Something’s Amiss First Book Spotlight!!!

I would like to thank the talented, best-selling author Sharon C. Cooper for letting me be a guest on her blog today. When I first began blogging, she was one of the first to be nice and supportive if I had any questions. Not only is she successful and humble, but she also wants to see others make it in the publishing industry. It’s cool that she contacts writers to make sure they stay on their writing path and don’t give up.

Anyone who follows my blog knows that I published my 2nd book, Something’s Amiss, this month. Sharon C. Cooper’s blog is the first to give my women’s fiction novella a book spotlight!!! If anyone wants to check it out, here’s the link:  Something’s Amiss.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Interview With Sharon C. Cooper, Author of Still the Best Woman for the Job…And As An Extra Bonus, Here’s An Excerpt

I would love to welcome my special guest Sharon C. Cooper, a successful writer in contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Please enjoy her insightful interview as well as a book spotlight of her new Jenkins Family Series, Still the Best Woman for the Job.

stillthebestwoman_-_200x3001.  Do you have any advice for other writers trying to get published?

Don’t give up! Unlike some authors, I didn’t send off a lot of query letters to traditional publishers–instead, I self-published. In doing that, not only do I have complete control of my work, but I have also been noticed by a traditional publisher (Harlequin). I’m living proof that there is more than one way to get a contract with a traditional publisher. If you want to see your work published, and have tried to connect with traditional publishers, consider self-publishing first. Some traditional publishers are taking a different approach in finding authors to work with. Here’s a link to a blog post I (and a couple of my critique partners) did, sharing my experiences in how I hooked up with Harlequin: Breaking News: New Harlequin Kimani Romance Authors.

My other advice for writers trying to get published–keep writing. Whether you decide to self-publish or go the traditional route, it is always better to have more than one story ready to publish. Think about it. What do you do after you read a great book by an author? You look to see what else they’ve published and if you find another book by them, chances are you buy it or you at least add it to your TBR list. The same goes for you as an author. When your reader enjoys your work, they are going to look to see what else you’ve published–so keep writing!

2.  What genre do you write for? Your favorite aspect? Your least favorite aspect?

I write contemporary romance as well as romantic suspense.

3.  What are your current/next projects?

I’m currently working on a romantic suspense–Truth or Consequences, book 3 of the Reunited Series (Malik and Natasha’s story).

4.  Do you prefer to work alone or with critique partners/beta-readers?

Writing can be very lonely, even if you’re an introvert. I treasure my critique partners as well as my beta readers. My critique partners are wonderful for brainstorming, bouncing ideas off of and telling me when a scene doesn’t work (and they don’t hold back–Lol)! I can’t imagine publishing anything without at least one critique partner reading the story first.

5.  How do you find time to write?

I treat writing as a priority…like a part-time job. I’m a believer that you always find time to do the things you really want to do. I usually carry a notepad wherever I go and I squeeze in writing every chance I get.

6.  Do you write the beginning/opening first or do you tend to write out of order (with whatever scenes interest you the most)?

I prefer to start at the beginning and write straight through, but there are times when I’ve been stuck on a particular scene and have worked on other scenes. Usually that helps get my creative juices back on track.

7.  Which is easiest for you–novel, novella, or short story? Why?

Good question. Right now it seems that writing novels come easier for me than novellas and short stories. I’m not totally sure why…but I know I have a hard time tapering my ideas down into just a few words…pages.

8.  What inspired you to write your latest book? What is the book about?

I was a sheet metal worker for ten years (MANY years ago). I also grew up in an entrepreneurial family. Last year I thought it might be neat to combine the two experiences in a book series about a family of female construction workers. Below is the blurb and an excerpt for Still the Best Woman for the Job, book 1 of the Jenkins Family Series.

Blurb

Joint heir to the largest construction company in the state of Ohio, master plumber, Toni (TJ) Jenkins has been groomed to behave in a way that is befitting of the respected Jenkins’ family name. But after she breaks up with the only man she’s ever loved, to protect a secret she holds close to her heart, poor decisions lead her down a path of destruction that risks ruining the reputation of the company her family has worked hard to build.

