Sharon C. Cooper

Just thinking…

The Darkest Loop by James Fant

It’s always a pleasure to have my author friend, James Fant, stop by my blog! Today, James is introducing us to his latest release – THE DARKEST LOOP! Check it out!


Dallas Anderson is stuck in a time loop that repeats Labor Day 2001 to September 11, 2001. He thinks he must prevent the terrorist attacks to break the loop. But each loop challenges that theory, igniting a fiery romance between him and his best friend’s sister and exposing the dark truth behind Déjà vu.

Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Thriller


Someone somewhere was giving me a gang of second chances. Who knew when their generosity was going to run out?

So I staked out in the side parking lot of Family Medicine. I backed my Camry into a spot near some bushes so I wouldn’t be seen. But by the time I arrived there at 7:00 in the morning, there was no one to be seeing me anyway.

There I was, sitting in the driver seat like an old flatfoot. Slumped in my seat. A baseball cap pulled over my head. The tint on my windows provided an excellent cover. I spent the entire early morning thinking about the why of the loop. The why haunted me. Eluded me. It had nothing to do with saving Kevin. I knew that now. I knew exactly why I was stuck in a time loop. My mission. But the mission was daunting—much too daunting for one man to tackle. I needed a partner. Thena was the first person who came to mind. It was like a little voice in my head telling me that we were somehow irrevocably linked in some cosmic and spiritual way. In the kind of way that would cause her to believe me when I told her that I was in this loop. The kind of blind faith that would have her help me in perhaps doing what I was chosen to do. But I had to save Kevin. And I couldn’t get hurt in the process. I would sure need my ankle later.

It was nearly noon when I saw Thena walk by and I cursed. Why was she still here? Wasn’t she still mad at Kevin?

Now, I knew that the incident with the van wouldn’t take place for another fifteen minutes or so. So I had to act fast.

I pushed through the lobby doors in my trench coat and ball cap and said, “I knew you were going to let me down!”

“Dallas,” she turned left, right, then back to me. “What are you doing here?”

“I’ve told you: I’ve been here before.”


I looked around the lobby. “No…not here. But out there.” I pointed out the dark glass window. “Definitely out there.” Mind you, I was wearing a trench coat in the beginning of September, along with a hat pulled tightly over my eyes. I hadn’t taken stock in the craziness of my outfit. My next statement would sound to Thena as crazy as the outfit I was wearing.

“I’m stuck in a time loop. That’s how I know about Bryant Green—but all I know about him is that you were engaged long ago. That’s not important. I only brought him up because it’s a fact that I know that I could not have known unless I saw you talking to him, and of course your mother told me that you were engaged.”

“Kevin could’ve told you all of that. You know what? You need to leave.”

“Kevin’s coming soon. He’s going to start into that intersection and get demolished unless I save him.”

“I’m calling security.”

“Yesterday, you were wearing light pink toe-nail polish with glitter.” She narrowed her eyes. “Now how would I know that unless you took off your shoes? You didn’t yesterday. Not that yesterday. But on a previous yesterday, you did.”

Thena was motioning to the representative behind the reception counter. “Excuse me! Sir? Would you please call Public Safety?”

“Oh my goodness.” I shot up from my chair. “Kevin’s coming.”

I dashed out, knowing in my heart each step was the sealing of my fate. Sweat pooled at the base of my neck to match the moistness on my forehead. I tossed the hat to the ground. Why? No clue. Maybe I thought in the seconds between my lunging from the glass doors to the sidewalk my hat would slow me down. But that was stupid. The hat—if I still had it—would cushion the blow as my head hit the ground—again. Of course I didn’t feel much pain on my first go round (if that was the first go round of me attempting to save Kevin). But the pain afterwards? The mind gnawing migraines. My ankle feeling like someone had stabbed through it all the way to the bone. And that same someone had the unmitigated gall to leave that knife there. That rusty knife. In the next microsecond it dawned on me: what if I didn’t just get nicked this time? What if that minivan plowed right through me? Or what if I was unsuccessful in pushing Kevin out of the way of the van this time? It was sheer luck that aided me the last time. That stunt man stuff you see in the movies is not as reproducible as you think in the real world. Could I do it twice?


