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! 

#####

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

About Me     Twitter     Facebook    Pinterest     Instagram  Google+      Goodreads     Linkedin     Email

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!!! 

#####

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

About Me     Twitter     Facebook    Pinterest     Instagram  Google+      Goodreads     Linkedin     Email

 

 

#SampleSunday- Meeting the Family on the Fourth of July

Well it’s Sunday and I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July! In the spirit of the traditional holiday family barbecue, I’m sharing an extended scene from A Heart Not Easily Broken. This scene is from Brian’s point of view as he takes Ebony to meet his family for the first time. Ebony is nervous  because she is unsure how they will except the fact he’s dating a black woman. But as things go, someone in the family always have a funny story to tell!

Enjoy the sample, they BUY YOUR COPY TODAY for just .99 cents!!! LIMITED TIME ONLY!!!

Excerpt: 

“So this is where the party’s at.”

My family turned, startled at my voice. My mother got out of her seat.

“Brian!” She came over to hug me and kissed my cheek.

A chorus of ‘hellos’ came in response as all eyes left me to focus on my date.

“Hey, everybody, I’d like for you to meet Ebony Campbell. Ebony, this is my mother, Laura, and my father, Winfred.”

My mother shook her hand. Dad stayed at the grill, but smiled warmly and waved a pair of tongs.

“I made a cake,” Ebony said, holding it out to my mother.

“Oh, thank you. I’ll just put it in the kitchen.” Mom took the plate inside.

“This is my sister, Lisa, Cody and Hannah’s mother. And this crazy girl is Bridget.”

Both came to shake her hand. Ebony’s voice remained warm despite the fact she squeezed the heck out of my hand.

Lisa sat back down, but Bridget remained next to me, a wicked gleam in her eyes.

“Where is everybody? I see cars out front. Where are the bodies?”

“Andrea and Caroline went to the store to grab a few things. Tim and Randall are working so they’ll be late,” Bridget informed me while studying Ebony.

“Andrea and Caroline are my other sisters. Tim and Randall are their husbands,” I said, turning to Ebony to fill her in.

“Jackson is on the way with Josh and Sara. They went to pick up some fireworks. Aunt Gina and her boys should be here soon.”

I groaned. “Tell me Dad isn’t going to be in charge of lighting them again this year.”

“After last year’s fiasco? Hell no.” Bridget leaned around me and spoke to Ebony directly. “Last year, dad burned down the gazebo. He shot off a rocket that went sideways instead of up in the air, and poof,” she demonstrated with her hands, “instant fire.”

“Oh, no.” Ebony covered her mouth to conceal her laughter.

“Fortunately, Tim and Randall are both fire-fighters. They got it quickly under control.” I pointed to the gazebo’s remains. “He’s supposed to rebuild it, but Mom refuses to let him start until after tonight’s fireworks.”

Bridget’s contagious laughter kept Ebony from being able to continue to contain her own.

“Hey, are you kids talking about me over there?” my father bellowed.

“No,” Bridget and I said in unison.

“I might be getting older, but I’m not deaf. Brian, bring your lady friend over here.”

I winked at Ebony as we walked over to the stainless-steel giant we’d chipped in to buy him on Father’s Day. The savory smell of hot dogs, steak, and chicken permeated the air.

“Dinner looks great, Dad.”

“Me and this grill are a match made in heaven.” He took a moment to flip a row of steaks. “The kitchen is for the women. But this…” He pointed with pride to the grill. “This is man’s work. It’s like the caveman days of cooking over a pit fire.”

“Winfred, cavemen didn’t know how to make fire,” Mom said.

Everyone laughed.

“Look, woman, go grab me a beer,” Dad said. He glanced at Ebony. “So, you’re dating my son, huh?”

