From One Night to Forever Release Day!!

Hey everyone! I’m super excited about the release of my 8th book (really 8?). Today’s the release of From One Night to Forever, the last book in the Henderson Family series. It’s with bittersweet feelings that I watch this series come to an end. I had a hard time wrangling Aaron Henderson to his happily ever after. A guy like him isn’t easy to settle in one place, as you’ve seen from the other novels. But he did find the right woman for him in Kacey Randal.

Kacey’s worked in her family’s restaurant all her life, and she’s used to the truckers that come through looking for a hook up. Aaron is only supposed to be a one night fling, but he quickly works his way into her heart. As the Henderson men are likely to do. I hope you enjoy this installment. And keep on the lookout. I’ve got ideas for a spinoff, and hopefully, I’ll get the chance to write and publish it.

Are you sad to see the end of the Henderson series? What do you think would make an interesting spinoff?

Blurb:

wpid-wp-1445348908573.jpgTrucker Aaron Henderson always loved his life of freedom on the open road, but a business opportunity from a friend finds him settling down in Resilient, Tennessee. On his first night there, he meets a singing beauty at a bar who stirs feelings he’s long forgotten. He’s all in for a night of fun . . . until the next day when he realizes his one-night stand is his new business partner’s baby sister.

Kacey Randal just wanted to a quick fling to blow off steam before diving into her last semester of business school. When she learns that Aaron’s working with her brother and has a list of female conquests as high as the mileage on his big rig, she’s perfectly willing to pretend their night together never happened.

But the fire burns hot between these two, making their secret nearly impossible to keep. Yet even as their feelings blossom, Aaron’s roaming ways make Kacey wonder if they can truly go from one night to forever.

Excerpt:

The band revved up and the sounds of “Lady Marmalade” filled the place. The guy next to him drummed his hands on the bar. “I love it when she sings this,” he said to Aaron.

Aaron nodded at the guy’s enthusiasm. “Number-one fan” would be an understatement of the man’s excitement. Aaron focused back on the woman who had the poor guy so enthralled.

His first thought was she was a little too skinny. He liked them like the bartender, but the songstress had perfect curves in just the right locations. Her face immediately drew him in. She wasn’t classically beautiful—some would say her lips were too full or her cheeks too sharp—but that didn’t prevent Aaron’s heart from starting a crazy rhythm.

She swayed from side to side with the music. Her slim hips hypnotized him and the rest of the men in the crowd with their easy flow in dark jeans and tall black heels. A red tank top with a white heart with wings spread across her perfect rack, and dark straight hair brushed her russet brown shoulders. With each word and graceful movement she commanded the stage. Her voice belted out to perfection the suggestive lyrics with enough passion to have Aaron shifting in his seat.

Aaron tapped the guy next to him. “Hey, what’s her name again?”

“Kacey,” the guy said almost with idolization.

Kacey? He would’ve expected something more elaborate or flamboyant. Something more suited to the goddess onstage.

“Me and her used to hang out,” the guy said. “I think I may try to rekindle that flame tonight. Know what I’m saying?” Another elbow to Aaron. “Show her why breaking up with me wasn’t such a good idea.”

Aaron shook his head. The guy’s overuse of the elbow and “know what I’m saying” made Aaron think Kacey was smart for breaking things off.

Aaron picked up his beer without taking his attention off the woman onstage, the curvy bartender forgotten. Aaron brought the bottle to his lips and watched the seductive sway of Kacey’s hips as she sang the Creole words every man wanted to hear from a beautiful woman. “Do you want to go to bed with me tonight?” Heat rose slowly up his body, an affirmative answer to her lyrical question.

No complications, remember?

Aaron pushed the thought aside. Talking to her a little wasn’t the same as going home with her.

“Can I get you another drink?” Monique asked.

Aaron shook his head. “No, but you can send one over to her on my tab when she’s done.” He pointed to his stage goddess.

Monique cocked a brow and chuckled. “No offense, but you’re the sixth person who’s ordered my sister a drink tonight.”