Cincinnati police officer, Craig Logan, knows Toni is the woman for him. They’ve been apart for months, but when they run into each other at a party, the passion between them sizzles stronger than ever. She says she can’t handle dating a cop, but he senses that something else keeps her from rushing back into his arms. Craig wants her to be his wife, and he’ll do whatever it takes to prove no matter what she’s hiding, she’s still the best woman for the job.

Excerpt

Toni leaned back and narrowed her eyes. “What?”

“You heard me.” Craig readjusted Ronald against the wall, ignoring her date’s mumbling. “If you want me to help you get this bum home–to his house,” he emphasized, “then you have to agree to have dinner with me Friday night.”

Toni hesitated. Intense hazel eyes sprinkled with specks of green and laced with a light brown stared at her, awaiting her response. She would love to have dinner with him, heck, she’d love to spend the rest of her life with him, but there lay the problem. Craig already had the big house and the white picket fence, but he wanted the wife and the three-point-five kids to complete the fairytale. The problem in a nutshell was that he wanted her to be a part of that dream, and she couldn’t give him what he wanted.

“I can’t believe you.” She glanced back at the bathroom door and then closed it. Returning her attention to Craig she said, “After all we’ve been through, has it really come to this? You’re going to blackmail me into having dinner with you?”

“Hey, if it means spending time with you, I’m not ashamed to do whatever I have to do. Besides, I don’t see it as blackmail. I see my request as being nothing more than a man, who is still in love with you, asking you out to dinner.” He shrugged. “But you can call it whatever you want. I do know one thing though. If you don’t make up your mind in the next five seconds, your drunk boyfriend here is going to find his ass back on the cold marble tile. So what’s it going to be, sweetheart?”

*

Want to see what happens next? Get your copy today!

Buy Link

http://www.amazon.com/Still-Jenkins-Family-Series-ebook/dp/B00FCDZN5C/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1380030860&sr=8-2&keywords=still+the+best+woman+for+the+job+sharon+cooper

About the Author

Bestselling author, Sharon C. Cooper, lives in Atlanta with her husband and enjoys reading, writing, and rainy days. She writes sweet and contemporary romance, as well as romantic suspense. Sharon is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), board member and member of Georgia Romance Writers (GRW), and a member of the Page a Day Writers Group. To read more about Sharon and her novels, visit www.sharoncooper.net.

Find Sharon on the Internet

Book Review: Rendezvous With Danger By Sharon C. Cooper

***I received this book as a gift***

Alandra Pargas, ex-CIA counter-intelligence officer, plans to wreak vengeance on the people who tried to kill her. A little rendezvous with danger is not what scares her, though. It’s seeing the tall, dark, and dangerously sexy man she vowed to love forever that has her running for cover.

Former U.S. Special Operative, Quinn Hamilton, left the world of covert operations after the love of his life died in his arms during a black op. Three years later, he still loses sleep wondering if maybe he could have done something more to save her – until Alandra shows up on his doorstep. With her lies and betrayal, he wants nothing to do with her, yet, his heart won’t cooperate. It’s not until unknown enemies come after her that he must decide if he can leave the past behind and protect the woman he’ll always love. Will they survive this last mission and rekindle the love and passion they once shared?

17451144I loved this 18 chapter book. I said it once, and I’ll say it again, I’m a huge fan of Sharon C. Cooper. Her writing style manages to flow naturally with great description. She focuses on characterization, setting, dialogue, and plot to the point that readers can get lost in the story. I could see this book as a blockbuster hit.

My favorite lines: 1) It had been three long years. If she were still alive, she would have found some way to contact him. Wouldn’t she? 2) “I’m too old for this crap.” 3) He really did like Alandra, but she should have stayed dead.

 Imagine being separated from someone you love because of something you can’t control. That’s what happened to Quinn. He thought his wife, Alandra, was dead. Imagine his frustration and relief to find out the truth. I thought his friends Malik and Wiz were nice additions to the story. They brought some comic relief.