My heart dropped to my knees. I should have seen this coming. My dad had no problem getting to the point. We hadn’t been here for more than ten minutes and he’d already jumped to the wrong conclusion. Even though the sexual attraction was there, the only thing we’d done was kiss. I wanted more, damn, I really wanted more. But I didn’t want to push and risk the chance she’d decide we were doing too much. Bringing her to meet my family was more than I thought would ever happen. The last thing I needed my father to do was­

“Yes, sir, I am his girlfriend.” She squeezed my hand.

Holy. Shit. My heart started beating again. I studied Ebony to make sure I heard her correctly. Her smile said it all.

“How did you guys meet?” Mom reappeared with a beer.

“She picked me up at the bar,” I joked.

“Brian!” Ebony poked me in the ribs with her elbow.

Bridget laughed. “And he’s the only thing you could find? Girl, I have to take you out sometime and show you where to find a real man.”

“Ignore her, she’s got a few screws loose,” I warned.

Ebony giggled. “I like her.”

Annoyed, I decided to mess with my sister. “So, Bridget, what happened to the last guy you dated? What was his name, Raul? Wasn’t he like twelve years younger than you?”

Bridget’s eyes shot over to our mother who eyed her questioningly. “His name was Francisco, and he was not twelve years younger.” She held her head high. “He was five years younger. I broke up with him a few months ago because we couldn’t agree on the terms of our relationship.”

“Which were?” I pushed.

Her eyes narrowed. “He wanted to get married. I’m too young for that.”

I howled.

“Bridget, you’re nearly thirty-two years old. It’s time to settle down,” Mom supplied.

“You can say that again,” Lisa muttered, joining in the conversation.

Lisa was my second oldest sister. Ever since we arrived, she’d been watching Ebony. For her to finally speak meant she must have formulated an opinion.

“Ebony, where are you from? You don’t have a California accent.”

“Charlotte, North Carolina,” she replied.

“Wow, you’re a long way from home. How did you end up here?”

The moment Ebony dreaded had arrived. I decided to give her some space, confident she could handle my sisters. I kissed her hand and continued to stand next to my father while she followed them to sit in the patio chairs. I stood in silence, listening to the flow of questions and answers between them. Lisa was obviously filling in for our older sister, Andrea, and would give her and Caroline a detailed report in private once they returned.

####

AHNEB Sale with seal pic 450

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.

ONLY .99 cents for a limited time only! (Sales price applies to all eBook formats)

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

#####

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

MJ

About Me Twitter Facebook Google+ Goodreads Linkedin Email

Guest Post: A Clue for Adrianna by Charlotte Kent

A Clue for Adrianna, recently released by Annie Acorn Publishing LLC, is the first novel in the contemporary romantic woman’s fiction series Captain’s Point Stories that I am writing in collaboration with writer and publisher, Annie Acorn under our pseudonym Charlotte Kent.  The pseudonym celebrates our efforts and sets them apart from our individual work as Juliette Hill and Annie Acorn. Our collaboration has been smooth, exciting and rewarding, as well as lots and lots of fun!

It all began back in January when Annie and I were discussing upcoming WIPs for the year. She offered me the opportunity to work with her on a romance series that she had been thinking about writing for years, but was still fluid in her mind.   I always intended to start a series of my own at some point.  Who would have imagined that, in approximately 90 days, we would have written, edited and published our first full-length novel?

The process was amazing, as we’ve truly experienced two creative minds being better than one, melding our similar writing styles, voices, and visions. Our individual ideas about setting, characters and plot development wove seamlessly together, creating a romantic, suspenseful, contemporary, often humorous, women’s fiction novel.  It’s our belief that readers will find themselves falling in love again as they follow our main character’s journey of personal growth and discovery of true love!

The fictitious town of Captain’s Point on Maryland’s Eastern Shore is the setting of our series.  Living in Maryland as we do, Annie and I both have a soft place in our hearts for the Eastern Shore with the area’s deep roots in history, its picturesque towns and scenery, friendly residents and, of course, the close proximity of both the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay.  The commerce and lifestyle of the area blend with our storylines, enhancing their beautiful imagery and larger than life characters.

