I Got Reviewed by The Masquerade Crew and Survived!!!!!!

Now, where is my t-shirt?!?!?!?!?

Okay, I am letting out a deep breath now. For weeks I’ve been anxiously checking my Twitter feed for the tweet to notify me the review for A Heart Not Easily Broken was posted. For those of you who may not know, The Masquerade Crew is one of the biggest book review sites on the web.

Big as in over 19,000 followers on Twitter, 452 followers on Google+, 859 likes on Facebook and oh yeah, according to the counter at the bottom of their page this morning, an average of over 16,800 site views in the past 7 days!

And when it comes to book reviews, these guys pull no punches and are brutally honest. So, needless to say, responding to a call of Romance novels to be reviewed was a leap of faith.  I had to sit and think long and hard before submitting my debut novel, not sure of how this could either help or hurt me, because in the end, like I mentioned before, see the number of social networking contacts? Yeah…one bad review and there’d be no hiding it….period.

Well, I awoke this morning and discovered this tweet in my Twitter stream….

IMG_0757[1]

3.7?!?!?!?!

I am going to OWN THAT BAD BOY LIKE YOU WOULDN’T BELIEVE!!!!

Like I said before, these guys don’t hold back and from what I’ve seen, it’s hard to get past a 3 on their rating scale, and according to their review policy, a 3.5 and up is a 4 on Amazon and Goodreads! So best believe, I am doing the happy dance right now!!

I loved the way the reviewer described what she liked about the main characters, Ebony and Brian, and how she felt the subject matter was handled. The portions she did mention could use a little fixing are nothing new, as in a few reviewers have said it before. Remember when I posted a few weeks ago about learning from your reviews (Book Reviews: The Good, The Bad and the WTH?!?!)? Well, trust me, the comments that were made have been addressed when writing the second novel in the series, Jaded. I haven’t seen similar comments made in any of it’s reviews which is a good thing! I listen to what my reviews are telling me, and while I may not be able to back track and change what’s already been done, I do make a contentious effort to correct it in the next book. As any author I’ve talked to and I’m sure any author will tell you, each book is a learning experience, a chance to become a better writer than you were in the last one. Listen to your reviewers, listen to your readers, and grow…your audience and fan base will grow with you.

So with that said, I say a very heartfelt THANK YOU to my reviewer over at The Masquerade Crew for giving  my DEBUT NOVEL, first book written EVER such an awesome review! Stop by and check it out, my friends!

A Heart Not Easily Broken reviewed by The Masquarad Crew

If you haven’t read it yet, buy your copy today for $3.99! It will make a great weekend read!

Available for Kindle, Nook, iTunes, and on Smashwords. If Paperback is what you prefer, find it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble! 

AHNEB FINAL COVER

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

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

ONE CLICK for REVIEWS, FREE CHAPTER READS, ALL SALES LINKS!

For more information on The Butterfly Memoirs Series and a sample of the next book, Jadedvisit this link! 

Looking for more #8Sunday Samples? Visit this link! 

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online! MJ

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ATTENTION BOOK SERIES LOVERS!!!!! It’s LABOR DAY WEEKEND!!! What Does That Mean????

It’s time to sit back, relax, and READ!!!!

Looking for a story that touches your emotions?

Check out A HEART NOT EASILY BROKEN…Reality Romance and a little bit more…

AHNEB FINAL COVER

What secret would you keep to protect the ones you love?

Ebony Campbell has a decision to make. After falling for a man who is nothing like she expected to be with, the idea of being in an Interracial Relationship takes a back seat to the secret she’s forced to keep. Sometimes, the repercussions of bad decisions and ruin everything.

Available on AMAZON, B&N, iTunes, and SMASHWORDS for $3.99! Also available on PAPERBACK!

 

 Visit the book page for more information about the series. Become a BOOK VOYEUR and and visit the CHARACTER BIOS, sneak a peek into their DIARY POST, and find the hidden DELETED SCENE. And don’t forget to read CHAPTER ONE!!! 

 

*****

 Already read A Heart Not Easily Broken?

Don’t forget about JADED!!!

Haven’t read either book? Trust me, you’ll want to get both so you can find out what happens next!

Autumn landscape

Once burned, twice shy?

Unable to trust another man with her heart, Yasmine Phillips mind is on one thing: taking care of her. An unexpected friendship with a man who understands her pain leads to a fling that should have no strings. But once that line is crossed, both must decide if the secret that comes between them is worth losing it all.

