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Friday, May 12, 2017

Abby Rhodes loves the house she just bought and has loved it for years. She felt “like she’d belonged in it, and every time she’d walked away from it, she’d missed it.” A contractor, she plans to renovate but realizes there’s something weird going on. Her psychic friend, Marlowe, confirms that the house has spirits but says they like Abby. Then a stranger stops by, and the ghosts welcome him, too. The man is Jordan Tunson, adopted son and heir of Julian Gatewood, a “black man with balls big enough to jump into a white man’s game” and a murder victim in the house three decades earlier. Jordan has already grown Julian’s company immensely and is working on an astronomical opportunity. Not a good time to be drawn to the new owner or the secrets of the house where his father was murdered, but Jordan feels compelled. As Abby and Jordan fall in love and sort out how to help the agitated ghosts by digging into the past, Jordan's recent ex-lover, Robin, isn’t ready to give him up and will go to astounding lengths to keep him. Mason sets up a fascinating, multilayered storyline with a lot of moving parts that she keeps generally smooth, well-oiled, and nicely paced, though the end feels a bit rushed. Robin is slightly unhinged, and readers might ask the same questions she should—and Jordan does—about whether anyone should want a man so desperately when he doesn’t want you.

A romance chock full of unexpected twists, turns, secrets, and spirits plus a healthy dose of redemptive love. -Kirkus Reviews

2016 Releases in Review



It's been a busy year for me.  I hope you had a chance to check out some of my titles.

Novellas
Hart Breaker
Stone Cole
Stormy Knight

Romantic Suspense Novel
The Real Mrs. Price



Paranorma/Urban Fantasy (Written under my pseudonym Jayde Brooks)

2 Books in 1
Inherit the Crown

Sunday, December 18, 2016

That Time I Almost Quit

I got into this writing game years before I actually saw my first book in print and sitting on the shelf in Barnes and Noble.  My daughter was a year old when I decided to get serious and to actually try and write my first novel, which was called Resurrecting Ruth at the time.  Later on I changed the title to And on the Eighth Day She Rested.

It took me nearly seven years and over a hundred rejection letters to learn to write a novel.  Eighth Day was my  “practice” book and for that reason, it will always be the one nearest and dearest to my heart. 

Like most aspiring black authors, I credit Terry McMillan, E. Lynn Harris, Connie Briscoe, and Eric Jerome Dickey with inspiring my career.  They were writing stories about people in my generation, who I could relate too and we readers were gobbling up those stories like popcorn.  We couldn’t get enough!  And finally, those of us who had always dreamed of being writers but who wanted to tell a different kind of story, a modern and contemporary story about the perils of our urban lives had a platform.  So many of us jumped on that bandwagon.  Some of us stayed on it, and others didn’t.

I had this idea in my head that if I could just get my first book written, I’d land a major book deal and my life would be set.  I’d grow old writing books.  I’d travel the country lecturing and signing books, and then the world, and then I’d one day find myself sitting in a chair next to Oprah discussing my latest and greatest novel, which, she’d of course, love.  I’d be on shows like Good Morning America, on the cover of Essence and Ebony magazines.  My name would be posted on the New York Times and USAToday  bestseller lists on the regular.  I would be a literary superstar goddess!

A decade after the release of my first novel, none of those things had happened.  I found myself working harder and writing faster then ever before, sacrificing time with my friends and family.  I spent most of my waking hours behind the screen of my laptop, writing, reading book reviews, obsessing over my Amazon rankings, spamming folks on social media to make sure that they knew my next book was about to be released.  And I was still waiting for that one big break, a movie deal, some kind of national recognition, an award for all my years of hard work, dedication and passion to the one thing I have always loved doing more than anything.  But I felt forgotten, lost in a dizzying maze of thousands upon thousands of new authors and new releases.

Writers have fragile egos.  All artists do.  Our work, our output, is a product of our most personal and deepest selves.  Sure, I write fiction, none of which is based on my life, but I write it from my heart and soul, and I reach deep inside myself, past my fears and doubts, wrangling emotions and thoughts that sometimes scare the hell out of me because, if what I write doesn’t leave me feeling excited, afraid, heartbroken, sorrow, joy or pain, how can I expect for my readers to feel any of those things?  It’s gut-wrenching work if it’s done right.