Get your copy today! 

Amazon  |  Barnes and Nobles  |  Goodreads


About the Author:

James Fant is an award winning author who lives in Charleston, SC with his lovely wife and two hilarious children. He received a degree in biology from College of Charleston and a master’s in business administration from Charleston Southern University. His love for literature was forged by the works of Eric Jerome Dickey, Walter Mosely, and Stephen King. He also finds inspiration from screenwriters Shonda Rhimes, Aaron Sorkin and Kurt Sutter. Literarily, James has always been drawn to intelligent yet imperfect characters and he writes novels with them in mind.

Find James Online:



Twitter: @jamesfantjr





September 5, 2017 Posted by | Blog Guest | , , | Comments Off on The Darkest Loop by James Fant

COED by James Fant

Hi All,

It’s always a pleasure having author James Fant stop by my blog! Today he’s introducing his new release – COED. Check it out!



Author Name: James Fant

Book Title: Coed

Date Published: 02/14/2017

Genre: Romance

Publisher: James Fant Books, LLC



Can a man and a woman be best friends without somebody catching feelings?

Travis Barber and Sade Styles are best friends of the opposite sex. Despite what everyone thinks, they are not getting busy…yet.

Co-owners of a popular barbershop/salon in named CoEd, Travis and Sade spend the bulk of their days together. But when Sade’s apartment lease runs out and Travis offers her the spare bedroom of his newly built house, will they end up sharing more than just the utilities?

This witty, fast-paced romance seeks to answer the question: can a man and a woman be best friends without crossing that fine line into the land of lovers. Best case scenario, nothing happens. Worst case scenario, they get to know each other a little too well and end up hating each other!

Are Travis and Sade making the best move for their friendship?


He said…

It was only a matter of time before Sade and I bumped uglies. The stars were lined up too perfectly for it not to happen. The air was too warm and sticky for us not to be hot and bothered. Lalah Hathaway was singing too good; hitting those low notes and high notes too right for us to not be affected. And Sade was wearing that black dress too well for me not to be nigh animalistic. A part of me laughed at the way I felt. Like Cookie Monster from Sesame Street when he tried to kick his cookie habit and he just couldn’t take it anymore. “Me must have cookie! NomNomNomNomNom.” In my mind, I’m chomping on that cookie and crumbs are flying everywhere.

Lalah was singing Forever, For Always, For Love. Sade and I were standing right in front of the stage. Lalah was looking good and all but that night, I only had eyes for Sade Styles, my poor little helpless cookie. She had no idea what she was in for. And she wasn’t making things better, the way she allowed me to drape my arms around her. And that dress? My goodness, that dress! It was form fitting and Sade’s form was hitting on all cylinders. The back of the dress…let me back up a minute…there was no back of the dress. It was only Sade’s skin. It’s a shame that all I could think about was sinking my teeth into her flesh. I tells ya! I was going to make Cookie Monster proud tonight.

Where was I? Yes, the dress. It cupped her backside! Did you hear what I said? The dress cupped her bottom so sweetly that I got weak in the knees when she walked out of the bathroom with it on earlier that evening. And she had the nerve to turn around, wiggle her hips and say, “What do you think?” Sade, I thought, you don’t wanna know what I’m thinking right now.

“What do you think about the dress?” she asked again when I didn’t reply immediately.

You see, it’s hard to talk when a cat has your tongue. I said something; I don’t even remember what it was. Whatever it was, it made her laugh.

“Boy, you are too silly. Let’s go.”

I was watching her walk in front of me, watching her turn around and smile as I lagged behind.

“Something wrong with your leg?” she asked. “Why are you walking like that?”

Well, Sade, I am extremely aroused right now. And I’m trying to situate myself without you noticing. “Must be a Charley horse,” I lied.

“You need me to rub your leg?”

Come on, man! You’re playing dirty now.

“Nah, I’m good.”

She paused, turned around and said, “Are you sure?”

Let me stop right here and tell you about how Sade smelled at that point in time. It was something sweet, something devious. The perfume was actually visible to me, surrounding her like a beautiful cloud. A hand formed from that cloud and its cloudy arm extended toward my nose. Tickled it. Gently caressed my chin. I swear the cloud asked me if I wanted Sade. I nodded my head yes.

“So you do want me to rub your leg?” she asked.

“No!” If she touched me right now…

“Okay,” she said as she turned around slowly. “Maybe later?”

I shook my leg. Situated myself. This was going to be a long evening.


Get your copy today! Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Smashwords


About the Author:


James Fant is an award winning author who lives in Charleston, SC with his lovely wife and two hilarious children. When he’s not reading everything from business management to mysteries or “entertaining” his family with piano solos and spoken word, James writes inspirational romance and suspense that warms the heart and hopefully makes readers laugh—in public.


Contact Information



Twitter: @jamesfantjr





February 23, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 3 Comments

Simon’s Splinter and Giveaway By James Fant


I’m happy to announce the release of James Fant’s third romance, SIMON’S SPLINTER. Check out the blurb and excerpt. James is also giving away a $5.00 Amazon gift card and a free Kindle copy of the novel. Enter to win below.


He said he would never marry her.

The splinter said otherwise.

Aisha Elian is NOT in love with the man of her dreams. Her boyfriend Graham isn’t spiritual and he never ever wants to get married. Aisha says she’s okay with that but she’s lying to herself and Graham.

Enter the Splinter.

The Elians believe that they are descendants of Simon of Cyrene. Also, they possess a splinter they insist was pulled from Simon’s hand after he carried the cross for Jesus. If the splinter resides in their home, it will give them what they desire. Aisha wants to marry Graham. But will she use the splinter’s power to do it…even when she thinks it is killing him?


“I don’t see why you’re making a big deal about this,” Graham protested as Aisha paced back and forth across the white and black tiles of their kitchen floor.

“You don’t see this as a problem?” she replied. Her nerves were clearly fried.

“It’s going to be okay.”

“No, it’s not. You don’t get it.” Aisha walked over to the kitchen counter. She turned to face him, gazed at him with utmost seriousness. “My family, my entire family, will be here Sunday,” she said nervously.

“Again. I don’t see the big deal about your family coming here.”

“Oh, you don’t? Let me paint the picture for you. My father is the head deacon of his church in London. My brother, Jared, is a youth minister at that same church. My sister, Izza, is an evangelist. And my sibling’s spouses—don’t even get me started. Hercules, Izza’s husband, is an Elder in the church. Jared’s wife Kensington might as well be the matron saint.”

“Okay, Aisha. You’ve made your point.”

“No, I have not. My mother doesn’t believe in recreational sex! And my grandmother…”

“Hold up. What exactly do you mean by recreational sex?”

“I mean that my mother is so pure and holy that she will not have sex with my father unless they’re trying to make a baby. And my grandmother, my Jaddah…”

“You mean to tell me that your mother and father aren’t knocking boots—at all?”

“Owen! Listen to me. This, their coming here, is bad news!”

Aisha rarely called Graham by his first name. So he knew that something was wrong.

“I think that it’s cool that I’m finally going to meet my in-laws.”

Wouldn’t we have to be married for them to be your in-laws? she thought.

“You’re making a big deal of this.”

“No, Graham. I’m not. First of all, my sisters are going to look down their noses at me the entire time like I’m some sort of leper. My brothers, they’ll probably give you the cold fish. And my parents, they’re probably going to preach to us the entire time.”

“What’s a cold fish?”

“It’s when a man loosely shakes another man’s hand and refuses to make eye contact. It’s a sign of disrespect. But never mind that. My grandmother, my Jaddah, she is going to be the worst out of all of them because she’s going to…”

“This cold fish. I still don’t get the analogy. Why not just call it a disrespectful handshake?”

“Unbelievable!” Aisha said in frustration as she hung her head and shook it from side to side.