Available on AMAZON, B&N, iTunes, and SMASHWORDS for $3.99! Also available on PAPERBACK!

***JADED can be read as a stand-alone or as part of The Butterfly Memoirs series. Buy your copy of this 5-STAR RATED BESTSELLER today!***

 

 Visit the book page for more information about the series. Become a BOOK VOYEUR and and visit the CHARACTER BIOS, sneak a peek into their DIARY POST. And don’t forget to read the PROLOGUE and CHAPTER ONE!!! 

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!  If you’ve enjoyed this post, sign up for the monthly newsletter by following this blog!

MJ

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#SampleSunday-A Pissed Off Woman is Hard to Handle

Last week’s Sample Sunday was an excerpt of A Heart Not Easily Broken, where Brian Young wasted no time putting his best friend on notice about his feelings for Ebony Campbell. This week, I want to share ‘staking your claim’ from a woman’s point of view…and feisty Yasmine Phillips from Jaded is just the one to do it.

In this week’s sample, Yasmine is in the middle of conflicted feelings about her friend, Zachariah Givens. What started off as a friends-with-benefits relationship has morphed into a deeper set of feelings…at least on her end. Unsure of how to proceed, she is trying not to misinterpret a kiss they shared in the kitchen before they were interrupted by an over enthusiastic visitor…. Zack’s ex-fiance. The wall hiding her from view doesn’t stop the confrontation from being overheard…

Excerpt:

“You were embarrassed? I was making sure my mother’s health was taken care of, and my fiancée, my girlfriend of the last two years, left me weeks before the wedding and moved back in with her ex-boyfriend. You chose to leave, Melissa. I didn’t do anything to deserve the way you treated me or our relationship.”

“What else was I supposed to do? You didn’t want me anymore.”

“What the…why would you think that? Of course I did.”

Melissa pouted. “You stopped coming home at night. You didn’t let me know what was going on. What else was I supposed to think?”

Zack huffed and threw his hands up in what appeared to be disgust. He stepped away from the door and ran a hand over his face. “That’s a lie. I asked for your help, but you always had some excuse. I told you every day what was going on. My mother’s wellbeing wasn’t your concern. Your focus was on how much we had to pay for the damn place settings for the dining room table.”

There was silence for a moment. I hoped his response would be enough to make her leave. Without warning, she smiled, stepped closer to Zack, and pushed him against the wall. Her hands were all over him.

“Stop, Melissa.” He deflected her attempt to kiss him and pushed her away.

“Come on, Zack, it’s time we let the past go. Your mom is fine. I was wrong for not helping…let me make it up to you.” Her head cocked to the side as her voice took on a whiney quality. “I’ve missed you, baby. We were always good at this…” Her hand trailed down his chest and grabbed the front of his sweat pants.

Okay. That was it.

I unfastened my jeans and kicked them off before unhooking the first few buttons of my shirt. I ran fingers through my hair leaving it disheveled.

“Zack…,” I put on my most seductive walk and headed to the door.

His eyes focused on me and traveled down my naked legs to the unbuttoned part of my shirt that left little to the imagination. He licked his lips.

Melissa froze and stared at me.

Now she knew why he had a hard-on.

“Who is she?” Melissa spat.

Zack opened his mouth to reply, but I cut him off.

“I’m the woman who’s taking care of everything he needs.” My eyes cut to where her hand gripped Zack. “Get your hands off my man.” I allowed every ounce of hatred and jealousy to be evident in my voice.

Her eyes narrowed. “Excuse me?”

I walked over and stood next to Zack, ignoring the confused expression on his face. I looked down; Melissa’s hand hadn’t moved. I cocked an eyebrow and sucked my teeth.

She dropped her hand and stepped away without uttering a word.

I stood in front of Zack and staked my claim. “Now, if I heard right, he doesn’t want or need you.” Her perfect lips opened as if to argue. I stuck my manicured nail in her face. “If you want to keep that cheap lace front wig for the next man you want to seduce, keep your mouth shut and leave before it ends up on the floor.”

Melissa stared at me, then angled her head so she could see Zack. Since he stood behind me, I had no idea what expression was on his face. Whatever it was, it forced her mouth shut.

She smirked while studying me. “Well, Zack, I see you’ve found a little playmate. She must not be as good as me or else you wouldn’t have answered the door.”

“What the…oh hell no!” I reached out for that stupid wig, but she slipped out of my grasp and into the hallway. Zack grabbed my waist, drew me in the door, and kicked it shut.

