It’s FRIDAY and I’ve been touring the Blogosphere this week on various blogs and telling everyone about my new book. OF COURSE, I had to stop by my own site to share how excited I am about my new book FATAL OPPOSITION! Check out my full tour here with Creative Expressions Literary Services.
If you are just joining this series, don’t worry. Did you know that when I write, I don’t even know that I’m writing a series. For me this helps the titles be true “stand-alones” which means the book can stand on it’s own.
In short, in Fatal Opposition, I visit with the youngest brother James Parker. He made an appearance in Anchored Hearts.
James’s story is about who we really are, when we’re adopted and the longing we have to search out our roots. Now, if (and when) we decide to open Pandora’s box on the past, what are the consequences? Will digging excavate a ticking time bomb and is there enough time to cover back up all the mess that’s now out before it hurts other people?
James has loved his adopted family, he has three awesome brothers, the fifth one is in jail but four out of five success stories ain’t bad and James has also always longed to know about his past. His mother and father and as the detective he hired has informed him, his interesting and what appears to be so far, shady biological brother.
Cashell Bruer is a PR professional that is just trying to live life. She has a fantastic career in communications and while she’s lived a very sheltered life, thanks to a heart condition that kept her sidelined, she is ready to live. She meets James on her birthday when friends stand her up and leave her feeling lonely. James turns the night around and their mutual attraction to one another seems instant.
Cashell doesn’t know much about James and the fact that he’s looking for his family is both intriguing and a perfect story to uncover but some stones are better left unturned.
Enjoy Chapter One of Fatal Opposition and keep reading as below, I talk about how readers, friends and new fans can support their favorite authors and for you, I hope that’s me. 🙂
Chapter One – Fatal Opposition
James Parker yawned for the fourth time that evening. This wedding reception wasn’t like the bachelor parties he’d been used to attending back in his college days, and that was not a good thing. The most exciting thing that had happened to him so far was playing counselor for his friend and fellow football player Braxton Denton, who seemed increasingly inebriated, regarding his problems with women. The game highlights on the big screen across the room were the only other entertainment available, and the whole situation had James certifiably bored out of his mind.
Truth be told, he should have been studying. There was plenty of information he needed to review for a series of upcoming meetings, as well as checking he had the right attire for his new home in Virginia. Goodness knows he needed to be well-dressed for the interviews his coaches had apparently lined up now that they were in the off season. His lack of a definite contract so late into the season was playing on his mind. Beyond that, he was growing tired of playing counselor to his friend and just wanted to leave.
Lifting his glass, James took another sip of iced tea and tried not to wince. The drink needed more sugar if it was going to come even close to the kind his adoptive mother, Georgia Parker, used to make. This bitter, too-lemony-tart version would have to do. He set the glass down on the bar with distaste.
James couldn’t just sneak off to find a nice warm bed in one of the hotel’s many rooms, though, because he’d somehow been tapped – again – as the designated driver for the loud knuckleheads around him. The more sloshed he watched everyone get, the more crowded James knew his truck was going to be. Irritated, he picked up his phone and searched to see if there were any on-demand transit services in the area. Maybe, he thought, he could just grab a hotel room for the night until everyone was accounted for, then mete out coffee and showers to the sore-headed ones in the morning before then, and only then, handing them back their keys.
There was a time when James hadn’t been the responsible one, but things change. He had witnessed tragedy and he had grown up. Fast.
“Jay, I think we can work it out.”
“Yeah?” James was pulled back to listening with half an ear to the dragging conversation: an old standard with his pal Braxton, about love. He fumbled for his usual response. “Definitely try. I mean, you’re getting older, time to settle down.”
“What’s that, Jay? Now I’m old? What the heck, man?” James could almost see Braxton’s hackles raise.
“No man, come on…” James rolled his eyes at the drunken state of his teammate. The booze explained this tendency to get insulted easy and early.
James took a deep breath and looked around the lounge area. Today’s wedding had been nice enough, but now it was over. His friend Carl had gotten married to his longtime girlfriend Blakely. Now the happy couple were likely upstairs changing outfits while everyone else danced, stuffed their faces and waited for their reappearance.
Yes, he thought, it was official: he was stuck there, with nothing to do but babysit two idiots that were still reigning supreme in bachelorhood. From his vantage point, their situation looked pretty depressing. He himself hadn’t gotten married either, but unlike them, he told himself, he finally had his priorities straight for once. He would get married, went his mantra, and he swore he was ready to do so now. He was done with a life of partying and drinking. For the most perfect examples of a loving marriage and family, all he had to do was look around his own family: first and foremost at his adoptive parents, now deceased, who’d taken him in as a baby. Now that they were gone, he had his brother Cole and his wife Allontis to look to.