A strong cast of characters, who will grow and change depending upon whatever curve balls life throws at them, are introduced within the first book.  Adrianna Montgomery, the series’ central character, is a modern young woman who meets a number of challenges that life throws at her.  Doors close, and she embraces others as they open.  As her character exploded onto the pages, Adrianna guided us through the episodes of her journey, dictating and influencing our approach to her interactions with the other main players.

The series, as it’s developing, proudly embraces our characters’ pasts and heritage while dealing with present day situations and issues.  Storylines highlight Adrianna’s development of friendships and relationships with the residence of Captain’s Point and beyond.  Serious writing has already been completed on the next three novels, within which the series merges our characters business lives with fun, romance, courtship, marriage, children, friendships, human failures and flaws as well as personal triumphs and successes.

A Man for Susan, the second novel in the series will be available August 1, 2013.  The future for our readers is bright indeed as we explore the wonders of Captain’s Point together!

A-Clue-for-Adrianna_revised2 (1)

The first novel in the women’s fiction series Captain’s Point Stories, A Clue for Adrianna, written by multi-published, internationally known From Women’s Pens authors Annie Acorn and Juliette Hill under the pseudonym Charlotte Kent, offers the reader romance, mystery, humor, and adventure in a story of love and personal growth.

Forced to return to her ancestral home in Captain’s Point, a small town on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Adrianna Montgomery receives a shock and a challenge when the terms of her great-aunt’s will are read. Faced with a haughty attorney, a crumbling old house and a clue, she must draw upon the resources found in those around her as well as her own inner strengths in order to solve the riddle and secure her inheritance. Little understanding the adventure and danger she will encounter along the journey ahead, she accepts the challenge and ultimately learns who she is destined to be and discovers the meaning of true love.

Don’t miss this chance to fall in love again!

Buy Your Copy Today! 

Amazon US     Amazon UK     Barnes & Noble     Kobo     Paperback  

About the Authors: 

Romance-Avatar light2

Charlotte Kent is the pseudonym used by Annie Acorn and Juliette Hill when writing their collaborative romantic women’s fiction series Captain’s Point Stories.

Twitter     Email     Goodreads

 

Juliette Hill

Juliette Hill is the pseudonym for a creative writer who is passionate about all things vintage, traveling with her husband and exploring family history. She enjoys treasure hunting at local antique markets and estate sales, searching for her next great ‘find’ that will spark her imagination. Her desire to discover the story behind each treasure motivates the writer within. Juliette’s other interests include planning family gatherings, scrapbooking, cooking, shopping and dining out, to name a few. Her stories involve multi-dimensional characters and generational plots which bridge the gap between the past and present. She is currently working on several projects for Annie Acorn Publishing.

Twitter     Email     Website/Blog     Facebook     Goodreads

Head-Av_180Annie Acorn is the pseudonym of a prolific, internationally published author, whose readership recognizes her mainly for her women’s fiction, cozy mysteries and richly woven stories with a warm southern flair. She is a founding member of From Women’s Pens – A Cooperative of Women Writers. Annie is the mother of two sons, one of whom is married to the best daughter-in-law in the world. She lives in the Washington, D.C. area, where she has done extensive technical writing as a contractor. She owned a tri-state medical outsourcing business for a number of years and was the Director of a behavioral healthcare firm. She once flipped a comic book and collectible retail company comprised of five stores, and she has managed cemeteries and funeral homes. She is the owner of Annie Acorn Publishing LLC. Ms. Acorn has published in The Inspirational Writer, and she edited an in-house publication for the State of Mississippi. She is a contributor of ezine articles. In her spare time, Ms. Acorn enjoys reading, writing mysteries, listening to classical music, playing cards, and spending time with her family and friends – often at a restaurant serving delicious food.