“I’m playing with you, Aisha. Baby, I know what a cold fish is.”

“Graham, this is going to be bad. We are going to be persecuted on a level you cannot fathom. Tormented!”

“You make it sound like your family is going to burn us at the stake.”

“No. It will be much worse than that.”


Get Your Copy Today!

Amazon |  Barnes and Noble

Enter the Contest: Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:

James Fant Photo-1

James Fant is an award winning author who lives in Charleston, SC with his lovely wife and two hilarious children. When he’s not reading everything from business management to mysteries or “entertaining” his family with piano solos and spoken word, James writes inspirational romance and suspense that warms the heart and hopefully makes readers laugh—in public.

December 3, 2014 Posted by | Blog Guest | , | Comments Off on Simon’s Splinter and Giveaway By James Fant

Romance You Don’t See Every Day (Or Maybe You Do)

It’s with great pleasure that I welcome author James Fant back to my blog! He’s guest posting today, so without further ado, take it away, James!


Guest Blog by James Fant

Romance You Don’t See Every Day (Or Maybe You Do)

First of all, I would like to thank Sharon C. Cooper for allowing me to do a guest post on her blog. She’s an awesome writer who creates characters that make you mad at them and fall in love with them at the same time.

I wanted to do this guest blog about cohabitation and marriage, the theme of my third and upcoming novel SIMON’S SPLINTER. And it dawned on me that the hero and heroine of this novel are already a couple. The hero and heroine of my second novel FOURTEEN PAGES were also a couple—they were actually married. In fact, in my fourth through sixth novels (a trilogy) the leading man and lady are married. I found that interesting. Or maybe not.

You see, falling in love is one thing. Staying in love is another, especially when things happen to get in the way of that love. So I guess that’s why I’ve concentrated on writing about established couples who are—as is the case with SIMON’S SPLINTER—trying to take their romance to the next level.

The novel is about Owen Graham, a man who never wants to get married. His girlfriend, Aisha Elian, says she’s cool with that but she’s lying to herself and Graham. Enter Simon’s Splinter. Aisha’s family believes that they are descendants of Simon of Cyrene. Also, they possess a splinter they insist was pulled from Simon’s hand after he carried the cross for Jesus. If the splinter resides in their home, it will give them what they desire. Aisha wants to marry Graham. But will she use the splinter’s power to do it…even when she thinks it is killing him?

I wrote the novel as a result of a crazy what if question—essentially, what if Simon of Cyrene had descendants that actually had a splinter from the same cross on which Jesus was crucified. What crazy things can happen in a story like that? Also, I wanted to look at cohabitation and the reasons that a couple would choose to live together long-term without getting married. After much study, I saw that the reasons varied from the convenience of sharing expenses to “test driving the car” so to speak. Some cases, as is the case of the novel, either one or both of the parties just don’t see the need in making it legal in the eyes of the law.

So why am I writing romance about the boy who’s already got the girl? I guess because I’m a hopeless romantic who has been through two divorces: my mother and father divorced and later, my mother and step-father divorced. I saw first-hand their struggles, how they tried to make it work and how they failed. And I use that knowledge in my own marriage. I write this type of romance because I’m a married man who is falling in love with his wife more and more every day. There are struggles but I see them as new opportunities to take our romance even higher. In love, there is no ceiling, there is no plateau. In love, happily ever after is only the beginning.

James Fant

James Fant is an award winning author who lives in Charleston, SC with his lovely wife and two hilarious children. When he’s not reading everything from business management to mysteries or “entertaining” his family with piano solos and spoken word, James writes inspirational romance and suspense that warms the heart and hopefully makes readers laugh—in public.

His third novel, SIMON’S SPLINTER, will be available on Kindle, Nook, and Paperback on 11/28/14. Please visit the Website for more details.

November 19, 2014 Posted by | Blog Guest | , | 3 Comments

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!

Amazon      Barnes and Noble 


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 | , | 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:


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


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


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.


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:     Barnes and Noble    Smashwords


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!

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