your cousins died because of it.”

“Marco, you don’t have to give me a history lesson about my family’s struggle with blood pressure.  I know about all of the risks.  I have managed to avoid taking blood pressure medication by controlling my diet and exercising regularly.”

“Okay then.  If blood pressure problems aren’t enough, Venice, we argue non-stop about absolutely nothing.  I just don’t think that we should bring children into this.”

“No!  This isn’t about blood pressure or arguments.  You’re just being mean as always. I expressed that I wanted a large family before we got married, Marco!”

“Yeah you expressed a lot of things before we got married.  Funny how expressions change after the ring goes on.”

That was it. Marco had hit the magic button and heavy breathing was the only sound heard in their bedroom.  According to Hebrews, chapter 13, verse 4, the marriage bed is undefiled.  Marco always interpreted that scripture to mean that anything was permissible in the bedroom of a married couple.  If a wife wanted her hands to be chained to the bedposts while her husband spanked her bare bottom with a small leather whip, that was permissible.  If the husband wanted to coat his wife’s body with chocolate syrup and slowly remove the chocolate from her flesh until she screamed for mercy, that was permissible.  But Marco wondered if the arguments that he and Venice had in their bedroom was permissible; he wonder if hateful words had defiled their bed?

Venice softly asked, “What did you say?”

“Nothing, Venice.  It’s nothing.”

“No.  You said something.  Be a man and tell me what you said.”

“You want me to be a man?”

“Yes!  Be a freaking man!  What did you say?”

Marco got in Venice’ face and screamed, “When we were dating, you were awesome in bed!  But now, you’re lackluster at best!  You talk about what you expressed before marriage?  Well you fooled me.  Gave me just enough to make me think our sex life would be great and then you yanked the rug from under my feet!”

Venice saw red.  It didn’t upset her that Marco insulted her skills in bed so much that it upset her that he brought up their pre-marital sex; she had previously asked him never to do that.  Venice, like Marco, was very spiritual.  Even though Marco was her first, she was not proud that she made love to him before they were married.  Marco knew that.  It was amazing that they both knew exactly what buttons to push.

Venice brushed past him and walked back into the living room.  Marco remained in their bedroom for a second, wondering what possessed him to go there with her. Perhaps it was the Be a Man statement.  That always cut him deep and made the gloves come off.  He knew that he would hurt her when he said it and yet he said it anyway.  He wanted to apologize but they were now at a point where neither of them apologized for anything, even if they knew that they were wrong.  So he did what he always did after a good argument with Venice; he talked softly to her like they had not just been screaming at each at the top of their lungs.

Marco walked up behind Venice and whispered, “Are we okay?”

But he wasn’t prepared for the words that he would hear next.


“What did you say?”


Marco lunged at Venice and then jabbed two holes into the wall.  They had argued countless times during their short marriage, but now they were in uncharted territory.

Want to find out what happens next? Get your copy today!

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About the Author:

James Fant

James Fant is a Kingdom businessman, husband, father and friend.  James is passionate about helping people to improve their personal relationships through the power of inspirational fiction. One could call him a champion for the “mended fence,” which incidentally is the title of the first story that he ever published.  James is a huge fan of romance, action, and suspense, and that shows in his writing. However, James avoids the use of lewd language and racy sexual scenes when he writes.

You can contact James at:






April 18, 2013 - Posted by | Blog Guest | ,


  1. Wow! That was explosive. Loved the excerpt.

    Comment by Delaney Diamond | April 18, 2013

  2. Thanks so much, Delaney! I like the adjective “explosive.” That’s what I was shooting for.
    Be blessed.

    Comment by jamesfantbooks | April 18, 2013

  3. I just “one-clicked” and got my copy!

    Comment by sharonccooper | April 18, 2013

    • Aw, Sharon. Thanks so much. 🙂 I really hope that you enjoy it.

      Comment by jamesfantbooks | April 18, 2013

  4. Really liked the excerpt and what it said in your bio about avoiding the use of lewd language and racy sexual scenes in your writing.

    Comment by nancygoldberglevine | April 18, 2013

    • Thanks so much, Nancy. I don’t use profanity; however, (and I do mean however), I still bring the heat. I love the heat, the passion, the steam. I just write the steam in such a way that it is clean. Clean steam, I guess you could say. 🙂

      Be blessed.

      Comment by jamesfantbooks | April 18, 2013

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