Twitter     Email     Website/Blog     Facebook

 

#####

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

MJ

About Me     Twitter     Facebook     Google+      Goodreads     Linkedin     Email

The Butterfly Memoirs: Life, Love, Tragedy, and Triumph…The Realities of Real Romance

Those are the type of stories I write.

When I decided to become an author, the first thing I did was read…a lot. I read books by authors I idolized. I read books by authors I’d never heard of. I read books that were bestsellers, and books that weren’t getting the best reviews. Contemporary Romances, Erotic Romances, Military Romance, and Romantic Comedies…anything that got my attention, I read it.

Then, I decided to write my story.

I wanted to do something different from what I read and focus on the unique voices of each character. I wanted each character  to tell the story in their voice, share their private thoughts, their diaries. If you like emotional reads that grip you and have you rooting for the hero and heroine and want to truly get to know these individuals…this series is for you.

The Butterfly Memoirs are stories that follow a group of characters as they deal with the trials of real life. Each book follows a different character who’s life has it’s own path to travel. The characters are everyday people struggling to reach their dreams. They could be you, me, or the neighbor next door. They are imperfect, make mistakes, struggle with family and friendships. They argue, they disagree, they hurt the one they love, then fight to get them back. Somewhere in-between it all, they fall in love and discover happiness.

And at the end of their journey, like a butterfly who goes into a cocoon and emerges changed, so do my characters.

Life. Love. Tragedy. Triumph.

Try a sample of these bestsellers today! 

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.

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 YOUR COPY TODAY! 

  Prologue and Chapter One     Character Bio’s   Yasmine’s Diary      From the Desktop of Zachariah Givens    Book Reviews

#WriterWednesday- Interview with Carol Brill!

Today I introduce you to fellow Women’s Fiction author, Carol Brill. I had the privilege of meeting Carol in the Women’s Fiction forum on Goodreads…so many talented authors to be found! Take a moment to get to know her and learn about how she finds her character inspiration!

Carol-001 - 188 x 250 72 ppi

Welcome, Carol!

What inspired you to write?

 I have loved stories ever since my parents read me Grimm’s Fairy Tales and Black Beauty at bedtime when I was five or six. (I know Grimm’s may not seem like the stuff sweet dreams are made of, but they mostly read the ones about princesses being rescued by the prince.) When I was 20-sometthing, I started dreaming about writing a book. It took me another 20 years to get started.

What genre do you write? Did you choose it, or did it choose you?

I write women’s fiction.  It’s what I most enjoy reading and I still have a sweet spot for happy-ever- after love stories.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Like many writers, I have to fit my writing time in around a non-writing day job. Morning is my best writing time. On weekends and days off I try to write for at least four or five hours a day. I am an early riser—often at my computer in the dark hours before the sun is up. On workdays, you will often find me there at dawn, rereading and editing what I most recently wrote before getting ready for work.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I keep a box of 96 crayons—a gift from my husband— on my desk.  There’s a line in Peace by Piece where Maggie says, “I never had a box of 64 crayons. “After reading that line, Jim bought me my box of 96—complete with the built-in sharpener. That green and yellow box is a constant reminder of his support, and I often skim through the box reciting the color names when I need creative inspiration.

Are you a pantser or plotter?

I am a blend of both. Before starting a new piece, I spend a lot of time in my head, envisioning the beginning and end of the story. For longer pieces, I write character bibles. Once I start writing, the characters reveal the middle to me, sometimes scene by scene. Other times, huge chucks of the character’s motivation emerge and it takes many chapters for me and the writing to catch up.

Are your stories based on experiences based on someone you know, or are events in your own life reflected in the characters/stories you write? Can you share and example?

