Sharon C. Cooper

Just thinking…

Guest Post – Author Naima Simone

Today I have author Naima Simone visiting my blog! Naima is on a book tour thru October 4, 2013 and has stopped by to do a guest post and introduce us to one of her novels, Secrets and Sins: Malachim.

Tour Banner - Secret and Sins - Malachim

Naima is also doing a giveaway (a gift card, books, etc), but first let’s find out what’s in a name. Take it away, Naima!

What’s in a Name

By: Naima Simone

Grace St. John. Niall Robertson or Black Niall. Rhage. Mary Luce. Pia Giovanni. Dragos Cuelebre.

If these names were thrown at me in the middle of a conversation about gardening and stamp collecting, I would instantly know, ooh!! Son of the Morning by Linda Howard! Oh snap! Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward! Oh heck yeah! Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison! I love those books!!

No, no, it’s not a photographic memory. Or a weird, selective form of Tourette’s Syndrome. I know these characters because they—their names—represent the essence of the books. Grace St. John: Simple, stalwart, and a God-given mercy and salvation. Black Niall or Niall Robertson: strong, dark, mysterious, regal. Rhage: powerful, an inward, simmering anger, emotional. Mary Luce: innocent, hidden by powerful strength, worthy. Pia Giovanni: reverent, pure, sexy, independent. Dragos Cuelebre: mysterious, dangerous, serpent.

My point?

A name is everything! When I’m starting a book, one of the very first things I spend a bunch of time with is the names of my hero and heroine. To me this is one of the most important elements of the story because. not only should their monikers embody the hero and heroine’s personalities, but they should be memorable. Just like I remember the characters above, I want a reader of my book to be able to call out my hero’s name and follow it up with, oh I loooove hiiimm!! And yes, draw it out just like that!

I write down my characters’ appearances, personalities, quirks and origins. And then I hit the baby name websites. And then Wikipedia. And follow that up with cultural websites that contain information on religion, traditions, etc. So much more goes into the selection than “unh-unh-that-will-so-not-sound-cute-when-she-calls-his-name-out-while-orgasming. Uh, not saying that’s not one of my criteria though. “Oh God, Oswald!” Nope, just not working for me… But there’s more to consider. If my hero is of Irish descent, why does he have a Persian name? I either need to change it or have a good reason why—which could lead to a colorful tidbit in his history or backstory. A beautiful, appropriate name—no matter how simple, exotic or colorful—is the beginning of a beautiful character and an even more wonderful book!

In my romantic suspense series, Secrets and Sins, with Entangled Publishing’s Ignite line, the four men the books revolve around are all named after angels: Gabriel, Malachim, Raphael, and Chayot. Their mothers, all from different socio and economic backgrounds, met during a high-risk prenatal class. They became fast friends and named the sons they considered gifts from God after angels. Of course the four of them are more like fallen angels. The heroine of the second book in the series, Malachim, is Danielle Warren. Danielle has secrets. She’s had to make some very tough decisions, some of them not lawful or what some would consider “right”. But those choices are about survival, freedom, and so no one can judge her. Only God. Which by the way is what her name means—judged by God. And God willing, she prays that judgment will be a long time in coming. To find out what those decisions are you’ll have to read Secrets and Sins: Malachim!

On that note, I did a little investigating and scoped out some of the freakin’ weirdest baby celebrity names…All’s I’m sayin’ is they have nooo consideration what these kids are going to endure when they go to school…And that’s all’s I’m saying’…

1. Kal-El *Nicolas Cage’s son, named after Superman’s Krypton name…but then again he changed his last name to Cage in honor of Luke Cage, soooo…

2. Fifi Trixibelle *Daughter of Irish singer and songwriter, Bob Geldof. I don’t know who he is, but do I really need to go into why this is a bad idea?

3. Apple *Gwyneth Paltrow’s daughter. Applehead. Applebottom. Appaloosa. Kids are cruel and you just handed them ammo…

4. Destry *Daughter of Steven Spielberg. Now, I honestly don’t think this one is too bad considering it makes me automatically think of “Destro” from G.I. Joe, one of my favorite childhood cartoons! But other people may not make that connection…

And the winner is…

Again, don’t nobody email me because everyone is fair game! My name is Naima for godsakes! I love it, but not many first graders know that Naima is a cool John Coltrane song! That said….