Aaron leaned on the bar. “Sister, huh? One of these guys in here special to her?”

Monique shook her head and leaned a hand on her hip. “Nope.”

“And there are five guys ahead of me interested in getting her attention tonight?”

A smirk crossed Monique’s features. “Yep.”

Aaron raised a brow. “None of us stand a chance, huh?” He took another sip of the beer.

“She’s the good sister. If you want some fun tonight, you might want to look elsewhere.” Monique winked again, then went down the bar to tend to the other customers.

A smart man would follow the path of least resistance. One night stands and easy hookups were more his thing. Anything else lead to feelings, which lead to serious relationships followed soon after by the bad break up. Aaron was very familiar with bad breakups having been through one before. Bad because he’d chosen to walk away rather than accept at twenty-two he was ready for a long-term commitment. He’d broken up with Denise, the only woman he’d come close to loving, and lived his life since having fun and being free.

Aaron glanced back at the goddess onstage. Her gaze swept the room, caught his, jerked away, and then snuck back. An electric sizzle zoomed across his skin from the brief contact. Aaron smiled and brought the beer to his lips. One night of fun didn’t mean a relationship. And he wasn’t interested in the path of least resistance. He always preferred a challenge.

Buy Links: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and Crimson Romance

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Surviving Deadline Hell

What’s up my good people! Last week I realized that I am pretty much out of deadline hell. Even though I still have deadlines looming (contractual and self imposed), not having several right up on each other is pretty dern nice.

So, what have I been working on? Well, the last book in the Henderson Family series, From One Night to Forever, releases November 23. This is Aaron Henderson’s story, and he’s the last sibling, but I’ve got an idea for a spin off. I’m working the spin off into my self imposed deadline schedule.

Mom says I'm organized, I say I'm anal with my weekly and monthly goals.

Mom says I’m organized, I say I’m anal with my weekly and monthly goals.

This year I also had to work on the edits to my Harlequin Kimani debut, A New York Kind of Love which releases in January 2016. The edits for this novel often coincided with edits on Making it Real and getting the draft of From One Night to Forever completed. I am super excited about A New York Kind of Love, because I’ll finally get to see my novel on a store shelf. Silly, maybe, but that doesn’t stop me from being stoked.

This year I signed a contract to write two more novels for Kimani, my next is titled A Malibu Romance and it’ll be released in … August 2016, I believe.  I’m writing that story now and it’s the only immediate, contracted deadline I have.

As for self imposed deadlines, well I really, really, really want/need to get back to my Caldwell Family series. I woke up about 2 months ago after I dream-plotted (my new phrase) the entire 3rd book in the series. Which of course means I need to get my butt to finish the 2nd book. I have a self imposed deadline to finish and get Renee Caldwell’s story out in the spring of 2016. I think I can do it.

After that, I have a spring contractual deadline and then it’s whatever happens from there. 2015 was a very good year for me writing wise, and I hope 2016 will be the same. Maybe there will be more contracts, maybe not. Only time will tell, but for now, I’ll just get through the end of this year and hope I get a chance to explore the spinoff and other new ideas floating around in my head next year.

I’m using the excitement of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)  to push me toward my deadlines. Anyone else doing NaNoWriMo?

 

How About A Dose of Passion?

I’m still pounding away at the keyboard to meet deadlines for a November and late December release, so I’m once again opening up my blog space for my fantastic writer pal, Sharon C. Cooper. Her latest Harlequin Kimani release, A Dose of Passion, is available today and it sounds like just what the doctor ordered. Pun totally intended 🙂

***

Blurb:

Book cover - A dose of passionA prescription for sweet satisfaction

Pediatrician Macy Carter has been so busy expanding her practice she’s had no time to build the family she craves. Her late, much-loved surrogate father apparently had some matchmaking in mind when he arranged for a sexy architect to take over his home and company. Too bad Derek is a single dad who’s been there, done that, and intends to remain unattached. Their priorities are totally out of sync. Their chemistry? Unbelievably potent.