 Years ago, I heard a writer say in an interview—sorry, can’t remember who it was—that every character and scene must be part of me somehow, since it all comes out of my head.  I have had pieces of Maggie’s experiences, or felt her feelings, but not always for the same reasons she feels them. Real-life events definitely influence my stories. For instance, while taking a walk on vacation in Florida, I read the name, Campbell McKee, on a mailbox. Instantly, a wholly formed character popped into my head—a full-of-herself adolescent with flowing red hair. I trotted the two miles back to our cottage and my laptop to write about her, before she could vanish into thin air.

Do you have any suggestions to help new authors become a better writer? If so, what are they?

When I started writing creatively, I had no idea there were so many elements to writing craft. Put in the time to study craft—characterization, plotting, show don’t tell, creating a sense of time and place. Once you start to understand craft, grab a few books in your genre and read them like a writer, dissecting how the author uses craft to create emotion and drama. Also, the support of other writers has been so valuable to me. Find critique partners, join a writing group, and open yourself up to feedback. Perhaps the most important lesson is learning that writing is just the beginning, rewriting is where the story becomes what it is meant to be.

Are you self-pubbed, indie pubbed, or traditionally pubbed?

Peace by Piece is self-published.

What are your current projects?

My second novel, Cape Maybe (the red-headed adolescent, Campbell McKee, is a character) is on track for publication later in 2013. I blog at www.4broadminds.blogspot.com/ , write book reviews for New York Journal of Books at http://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/reviewer/carol-brill , and have a children’s book and co-authored article on Leadership Style in progress. I am toying with the idea of linking four short stories or novella’s into a novel, but that project is in the early stage of cooking in my head.

Front Cover small

Six years after fleeing college and Thomas’s betrayal, Maggie has nearly given up on love. Enter Izzie, a motherless eight year old, and every maternal instinct kicks-in. There is not first love thrill with Izzie’s dad, but Maggie lets herself believe loving Izzie will be enough to finally lock Thomas out of her heart.

Dealing with unshakable first love, family, relationships, the difficulties of being a step-partent–all overshadowed by the curse of anorexia and bulimia–Peace by Piece is ultimately about hope and second chances.

BUY your copy today! 

 

About the Author

Bio – Carol Fragale Brill, earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Poets and Writers named her fiction the 2010 Maureen Egen Writer’s Exchange first runner-up, A novel excerpt turned short story was selected as a favorite for the Philadelphia Stories Anthology. She writes book reviews for New York Journal of Books. Her work has also been published in Wide Array, Philadelphia Stories, and The Press of Atlantic City. Find her blog at www.4broadminds.blogspot.com/

Connect with Carol:

Goodreads     Facebook     Blog/Website     Amazon     Email     My Book Reviews

Carol, thank you for sharing a little bit about yourself. I wish you much continued success with your writing!

MJ

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop!

Thanks to Carol Fragale of 4 Broad Minds for tagging me for this honor! I have had the privilege and sharing blogs with her and several other talented Women’s Fiction authors on Goodreads.  So…let’s play!

Ten Questions About My Latest  WIP:

Autumn landscape1. What is the working title of your book? Jaded, Book Two of The Butterfly Memoirs (Currently in the hands of my editor.) Release date is March 7, 2013.

2. Where did the idea for the book come from? The story line is based on a secondary character in my first novel, A Heart Not Easily Broken, Yasmine Phillips, who is the best friend of the heroine, Ebony Campbell. Though the  novel focuses on Ebony, there are a few chapters where the reader is introduced to Yasmine to show where she is in her life. She’s ambitious, a hard worker, and full of self-confidence, especially when it comes to her relationships with men. She’s all about friends-with-benefit. During the course of the story, she winds up engaged to her main hook up. Everything seems to be working out until Ebony drops a bomb on her happy moment and she discovers her new fiance is not the man she thought he was. Jaded picks up two months later when we find Yasmine still reeling from the heart break of her engagement. Shes decided to give up on relationships of any kind and focus on finding herself.  She’s been working on a business  to start her own small business. Entrepreneurship is nothing new. She’s grown up watching her parents build and maintain their own business, a Bed and Breakfast chain of hotels, since she was in high school. Upon graduating collage, the chain expanded opening a second location. She’s managed the hotel for the past three years. During the course of the novel, Yasmine finds herself in a relationship that has her struggling to decide whether she is ready to open her heart up and give love another chance.