It got to the point when I thought maybe it’s time to walk away.  Maybe I need to retire my pen, get me a life and focus on doing all those things that I never have time to do because I have a deadline to meet.  I was tired.  I felt that I had failed to become that successful author that I’d always dreamed of being.  I was sad, because I had never achieved all that I had hoped to achieve.  But did I say that I was tired?  I think I did.

So, I made up my mind to turn in that last book and walk away.  Then I got excited about all the free time I’d have to do all of those things I bitched about not being able to do because I was writing all the time.  What would I do next if I could do absolutely anything at all?  I think I pondered this for several days and my mind was absolutely blank.  All those things that would come to mind as I was racing home from the day job to hurry up and write until I could hardly keep my eyes open, those things that seemed like they’d be so fulfilling, fun, and exciting had all jumped ship from my brain leaving it a dark and hollow space.

I had no idea of what I would do if I didn’t write.  And then I started to feel miserable.  Not write?  I mean…for damn near twenty years, that’s all I had been doing, deadline or no deadline.  I had been writing every single day from the day I’d started working on my first book.  The idea of not writing, of not making up one of my stories, actually started to scare the hell out of me.  It saddened me.

I felt trapped.  If I couldn’t think of some other way to live my life, and if not writing made me sad, then I was doomed to live out my remaining years a miserable, old woman.  Some serious intervention needed to take place because that just wasn’t an option.  Gratitude is a powerful too, one we often take for granted and overlook unless we win the lottery or something.  Ever now and then I remember that, and it was during this time that I decided to stop tripping and to take a critical and objective view of my career as it had unfolded. 

In recent months, I had come to see myself as a failed writer, but then I sat down and made a list of everything I’d accomplished in those twenty years.  I asked myself, what had I set out to accomplish when I first started on this journey, and which of those goals had been met?  When I finished my list, I realized that I had met every single one of my goals, the first being to write a full-length novel.  I’d done that.  Checked the box.  Next, I’d wanted to get an agent.  Done.  I needed to land a publishing contract.  Did that.  I wanted to write and have published, ten novels and I’ve got twice as many books out there now, with more on the way.   

Success is funny.  We tend to examine it under the microscope of someone else’s achievements and then decide that it should look like that for all of us.  But that’s a dangerous perspective to have.  There are writers out there achieving milestones that I find awe inspiring, even enviable.   But, there are writers out there who see me as one of those authors too.  We have no idea what another person is secretly wrestling with underneath the guise of their successes (or failures).  But once I decided to appreciate who I am and all that I have done, it no longer mattered what others were doing or how well they were doing it. 


I write now, not for money or fame.  I write because I was born to.  I am a storyteller by nature.  It’s my soul’s calling and I’m happiest when I’m being obedient to that.  I love what I do.  And that’s enough.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Seducing Abby Rhodes - Coming July 18, 2017!

When Abigail Rhodes bought that old house she fell in love with in Blink, Texas, she got more than she bargained for. After being told by the local psychic that it is filled with a passionate energy from the previous owners, who died years ago, Abby decides to fix up her beloved house and reluctantly moves in. But ever since then, strange things have been happening in her newly renovated home, and Abby has been plagued with dreams that wake her up and leave her breathless.
After a tumultuous life these last few years, Jordan Gatewood is following what amounts to a trail of breadcrumbs in an effort to find a renewed sense of purpose. Searching for the truth about the man his adoptive-father really was, Jordan makes his way to the old house where his father was murdered, in Blink―and right to the petite, understated beauty that answers the door. It’s not long before Jordan realizes, quite unexpectedly, that Abby is the perfect woman for him. Jordan doesn’t believe in ghosts or fate, but he does know that the powerful connection he feels for this woman started the day he met her in that house and he is determined to make her his.
Robin is a successful Corporate Attorney, and was proud to be the lover of the most sought after bachelor in the state of Texas--until he abruptly breaks off their relationship, leaving her confused, heartbroken and bitter. When she discovers that he’s left her for another woman, a woman she considers beneath her, Robin is determined to teach him a brutal lesson.
A man like Jordan has too many secrets, secrets that, if found out, could not only destroy his relationship with this other woman, but that could also cost him the biggest business deal of his life, and possibly, his freedom. Robin is the last person he wants to go up against, and she will stop at nothing to get him back back or to make him pay for his betrayal, even if that means unleashing those secrets. The question is, will Jordan let her? Or will his all-consuming obsession with Abby win out?