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LOL! I love that scene! What happens next changes the game for both of them. What to find out? Be sure to buy your copy today!

 

Available on AMAZON, B&N, iTunes, and SMASHWORDS for $3.99! Also available on PAPERBACK!

 

 

Autumn landscape

 

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.

Amazon      Barnes & Noble      iTunes     Smashwords     Paperback

***Read as a STAND-ALONE or as part of The Butterfly Memoirs series!***

Looking for Book 1? Follow this link to learn more about A Heart Not Easily Broken!

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!

MJ

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#TeaserTuesday- Jaded – Catching up with the girls

 

The women of Jaded, Yasmine,  Ebony, and Kaitlyn,  are having a get-together once again, where they share drinks, chocolate, and talk about men.  Everyone has moved forward with their lives…or have  they?

Excerpt:

The dashboard clock read 6:30 P.M. when I arrived at Ebony’s house. Thirty minutes late…again. At least she’d understand.

“Hey, it’s about time. Katie and I nearly finished eating the salsa and chips without you,” Ebony said after opening her front door.

As always, her home smelled wonderful. Roses, her favorite, were everywhere. Her fiancé kept a fresh bouquet handy at all times.

“Sorry,” I set my purse and laptop bag next to the sofa and gave her and Kaitlyn a hug. “I miss you guys.”

Both of my friends returned the sentiment.

“Who knew we’d have to schedule time to see each other again?” Kaitlyn sat on the floor in front of the coffee table where chips and dip, drinks, and a bowl of chocolate sat. “How’s the business plan comin’? I’ve been ready to help, but you don’t seem to need me anymore.”

I sighed and sat on the floor beside her. “I’m behind. Between the computer issues at work, moving…” I watched her grimace in the corner of my eye.

“Sorry, that was my fault.”

I patted her knee. “Life happens; we adjust and move on. I appreciate your willingness to help me. I’ll let you know when things start picking up again.” I surveyed the spread of snacks and selected a few of the chocolate mini bars. “How are things with Luke? Having fun playing house?” A curious burst of laughter from Ebony drew my attention. I creased my eyebrows and looked back and forth between them. “Did I miss something?”

Kaitlyn shook her head. “The man is a pig. I spend more time cleanin’ up after him than I did behind my two brothers back home. I mean really, how hard is it to put the lid down on the toilet? I nearly fell in the other night.”

“See,” Ebony chimed in. “You have to train your man. Most men aren’t used to having a lady in the house.  It took a few weeks with Brian, but he’s got it now.” She laughed. “At least I didn’t have to worry about the pig part. If anything, he’s neater than me.”

I smirked. “That’s one of the benefits of living alone. No need to worry about open toilets or picking up anyone else’s mess.” I thought about the disarray of my hotel room. Since moving, I’d banned housekeeping from entering my room. My personal life was off-limits when it came to my employees.

Ebony glanced at her watch. “Brian called earlier and said he’s coming home on time tonight. He wants to go on a date, so…”

Both of my friends’ attention turned to me. I forced myself not to roll my eyes. For a moment, I wished I had a man anxious to spend time with me tonight.

Oh wait, I did have a man waiting on me at the hotel, well, two actually; Ben, and his hot twin, Jerry.

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Jaded  is coming soon from 5 Prince Publishing!

In the meantime, if you haven’t read A Heart Not Easily Broken, grab your copy today so you can catch up!!!

Reviews, Free Chapter Samples, All Sales Links

MJ

 

#8Sunday- Jaded (Book Two of The Butterfly Memoirs) – Dreams

Have you ever found yourself  working at a job that, even though your good at it, is not right for you? Have you ever wanted to break away and do your own thing? Your not alone…

Excerpt:

“You’re supposed to be training me to manage the new location.”

I groaned. Hearing about the third Phillips’ Family Inn was not on the top of my list of things to talk about. I appreciated the family business, especially since we sacrificed so much to open the original location twelve years ago. Since graduating college, Id been in charge of the daily ins and outs of the second location. I ran the place as if it were my own. However, it was not what I saw myself doing five years from now.

My dream didn’t have anything to do with hotel management.

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Jaded will be available from 5 Prince Publishing on in FOUR MORE DAYS!

In the meantime, if you haven’t read A Heart Not Easily Broken, grab your copy today so you can catch up!!!

Reviews, Free Chapter Samples, All Sales Links

#TeaserTuesday – Jaded (Book Two of The Butterfly Memoirs)

We’re almost there!!!!!!