The author did a great job of portraying sizzling sexual tension between Quinn and Alandra. A couple of scenes, I blushed. Alandra was a lucky woman! The author also managed to have suspenseful moments. The entire time I worried about all the characters’ safety. She had enough red herrings that will have readers guessing who’s after Alandra and who wants her dead. It was fun getting some insight from the bad guy (or woman).

There was a nice twist at the end.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

For more information on the author or book:

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Just Released! Rendezvous With Danger, Book 2 of the Reunited Series (A Romantic Suspense) By Sharon C. Cooper

Rendezvous_w-danger_-FINAL_book_coverBlurb

Alandra Pargas, ex-CIA counter-intelligence officer, plans to wreak vengeance on the people who tried to kill her. A little rendezvous with danger is not what scares her, though. It’s seeing the tall, dark, and dangerously sexy man she vowed to love forever that has her running for cover.

Former U.S. Special Operative, Quinn Hamilton, left the world of covert operations after the love of his life died in his arms during a black op. Three years later, he still loses sleep wondering if maybe he could have done something more to save her–until Alandra shows up on his doorstep. With her lies and betrayal, he wants nothing to do with her, yet, his heart won’t cooperate. It’s not until unknown enemies come after her that he must decide if he can leave the past behind and protect the woman he’ll always love. Will they survive this last mission and rekindle the love and passion they once shared?

Excerpt

Quinn eased around the paint-chipped pillar, and along the musty-smelling hallway, his gun held close to his body and ready to shoot anyone who got in his way. All he needed was to leave the building without being detected.

“You have twelve minutes to get out of there Q,” Malik said through Quinn’s earpiece.

Quinn proceeded through the corridor, his body tight against the uneven wall. He made the first turn and moved down the dimly lit hallway where a single bulb dangled from a sub-standard light fixture. He heard voices coming from a room to his right, so he turned left and maneuvered down the staircase. Ten more yards and he would be home free.

He made it to the final step and halted when he heard footsteps running on the level above him and then down the stairs behind him. He ducked into a nearby utility closet, not closing the door completely.

“We have a problem,” he heard Malik say in his ear.

No kidding, Quinn thought.

“Two snipers on the rooftop of the building adjacent to the one you’re in. Sit tight.”

Missions like this Quinn normally did solo, but he was glad Malik was there. They’d run into a few snags, and his presence had proven beneficial.

“All clear.”

No longer hearing footsteps, Quinn eased back into the hallway, down the back stairs and out of the building into the night. He made sure the information he had just stolen was secure in his jacket, and he inched toward the gate. A tree branch snapped. Quinn slammed his body against the brick wall, blending into the darkness of the night. He stood still for several seconds and heard it again. Slowly, he turned his head toward the noise. What he saw, several yards away under the dim moonlight, made his heart stop.

Alandra. What in the…He blinked several times, unable to fathom why she was thousands of miles from home, and standing in the middle of what could easily become a war zone.

He retraced his steps. She anxiously looked around the area and then back at the small device she held in her hands. Within five feet of her, he must have made a noise because her head shot up and their eyes connected. And in slow motion everything exploded around her.

“Get down!” he yelled and saw her fall to her knees.

Without thinking he ran to her and chaos erupted in every direction. He scooped her up and nestled her behind a long concrete block and then he noticed she’d been shot.

“Oh, shit.”

“Quinn,” she said, grasping at his shirt, her eyes wild. “Please…be careful.”

“Malik, I need you. Now!” Quinn growled into his mouthpiece giving Malik his location while he jerked out of his jacket and placed it under Alandra’s head.

“On my way,” Malik said.

“Hang on baby. We’re going to get you out of here.” He ripped open her down vest and then her shirt to determine the extent of her injury. Blood spilled from the chest wound. Damn. He glanced around trying to decide the best route to safety as he removed his shirt, leaving him with only a black T-shirt on. Gunshots rang out around him as he pressed his shirt over her wound to slow the bleeding.