5. Prince Michael II/Blanket *Michael Jackson’s son. What? Did Mike run out of ideas? Did he just say, uh…how ‘bout George? Nah. What about Ralph? Naw. F*** it! Prince Michael II! And what is he wrapped in? A blanket? There you go, that’s what we’ll call him so we don’t confuse him with Prince Michael the First. Anyway, that’s what it sounded like to me…

Okay, I’m finished! How important do you think a name is? What is your favorite character name? Or do you want to add to my list? Go for it!

P.S. – The Zappa kids are disqualified because…well, just because…

What’s the weirdest name you’ve ever heard—real or fiction? Come share with me, and don’t forget, September 23rd through October 4th,  you have a chance to enter a giveaway for a $20 Amazon Gift Card, a World Traveler Boston cuff bracelet, and the 4 September Ignite releases! You can enter through the Rafflecopter below!

Thanks so much, Sharon, for letting me blog with you today! And for giving me a place to ramble! 😀

My pleasure, Naima!

Below, is the blurb and an excerpt from Naima’s novel – Secrets and Sins: Malachim as well as the giveaway information.

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Blurb

When Danielle Warren shows up on Boston attorney Malachim Jerrod’s doorstep looking for a job, his first thought is trouble. Well, actually his first thought is how does a woman with the face of a saint have the voice of a sex phone operator? But sexy trouble or not, he’s desperate for a paralegal to help keep his struggling law office afloat. Can the boss keep his distance from the silk of his employee’s skin, the siren lure of her body…or ignore the haunting vulnerability in her eyes.

Danielle can’t remember her own name, because it belongs to someone else. The new identity has afforded a fresh start and a new job. She’s taking control, making her own decisions, and refuses to allow anything to distract her—even her unwanted desire for her boss. Because distraction is dangerous and letting her guard down is not an option. Especially with a shadowy figure stalking her every move.

Danger is on the hunt, threatening the boss she’s falling in love with. Should she fight for the future of her dreams or flee to save Malachim’s life? Danielle must make a decision. Because her lies are unraveling. And some secrets can kill

Excerpt

Silence reigned in the cab. Malachim wedged his body into the corner of the backseat, sprawling his legs as far as the cramped space would allow. In the close quarters, he studied her exotic profile. The high brow; thin, aristocratic nose just a shade too long by conventional beauty standards; the wide mouth with its full bottom lip; and the small, stubborn chin. His gaze dropped to the elegant, tightly clenched hands on her lap. Even in the shadows, he noted the paler skin stretched over her knuckles. Did she fear him? God, the thought caused the alcohol in his gut to roil and pitch.

“Danielle.” He’d deliberately softened his voice, yet she flinched as if he’d roared her name.

“Yes,” she said, keeping her head averted, continuing to stare out the side window.

“Look at me.” He paused. “Please.”

Her shoulders stiffened, and her fingers were clenched so hard, he feared they wouldn’t easily straighten. After several seconds, when her head turned in his direction, his lungs relaxed.

God, he longed to touch her.

Yes, he would be a eunuch and a flaming liar if he denied he wanted her beneath him, straining against his body as he thrust deep into soft, hot flesh he knew would squeeze his cock in the sweetest, tightest embrace. He craved it. Woke up in cold sweats from dreaming about it. But this… This need swelling within his chest now was gentler but no less hungry. No less desperate.

He yearned to rub his thumb over the hard line her mouth had become, coaxing the sensual fullness to appear once again. More than the next critical beat of his heart, he desired to brush his lips over her brow, ease the panic and pain in her eyes, and replace them with pleasure. With wonder. With joy.

What would Danielle look like carefree, laughing…unburdened?

Jesus, he wanted to know.

He straightened from his slouch, at the same time shifting closer to her. Carefully, unhurriedly, determined not to spook her. Not to threaten her.

In the darkness, her eyes widened, and her breath quickened. At any other time, he would’ve backed off. But not tonight. As much as he needed to have her sun-kissed skin under his fingers, she needed to understand—believe—he would take a blade to his own hand before harming her.

Gently, he cupped the nape of her neck. Pressed a thumb into the side of her throat and circled. She went rigid beneath his hand and loosed a tiny whimper.

