Sharon C. Cooper

Just thinking…

An Interview with Author M.J. Kane

It is with great pleasure that I welcome fellow author, M.J. Kane to my blog! M.J is the author of A Heart Not Easily Broken, book 1 of The Butterfly Memoirs Series and she has recently released book 2, Jaded. But before she tells us about her latest release, lets find out a little about the writer behind the books.

MJ - photo

Okay M.J., tell us a little about yourself.

Well, the person behind this pen, (or keyboard!), is a stay-at-home-mom with a very over active imagination. I once thought it was because of being an only child and spending a lot of time making up stories to entertain myself. But since I am an adult with four kids, a hubby, and six dogs, I now see storytelling as a gift! I am also a stroke survivor, and by that I mean I really survived. After nearly dying in in 2006 and recovering from partial paralysis, every day is a blessing. Discovering I have a talent I wasn’t aware of before has aided in my recovery.

Wow, you’re truly a walking miracle and it’s wonderful to hear that your writing talent has aided in your recovery!

Now M.J., your featured book is Jaded, where did you get the idea for this story?

The idea for Yasmine’s and Zack’s story came from a song by Kem called Love Calls. I’d finished writing A Heart Not Easily Broken where Ebony and Brian found their HEA, but I’d left Yasmine hanging by a thread. I knew I wanted her book to be about her journey back to love, but was not sure how to write it. One day, I was cleaning house and listening to my iPod and the song came one. I have the tendency to listen to the beat only and lyrics last. That day, I actually listened to that song over and over and over again. In fact for the rest of the week that was pretty much the only song I listened to. The lyrics are about a person who’s had a bad experience in love before and fears taking the risk to be hurt again. Knowing Yasmine’s past history was fraught with disappointing relationships, I decided to create a male lead that had the same past issues. Putting two people together who want to love and be loved, yet play the game of being ‘just friends’ interested me. And of course, friends-with-benefits relationships are nothing new to books, television, and movies, so I added a twist. The book isn’t just about two people unable to fight the attraction and avoid a relationship. I wanted to focus on if the relationship would continue to bloom or if it would fail once the HEA was reached, and real life issues snuck in. How far would one go to keep what they thought they would never have? When do you know you’re making the right decision? How much can you trust someone with your heart and know that despite mistakes, what you have is real? Those are the issues faced by the characters in Jaded.

How long have you been a writer and what keeps you writing?

I didn’t start writing until 2009, after my husband suggested I pull out a short story I’d written as part of a fan fiction challenge. He challenged me to complete it, and from there, my interest in writing and character development took flight.

Well, I for one am glad he challenged you! Are you working on any other writing projects? 

As of now, I am working on the third novel in The Butterfly Memoirs Series, Lonely Heart. This story follows the third friend, Kaitlyn Rodgers, that was introduced in A Heart Not Easily Broken.

JadedTell us about Jaded.

A devastating breakup leaves Yasmine Phillips in shambles. Unable to trust another man with her heart, she focuses on the one thing she can control—starting her own business.

When her computer crashes, taking months of hard work with it, she must rely on computer genius Zachariah Givens to save her. A complete opposite of men from her past, she doesn’t expect the passion that ensues. But just as she finds happiness, she learns the truth about the other women in Zachariah’s life.

What makes your characters unique?

Allowing my characters to tell their story by writing in 1st Person, and not only following the female leads story, but developing a story that is just as deep and life changing for the male lead makes my characters unique. Also, the issues that challenge them are everyday problems that readers may have experienced or can relate to. Doing so makes it easier for readers to relate to them and become emotionally invested in the story.

Excerpt from Jaded:

I closed my eyes in an attempt to find pieces of the wall I built around my heart. It was impossible; Zack had chiseled them away in the short time we’d known each other. The pain plaguing me from past relationships was easily forgotten while in his arms.

“Yasmine,” his whisper husky, the laughter from earlier gone. “Look at me.”