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Check out J.D.'s newest title: The Real Mrs. Price


 Buy from Amazon

Available now!
Lucy Price is living the American dream. She has been married to her successful husband and businessman, Edward Price for a year and couldn’t be happier until she learns that Eddie is a dangerously ruthless man, heavily involved in illegal activities that threaten not only her marriage, but her life. Eddie abruptly disappears, but not before warning Lucy that if she wants to keep breathing she'd better keep her mouth shut. Six months later, word of her husband surfaces when she learns that he is presumed murdered in a small Texas town, apparently killed by his “wife”, Marlowe Price.
Marlowe is no stranger to trouble. An outcast in her own community for being one of those "hoodoo women," who can curse you or cast you under her beguiling spell, Marlowe is shunned at every turn. Six months ago, a whirlwind romance in Mexico led Marlowe to marry the man she thought she’d spend the rest of her life with. For Marlowe and Eddie, there is no such thing as trouble in paradise. But late one night, when Marlowe witnesses her husband putting the body of a dead man in the trunk of his car, the illusion comes crashing down around her and she knows she has to move fast before the devil comes calling once again.
Now, Lucy and Marlowe must come together to find out where and who Eddie really is, and help each other through the threat he poses. There's nothing more dangerous than a woman scorned...except for two women scorned who are willing to put their pasts behind them and band together to take one bad man down...


Excerpt from The Real Mrs. Price by J.D. Mason, coming May 24, 2016
Copyright © 2016 by J. D. Mason. All rights reserved.

Marlowe had been sleeping restlessly when the phone rang next to her bed. “Hello?” she asked, half-awake.
She’d been dreaming. Goodness gracious! Marlowe’s eyes widened as she scanned the space in her room.
“It’s me,” Shou Shou said without apology. Shou Shou was Marlowe’s aunt. “I had an intuition,” the old woman told her.
Marlowe sat up in bed. The last time Shou Shou had had an intuition, Marlowe’s twin sister, Marjorie, died.
“What it look like?” Marlowe asked anxiously.
“It look like you,” Shou Shou told her. “I want you to do something for me.”
“Say it,” Marlowe responded. “You know I’ll do it.”
“I want you to read the bones, Marlowe. Don’t wait ’til sunup. Get up and read ’em now.”
Marlowe could count on two hands how many times she’d read the bones in her lifetime. But if Shou Shou was asking her to do this, then it had to be important.
 “Yes, ma’am,” she said nervously. “You want me to call you back and tell you what I saw?”
“No,” she said simply. “It ain’t for me. It’s for you. Do it now, before midnight. Don’t go back to sleep, Marlowe.”
“No, ma’am. I won’t.”
“Not ’til you read them bones. Then go back to sleep if you can, darlin’.”
“Yes, ma’am.” Marlowe hung up, rubbed the sleep from her eyes, and looked at the clock. “Shit.” In twenty minutes, it would be midnight. She climbed, naked, out of bed and went to the bathroom to pee and slip into her robe before heading out into the sunroom at the back of the house. Marlowe kept the bones in a black velvet bag at the bottom of an old flowerpot in the corner on the floor. Reading bones inside her house, even in the sunroom, was something she’d never do.
Shou Shou had always told her to take them outside. “Bones can bring good news, but they can bring bad news, too. Always read ’em outside in case the news is bad. The last thing you want is to let that mess loose inside your house.”
By mess, she meant foul spirits.
Marlowe knelt and spread her casting cloth out on the porch and then opened the black pouch and poured the possum bones into her hand. Cupping both palms around the bones, she shook them, held them as she took a deep breath, and watched them fall. She studied the positioning of each of them carefully as they related to each other and to themselves.
Shou Shou’s words came back to haunt her. “Sometimes you can see the devil in the bones. He don’t look like you think he looks. But you can tell it’s him.”
A dreadful feeling snaked up her spine. “Is that you, devil?” she murmured, trying not to give in to the fear rising up from that casting cloth. She had dreamed him, and the bones confirmed her fears.
Were the bones trying to warn her about Eddie? Because if they were, then they were too late. She’d married him already. He’d been inside her house and inside her body too many damn times, so she was tainted with him, soiled and spoiled, and left dirty from him. She studied the bones intensely a few minutes longer and realized that they weren’t showing her the devil who had come; they were warning her of the one yet to come.
The thought came to her, Don’t let him in. Marlowe shuddered.
Marlowe had learned a long time ago that discerning spirits wasn’t always a good thing. Looking down at those bones, she had no choice but to commit to the ugly and unwelcome truth. There was a threat in the bones, shrouded by something or some- one so dark and dangerous that she trembled at the thought of him. She didn’t know who he was or why he had any business with her, but the bones didn’t lie, and Marlowe couldn’t deny their truth.
“That’s you, all right.” She swallowed fearfully.
She wanted no part of him, whoever he was, but that dream still had her shaking. These bones—and what they’d told her— made her physically ill. Marlowe had no idea how to make ready to face him, but there was no doubt that he sure as hell was coming, and he was coming for her.