Thanks to his former mentor, Derek Logan just inherited an architectural business, a house and the gorgeous client next door. He’s keeping away from forever relationships, but this doctor’s sensual touch is addictive. Helping Macy build her dream medical complex awakens Derek to how much more he now wants out of life. But has he hesitated too long to prove he’s ready for and deserving of her love?

Excerpt:

Derek stepped out of the shadows just as she crossed the invisible property line, giving him a better view. Desire traveled through his body as she moved closer and he got a better look at her appearance. Her hair, curled at the ends, covered part of her face as she monitored each step she took. Normally, she sported a ponytail, but he loved seeing her hair hanging loose around her shoulders. The sheer blouse covered a camisole, and that damn skirt that had him salivating earlier was shorter than he’d originally thought.

His traitorous body reacted immediately when his gaze finally landed on her toned thighs and killer legs.

“What the hell were you doing with that guy?” The words flew out of his mouth before he could stop them.

Macy stopped short. “Excuse me?”

“You heard me.”

She gripped her clutch purse tighter. “Are you drunk?” She studied him with concern.

“No. I’m not drunk.” He rubbed a hand across his forehead and released a noisy breath. He stood only inches away, his hands itching to touch her. “How are you just going to go on a date? What about us?”

“What?” She narrowed her eyes and stared at him as if he had lost his mind. “There is no us. Besides, the last time I checked, I was a grown woman who could go out with whomever I want.” She huffed, pushing hair away from her face. “You know what? Coming over here was a bad idea. I’m going home.” She turned to leave.

“Don’t.” He reached for her hand and she stopped. He knew he wasn’t thinking straight, but at the moment he didn’t care. He was tired of denying his feelings for her, and it was time he did something about them.

 

Copyright © 2015 Sharon C. Cooper

 

Get Your Copy Today!

Ebook: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Paperback: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

 

AUTHOR BIO:

Award-winning and bestselling author, Sharon C. Cooper, spent 10 years as a sheet metal worker. And while enjoying that unique line of work, she attended college in the evening and obtained her B.A. in Business Management with an emphasis in Communication. Sharon is a romance-a-holic – loving anything that involves romance with a happily-ever-after, whether in books, movies or real life. She writes contemporary romance, as well as romantic suspense and enjoys rainy days, carpet picnics, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. When Sharon is not writing or working, she’s hanging out with her amazing husband, doing volunteer work or reading a good book (a romance of course). To read more about Sharon and her novels, visit www.sharoncooper.net

Find Sharon online:

Website: http://sharoncooper.net

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorSharonCCooper21?ref=hl

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/Sharon_Cooper1

Subscribe to her blog: http://sharonccooper.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5823574.Sharon_C_Cooper

Come Meet Me at the Library!

If you’re in the Midlands of South Carolina and want to learn more about writing and publishing, then come see me and other members of the Lowcountry chapter of Romance Writer’s of America on Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at the Lexington County Public Library.

More information on the program is below. I won’t be signing, but I’ll have plenty of postcards that to sign and tons of smiles for those that come out. I hope to see you there.

When: Tuesday, August 11, 2015, 6:30 – 7:45pm

Where: Lexington Main Library, 5440 Augusta Rd. Lexington, SC

For Who: Age Group Adults

Event Details:

Are you thinking of writing and publishing a book? Join us for a panel discussion with published authors from the Lowcountry Chapter of the Romance Writers of America to discuss the writing and publishing process. This session will provide useful information for writers of all genres. Question and answer session to follow.

Writing Challenges: Balancing Work, Writing, and Life: Guest Post by M.J. Kane

Hey, y’all, today I’m opening up my blog to one of the first writer friends I made on Twitter. M.J. and I started our writing journey around the same time and I’ve enjoyed reading her Butterfly Memoirs along the way. I hope you enjoy learning more about M.J.’s work/writing/life balance.

***

A lot has changed in my life since I penned the first novel in The Butterfly Memoirs Series, A Heart Not Easily Broken. For starters, I was a stay-at-home mom. Learning the process of marketing and promoting a new book and establishing a name for myself as an author readers would be looking out for was a challenge. It was hard work made a lot easier with the help of family and friends…and the fact that I had tons of time on my hands to work with…or waste. I admit, I was guilty of wasting a lot.