I did.

Never had a man’s gaze pulled me in this hard. Desire replaced reasoning, a feeling so strong it could not be ignored. How did this happen? Was it the theme of the day, the alcohol consumed, or the fact this man seemed to have eyes only for me?

Zack gazed hungrily at my mouth and licked his lips.

Panic built inside. This could not be happening. I couldn’t ignore the fact I wanted it.

Maybe even needed it to happen.

“Yasmine…”

My lips parted of their own volition as Zack lowered his mouth to mine.

The moment our lips connected the world stood still. Breathing ceased as desire exploded inside of me, drawing me deep into forbidden territory.

Who knew a kiss this simple could be this earth shattering?

I pressed closer, my hand slid over his chest; the heat of hard flesh through fabric drew me in to accept everything he gave.

The first slid of his lips was a soft contact, testing. The second, an exploration of the water, dipping a toe into the pond.

The third was so much more. My mouth opened involuntarily and Zack’s tongue caressed mine.

He tasted like the wine he’d taken from me. I gripped his shirt as an uncontrollable whimper escaped. Zack responded by releasing my other hand and slipping his to the nape of my neck, holding my mouth hostage to the onslaught of his kiss.  We no longer moved to the music.

All control was lost. The desire to pull him the short distance to my bedroom to ease the ache in my heart and the need to have his naked body against me was the only thing on my mind.

This was not supposed to happen. We were friends, not lovers. I valued his friendship. Our relationship was perfect. With no strings, no attachments, and no commitments, neither of us risked being hurt.

We were supposed to be platonic.

Then why did his mouth feel so good? Why did his controlling grip cause my body to weep for more?

I forced myself off this natural high and focused on his response. My eyes closed, I listened to his breathing as he continued his assault on my senses.  It was as ragged as mine. Damn, he felt it, too.

I pulled away from his mouth, struggling to be free of his arms. “I can’t do this…”

“Yasmine,” he held firm, “don’t leave.”

“Let me go, damn it, Zack, let me go,” I was unable to keep the panic from my voice.

Zack stilled, his brow lowered. “I wasn’t trying to hurt you.”

I looked away, not wanting him to notice the tears about to hit. “I know…just…I can’t, please,” I implored.

“Yasmine, we need to talk about this.” When I looked back, his expression seemed as pained as the way I felt.

I shook my head, “I can’t.”

He lowered his gaze and loosened his grip, allowing me to wiggle free.

I avoiding the festivities by slipping into my room by way of the patio.

“I’m sorry.” Zack’s apology drifted over as I slid the door closed behind me.

*

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

Here’s where you can purchase a copy of Jaded.

Reviews, Free Chapter Samples, All Sales Links

Want to connect with M.J? Visit her at one of these online sites:

5 Prince Publishing Author Page

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Author M.J. Kane Blog and Website

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May 8, 2013 Posted by | Special Guest - Interviews | , | 11 Comments

Book Spotlight: Should’ve Known Better and a Gift Card Giveaway

It is with great pleasure that I welcome Cassandra Carr, author of Should’ve Known Better, to my blog today! Not only is she sharing information about herself and her book, Should’ve Known Better, but she is also giving away a $10 gift card! I’ll tell you more about that shortly, but first, let’s get to know Mrs. Carr better.

Should've Known Better - book cover

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a multi-award-winning, bestselling author of contemporary erotic and non-erotic romance. I’m published with Ellora’s Cave, Loose Id, Sybarite Seductions/Twenty or Less Press, Siren Publishing, and Decadent Publishing. When not writing I enjoy gardening, watching movies, going out, and hanging with my husband and four-year-old daughter. I’m a hockey fanatic, and many of my stories revolve around hockey in some way.

What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both?

I’m pretty much a pantser, though sometimes I have a couple of paragraphs of an outline. I’ve tried plotting before, but it didn’t work for me. The story felt flat and lifeless.

What genre do you write in the most, and what is it about the genre that attracts you?