“Quinn…I love…you. I have to tel…”

“I love you too, baby, but I need you to hold…Oh damn. Alandra? Alandra?” he growled when her eyes rolled to the back of her head. He cradled her closer to his body, willing her to stay with him. “Lan…” he started but felt a bullet slap the back of his shoulder–and then his back. Paralyzed by the sharp pain that traveled down his spine, gripping him like steel claws, he struggled to hold on to Alandra, fighting the blackness that threatened to overpower him.

“Alandra, baby, I…need you…to hold on.”

—–

Want to find out what happens next? Get your copy today! It’s available in ebook on Amazon.com–NOW! Click here for your copy!

Amazon–Rendezvous Danger (Reunited Series) ebook

Available in paperback–March 30, 2013

Available on all other ebook/book retailers–May 29, 2013

Author Bio

Sharon_-author_-2012-_alternateBestselling author, Sharon C. Cooper, lives in Atlanta with her husband and enjoys reading, writing, and rainy days. She writes sweet and contemporary romance, as well as romantic suspense. Sharon is a Pro member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), board member and member of Georgia Romance Writers (GRW), and a member of the Page a Day Writers Group.

To read more about Sharon and her novels, visit her at:

Website

Follow her on Twitter

Join her Facebook Fan Page

Follow her on her Blog

Book Review: Secret Rendezvous By Sharon C. Cooper

Former Navy SEAL, Quinn Hamilton, is a special operative for the US government and has been secretly dating CIA counter-intelligence officer, Alandra Pargas, for eight months. She’s brilliant, excited by danger, and the sexiest woman he’s ever known. Together they are a force to be reckoned with–inside and outside of the bedroom. But while Alandra is on assignment in Guerrero, Mexico, she’s captured by the country’s most dangerous drug cartel, and Quinn sets out on a black op of his own to save the woman he can’t live without.

Secret Rendezvous is the short story prequel to Rendezvous with Danger. Join me as we visit an old friend, Quinn Hamilton (first introduced in Blue Roses) and meet his love interest Alandra Pargas.

This is a short story.

I loved this 4 chapter book. It caught my attention with the first scene by having Alandra in danger. With the danger and action throughout the story, it reminded me of Burn Notice where you’re just hooked to everything, hoping the main characters make it out alive.

It was refreshing to see that Alandra was a strong woman. Even though she was afraid, her survival instincts kicked in. She never gave up. Quinn was hot the way he took charge and wouldn’t let anything or anyone get in the way of rescuing his woman.

The criminals weren’t cookie-cutter. They had motive for what they did, and readers got a chance to see how powerful they really are. Quite scary. I couldn’t even imagine being stuck in a different country, let alone kidnapped while others look the other way. As a reader, I got a sense of fear, not knowing if Alandra, Quinn, or his team would make it out alive. I definitely loved the twist at the end.

The author is great with characterization. Even in this short story, she was able to make the people in her story three-dimensional as though it was a novel. It made me invested in her characters. I also loved the pacing–the suspenseful moments had more impact that way.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

For more information on the author or book:

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Guest Blogger: Sharon C. Cooper – When Dreams Meet Reality

When I grow up, I’m going to be a lawyer, a rock star, or marry Denzel Washington…well, if he weren’t already married. Have you ever had a dream to come true, but then reality hits? Such as, you became a lawyer but now you’re working 60-80 hour weeks and don’t have time to spend the money you’re making. Or maybe you’re a rock star, you have more groupies than you know what to do with and you’ve traveled the world – twice, but now you have no privacy and can’t even walk into your neighbor coffee shop without being hounded for your autograph.

Well, my dreams meet reality story is a little different. I am now a multi-published author (woo hoo!), but my reality – marketing my books. I know, I know, you’re wondering how I can compare that to the dream of being a lawyer or a rock star, well it’s not so much about the dream as it is about what happens when you acquire the dream and reality sets in.