“Shh,” he crooned. “No, look at me,” he tenderly ordered when her lashes fluttered. He had to see her eyes, had to be able to detect if his caress became too much for her to bear. Even more, he had to see the moment the fear bled from her beautiful dark gaze and trust entered.

“Thank you,” he murmured, staring into the brown depths. Yes, panic still lingered, but so did another emotion…an emotion that set his heart racing for his throat. “I would never hurt you,” he said. “Not that way. I may be an asshole sometimes and kick the hell out of your feelings, but I’ll never hurt you in the way that makes you shake under my hand.” He slid his hand into her hair, loosening the bun and cradling her head. And had to bite back his groan at the sensuous glide of her heavy hair over his hand and wrist. “You’re safe with me. I promise,” he said hoarsely.

*

Get your copy today!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo Books
Publication Date: September 23, 2013

About the giveaway!

Prizes: $20 Amazon gift card, World Traveler Boston Map Cuff Bracelet, The ebook set of Entangled Ignite September Releases

Entangled September 2013 Releases

How to Enter: Rafflecopter

Visit Naima on the web:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

About the Author:

Naima bryant

Naima Simone is a multi-published author in contemporary and erotic romance. She’s a member of RWA’s Southern Magic chapter, mother of the Dynamic Duo, lover of everything Vin Diesel and wife to the fabulous husband who tolerates this affair.

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September 30, 2013 Posted by | Guest Post | , | 17 Comments

Hump Day Hook and Giveaway

Today I’m joining in with other authors, who share little teasers /excerpts from their work in the Hump Day Hook. Click here for other authors participating in HDH.

For this week’s hook, I’m sharing a short excerpt from my newly released Still the Best Woman for the Job, book 1 of the Jenkins Family Series. I’m also giving away FREE copies of Best Woman for the Job – the short story prequel to Still the Best Woman for the Job, but first, here’s a little taste of my new release.

StilltheBestwoman - final 6-2013

Blurb:

Joint heir to the largest construction company in the state of Ohio, master plumber, Toni (TJ) Jenkins has been groomed to behave in a way that is befitting of the respected Jenkins’ family name. But after she breaks up with the only man she’s ever loved, to protect a secret she holds close to her heart, poor decisions lead her down a path of destruction that risks ruining the reputation of the company her family has worked hard to build.

Cincinnati police officer, Craig Logan, knows Toni is the woman for him. They’ve been apart for months, but when they run into each other at a party, the passion between them sizzles stronger than ever. She says she can’t handle dating a cop, but he senses that something else keeps her from rushing back into his arms. Craig wants her to be his wife, and he’ll do whatever it takes to prove no matter what she’s hiding, she’s still the best woman for the job.

Excerpt:

Toni leaned back and narrowed her eyes. “What?”

“You heard me.” Craig readjusted Ronald against the wall, ignoring her date’s mumbling. “If you want me to help you get this bum home – to his house,” he emphasized, “then you have to agree to have dinner with me Friday night.”

Toni hesitated. Intense hazel eyes sprinkled with specks of green and laced with a light brown stared at her, awaiting her response. She would love to have dinner with him, heck, she’d love to spend the rest of her life with him, but there lay the problem. Craig already had the big house and the white picket fence, but he wanted the wife and the three-point-five kids to complete the fairytale. The problem in a nutshell was that he wanted her to be a part of that dream, and she couldn’t give him what he wanted.

“I can’t believe you.” She glanced back at the bathroom door and then closed it. Returning her attention to Craig she said, “After all we’ve been through, has it really come to this? You’re going to blackmail me into having dinner with you?”

“Hey, if it means spending time with you, I’m not ashamed to do whatever I have to do. Besides, I don’t see it as blackmail. I see my request as being nothing more than a man, who is still in love with you, asking you out to dinner.” He shrugged. “But you can call it whatever you want. I do know one thing though. If you don’t make up your mind in the next five seconds, your drunk boyfriend here is going to find his ass back on the cold marble tile. So what’s it going to be, sweetheart?”

Want to read more? Get your copy today!    Amazon

Giveaway Details

Prize: A FREE copy of Best Woman for the Job

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What you have to do to win: Click here and enter the code – MA38E at checkout for your FREE copy!

Deadline to get your FREE copy: Septeber 27, 2013

September 24, 2013 Posted by | Books by Sharon C. Cooper | , | 8 Comments

It’s Here – Still the Best Woman for the Job!

Woo hoo!! I’m happy to announce the early release of my latest novel, Still the Best Woman for the Job, book 1 of the Jenkins Family Series. Toni Jenkins and Craig Logan were first introduced in the short story prequel – Best Woman for the Job (which is available at all ebook online retailers).

Without further ado, here’s a snippet from Still the Best Woman for the Job

StilltheBestwoman - final 6-2013

Blurb:

Joint heir to the largest construction company in the state of Ohio, master plumber, Toni (TJ) Jenkins has been groomed to behave in a way that is befitting of the respected Jenkins’ family name. But after she breaks up with the only man she’s ever loved, to protect a secret she holds close to her heart, poor decisions lead her down a path of destruction that risks ruining the reputation of the company her family has worked hard to build.

Cincinnati police officer, Craig Logan, knows Toni is the woman for him. They’ve been apart for months, but when they run into each other at a party, the passion between them sizzles stronger than ever. She says she can’t handle dating a cop, but he senses that something else keeps her from rushing back into his arms. Craig wants her to be his wife, and he’ll do whatever it takes to prove no matter what she’s hiding, she’s still the best woman for the job.

Excerpt – NOTE: Please be advised that this excerpt has adult content not recommended for those under the age of 18.

A wave of giddiness gripped Toni the moment she pulled up to Craig’s house. She wasn’t sure what had come over her. She grinned like she’d just learned the secret to keeping a manicure fresh for a month. It wasn’t like she hadn’t seen Craig every day for the past week and a half. Maybe the joy flowing through her veins had something to do with the fact that they were meeting for their first afternoon rendezvous at his place.

She climbed out of her work van and practically floated to the door, and then rang the doorbell.

“Who is it?” Craig asked through the closed door.

“It’s the plumber. I’ve come to fix the sink.”

She heard him laugh before he pulled open the door. “You’re crazy. Get in here.” He tugged her inside and into his arms. Toni couldn’t think of any other place she’d rather be than right there molded against his lean body.  “Well hello,” he mumbled, his lips brushed against hers as he spoke. “I have to admit, you’re the finest plumber I’ve ever laid eyes on. But,” he broke off the kiss suddenly and released her, “you have to hurry and take care of that sink problem before my woman gets here. She’s the jealous type and doesn’t like fine-ass plumbers hanging out in my house.”

“Ha, ha, ha, very funny. I see you’ve got jokes.” Toni took off her work boots and followed him into the kitchen.

“So do you use that ‘I’m here to fix the sink’, line often?” He glanced over his shoulder as he removed a long pan from the oven. “Maybe to pick up unsuspecting men like me?”

“Actually my dear, you’re the only man I’ve used that line on.” She wiggled her eyebrows at him and grinned.

He flashed a goofy I’m-the-luckiest-man-in-the-world smile that lit up his hazel eyes and jump-started the giddiness that swirled around inside her body. When he turned back to his delicious smelling dish and sprinkled additional cheese across the top, Toni couldn’t help but recall the first plumbing job she did for him, he was cooking then too. A small smile tilted her lips as she admired how easily he moved around the kitchen. Unlike the first time they met, today he didn’t have his police uniform on and didn’t look as intimidating. She loved a man in uniform, but Craig’s tall figure in blue jeans hanging low on his hips and a white tank top showing off thick muscular arms and washboard abs were just as sizzling.

“Ahem.”

Toni’s gaze shot up to find Craig checking her out and wearing a crooked grin. She swallowed hard and rubbed her sweaty palms down the thighs of her jeans. Hopefully he couldn’t read minds. If he could, he would know that she was now imagining him naked.

“Uhh … so what’s for lunch?”

Craig sauntered across the room. He pulled her close and nuzzled the side of her neck, his hands easily sliding underneath her T-shirt. “My version of baked Ziti, but now I’m thinking that maybe I should have you for lunch, and we save the Ziti for dessert,” he mumbled against her burning skin. “We have about fifteen minutes before I have to take it out of the oven. Just enough time for a quickie.”

He backed her up to the granite countertop and her entire body went liquid with anticipation when he lifted her shirt over her head and cupped her breasts, sending a spark of desire straight to her midsection. His mouth covered hers in a deep penetrating kiss as he skimmed his skillful fingers over her lace bra, tweaking her nipples, immediately making them rise to attention. All thoughts of food flew out of Toni’s mind and was replaced with a yearning desire to have their bodies joined as one when he paid her other breast the same attention as the first.

Craig lifted his head. “I have to get you out of these clothes,” he said, his gruff voice turning her on almost as much as the quick work he did in stripping her out of her jeans, leaving her with only her bra and bikini panties on. He stood back, his hungry gaze raked over her body and lingered on her breasts. “Damn, girl, you’re sexy with or without clothes, but right now I need you up higher. Sometimes I forget how short you are without your heels on.”

“Craig!” she yelped when, without warning, he lifted her and placed her on the cool granite countertop. “My grandmother would have a fit if she saw me sitting on a kitchen counter. Especially if she knew what we were about to do.”

“Well, it’s a good thing she’s not here.”

*

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

Available at all other ebook online retailers – December 21, 2013

NOTE: Have you read the short story prequel to Still the Best Woman for the Job? If not, check it out! Best Woman for the Job available at:

Amazon | B & N | Smashwords | Kobo | All Romance ebooks

September 22, 2013 Posted by | New Release | , | 12 Comments

The Dreaded High School Reunion – Guest Post

Join me in welcoming author Ann DeFee to my blog! I first met Ann at the RWA conference this summer and she really should consider doing stand up comedy – I had a blast hanging out with her during the Indie Authors’ book signing! Today, Ann is sharing her take on high school reunions and she’s telling us about her soon-to-be released – Summer After Summer. Take it away, Ann!

The Dreaded High School Reunion

By: Ann DeFee

When it comes to American traditions the high school reunion is one that particularly makes people sit up and take notice.  If you have all your hair (that’s for men, of course), you’re fabulously wealthy and successful, and/or you look like the stick skinny chick in the Kia commercial with the four-inch heels and Saran Wrap dress, you have it made.  But that’s not the case for most people.

So in preparation for the big day you drag your best friend to the mall to shop for the perfect outfit while admonishing her/or him to be brutally honest.  Seriously?  Do  you really want to know that the orange sheath makes you look like the Pillsbury Doughboy?  And then there’s the issue of your body.  Are your thighs reminiscent of cottage cheese?   Is it too late to lose twenty-five pounds and go for a Life Style lift.  Need I say more?

And once you get to the celebration what do you talk about with people you haven’t seen in X-number of years after you’ve done the perfunctory “What have you been doing?” and “Do you have kids?” questions.  No wonder these occasions occur only every decade–or two, or three.

Not to worry, you have a chance to experience the dreaded high school reunion–with a happy ending–through a re-issue of my favorite work, Summer After Summer, available soon at the Harelquin.com bookstore.  My protagonists, Jazzy and Charlie go their separate ways after graduation.  It isn’t until a reunion twenty years later that they discover their feelings and shared memories  are as strong as ever.  Things are looking up until Fate intervenes.  However,  the third time’s the charm and the star-crossed lovers finally get it right.  It’s a fun read, chock full of anecdotes  that many of you can relate to.

BTW–I’m going to a high school reunion in October and my neighbors can attest to the fact that every morning bright and early I’m out pounding the pavement.  LOL

Happy reading,

Ann DeFee

Blurb – Summer After Summer, Harlequin Everlasting

new summer cover

In the summer of ’73, Jasmine and Charlie share a secret place by the river. Somewhere to laugh and dream on hot Texas nights. A place for making memories. For getting close… Then Jazzy’s girlfriend drops a bombshell that brings an end to teenage innocence—and the beginning of life without Charlie.

It’s the summer of ’93 and Jazzy’s got a rock on her finger and a successful career. But when she bumps into Charlie at their high school reunion, their feelings are as powerful as ever. Before they can act on them, an urgent plea calls Jazzy away once more.

This summer… Her marriage over, Jaz heads for home again. For Texas. And Charlie…the man she should’ve been with all along.

Click here for an excerpt of Summer After Summer

Look what’s coming next for Ann:

Beyond Texas, Harlequin Carina Press, December 16, 2013

Sparkle Plenty, Harlequin Carina Press, TBA

Available Now:

In A Pickle – Amazon and at all other ebook retailers

Click here for more books by Ann DeFee!

About the Author

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Ann DeFee is an award winning author of nine novels and one novella with the Harlequin American Romance and Everlasting lines.  Her first book,  A Texas State of Mind (2005) was a double RITA (Romance Writers’ of America national award) finalist in both the Long Contemporary and Best First Book categories.  Summer After Summer (2007 and re-issued in 2013 with Harlequin Everlasting) won the Orange County Book Buyers’ Best Long Series Contemporary award.   Her latest publications are Beyond Texas (December 2013) and Sparkle Plenty (2014) with Harlequin’s Carina Press.

September 18, 2013 Posted by | Blog Guest | , | Comments Off on The Dreaded High School Reunion – Guest Post

A Woman’s Worth

It’s always a pleasure to have my author friend Chicki Brown stop by my blog! Today she’s introducing us to her latest release – A Woman’s Worth.

AWW - Final Large Cover - Higher DPI

Blurb:

When Las Vegas personal trainer and raw vegan foods advocate, Marc Stafford comes home for the first time in four years, he meets Gianne Marvray at a family celebration. He is instantly attracted to her, but soon discovers she’s recovering from a catastrophic illness, and she is his father’s patient.

Marc is everything Gianne has always wanted in a man. He’s handsome, educated, motivated and family-oriented. And that’s the problem. Marc has his eye on marriage and family. Even though Gianne refuses to discuss any kind of commitment, he is bound and determined to change her mind.

Excerpt:
The Stafford brothers arrived one by one later that evening at the trendy eatery and drew appreciative glances from the female patrons as they entered. Charles had asked for seating on the patio, and once all six men were present, a hostess showed them to red-cushioned cane sofas and chairs beneath large white umbrellas. The subdued lighting and gently waving live palms reminded Marc of Vegas. With their drinks ordered, he addressed his brothers. “I wanted us to get together without all the extra relatives around. Greg’s leaving tomorrow night, and we won’t be able to get out of going with Mama and Daddy for dinner after church.” The sound of deep male laughter filled the warm evening air.

“It’s been a while since all six of us were together,” Vic said, reaching for his scotch from the tray delivered to them by a smiling waitress. The brothers exchanged glances as she presented their beverages to each of them but didn’t speak until she was gone.

“If she’d bent over any farther, those boobs would’ve been in our drinks!” Greg said, eliciting a howl from the others.

“You think she wanted something?” Greg said with a laugh.

Vic shook his head. “No doubt. But even if I wasn’t married, that’s too young for my blood.”

“She was pretty,” Marc added with a wide grin. “And she looks about Nick’s age.”

Nick’s Bahamian blue eyes widened. “Who said I’m interested? I’m not the only single man here.”

“Well, I have my hands full already. Greg’s going back to New York, and Marc’s been hit by the thunderbolt. That just leaves you, Nick,” Charles declared as his brothers roared with laughter.

“I knew something was going on with him and Gianne,” Jesse grumbled. “How long have you known her, man?”

Marc glared at him, well aware of what was coming next. “What difference does it make?”

“I’m just trying to figure out what kind of mistake he’s getting ready to make this time.”

Vic raised a hand to signal their buxom server. “Ease up, Jess. I think you need a refill.” When she approached, he asked her to bring another round for the group.

“That’s okay, Vic. He can’t help it,” Marc said in the most sarcastic tone he could muster. “He’s stuck with a miserable pregnant woman, and he has to take it out on somebody.”

“And you came riding in here on your white horse thinking you could fix that too,” Jesse snapped with a sneer.

Marc set his sparkling water on the table and met Jesse eye to eye. “What is your problem, man? Are you still really stuck in five-year-old mode? Well, I’m sorry my heart surgery messed with your fairy tale image of what life was supposed to be.”

A couple of restaurant staff appeared with their dinner just in time. “Come on, guys,” Vic implored. “Let’s move to a table and try to have a civil meal, okay?”

*

Buy It Now

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Kobo

Check out other books by Chicki Brown here.

About the Author:

Contemporary women’s fiction/romance author Chicki Brown has published seven novels and one novelette. She was the 2011 SORMAG (Shades of Romance Magazine) Author of the Year and also a contributing author to the Gumbo for the Soul: Men of Honor (Special Cancer Awareness Edition). Chicki is currently working on the second book in her Stafford brothers series.

Since she published in 2010, Chicki isn’t able to read as much as she once did, but her favorite authors are Beverly Jenkins, Eric Jerome Dickey, Lisa Kleypas, J.R. Ward and Suzanne Brockmann.

Brown hails from New Jersey and loves living in suburban Atlanta, Georgia, but she still misses the Jersey shore.

Her many homes in cyberspace include:

Blog: http://sisterscribbler.blogspot.com 

Twitter: http://twitter.com/@Chicki663
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/chicki.brown

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/chicki663/  

September 16, 2013 Posted by | Blog Guest | , | 4 Comments

Still the Best Woman for the Job – Sneak Peek

I’m happy to announce that Still the Best Woman for the Job (book 1 of the Jenkins Family Series) will be released September 25, 2013! Here’s a sneak peek:

StilltheBestwoman - final 6-2013

Blurb

Joint heir to the largest construction company in the state of Ohio, master plumber, Toni (TJ) Jenkins has been groomed to behave in a way that is befitting of the respected Jenkins’ family name. But after she breaks up with the only man she’s ever loved, to protect a secret she holds close to her heart, poor decisions lead her down a path of destruction that risks ruining the reputation of the company her family has worked hard to build.

Cincinnati police officer, Craig Logan, knows Toni is the woman for him. They’ve been apart for months, but when they run into each other at a party, the passion between them sizzles stronger than ever. She says she can’t handle dating a cop, but he senses that something else keeps her from rushing back into his arms. Craig wants her to be his wife, and he’ll do whatever it takes to prove no matter what she’s hiding, she’s still the best woman for the job.

Excerpt  – This scene is after Craig catches Toni and one of her cousins hiding a man (Toni’s date for the evening) in the bathroom of their grandparent’s home and this is also the first time Craig has seen Toni in over eight months.

“Well, well, well, if it isn’t Cincinnati’s finest and I mean that in every sense of the word.” Jada stood and ran a manicured hand down the front of her black slip dress, smoothing out the wrinkles. She glanced at the wide mirror over the sink and turned her head back and forth before shaking her hair wildly. Craig almost laughed when she rubbed her lips together, struck a pose and smiled at her reflection before turning to him. “Glad to see you, Officer Logan. I trust you can take it from here,” she said on her way out of the oversized bathroom.

With an amused grin, Craig shook his head and watched her stroll down the hall as if she didn’t have a care in the world. He got along well with all of Toni’s family, but Jada, known for her oversized ego and theatrics, always cracked him up. He turned back to Toni and the smile slipped from his lips as she scurried to her feet, dusted off her knees and adjusted her drool-worthy red dress. A ripple of desire surged through his body and catapulted straight to his groin the moment their gazes collided. He’d worked a twelve-hour shift and was dog-tired when he first pulled up to the Jenkins’ estate, but exhaustion no longer plagued him. Instead, the need to pull Toni into his arms and hold her close took root. Despite what he told himself when deciding on whether to attend her grandfather’s birthday celebration, there was no way he’d be able to walk away from her tonight – at least not without tasting her tempting lips.

His heart pounded loudly in his ears as his gaze traveled from her perfectly made up face down her curvaceous body and shapely legs until his perusal stopped at her red strappy shoes. The eight months of them being apart suddenly felt like eight years as he slowly took her all in, realizing just how much he had missed her. God she’s beautiful. So many days had come and gone when he wanted to call her, or just see her for a minute, but he’d kept his word. When she walked away from their relationship, she made him promise not to seek her out, telling him that she needed space. After seeing her tonight, all bets were off. No way could he be in her presence and not want what they once had.

“What are you doing here?” she asked, her sexy voice but a whisper.

When he didn’t speak right away, she nervously pushed a lock of her long, thick hair behind her ear and peeked at the big brute lying at her feet. Glancing down at him, Craig wondered what she was thinking. Was she seriously dating this guy?

“Peyton invited me,” Craig finally answered.

He leaned against the doorjamb and tucked his hands into his pants pockets. Eyes as warm as fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies on a cold winter’s day stared back at him and he shifted his stance to hide the evidence of his sudden arousal. He wasn’t surprised by the ardent effect she still had on him, but right now wasn’t the best time to indulge in what his body craved from her.