Most often I write erotic romance. It appeals to me for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that I think it’s more realistic. After all, in today’s world who waits until the tenth date to even kiss? Also, I’ve been told I’m pretty good at writing sex scenes, and I enjoy the aspect of the story where the hero and heroine fall in love at least partially through sex.

Do you have a favorite hero/heroine you’ve written? What makes them special?

My favorite hero is Sebastian from Should’ve Known Better. He was the very first hero I’d ever written and I took all the things I love in heroes and put them all in Sebastian’s character.

I don’t think I have a favorite heroine. I tend to like my heroes more than my heroines.

I liked Sebastian too! He was a real sweetheart! So Mrs. Carr, since you normally write erotic romance, do you think there is a such thing as too much sex in a romance novel? 

*snort* Well, you’d think I’d answer “no way!” to this question, but not so. There can be too much sex in a story if it’s there just to be there. The sex has to lead to something. Even in erotic romances with a half-dozen sex scenes scattered throughout there should be a reason for each encounter to be there.

What do you do for fun?

Watch hockey, though my Sabres just about killed me this season. I also like to go out – the Buffalo NY area is home to 1500 bars and restaurants. There are some really great restaurants around here and I love discovering new places.

Tell us a little about Should’ve Known Better.

Should’ve Known Better is a contemporary non-erotic hockey romance. It’s over seventy thousand words, so it’s considered a full-length novel. Here’s the blurb:

Sarah Jenkins, a math geek and hockey fanatic, is thrilled when the NHL hires her as an advisor for the Buffalo Storm. She gets to marry her two loves in this perfect job.

Sebastian St. Amant is a young hockey player looking to make the jump from the minors to the big leagues. His lifelong dream is within reach, but he needs to convince the Storm’s management and coaches he’s ready.

When Sarah and Sebastian meet, sparks immediately fly. Both want to succeed, but neither can ignore the growing attraction and a relationship is out of the question—Sarah’s an influential staff member and Sebastian’s a player, not to mention over ten years her junior.

But the impossible becomes the necessary when they can no longer fight their attraction. As everything crashes around them, the strength of their relationship is tested. Will it weather the storm, or should they have known better?

What makes your characters unique? 

Sebastian is a great combination of sexy and vulnerable, sensual and intense. He sees what he wants and goes for it with single-minded purpose.

Sarah is a woman who’s trying to build a new life and has been given the chance of a lifetime. She feels a strong attraction to Sebastian but is deathly afraid to act on it.

I think the situation Sebastian and Sarah are in make them unique. Sebastian is twelve years younger than Sarah and Sarah works for the hockey team he plays for.

If you were going to cast the characters of your book, what actors would get the part?

Oh wow. I originally modeled Sebastian after Sidney Crosby. Here’s a pic http://img2.timeinc.net/people/i/2010/galleries/olympichotties/sidney-crosby-1.jpg . He’s a hockey player for the Pittsburgh Penguins, not an actor. The wonderful cover model Scott Nova is on the cover. I really have no idea who I’d cast. I never know the answer to this question when I’m asked, lol.

For Sarah I really have no idea. She’s in her mid-thirties and has crazy, out of control auburn hair. I have a picture of her in my mind but it doesn’t correspond to any actress I’m familiar with.

Mrs. Carr, thanks for answering a few questions and letting the readers get to know you better!

Here’s an excerpt from Should’ve Known Better:

Sarah Jenkins scooted to the edge of the seat in her SUV as she stared at the hulking building in front of her. The August sunshine was only partially to blame for the bead of sweat running down the side of her neck. She couldn’t afford to screw this up. After wiping her damp palms on her skirt, she slid out of the car and hit the alarm remote. Turning, she bounced off a hard object and stumbled backward from the force of the impact, letting out an involuntary grunt. The immoveable object was a man, and what a man he was. He had a body like granite, with chiseled features, and was casually attired in shorts and a T-shirt clinging for dear life to his arms and chest. The guy could’ve been a sculpture.