First, can I just say, never in a million years would I have guessed that I’d be doing a post about marketing your book. Despite having a degree in business, I’ve come to realize that one aspect of business that I dislike more than anything – is marketing. And the fact that I’m an author hasn’t changed that, but it has made me realize that being published (especially if you’re an indie author) is like running your own business – you’re in charge…of everything.

But whether you’re an indie author (like I am) or if you’ve been published by a traditional publisher, it’s up to you to promote your book. Gone are the days of getting a contract with a major publishing house and they do everything for you – such as: setting up book signings, creating promotional materials, and marketing your work. You now have to do most of it yourself…and if you’re an indie author, you have to do all of it yourself.

Below are a few things I’ve learned about marketing since becoming published (and a few things I knew prior to getting published):

  • It’s all about building relationships – If you’re like many writers, you’re perfectly happy at home with your laptop, hanging out with your imaginary friends (the characters you’ve created), than you are being out in public building relationships. Don’t wait until your book has been published before you build a following (readers). Start  blogging, join social media sites (like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and so on), and even consider joining some writing organizations. Note: when you join these sites, don’t make it all about you. Be engaging, listen to what others are doing, and talk about things your new friends/readers want to talk about or are interested in (now this doesn’t come easy for those of us who prefer to hang out with our laptop and characters). Being published is exciting! Having readers who enjoy and look forward to your books is…priceless! Here’s a quote by Anthony Robbins – “The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships.” And in my own words – “The      quality of your published life is dependent upon the relationships you’ve built with your readers.”
  • Find a guru – If marketing is not your strength (or you absolutely hate it), find someone to do the work for you. But, if you’re like many indie      authors – you don’t have the extra money to pay someone to do your marketing. That’s when you have to do like the rest of us – research (Google,      read how-to-books), network with those who enjoy marketing, and if none of that works – beg other published authors for information on how they  market their work (most are willing to share ideas).
  • Know what the market wants – Now this is taught in Business 101. If you write a book about the proper technique of nose picking, most people aren’t going to be interested (although there might be a few interested folks). But say you write a book about how to meet Mr. Right with only a smile – you’ll probably get some takers. If nothing else, they’ll be very curious about what you have to say. Find out what people are reading and what they enjoy reading and write your book!
  • Don’t stop! – Don’t stop at one book. If you’ve built a readership, and have written some great books – people are going to want more. Have you ever read a good book by an author, and then went in search of what else they’ve written – only to find out they only have one book and no promises of another book on the way? Kinda disappointing huh? Don’t let this be you. Keep writing and keep putting your books out there!
  • And my last thought about marketing your books (especially if you’re an indie author), grab hold of every opportunity to promote your work…especially when someone is kind enough to let you guest post on their blog! Below is my debut novel.

A Sweet Romance

Entrepreneur, Simone Edwards, did what any intelligent woman with a ticking biological clock would do: she asked her longtime boyfriend to marry her. Devastated when he turns her down, and fed up with dead-end relationships, Simone swears off men … and takes a vow of celibacy. How hard could it be? She soon learns it’s harder than she thinks when the most irresistible man in the world, Tim Hollister, shows up at her job. She hasn’t seen him in over ten years, and quickly realizes he is a temptation she doesn’t want to resist. But isn’t there some rule about dating your friend? Simone must decide if a romance with Tim is worth risking their friendship and her reclaimed virginity.

 
Betrayed by his supermodel ex-girlfriend, who happens to be the mother of his child, Tim Hollister has placed a padlock on his heart. But when Simone, an old high school friend falls back into his life, he soon forgets his promise to stay clear of beautiful women. Simone was always like a sister to him, but he discovers that his feelings for her aren’t very brotherly. He’s captivated by the woman she’s become and wants to take their friendship to the next level – despite her resistance. Tim can’t avoid their new-found passion, and sets out to prove he’s the man for her.
Available Now at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and All Romance e-books!

Click here to read an excerpt and to purchase your copy today!

Many thanks Yawatta!