James was on good terms with Adrian, his eldest brother, but his relationships with Dexter and Cole were especially close. The fifth brother, Deon, was in jail. If Cole, who’d been a bachelor just a few short years ago, and Dexter, whose wife had died tragically after having been unfaithful to him, could find it in themselves to love again in spite of everything, then James believed that someone could love him too. His faith taught him that married life was sacred, and settling down appealed to James on many levels. Now, just to find the right person.
He could find love, he was sure; but of late, he hadn’t been all that inspired to look. He certainly couldn’t in the company of his current comrades. He eyed his drunk friend again, annoyed at being forced to play chaperone. Braxton’s eyes were open, but his face rested atop his glass, half full of brown liquid. The end to James’s night couldn’t come quickly enough.
James smiled as he mentally dismissed his current companions and turned his thoughts to his brothers and their love interests. James had only known Leedra Henderson since that past Christmas, and the first thing he’d learned about her was that she baked a lot. Each time their paths had crossed, she’d filled him with coffee cake, muffins and warm banana bread. More importantly, though, she made Dexter and his daughter Kira happy, and she and James had soon become fast friends. She seemed the perfect foil to both Dexter’s quiet nature and Kira’s preteen tendency to over-dramatize just about everything.
James took a deep breath. He loved his family and missed them all very much. Being on the road so often for games was taxing, and he was happy that his schedule would allow him to spend time at home reconnecting with them for a few months over the summer before training camp started back up. He was looking forward to the start of a whole new chapter with his new team. Present company excluded, that is, he mused wryly.
When cheers rang out, James stood up with everyone else and looked to the entrance of the ballroom. The crowd of revelers rushed to greet the newlyweds as a mellow song came on for their first dance.
He was happy they’d finally arrived: that meant he wouldn’t have to stick around much longer. A toast, a father-daughter dance, another few rounds of drinks for Brax no doubt, then he was home free. The couple would depart for some tropical island honeymoon and that meant James could exit too, with his rowdy brood of adult children in tow. He sat back on the barstool, counting the minutes.
“I’m’a call ‘er.”
Braxton had finally managed to sit up straight, but the red-rimmed eyes betrayed his condition. James eyed him wearily. “Look, uh, why don’t you wait until you’re sober before you do that? You might say something you regret.”
“Om boy, that’sha good idea. You’re smart, friend.”
James rolled his eyes.
“How can I gets sobered fasser?” Brax slurred.
“Um, sleep usually I guess, but this stuff, Braxton, won’t help,” James responded, sliding the glass out of his friend’s reach despite his protests. “Bartender?” He caught the server’s eye and motioned him over. “Coffee for this one – and please, no more alcohol, okay?”
Though the bartender nodded, James saw the mischief in the man’s eyes, as if to say: “Sure thing, but that’s what hotel rooms are for.” James sighed. Drink responsibly was just a catchphrase. Encourage endlessly was the real tag line. James nodded his thanks when the server set a mug of steaming black java before Braxton and surreptitiously emptied the highball glass into the bar sink.
Standing to look out over the dance floor to check whether they had reached an acceptable juncture to leave, James noticed an attractive woman enter with her phone to her ear. He followed her with his eyes as she sat down at the other bar on the opposite side of the large ballroom. James waited to see if someone else would join her, because surely someone would.
There was a familiarity to her, but he couldn’t place where he might know her from. Musing a little, James looked back at his phone. He tapped a series of icons to pull up a recent broadcast: not interested in what was being said, only searching through the faces that appeared on the screen. One beautiful face he sought in particular. He had to figure out if that was her or not. Intrigued, he looked back across the room and found the woman, still alone, was still on the phone. Although he was now sure they didn’t know each other, it seemed a perfect time for him to introduce himself.
4 Things YOU Can Do to Show an Author YOU LOVE their work!!!
- Write a review – I can’t underscore the importance of writing a review. It is the single largest thing and it’s so little effort. Don’t be intimated about writing a review. Just a couple of sentences, in fact, just answer these: I liked this story because… ABC. This story was interesting because… (e.g. suspense, mystery, romance). This book is about… The author did a great job at… I recommend this book to those that like… ABC. Did you know that many books need at least 50 reviews to make it.
- WRITE the author, and guess what, whatever you said in a review, tell the author personally on their site, via e-mail or write them a letter.
- Tell others – you can be an influencer for an author. That’s what a street team does. See a friend reading something you think might be similar? Tell friend about author’s book and finally,
- PURCHASE a book for a friend as a Christmas gift or for their birthday. We all have skeptics, they don’t read this and that and some are afraid to try something new, if you give/buy them a copy, they’ll have NO excuse not to give it a try.
Thank you so much to all of you that already do this for me and many other authors.