Yum.

“Are you all right?”

Her heart pounded in her ears due to the fight or flight reaction from their collision, paired with the pure, inexplicable rush of lust he evoked.

“I’m, um…” Sarah cleared her throat. Talk, you idiot. “I’m fine.”

Her cheeks flamed as she ducked her head. Was this what scientists meant when they said women were attracted to males they sensed had the strongest DNA? Between his killer body, light green eyes, and sexily tousled head of hair, he looked like he’d just jumped out a cologne ad in GQ. As far as she could see, his DNA was damn near perfect.

It was hard to miss the long, thorough once-over he gave her, leaving her hot and feverish—a reaction she couldn’t attribute purely to the blazing heat or her frazzled nerves.

Their gazes collided and he stared at her with a glimmer of male interest. She wasn’t sure why he’d be interested in her. He was gorgeous, and she was, well, a nerd, for want of a better word. Her eyes were drawn to full lips that would’ve looked feminine on other men, but there was nothing feminine or soft about him. Hard, sinewy muscles stretched over his arms, legs, and torso, but despite his size and musculature he managed to look lean rather than bulky. He reminded her of a panther readying to strike, and her breathing kicked up another notch. Sarah shook her head to clear it. She had a new job to focus on right now and that was the only thing that was important. It had to be. She couldn’t afford to screw this chance up.

“After you,” he said, moving back a step and motioning for her to pass. His voice had a hint of an accent. French-Canadian, perhaps? It rolled over her like a gentle breeze.

“Thank you. And I’m sorry about running into you.”

“I’m not.” He gave her a one-sided, incredibly hot smile.

She needed to get into the building before she did something stupid like offer herself to him as a human buffet.

*

Get your copy! Here are the buy links:

As mentioned above, Mrs. Carr is doing a giveaway! Here’s the Info:
Prize is $10 gift card to winner’s choice of eBook retailer. Contest is tour-wide and ends May 15th. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

Enter for your chance to win!
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/f92c86243/

Here’s a link to her blog tour schedule that way you can enter at every stop:
http://www.cblspromotions.com/2013/04/vbt-shouldve-known-better-by-cassandra.html

Mrs. Carr, how can readers connect with you? 

Email: AuthorCassandraCarr@gmail.com

Website: http://www.booksbycassandracarr.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorCassandraCarr
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/cassandra_carr
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/booksbycasscarr/

About the Author

Cassandra Carr

Cassandra Carr is a multi-award winning erotic romance writer with Ellora’s Cave, Siren Publishing, Sybarite Seductions, Decadent Publishing, and Loose Id. She lives in Western New York with her husband, Inspiration, and her daughter, Too Cute for Words. When not writing she enjoys watching hockey and hanging out online. Cassandra is the co-founder of two successful group blogs, Romancing the Jock and Dirty Birdies, and participates in several others as a contributor. Recently she was re-elected president of Western New York Romance Writers.

Review:

In agreeing to spotlight Should’ve Known Better, I also agreed to give an honest review.

Should’ve Known Better by Cassandra Carr

Contemporary Romance

Element(s): May-December, Sports-Themed

Publisher: Twenty or Less Press

Release Date: April 2, 2013

Heat Level: Steamy

Word Count: 67,000

I was excited to read this book not only because I love sports romances, but also because the title was very catchy. If you enjoy hockey, statistical analysis of sports, and a nice dose of romance, you’re going to enjoy Should’ve Known Better. Mrs. Carr’s writing style is clear, concise and the story is cute.

Prior to reading this story, I didn’t know much about hockey, but I feel the author did a nice job of weaving the sports theme into the overall story. Actually, it was a huge part of the story. I found the statistical part of Sarah’s (main character) job with the Buffalo Storm’s hockey team fascinating.