To contact Sharon C. Cooper  visit her at:

Website: http://sharoncooper.net

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

Email: sharon@sharoncooper.net

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1575943684&ref=tn_tnmn

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

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

Book Review: Something New By Sharon C. Cooper

I found Sharon C. Cooper’s blog by browsing the wordpress dashboard. I’m all about reading other writers’ blogs, especially the ones who share their personal journey. She’s really  nice and actually comments to all the people who visit her blog. At the time, she was looking to get published. So, I’m happy it happened for her. Wanting to support her, I brought her book.

Something New is the fourteenth book of my reading challenge. Here’s my thoughts:

Entrepreneur, Simone Edwards, did what any intelligent woman with a ticking biological clock would do: she asked her longtime boyfriend to marry her. Devastated when he turns her down, and fed up with dead-end relationships, Simone swears off men…and takes a vow of celibacy. How hard could it be? She soon learns it’s harder than she thinks when the most irresistible man in the world, Tim Hollister, shows up at her job. She hasn’t seen him in over ten years, and quickly realizes he is a temptation she doesn’t want to resist. But isn’t there some rule about dating your friend? Simone must decide if a romance with Tim is worth risking their friendship, and her reclaimed virginity.

Betrayed by his supermodel ex-girlfriend, who happens to be the mother of his child, Tim Hollister has placed a padlock on his heart. But when Simone, an old high school friend, falls back into his life, he soon forgets his promise to stay clear of beautiful women. Simone was always like a sister to him, but he discovers that his feelings for her aren’t very brotherly. He’s captivated by the woman she’s become and wants to take their friendship to the next level–despite her resistance. Tim can’t avoid their new-found passion, and sets out to prove he’s the man for her.

This is a sweet romance.

I loved this 22 chapter novel. It was so sweet and romantic, and I got lost in the story–the fantasy of it all. Who wouldn’t want an old friend to fall in love with them after reuniting? The author has a wonderful gift of painting a full picture with beautiful imagery, without it being purple prose or sounding corny. Besides the romance, I definitely enjoyed the drama of it all. It was so realistic the struggles the characters went through.

  • Simone and Tim’s interactions sparked my interest the second they bumped into each other at the airport. That brief encounter meant something special, confusing them because they hadn’t kept in touch after high school. And, when he helps her with her business, the way she tries to avoid him was funny. He wasn’t having any of that lol.

The point-of-view switched from Simone to Tim’s perspective (my favorite types of books to read). It helped the readers pinpoint the exact moment they fell for each other while the other was kept in the dark. Like readers are in on the little secret. The characters were Christians, so they were respectful and kind,  yet not boring. My favorite characters were Simone, Tim, and Dallas. Dallas was a trip but in a fun way.

While embarking Simone’s life journey, I could relate. It sort of felt like I was reading about my life magnified by ten-thousand. She wore ponytails, plain jane in school, got one tattoo, had rocky relationship with her mom. Poor Simone. Her mother was crazy, rude, and any other negative trait imaginable. Their conflict was interesting and realistic–I could see why Simone was fighting her faith on forgiving her. Her mom truly tried her patience and love.

I loved the conflict and tension; of course, there has to be unlikeable characters. No one wants to read a happy story about happy people who only do happy things. Kenny (Tim’s brother) was extremely jealous of Tim. Talk about someone needing therapy. I like how the story introduced him briefly at the beginning setting up that he’d be an important secondary character to look out for. Then, there was Andrea, the mother of Tim’s little girl (so adorable!). Andrea was a spoiled, model-celebrity, but came around at the end.

My favorite line was “She screamed at the mess that resembled her personal life–a shattered dream.” This was after Simone was devastated that Glen turned down her marriage proposal at the Bahamas. It’s interesting that things happen for a reason. If that wouldn’t have happened, she wouldn’t have met Tim at the airport.

I liked that the main characters were minorities, who were positive role models. The ending was suspenseful; it kept me on the edge of my seat. I could definitely picture this book as a movie. I could see Gabrielle Union as Simone and Morris Chestnut as Tim. I’ll find any excuse to have him on the big screen.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

To learn more about Sharon C. Cooper and/or her book, please visit:

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby