#SampleSunday- The Jaded Hero

The fun part about writing is developing the characters. In a series, you struggle to keep the reoccurring character’s voice the same, yet give it a life of its own.  When writing a new male character, you want him to be strong and sure like your previous hero – you know, the one every female reader fell in love with – yet he has to be different. Well for Jaded, Zachariah Givens does the trick.

If you’ve meet Yasmine Phillips, you know she has a strong personality. In A Heart Not Easily Broken, she never hesitates to tell her friends exactly what type of man or relationship she’s looking for.  She appears to be happy, then just like that, her dreams evaporate, leaving her heart broken and wary. She’s unsure of her finding a man who will ever love her.

So I asked myself…when a woman has been hurt like that, what type of man would it take to convince her to love again?

My answer: the complete opposite of what she’s used to.

Zachariah is a little older, a loner, and very intelligent. He’s good with his hands and is a technological wiz who can tear electronic equipment down and fix it with his eyes closed. No, he is not a gamer or a nerd. He prefers to sit back and observe people and what goes on around him.  He thinks before he opens his mouth.

I think Yasmine put it best when she says, “He held a quiet confidence that was never to be boasted.”

Zachariah also has some personal issues to overcome, first and foremost, trusting another woman with his heart. Like Yasmine, he too has been jaded.

Here’s an excerpt from his point of view…the quiet, yet very passionate hero:

Excerpt:

Over the past year, my life had turned into nothing but wide-open space and emptiness.

Life was perfect when Melissa and I bought the condo. She found the place just as it went on the market. The loft was part of a warehouse converted into loft condominiums and featured a great view of the city. It was on the outskirts of town, thirty minutes from anywhere, as long as traffic wasn’t too bad.

Large windows ate an entire wall, leaving magnificent views, and plenty of natural light, day or night. I loved the open floor plan of the living room, dining room, and kitchen all in one area with no walls to separate it. A small half bath hid beneath stairs leading up to the open bedroom and master bathroom.

My eyes traveled up from where I stood in the kitchen to the rail that marked the end of the bedroom. Visions of Melissa wearing lingerie to entice came to mind. One look at what she wore and I would be upstairs in a heartbeat.

Back then, the place was full of furniture, life, laughter, and love.

Melissa liked to decorate. Nearly every paycheck she brought home went towards something new to make this place ours. If electronics were my vice, shopping and decorating were hers. I didn’t mind because I made enough to pay the bills.

Man, she knew how to make a house a home. Pictures, flowers …everything modern and clean.

When she decided she didn’t want to wait around to see if my mother lived or died, she cleaned the place out, taking everything except for the bed and kitchen table. Guess those items were too big to move.

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***TRIVIA QUESTION! What is the name of the drummer in Diverse Nation?***

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.

 Buy Jaded

Buy The Amazon Bestseller, A Heart Not Easily Broken (Book One of The Butterfly Memoirs)

Amazon     Barnes&Noble     iTunes     Smashwords

 Having fun visiting the blog tour stops? I hope so! There are only two stops left! Two more chances to answer the A Heart Not Easily Broken Trivia Questions for a chance to win one of the following prizes:

Jaded Book Tour Prizes:

4th: $10 Amazon Gift Card

3rd:  eBook copy of Jaded

2nd: Autographed copy of Jaded

1st: Autographed copy of A Heart Not Easily Broken and Jaded

Once the contest ends, you will have a week to revisit the blog tour stops, or re-read (or buy a copy and read :)) A Heart Not Easily Broken to find the answers and email them to: thebutterflymemoirs@yahoo.com. The winners will be announced on my blog and by email Tuesday, April 9th. Good luck, and thank you for your support!

MJ

#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

Support and Sacrifice in a Relationship: When Dreams Are Not Your Own

(This was originally posted on The Butterfly Memoirs Blog on 8/7/12)

I found this article the other day and had to share: (for the full article, click the link below)

‘One of the key components of a relationship is the support that two people provide for each other, yet it is typically one of the most overlooked aspects of choosing the perfect mate. A relationship that is built upon mutual support will overcome just about any obstacles that two individuals encounter along the way.

Lack of support in a relationship can surface in many ways. It can be something as simple as a failure to be sympathetic when a mate has had a bad day at work, to the major support that is required when embarking on a new business endeavor or during life changing events. 

Support can take on many forms, but in the broadest sense, it is the willingness of two people in a relationship to lift and encourage each other to be the best that they can be. It is also the willingness for each of the individuals to be there for each other through both good and bad times.’ (For the rest of this article, visit WorldVilliage)

Looks. Personality. Goals. Sexual Attraction. All are important during the beginning stages of a relationship.

Over time, personalities clash, good looks fade, and the intense sexual attraction experienced in the beginning can simmer.

In A Heart Not Easily Broken, finding a supportive relationship is one of the key things that aids Ebony’s decision to ignore the color of Brian’s skin and focus on building a relationship.

“He’s persistent, that’s for sure. He kept after me even when I told him no. And he is a hard worker, not a slacker at all. He doesn’t use his love of music as an excuse not to work in the meantime. He’s very realistic about what he wants and is supportive of my dreams. That’s what I love most about him.”– Ebony Campbell when talking about her boyfriend, Brian Young.

It is because of this supportive and loving relationship, the two of them are able to make it through the tough trial they face.

So, do you support your significant other?

Do you go out of your way to help them reach their dreams? How important is it to you that your mate support your life goals? Be it a new job, a life changing career, or the decision to move away from their family and closer to yours. How important is it to you that you have their support in return?

MJ