As for the two main characters – they were seriously attracted to each other at first sight  and I was really pulling for them throughout the story. Due to Sarah’s new role as an analysis consultant for NHL’s Buffalo Storm (she was one of the bosses), and because Sebastian (main character) was one of the hockey players, Sarah wasn’t willing to risk her job to be with him, despite their mutual attraction for each other.

The story kept my attention in the beginning. However, I was a little disappointed with the ongoing cat and mouse game between Sarah and Sebastian. He wanted to be with her, she wanted to be with him, but she kept putting on the brakes (for much of the story). With that said though, a little more than three-quarters into the book, the story picked up with a GREAT plot twist. I won’t spoil it by telling you, but it spurred me to read on – to the point of not being able to put the book down! But then, I got to the epilogue and the story came to a screeching halt. For a moment, I thought I had missed something and actually went back a few pages to reread.

Despite those couple of items, the story was a good read and had good supporting characters – especially Rob. I REALLY liked him. He added a nice dynamic to the story as a whole.

This is the first book I’ve read by this author, and I would definitely consider reading more of her work.

Overall Rating = 4  Stars

Book Cover = 4 Stars

Book Blurb = 4 Stars

Writer’s Voice /Style = 5 Stars
Character Development = 4 Stars
Story Appreciation = 3 Stars

Recommendable = 4 Stars

April 29, 2013 Posted by | Blog Guest, Special Guest - Interviews | , | 8 Comments

Special Guest – Synithia Williams

It is with great pleasure that I introduce an author friend of mine and my special guest – Synithia Williams! Synithia is the author of You Can’t Plan Love, and Worth the Wait (her latest title). So, let’s get started.

synithia williams head shot

Tell us a little bit about yourself, Synithia.

I’ve loved reading romance novels since I was 13 years old. I hand wrote my first romances in high school, but didn’t take my writing seriously at the time. I concentrated on college, then work, then marriage, then having kids. It wasn’t until 2010 that I decided to try to turn writing from a hobby into a potential career. I consider writing my part-time job. Full-time, I work on sustainability initiatives in the Midlands of South Carolina.

What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both?

My writing process keeps evolving. I started by just flying by the seat of my pants, then I tried outlining my stories, but could never stick with the outline. I recently read a book on screenwriting called Save the Cat and one thing it mentioned was starting out with defining what your story is about. My current work in progress is following this idea. I’ve figured out what my story is about, and am flying by the seat of my pants writing it with a very rough outline.

Lol! Way to use all of the writing processes, Synithia!

Okay, I know you’re not supposed to show favoritism but who’s been your favorite character to write?

I liked writing my men: Malcolm and Jared. I don’t know what it says about me, but I love figuring out what makes them tick, why they fight falling in love and finally getting them in bed.

Do you have critique partners or beta readers?

I have several, but none set in stone. My critique partners have changed with each book I write due to schedule changes. I have used the same beta readers to give me feedback. I wish I had one steady critique partner though.

What is in your To Read Pile that you are dying to start or upcoming release you can’t wait for?

I’m working my way through J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood Series (thanks to author Chicki Brown putting me onto them). I put them on hold at the library and get so excited when I get the message saying the next in the series is ready.

So tell us about your latest story, Worth the Wait.

Synithia -WTW Cover

After Tasha Smith is dumped yet again because of her virginity, she decides it’s time to stop saving herself for marriage and start dating like women in the twenty-first century. She sets out to find a man rumored to be good enough in bed to relieve her of the nuisance, but discreet enough to keep her request a secret. Jared Patterson seems like the perfect candidate. Yet after one searing kiss, she wonders if she’ll escape the night unscathed.

Jared’s job as a successful fitness instructor and entrepreneur has helped him keep a string of meaningless relationships from the east to the west coast. After learning the hard way that women can’t be trusted, he has no qualms going from one sex only relationship to the next. Although Tasha is one of the few types of women he avoids—a good girl—the man in him can’t turn down her tempting offer.