I am beyond excited about the release of my second novel, Jaded. For months I’ve forced myself to not talk share too much information. Questions and comments from readers have been torturer!!!

But now the ban is lifted!

Yasmine and Zachariah’s story has been close to my heart since the moment I wrote “The End” on A Heart Not Easily Broken. Read the book and you’ll understand.  If you enjoyed Ebony and Brian’s story, I have no doubt there are many of you who will be able to empathize with the characters of Jaded in ways that will surprise you.

My previous posts and snippets for #8Sunday have all been from Yasmine’s POV. This time I want to introduce you to the voice of the hero, Zachariah Givens.

Excerpt:

Yasmine was an amazing woman. I didn’t know her, yet she’d gone beyond anything I expected when it came to my mother. Why hadn’t Melissa been that way? I could count on one hand the amount of times I’d asked her to help me and exactly how many times she’d agreed to help with minimal fuss.

Yasmine dispelled my preconceived notions. She was nothing like what I imagined. As the saying goes, appearances could be deceiving. I wondered what else lay beneath her beautiful exterior.

“I’d like to take you out sometime to thank you. Maybe we could meet for dinner.”

The line went silent.

“Are you asking me on a date, Zack?”

“No, no, not a date, I’m sorry. I’m not trying to use my mother to…that’s sounds awful.  What I mean is I wanted to do something to thank you for agreeing to help me…us. It would be strictly platonic with no expectations. Damn, I’m sorry. I didn’t think to ask if you were in a relationship. I’m sure your boyfriend wouldn’t want you to be seen with another man.”

She laughed again, but this time there was nervousness in her voice. “I’m sorry. I wasn’t trying to shoot you down. No, there’s not a man in my life. You’re a nice guy, Zack, and I like you. I don’t want you to waste your time trying to hit on me because I’m not looking for a relationship. I don’t want to make things awkward between us.”

I’d say they were awkward already. “I understand. I’m not dating either. It’s complicated. Maybe we can swap war stories sometime.”

“Maybe.” She paused. “I’ll be swamped for the next week or two. Maybe we could do it in a few weeks.”

“Sure, no pressure here. Like I said, it’s my way to say thank you.”

“Okay. Well, I have to go. I have a ton of calls to make and little time to make them. Just let me know when you need me.  This is my cell number so you can call or text night or day. If I happen to snap your head off when I answer, just ignore it, especially if you reach me in the morning.”

“Not a morning person, I remember.” It was my turn to laugh. “Thanks again, Yasmine.”

I stared at the phone when the line went dead. What just happened? Did a woman I didn’t know agree to help me care for my mother? Why? What did she get out of it? Nothing that I could see. My mother and I were going to be the ones getting the benefit of her time. I got my promotion; my mother would spend time with a young woman she apparently liked a lot.

The only problem I could foresee was Yasmine being put in the middle of my mother’s matchmaking attempts. Well, at least we’d already established neither of us was in the market for a relationship. I would make sure my mother understood so she wouldn’t pressure Yasmine into changing her mind.

I dialed my mother’s number to share the good news.

Of all the words spoken, the one thing that stayed on my mind was the fact this beautiful woman was single.

What could a man have done to a woman that amazing, that sexy, that…openhearted, to walk away from her?

Whoever he was, he had to be an idiot. If I was in the market and had a chance at being with her, I’d do my damndest to make her happy. There would never be a reason for her to wonder about my feelings.

The love of a woman like Yasmine Phillips had to be treated with the utmost care and respect. Her every need, physical, mental, and emotional, would be my number one priority.

It was a waste of time thinking about it. The line was drawn in the sand between us.

The only thing to do would be to enjoy her company. Nothing more, nothing less.

“Zachariah, how are you?” My mom’s voice disrupted my thoughts.

“I’m good. I’ve got some good news for you…”

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Jaded will be available from 5 Prince Publishing on March  7th!

In the meantime, if you haven’t read A Heart Not Easily Broken, grab your copy today so you can catch up!!!

Reviews, Free Chapter Samples, All Sales Links

MJ

Let’s Talk About It!: Friends with Benefits…Can There Be More?

Friend with Benefits, cut-buddies, booty call…you name, some where someone is doing it. (Pun intended!)

Movies, books, songs, and many blog posts have tackled the subject, some with funny stories that end in true love, others end with dire circumstances. But the question remains: Can two people remain friends once they have sex?