3. What is the genre of this book? Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction, Interracial Romance

4. Which actors would you choose to play the characters of the movie rendition? Oh, that’s easy! My male lead would be Columbus Short! He is exactly how I pictured Zachariah Givens while writing. For Yasmine, it would be a mix between Zoe Saldana or Megan Good.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? After heart break leaves Yasmine devastated, she must decide if fighting for love is worth the risk of  losing the woman she’s become.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency/publisher? I am Indie published through 5 Prince Publishing.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript? I outlined the novel first, but from there it took 29 days to write my rough draft, complete with errors and no edits…about 85,000 words.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? I would have to say the first novel in the series, A Heart Not Easily Broken. I have worked hard to develop my own style of storytelling, so I can’t think of anyone to compare it to.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book? My stories are based on themes and ‘what if’ scenarios. Jaded deals with several themes: women as entrepreneurs, reaching your goals without the support of family, opening yourself up to love after heartbreak, friends-with-benefits relationships, dealing with sick family members, and knowing when to trust yourself to follow your heart.

10. What else about your book might pique the readers interest? If you’ve read A Heart Not Easily Broken and got to know Yasmine, the truth she learns at the novels end will have you wanting to know what happens to her. As I said before, one moment she’s in her happy place, then without warning her outlook on love will never be the same. You will want to know if and how Yasmine Phillips finds her Happily Ever After.

Whew! That wasn’t too bad!

The three authors I’d like to tag to introduce their Next Big Thing are: Nia Forrester, Candace Shaw, and Sharon C. Cooper!  Enjoy!

MJ

#TeaserTuesday- A Heart Not Easily Broken- Family Influence

No matter what race you are, falling in love and introducing that significant other to your family can be a trying experience.

What if my family doesn’t like them? What if they think they are not good enough for me? What if….????  The list can go on an on.

The tension is compounded when you are in an interracial relationship. When do you let your family decide what’s best for you and when do you go with your heart?

In this excerpt, Ebony gets an unexpected phone call from her older sister, Lashana who lives hundreds of miles away…

Excerpt:

“Why haven’t you called Momma? She’s been dying to call you for the past few weeks. I’ve been keeping her preoccupied to give you some breathing room.”

“Thanks.” She’d been running interference since my move to California. Seven years later and my mother still had a hard time with it.

“We thought you would call on the Fourth of July. That was how long ago?” she asked pointedly.

“I was preoccupied at the time.” Thoughts of lying in Brian’s arms that night made me smile.

“Translation, you were doing the horizontal mambo with Patrick. Didn’t you guys break up?”

“We did, months ago. He’s getting married by the way.”

“Damn. Okay,” she drawled. “If it wasn’t him then it was someone else. Come on; let it out. It’s my job as big sister to make sure you’ve got your head on straight.”

“I do have my head on straight.”

“Oh, you’re snippy. Interesting. Don’t hold back, girl, spill the beans.”

I sighed. It doesn’t matter what she or anyone else in my family thinks.

Yeah right.

“His name is Brian. He plays in a band.”

“Okay…”

“He owns a lawn maintenance business and plans to get hired working for a recording studio soon.” I cursed silently.

There was no reason for me to try and convince her of anything. Talking up Brian’s attributes would never make a difference to my family. He could damn near be Donald Trump rich and they’d still have something to say about his race. But then again…

“Let me get this straight. He’s in a band. He cuts grass for a living, and his dream job is to work in a studio? How old is this guy?” She laughed through the phone. “He sounds straight out of high school. Not to mention, you’re studying to be a doctor, well not a human doctor, but still. You need someone who’s more on your level. A real professional.”