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Collaborations!

Synopsis
Faith, family, and forgiveness are at the heart of this powerful story collection from four bestselling African-American authors. Meet a group of unforgettable women in these tales of hope and inspiration and discover how doors can open if you just
Have a Little Faith.

Reviews
In this anthology, four authors tell inspirational stories about life, love, and faith. In "Signs of Light," Thomas tells the story of Brittany, who puts off college when her son is diagnosed with leukemia. Lorna Hamilton, a local merchant, writes her off as a young, unfit mother living off of welfare. When their paths cross, they both finally see the light. Tate Billingsley writes about Faith, a young woman who uses her body to gain the affection of men. She was raised by her Bible-toting grandmother, who shattered her self-confidence. "Faith Will Overcome" is about true love. In "Maybelline," J.D. Mason shares Olivia's struggles with breast cancer. Maybelline always appears with words of encouragement when Olivia is at her lowest. In "Survival Instincts," Lynn Hayes has had her share of disappointments. Instead of being bitter and vengeful, she has chosen to survive and forgive. When she is mugged and a stranger attempting to help is shot, she reaches out to her attacker and her Good Samaritan to share her wisdom and compassion. Lillian Lewis
Copyright © American Library Association.




Synopsis
National bestselling authors J.D. Mason and Victor McGlothin come at you with a double dose of intrigue...
"The Lazarus Man" by J.D. Mason
When a young female city employee is murdered, the case brings together an investigative reporter whose career is on the line, a lead detective who would rather work alone, and an elderly, homeless man whose hold on reality is questionable. But desperate times call for desperate measures, and with the detective at the helm, the trio soon unearths a shocking truth no one would have ever suspected. . .
"Tomorrow's Edge" by Victor McGlothin
Smart, sexy P.I. Vera Miles is an expert at finding people who don't want to be found. But her latest client is a rare, and possibly dangerous, exception: a handsome drifter with amnesia who believes he's killed someone--though he can't remember who or why. But as Vera gets closer to solving the mystery, she has to wonder if her client is better off without his memory. . .

Review
“Enticing to those who appreciate a good thriller." --The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers



Synopsis
Three national bestselling authors join talents in a multi-dimensional novel that illustrates the importance of love, family, and forgiveness.

After a lifetime of womanizing, making babies, and then disappearing and taking no responsibility for his actions, Amos Davis has finally reached an impasse—literally crashing his car down a one-way street. It may be the only road to redemption for the aging musician, now afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease, for it has brought together the three daughters he abandoned. But when it comes to their deadbeat dad, their hearts may already be sealed…

Cass, the child of Amos’s mistress, has had enough heartache, from losing her mother to the tragic end of her marriage. Amos was never there for her—why should this talented cake maker be sweet to him now?

Toya, always the “other woman” in her affairs with married men, was deeply scarred by Amos’s public denial of her existence years ago. Will seeing him again send her further down a troubled path?

A gifted writer, Tomiko channels her pain into her stories of the father she never knew. In her imagined world, she is safe—but will she ever risk her heart on real love?

A powerful interplay of memory and reality, this emotionally taut novel weaves the voices of three authors to deliver an unforgettable tale of one man’s struggle to make peace with his failures, his family and the destinies of those who must forgive to move forward with their own lives and dreams.

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