Are there really benefits to the relationship?? Can a man and woman really walk away and find that significant other and leave their ‘friend’ behind for good?

Every relationship is different.  Depending on personalities, wants, needs, desires, short-term and long-term requirements, if each of you are not of the same ‘sex only’ mindset, someone is going to get hurt. Then there are the requirements…do you stay monogamous in your relationship, or have multiple partners? What type of protection is used? Has anyone been tested for STD’s?

And last but not least…what are the rules?

Sleep over, don’t sleep over? Once a week or as often as possible?  What happens in-between? Can you hang out as friends or only text when you want to hook up?  How long will this arrangement last?

Google ‘friends with benefits rules’ and you will find all kinds of articles. Rules for men, rules for women, rules about kissing…the 10 best rules, the 25 best rules….

But in the end, it comes down to what it is you want out of a relationship.

In Jaded, Book two of The Butterfly Memoirs, Yasmine Phillips has a history of friends with benefits relationships. Her past dating experiences have all ended in disaster, leaving her to believe the only way to find her way to physical gratification is to play a man’s game. Her little ‘red’ book is full of numbers, though while selective, she makes sure she keeps her heart on lock down and out of the game. But what happens when she finds herself in a relationship with a man who is nothing like what she’s used too? What happens when someone breaks the rules and lets love in? Can a real relationship begin?

Jaded will be available March  7th! In the meantime, get to know  Yasmine and her friends, Ebony and Kaitlyn in the Amazon Bestseller, A Heart Not Easily Broken

#8Sunday- Jaded- Yasmine’s Philosophy on Love, Sex,and Relationships

A woman’s outlook on love and relationships is often influenced by what she sees around her, be it  from parents, family, or outside influences. Most importantly, the decisions a woman makes  comes from their own dating experiences.  Yasmine’s past has been tainted by a wide variety of factors. So much so, she has a philosophy she chooses to live by:

Excerpt:

My philosophy on love and relationships is simple: sex isn’t love, but it’s nice while you’re waiting.

Well, that’s what I used to think before the man that I fell in love with trampled all over my heart.

And raped my best friend.

Love will never happen for me. No man will ever understand me. The real me.

Not my parents, not my brother, not even my best friends.

My life, my experiences – both good and bad – are what define the real me.

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Get to know Yasmine Phillips in A Heart Not Easily Broken! BUY your copy of this Amazon Bestseller for $3.99 today! For REVIEWS, SAMPLE CHAPTERS, and LINKS of all formats…all with just ONE-CLICK! 

For more #8Sunday Samples, check out these other authors! Weekend Writing Warriors

Lets Talk About It!: Finding Love After a Broken Heart

How many times can your heart be broken before you give up on love?

That is one of the questions  addressed in my  upcoming novel, Jaded- Book two of The Butterfly Memoirs. This novel follows Yasmine Phillips, a bi-racial woman who seems full of confidence, works hard, and is all about enjoying life. She’s not looking for love, but enjoys friend-with-benefits relationships.

When love finds a way into her current relationship, she realizes her childhood dreams of becoming a wife and mother are going to come true…until the truth about her fiance comes to light and the man she thought loved her turns out to be her worst nightmare.

She should be able to suck it up and move on…right?

This isn’t the first time a man has broken her heart. Yasmine is left questioning her self-worth and ability to trust a man ever again. With the happiness  her friends are experiencing in their lives and relationships, she realizes  fate has given her the roll of  ‘the go-to-girl’ for her family and friends, aiding them to fulfill their endeavors in business and marriage.

What is she left with?

“A business plan and a dream.”-Yasmine Phillips

If you’ve followed my blog over the past two years you know music often finds it’s way into my stories. It can describe a characters feelings, their goals, or set the tone for a scene. One day while cleaning the kitchen I pulled out my iPod in search of inspiration for the ‘first kiss’ scene for Jaded.  The question in my mind was: with her relationship history, what  would  be the setting, the motivation to take that step? To allow herself to be kissed, to feel, to be wanted again?

Then it hit me in the lyrics of this song: Love Calls by Kem.

It’s got a  sexy jazz feel, and of course the smooth bass guitar line (and you know I love my bass players! Ahem…Brian Young). The song talks about a person giving up on love because of past experiences, but not being able to deny it when it comes your way. The song quickly went from inspiring the first kiss, to fueling one of the plot lines for not only Yasmine, but for her love interest as well.

If you haven’t heard the song, watch the video, sit back and get lost in these smooth lyrics!

MJ