What starts out as a onetime thing quickly turns into an affair neither want to stop. But when an unexpected situation drastically alters their relationship, it leaves them both asking if it was Worth the Wait.

What was your inspiration behind this book?

The idea for the book came from two separate thoughts. When I wrote my first novel, You Can’t Plan Love, I knew I wanted to give Jared his own story. He was so against settling down and I tried to think of what type of woman would make him commit. Of course opposites attract and you can’t get more opposite of promiscuous than virginal. Then I wondered what it would be like to date nowadays if you’re saving yourself for marriage. That’s a lot of pressure to put on a guy after a few dates. “Sorry, no sex unless you put a ring on it.” Voilà, the idea for my story was made.

If you were going to cast the characters of your book, what actors would get the part?

Oh man, I should know this. Hmmm, I really like Dolvett Quince who did Season 12 of the Biggest Loser, only with a different voice. Tasha would be…Cree Summer when she played Freddy in A Different World in the early seasons.

Here’s a brief excerpt from Worth the Wait

Tasha’s attention went back to the bed. It couldn’t be ignored. She walked over to it. At five feet four inches she considered herself average height, but she would need a stepstool to get on it. How many women had he slept with in that bed? Probably dozens. The thought excited her. She wanted to experience what other women had with him, and she wanted it in that bed. She ran her hands along the smooth comforter and closed her eyes, imagining herself naked, sliding on the sheets.

“Do you like my bed?”

She snatched her hands away as if she’d been burned. She turned to the closet where Jared stood, watching her. He’d put on a loose fitting pair of jeans and a black shirt he hadn’t buttoned. His feet were still bare. She definitely liked what she saw.

“It’s a nice bed. Is this where we’ll…” Although she knew what she asked she couldn’t say the words.

He walked over, placing his hands on the bed and trapping her between it and him. The heat from his body radiated toward her. Time seemed to freeze as the force of her attraction buzzed within her. If she was going to do this she couldn’t be a ninny. She hesitated, before lifting her hands and placing them on his chest. His skin was surprisingly soft over the hard muscles underneath. He flexed his pecs and she jerked. Her pinky finger accidentally flicking over his flat nipple and his breathing pick up.

He lightly ran a finger down her cheek. “My plan was to wait, but you’re making it very difficult.”

Tasha shivered as he gently traced her earlobe. “How?”

“Because right now all I want to do is take your clothes off, throw you on that bed, and get deep inside you.”

Oh, God, what am I doing? Despite her fear she said, “Then…then do it.”

Buy links:

Amazon        Crimson Romance 

Whew! Great excerpt, Synithia! I can’t wait to read the rest of the story!

Let’s show Synithia some love by not only leaving her a comment, but by also purchasing her latest novel – Worth the Wait

By the way, Synithia, how can readers connect with you? 

Through my website: www.synithiawilliams.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/@SynithiaW

Facebook: www.facebook.com/synithiarwilliams

Lastly, anyone who leaves a comment on this post today will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win an electronic copy of Synithia’s debut novel – You Can’t Plan Love!

Synithia -YCPL Cover

Synithia, thanks so much for sharing a little bit about yourself! I wish you much success in your writing career!

January 9, 2013 Posted by | Special Guest - Interviews | , , | 13 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

Special Guest – Deatri King-Bey

It is with great pleasure that I introduce my special guest – multi-published and award-winning author, Deatri King-Bey! Deatri is the author of the Write Brothers series, but before she tells us about the Write Brothers series and her latest title, let’s find out a little about her. So Deatri, let’s get started:

Tell us a little about yourself. I started in the publishing industry as a developmental editor at Third World Press, Inc. a little over a decade ago. Their focus was nonfiction, so I moved onto freelance editing for several publishing houses. I’m also an avid reader and multi-published, award winning author with fifteen full length novels under my belt. I write romance and women’s fiction under my name and dangerously-sexy suspense under the name L. L. Reaper. On a personal note, I have three fantastic daughters who have given me the three greatest grandchildren ever. I also married my hero over twenty-five years ago and look forward to when we can both retire and can be the annoying older couple in the grocery store fussing over which bottled water brand to purchase.