But, life goes on and you learn and grow.

Now with four published novels under my belt, life has changed, a lot!

I am no longer a homemaker. The kids have grown and can now take care of themselves, so what did I do? Go back to work! But I have to say, it’s been a blessing because I am now working at the library doing a job I love, being around books! Talk about inspiration on a daily bases!

It was also a challenge because my time was no longer my own. Work took over, and when I came home, it was an internal battle to keep up with home responsibilities and push writing to the side. Home didn’t always win, neither did writing. A lot of times I found my head hitting the pillow and my back and feet aching. I’m not the best when it comes to keeping a schedule either. So, what did I do?

I learned that the best times to write were in the morning because I often arrive at work before the front doors open. I carried my laptop and a notebook filled with paper, notes, and pens. During lunch breaks, I wrote some more. Before I knew it, I had not only written a novel, I’d also written a story to set up the novel…two stories in six months…something I thought was impossible for me to do. It’s amazing what you’ll learn you can do when you put your mind to it!

Check out Crossroads, the story that leads to my latest release, Nobody’s Business. Enjoy!

Nobody's Business

Trevon Campbell’s world changed the moment his ex-girlfriend announced he was a father. Determined to make up for his past mistakes, he gives Trina what she wanted before their breakup, what feels like his soul, which means forgetting the woman he had a one-night stand with, the woman who stole his heart.

Kai Malone doesn’t want to play by her family’s rules. Instead of working for the family business, she became a firefighter. Being a female of multicultural descent, working in a field dominated by men, Kai focuses on her job to ignore the infidelity of her fiancé. Tired of his deceit, she gave in to a one-night stand with a complete stranger, someone she’d never have to see again…or so she thought.

When tragedy strikes, their worlds collide, leaving them no choice but to deal with each other again. It doesn’t take long for them to realize the attraction that brought them together the first time is stronger than ever, forcing Trevon to make the biggest decision of his life.

Amazon     B&N    iTunes

About the Author:

mjheadshotM.J. Kane stumbled into writing. An avid reader, this once stay at home mom never lost the overactive imagination of an only child. As an adult she made up stories, though never shared them, to keep herself entertained. It wasn’t until surviving a traumatic medical incident in 2006 that she found a reason to let the characters inhabiting her imagination free. Upon the suggestion of her husband, she commandeered his laptop and allowed the characters to take life. It was that, or look over her shoulder for men caring a purple strait jacket. And the rest, as they say, is history.

No longer a television addict, if M.J. isn’t reading a book by one of her favorite authors, she’s battling with her creative muse to balance writing and being a wife and mother. She resides in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia with her high school sweetheart, four wonderful children, and four pit bulls. During the day, MJ is a librarian, in her spare time she is director of a local writer’s group, or online connecting with readers and other authors. Other activities she enjoys include: creating custom floral arrangements, assisting her children in their creative pursuits of music and art, and supporting her husband’s music production business, 3D Sounds.

Website     FB     Twitter     Email

Let’s Get Serious … About Writing!

Times Square

RWA 2015 was in the heart of Times Square!

I’m back from my second Romance Writers of America conference. This time in the fun and exciting New York City. New York is a great place to visit, and the place is always bursting with energy. Throw in 2,000 or so romance writers and the place is even more chaotic.

I always come back from a writer’s conference feeling inspired. Normally the inspiration gets me in the mood for writing. That hasn’t changed, but now I’ve also been inspired to take my writing career seriously.

Fun lunch with some fabulous writers!

Fun lunch with some fabulous writers!

Now, if you’re like my husband, you’re wondering where that came from. According to him: “You’ve got seven books out, you are serious.” Yes, that’s true, but I wrote seven books pretty much by flying by the seat of my pants. I set deadlines that float around in my head. I let social media … or Netflix easily distract me from what I need to work on. Which isn’t bad, but I can do better. For instance when asked how many copies of Show Me How to Love has sold, I couldn’t answer. I check here and there but that’s about it. I created a spreadsheet months ago to track my Crimson book sales, lost the flash drive it was on, and never bothered to replace it.

Over 2,000 romance writers in one room! Amazing!

Over 2,000 romance writers in one room! Amazing!

I went to my first Harlequin party! Talk about a good time.

I went to my first Harlequin party! Talk about a good time.

Again, all of that isn’t bad, but if I am going to do this full time one day. Hopefully by the time I can retire from local government (if not before) then I need to treat writing not like a part time job, but like another full time.

Easier said than done I know, but I am going to try. And since I normally jump head first into doing things, I’ve started the process. I bought a dry erase board where I will write my weekly writing goals—just like I do at my day job. Seeing my weekly goals keeps me from forgetting things I need to do and makes the goal “real”. I’ve also re-worked my spreadsheets to better track the number of books I sell and earnings. I may even write a business plan. Maybe.

I’m hoping this new found inspiration will last and get me farther toward my goal of being a serious writer. 🙂

My newly organized desk area.

My newly organized desk area.

Did I mention that before I could put up my dry erase board I had to paint the walls? I could have done that without painting, but then I’d have to re-hang after painting my office another day. Hubby gave me all kinds of “are you crazy” looks when I jumped up and made that announcement before putting up a board. I think I did a darn good job. Lol. And, yes, that is a cup covered with professional wrestlers on my desk, lol.

Pictures Help Shape 1000 Words

Making it Real Cover w QuoteThe release of Making it Real has been amazing! Thank you to all of my readers who have tried the book and let me know your thoughts on Kareem and Neecie. It all started on release day with a recommendation by Michelle Monkou on the USA Today Happily Ever After Blog that called Making it Real “edgy, enjoyable, and definitely entertaining.” To say I was thrilled is putting it mildly.

This was followed by The Romance Reviews saying: “MAKING IT REAL was a beautifully written story of second chances.”

I worked hard on this story and hoped you all felt some emotion as you watched Kareem and Neecie get to their Happily Ever After. I relied heavily on Pinterest as I worked on this story. While I never had a specific person in mind for Kareem, I used lots of pictures of guys with dreadlocks to get a sense of what he would look like sitting, standing, giving Neecie those hot looks. So there are several men on my Pinterest board.

As for Neecie, I visualized Jennifer Hudson. J-Hud seemed to have that girl-next-door sweetness of Neecie with just enough strength and sass to give it back whenever Kareem tried to push his weight around.

I also used Pinterest to keep images of the Baldwin household, high end barber shops, and various ladies with natural hair styles to help me describe my characters and settings. Sometimes I feel like my “tooling around” on Pinterest is a waste of time, but in the end I think it helps make a better story.

I’m sharing the Making it Real Pinterest board here for you all to check out my inspiration. Let me know who you visualized for Kareem and Neecie. Do my descriptions work, or are they messing with you mind, man! I’d love to hear from my readers.

Making it Real Release Day!!

Making it Real Cover (522x800)It’s release day for Making it Real! I can’t believe this is my 7th published novel. In three short years so much has happened, and I am truly excited about this fun ride. I owe all of it to you guys who’ve stuck with me from the beginning and joined the ride along the way. The emails and notes on Facebook and Twitter are what makes it easier for me to sit down and write at the end of a long day.

I hope you all enjoy this latest in the Henderson Family series. Kareem has a lot to overcome in order to find love. What can I say, I love a sexy bad boy who is willing to shed some of those tough outer layers to get to the goodness inside.

Here’s one of my favorite lines from Making it Real:

“I like it hard, and fast, and more than once. I want you chanting my name. I want you to sweat so hard your curls come back while I drive so deep you come hard and fall asleep afterwards. I’m going to leave no doubt in your mind that in the bedroom, we’re together.”

Well, I hope that gives you a bit of an idea of what to expect. I also hope you’ll love Kareem and Neecie as much as I do.

Blurb:

After five years in prison, Kareem Henderson is starting his life over. Though business is good at his barbershop, his goal is to open a high-end gentlemen’s salon. But the road back is rough, and he needs connections in the society he once snubbed to make his dream a reality. He just never expected his second chance to come from the sexy female barber he hired last year.

Patrice “Neecie” Baldwin escaped the pressure of being the perfect daughter in one of North Carolina’s most prestigious families to live life on her own. When family responsibilities call her home, she fears going back will expose her to the pressures that nearly ruined her. Neecie needs a shield, and tall, handsome, bad boy Kareem seems impenetrable. So she offers him a deal: If he’ll pretend to be her fiancé, she’ll introduce him to all of her well-connected relatives.

But the more time they spend together, the more the irresistible attraction between them builds. They’re from such different worlds, but can this fake relationship make the cut and become something very real?

Available Now: Amazon, Barnes and Noble and for 30% off EVERYDAY at Crimson Romance.

I Shouldn’t Want You, But… Making it Real Excerpt

As promised, here is another excerpt from Making it Real which releases on Monday June 1st. In the last excerpt I let you see the challenge Kareem is facing with taking his business to the next level. In this one I want you to see his relationship with Neecie Baldwin, The woman who eventually breaks down his walls and he falls in love with. Neecie cuts hair in his barber shop. Not only does she work for him, but she’s looking for the type of relationship that he doesn’t think he can provide.  He’s spent a year ignoring his attraction. But, as we all know, ignoring the person you’re feeling is sometimes very hard to do.

Enjoy!

***

Making it Real Cover (522x800)“I’m done with my client.” Neecie stepped further into the office. She didn’t make eye contact. Instead her gaze darted between the wall and his desk. Yeah, she hadn’t made eye contact with him in his office since catching him in there with his ex-girl bent over the desk. That night Neecie’s dark eyes had grown wide with shock after she’d burst in, but she’d stayed a second longer than necessary before spinning on her heels and hauling ass.

“Did you lock the door behind him?” Kareem asked.

“Not yet. I’m going to clean up my area then go.”

Kareem frowned and slowly stood. Locking the door at night was the first thing he stressed when she’d started working for him. He didn’t need some strange guy, high on desire after seeing Neecie and her perfect tits through the glass, coming in and harassing her. “Lock the door.”

“I am, but first can you change the music for me?” Her gaze met his, and she quickly looked away again.

The shy routine only heated his blood. Neecie liked what she’d seen that night, and damn if he didn’t want to give it to her. But she wasn’t that type of girl—not like his ex who loved sex the only way Kareem knew how to give it.

Kareem came around his desk. “Why would I change my music?”

Neecie instantly stepped back and out of his office. The way she scurried to avoid being alone with him in that place was almost funny. Her embarrassment also turned him on, making him wonder what bending her over his desk would be like as he followed her out.

“I found this hot new artist over the“Love is a beautiful thing, Kareem,” she said, completely ignoring the sarcasm in his voice. She scrolled across the screen of her smartphone. “And this guy … you can tell he’s been in love before. It’s in the way he says the words. It’s like poetry. If only I could meet a man who put words together words like that.”

The corner of Kareem’s lip twitched. “You’re hanging out in the wrong place, honey. The men that come through here don’t know a thing about poetry. Except the vulgar kind.”

“Maybe so,” she said, handing over her phone. “But one day I hope to fall in love. Get married. All that stuff.”

“You seem the type. Ready to be the perfect housewife.”

“Hold up.” Neecie placed a hand on her hip. “I never said I wanted to be a housewife. I just said I want to get married one day. I’m not trying to submit to some guy and sit around waiting for him to hand out an allowance.”

Kareem raised a brow. The housewife jab had worked to bring out her spark. Seeing the spitfire beneath the sweetness always made him want to fire her up. “Submitting to a guy isn’t always bad. In the right circumstances.” His gaze traveled across her thick curves before returning to her eyes.

Neecie inhaled quickly and broke eye contact. “Love is a partnership. Mutual trust, mutual love, mutual understanding. Give and take. That’s all I’m saying.”

Kareem let her avoid his meaning. Neecie was too good to get what he wanted to give. Glancing down at the screen of the cell phone he cringed at the picture of the album she’d downloaded. The guy on the cover looked like the kind of lame dude she’d fall for—tall, lanky, wearing too tight pants, a fedora, and glasses with a guitar in his hands. Kareem read the title, Love Poems, and snorted.

Neecie laughed and playfully pushed his shoulder. “Stop, and hurry up while I clean up.”

“You know this guy is just like every other guy.” Kareem used the AC adaptor cord coming from the speakers to plug into her phone. “All this love crap he’s spitting is just a front to get in a woman’s pants.”

“All men aren’t like that.”

He switched the stereo to the AUX mode. “Yes, they are. All men are thinking about what angle to work so they can hit.”

She waved her hand, bringing over a whiff of some new fruity body spray he wasn’t familiar with. Every week she came in smelling like some new, tempting thing—another weapon to add to the smile and too many curves that distracted all the men in his shop.

“Whatever, Kareem, just play the damn music.” She pushed past the curtain to go back to the main part of the shop.

The corner of his mouth lifted. Neecie was so sweet and sentimental, even her curses were cute. “You just lock the damn door.”

“Music, Kareem,” Neecie yelled back.

He shook his head and hit play on the phone. Not many people ordered him around. He would have put her in her place long ago—if she weren’t so damn cute. The sappy sounds of a guy in love filled the air. Kareem groaned. Back to the office where I don’t have to listen to this crap. Plus, he didn’t need to watch Neecie swaying her hips back and forth to the music. Not in his frustrated state.

I Owe You a Making it Real Excerpt. Here Ya Go!

Yesterday I got back from a trip to Jacksonville Beach for Memorial Day and decided to check my calendar. Then holy cow it hit me: Making it Real releases in less than a week! I owe you all an excerpt, don’t I?

Making it Real Cover (522x800)I tell you, I don’t know where the time went. The last few months have been crazy busy but in a good way. Not only did I release my first self published title in April, but Crimson released my first three novels in a bundle on May 11 (which is now on sale for $.99 so snatch it up). Then came the cover reveal for my debut Harlequin Kimani book, A New York Kind of Love (ANYKOL). In the middle of all that, I’m writing the last story in the Henderson Family saga (From One Night to Forever) and the revisions for ANYKOL hit my inbox earlier this week. Along with those revisions came an offer to write a few more books for Kimani and me–being optimistic in my abilities–verbally agreed to two more romances. Luckily, I already have beat sheets for two more novels that I can easily *snort* convert into a synopsis.

FYI; the snort is because writing a synopsis is NEVER easy.

Are you tired yet, because I’m tired of listing everything that’s happened. This is all a crazy, fun, overwhelmingly exciting time. June will fly by with birthday parties for my kids and then here comes July and my trip to DC during the Fourth weekend and later NY for the Romance Writers of America conference.

Having said all of that, I hope y’all forgive me for forgetting to post the excerpt of Kareem’s story. Especially since so many have asked me specifically for this story. I promise I’ll post another one later this week.

Enjoy!!

Blurb:

After five years in prison, Kareem Henderson is starting his life over. Though business is good at his barbershop, his goal is to open a high-end gentlemen’s salon. But the road back is rough, and he needs connections in the society he once snubbed to make his dream a reality. He just never expected his second chance to come from the sexy female barber he hired last year.

Patrice “Neecie” Baldwin escaped the pressure of being the perfect daughter in one of North Carolina’s most prestigious families to live life on her own. When family responsibilities call her home, she fears going back will expose her to the pressures that nearly ruined her. Neecie needs a shield, and tall, handsome, bad boy Kareem seems impenetrable. So she offers him a deal: If he’ll pretend to be her fiance, she’ll introduce him to all of her well-connected relatives.

But the more time they spend together, the more the irresistible attraction between them builds. They’re from such different worlds, but can this fake relationship make the cut and become something very real?