Her comments set my teeth on edge. Brian’s career choice made no difference to me. He worked hard and was good with everything he did. He had goals and was on his way to meeting them. That’s what mattered to me.

My family seemed to believe my ideal man would have a well-paying job. And be black.

“And what black man does that?” she continued. “Wouldn’t he be out trying to be a rapper?”

“He’s white, Shana.”

I could practically hear the crickets from back home chirping through the phone.

“Did you say I’m right? Something must be wrong with the connection because it sounded like you said he was white.”

I steeled myself for her retort. “Brian is white.”

“Oh. Hell. No. What are you doing messing with a white guy, Ebony? Are you crazy?” she hissed.

“No, I’m not crazy. I’m just…Brian’s a really nice guy. I decided to give him a chance.”

“Give him a chance? You slept with him, didn’t you?”

“That’s none of your business, Shana. The way you’re acting right now is why I didn’t bother telling you in the first place.” I fought to keep my voice down.

Why waste time getting upset?

“Excuse me; you have noticed racism still exists, right? What good is being with a white man going to do for you? I could understand if he had a good job and made a lot of money, but damn, he sounds as broke as you. And, oh, God, what if you got knocked up?”

I wanted to scream. “He’s not going to knock me up. I’m being safe.”

The line went quiet. “I’m calling Trevon.”

“What does he have to do with this?”

Lashana didn’t answer, only clicked over and left me on a dead line.

I’d long since gotten off the bed and paced back and forth across my room. I was too close to blowing a blood vessel.

“Hello? Ebony, is everything okay?” Trevon’s deep voice broke the silence.

I hadn’t heard my twin’s voice in months. We emailed each other all the time, but catching each other on the phone proved difficult due to the time zone differences and our work schedules. I worked during the day, and he worked at night.

“No, it is not,” Lashana’s aggravated voice broke in.

“Yes, it is, Tre, I don’t know why she called you. It’s not going to make me change my mind,” I said.

“So nobody’s hurt or dying, right?” he asked.

“No,” I said.

“Our sister’s gonna be swinging from a tree if she doesn’t watch it,” Lashana said.

“Shana! I can’t believe you! I’m not in the South, and this is not 1950,” I bellowed.

“Whoa, whoa, will somebody please tell me what the hell is going on with the two of you?”

“Your twin is dating a white man,” Lashana interjected.

“We’ve been seeing each other for a while, but it’s not that serious.”  Yet.

“Really? But you’ve slept with him,” she retorted.

“You slept with Tony on your second date!” I threw back at her. “Don’t try to call me a ‘ho.”

“Ladies.”Trevon chuckled. “Calm down. Man, this reminds me of home. I always refereed. First of all, nobody’s a ‘ho, though, Shana, Eb’s got you there.”

“Oh, grow up,” she said sourly.

“I have, quite nicely. Now, let me get this straight, Eb, you’ve gone white?”

I pinched the bridge of my nose, attempting to kill the headache threatening to emerge. “Yes. He’s a good man, better than some knuckleheads I’ve been with since moving here. He took me to meet his family over the holiday at his parents’ house­”

“Oh, God,” Lashana mumbled.

“They have no problem with our relationship,” I added quickly. “Especially his sisters. Sorry I can’t say the same of my own.”

“I find that hard to believe,” she said.

“Are you serious about this guy? Does he treat you right?” Trevon had remained silent during our verbal sparring.

I knew then Trevon was on my side. He always understood me. Even as children he always had my back.

“Yes, I wouldn’t be with him if he didn’t. To be honest, I have no idea where this could go. Marriage isn’t what either of us is looking for. I like spending time with him because he’s not domineering and doesn’t expect me to live up to his expectations. He can put up with my mouth­”

“He must be the silent type,” Lashana muttered.

“No, he’s the ‘likes-the-way-I- talk-and-gives-it-right-back-to-me type’.” I chuckled. “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.”

####

 

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!