She glanced away. Her gaze bounced from him to the jerk on the floor and then back to him again. Why was she so nervous? Toni was one of the most confident women he’d ever met, and right now her behavior didn’t fit her usual self-assured personality. If anything, watching her actions now reminded him of a time, early in their relationship, when she was slow to let down her guard and unwilling to share her desires, needs, and even her fears.

“So what’s going on?” He nodded at the man on the floor. “I assume he’s alive.”

Her mouth dropped opened and her hands flew to her hips as she narrowed her eyes at Craig.

“Of course he’s alive. He just had a little too much to drink.”

“A little? Hell, the guy is passed out on your grandparent’s bathroom floor. I’d say he’s way past drunk.” At that moment, her inebriated friend groaned and rolled to his side.

“Oh, thank goodness.” Toni fell to her knees, pushed him onto his back and patted his cheek. “Ronald, wake up. Come on, we have to get you out of here. I need you to wake up.”

Craig straightened and his body tensed. With a good view of her shapely butt as she leaned over her date, he couldn’t stop himself from zoning in on her smooth toned legs and dainty feet. He had always been a leg-man, but when it came to Toni, he loved everything about her, from her curvy, petite body to her smart mouth. And right now, her mouth was a little too close to this guys face.

“Come on, Ronald, wake up.” She shook his shoulders but when that didn’t work, she went back to patting his cheek.

It wasn’t so much that she was touching this Ronald guy in an intimate way that bothered Craig. The fact that she had her hands on another man period sent his jealous meter into overdrive.

“Maybe you need to slap him a little harder,” Craig said, still standing near the doorway. “Or better yet, I’d be happy to do the honors.” He moved forward and burst out laughing when she glared at him over her shoulder.

“Better yet, maybe I should slap you for just standing there and not offering to help me get him up and out of here!”

Craig chuckled, glad to see the fire within her hadn’t burned out. Now this was the Toni he loved and missed.

“And why would I do that? He’s your date.” He snapped his fingers. “As a matter of fact, I should really get to the party, maybe grab something to eat, dance a little and get my drink on.”

He turned and walked back to the door.

“Aarrgh,” Toni yelped. “Ronald, let me go.”

Craig glanced back to see that Ronald had palmed Toni’s butt and had pulled her on top of him.

“Ju…just lay heeere with me, baby,” he mumbled, his eyes still closed. “Ne…need sleep ri…right now. Big da…daddy will gi…give you some lovin—”

“Ah, hell no!” With one long step, Craig reached for Toni’s elbow and pulled her to her feet. His first thought was to plant his size twelve on top of her date’s chest, but thinking that probably wouldn’t be the best idea, he lifted Ronald by the front of his shirt. “Get your ass up.”

**

Read the rest on release day – September 25, 2013!

Here’s a little back story on five female members of the Jenkins Family who will fall madly and passionately in love with five unsuspecting men.

STEVEN JENKINS, the patriarch of the Jenkins Family, and founder of Jenkins & Sons Construction wants what every entrepreneur head of the family wants – for his children to continue to run the family business long after he’s dead and gone. None of his four sons and three daughters are interested in taking over the reins. It’s not until his oldest granddaughter, Peyton Jenkins, shows an interest that his hope is renewed.

Now its 16 years later, he’s happily retired, and business is better than ever – thanks to five of his amazing granddaughters. TONI (TJ) JENKINS, a master plumber, is his favorite granddaughter – though he’ll never admit it; sweet, levelheaded PEYTON (PJ) JENKINS is an electrician, and the senior construction manager for Jenkins & Sons Construction; MARTINA (MJ) JENKINS, is a carpenter and Steven’s most challenging grandchild. Then there’s CHRISTINA (CJ) JENKINS, the shy one in the group who is a painter, but refers to herself as an artist. Last, but not least, is JADA (JJ) JENKINS the youngest and the most spirited of the bunch. Steven still hasn’t been able to figure her out, but he has to admit, she’s a darn good sheet metal worker.

***For those of you who are not familiar with Toni and Craig – first introduced in Best Woman for the Job (the prequel to Still the Best Woman for the Job) – you have until the end of the the day – September 6, 2013 – to get the short story *FREE*.  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/155997 – Use coupon code HH79V   

September 5, 2013 Posted by | Sneak Peek | , , | 6 Comments