Excerpt:

The door to the bank opened. Once glance at Sandra Brevard striding in and Kareem’s feet stuck to the floor. He’d never looked up the word classy in the dictionary but was pretty damn sure all he’d find was a reference to Sandra. Just the type of woman he wanted but wouldn’t know what to do with if he were lucky enough to land her. Sandra belonged to his brother, David, something he’d had a hard time coming to terms with a few months back. His feelings had dimmed, but he couldn’t shake his admiration for the way she’d helped with his business plan or pretend she wasn’t attractive.

Sandra spotted him, and a smile spread across her features. Some of the tension in Kareem’s neck eased.

Sandra crossed the room to him looking like perfection in a fitted cream suit.

“Kareem, what are you doing here?” Her husky voice filled with hope.

“I came to talk to Mr. Small about a business loan.”

Sandra’s eyes glanced toward Mr. Small’s office. “How did it go?”

Kareem shrugged. “It didn’t go at all. He denied me.”

Sandra’s arched brows drew together. “I don’t understand. Your business plan is perfect, and you have most of your capital already saved.”

“Apparently I’m too risky.”

Sandra scoffed. “That’s crazy. Just because your idea is different doesn’t make you too risky.”

The corner of Kareem’s mouth lifted. Sandra hadn’t laughed at his idea to open a high-end gentlemen’s salon when he brought it to her. Instead, she used the resources of her organization, which helped small businesses make connections and grow, to solidify his plan. Not many people supported him the way she had. That was something he could only blame himself for, but still, having someone on his side was nice.

“Don’t worry,” Kareem said. “I’ll try someplace else.”

“I’m sorry, Kareem. I wouldn’t have sent you over here if I didn’t think they’d approve your loan.”

“It isn’t your fault. You’ve helped me enough already.”

Footsteps preceded Mr. Small’s appearance. “Ms. Brevard, how nice it is to see you this morning.” The guy was all smiles and sweat-free when he took Sandra’s hand.

“Hello, Mr. Small,” she said then pulled her hand away. “I was just talking to Kareem, and he mentioned things didn’t go so well today.”

Mr. Small’s beady eyes darted Kareem’s way. “Why yes, unfortunately, he’s too much of a risk.”

“Kareem or Kareem’s idea?” Sandra asked in a no-nonsense voice.

Mr. Small cleared his throat. “His idea, of course.”

Sandra turned back to Kareem. “Talk with David; maybe he can give you an idea of where to go next.”

Kareem’s shoulders tightened at the mention of his brother. “I’ll think about it.”

Her frown slowly softened into a look of concern. “He’s your brother, Kareem. I know he wants to help make your idea a reality.” Her voice filled with adoration when she talked about David. Jealousy struck his chest. Jealousy was a bitch that way, a slit your tires and key your car kind of bitch when Kareem compared his life to the perfect model of David’s. Never would he have expected that one day he’d envy his baby brother.

Mr. Small perked up. “David Henderson?” He looked at Kareem. “David Henderson is your brother?”

“Yes,” Kareem said.

“And Roger Henderson, of Henderson Automotive…”

“My father,” Kareem said, his voice going ice cold.

“Well.” A grin spread across Mr. Small’s pudgy face. “Knowing that, we might be able to work something out.”

Kareem’s grip on his business plan tightened. “No thank you, Mr. Small. I wouldn’t want you to take a risk just because I’m a Henderson. I’ll find another way.”

Sandra placed a hand on his arm. “Call David, okay?”

Kareem pulled away from her touch. “I’ll handle this myself. Rehearsal dinner tonight, right?” He knew damn well his baby sister’s rehearsal dinner was that night. Just needed to change the subject.

Sandra sighed and nodded. “I’ll see you at seven.”

“Seven it is.” He stalked away and burst out the door to the bright sunshine of a fall afternoon.

He sucked in cool, crisp air, but his stomach heaved. He didn’t deserve his family’s help, after his screwed up past, the pain he caused, and the way he once lusted for Sandra. Yeah, he’d be in the running for asshole of the century if he went to David for help.

###

Making it Real is up for pre-sale on Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

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