What is your favorite book, and why is it your favorite? My favorite book changes depending on my mood. Today my favorite book is the historical romance Indigo by Beverly Jenkins. How can you not fall for a man who has a life of privilege, yet continually places himself in danger to help others?

I know, right! Deatri, you probably didn’t know this, but I absolutely LOVE Beverly Jenkins! She’s one of my favorite authors! Okay, but I digress. Let me get back to my questions.

What genre do you write in the most, and what is it about the genre that attracts you? I write romance with a good dose of reality and danger the most. Though romance is fantasy, falling in love is not. Watching characters overcome the odds to fall in love is something I can never tire of reading and writing. I also like to throw realism in there because we all have issues in our lives and we with the serious issues deserve to find true love, too. Then there’s the danger. That’s the fun part.

Here’s a topic that my readers and I discussed recently – Is there such a thing as too much sex in a romance novel? What are your thoughts? Yes there can be. Sex in a novel should flow with the plot, not be there for the sake of being Hot. If you want to sell scenes of sex, that’s doable in this day of eBooks and you’d make a lot of money at it.

Do you have critique partners or beta readers? I have the best beta readers. They have no problem giving constructive feedback. I love them.

Do you have a favorite hero/heroine you’ve written? What makes them special?  Jeanette Mason from the Black Widow and the Sandman I wrote with a partner under the alias L. L. Reaper. That title is a dangerously-sexy suspense, so I wasn’t confined by the rules of romance and women’s fiction. Jeanette was able to be free. I loved it. I enjoy writing romance because I love the challenge of creating original stories that fit in a formula, but sometimes I need the freedom to just write without so many rules.

What inspired you to write your latest release? I like to give myself challenges. Determined to write traditional romance and a series, I decided to combine those two challenges together. I truly admire people who can write traditional series romance consistently. The idea for the overall plot for the Write Brothers series came to me when I was watching my grandson play with the puppy in the yard. I could see a grandmother watching her grandson, wishing her sons were married. Next thing you know. Gloria Write was on a mission to ensure her sons had their happily ever after. One of my favorite aspects of this series is I allowed the readers to determine the order the books were written in. We had a BALL.

Okay,  Deatri, so now tell us about your latest title, Tease, the final book of your Write Brothers series. Oh by the way, I have to tell you – I am straight up feelin’ this book cover!

Lol! Okay,  allow me to tell you a little about my latest title, Tease:

After Eva caught her fiancé in bed with her cousin, she swore she’d never be played for the fool again. Now the ultimate bed-hopper—Tyler Write, has set his sights on her and she’s having difficulty resisting him.

Tyler can have any woman except the one he truly wants—Eva Simpson. Smooth lines and sweet talk won’t work with her. To have a chance at Eva’s heart, he’ll have to show her who he really is.

This eBook is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble for $2.99 and will be available in print in a few weeks.

Also available is Sons 4 Sale, an eBox set of the entire Write Brothers series for only $7.99 at Amazon, as well as Barnes & Noble.

Sharon, I hope you and your readers enjoy reading about this family as much as I enjoyed writing about them.  I also wanted to take a second to thank you for allowing me to monopolize your blog site today. I appreciate it.

It’s my pleasure, Deatri. I’m glad you had a chance to stop by to tell us a little about yourself and what you’ve been up to. Now, where can readers find you online?

They can find me at: http://DeatriKingbey.com, http://www.facebook.com/deatri,  and Twitter @deatrikingbey or @LLReaper

Sounds good. Thanks again, Deatri.

Okay readers, show Deatri some love by not only purchasing her books, but by leaving a comment below.

July 13, 2012 Posted by | Authors, Books, Romance, Special Guest - Interviews | , , , , | 9 Comments