M.J.Kane talks about twists and her new book Jaded
A Twist on a Common Them: Friends-with-Benefits
As an author, I strive to write a story that no one has read before, but honestly, it’s darn near impossible! No matter where you look, common themes run through every tale ever told. We see it in movies, TV, books, poems, and music. Boy-meets-Girl, Good vs. Evil, love-at-first-sight…the list goes on. The challenge for an author is how to tell the story without it being the same. What twist, turn, or unique event can be used to set this story apart from the rest?
That is the challenge I took on when writing the second book in The Butterfly Memoirs, Jaded.
The heroine in the story, Yasmine Phillips, was introduced in A Heart Not Easily Broken. Yasmine is a bi-racial woman who is full of confidence, has a sassy mouth, and no problem speaking her mind and dealing with the consequences later. She isn’t looking for love of any kind but enjoys the company of a fine man. In fact, she is all about Friends-with-Benefits relationships. That is, until her best friend, Ebony Campbell, falls in love with the perfect man. Before she knows it, Yasmine spends more time with one guy in her hook-up book and is engaged to what should have been the man of her dreams. I won’t give any spoilers, but I’ll say this: by the end of A Heart Not Easily Broken, Yasmine is no longer engaged and the idea of finding a man who truly loves her is destroyed. Her focus becomes about taking care of self and switching careers to find the fulfillment she needs.
Jaded, which is Yasmine’s story, picks up two months later when her path crosses with a man she’s met before, Zachariah Givens. He is a complete opposite of what she’s dated in the past. Neither of them are interested in a relationship of any kind, yet a friendship grows. One thing leads to another and then as most FWB stories go, they sleep together. And this is where the story changes.
Most movies and books using this theme focus on the characters jealousy about their hook-ups relationships with the opposite sex when they are not around. Jealousy turns into commitment and the story ends leading us to believe a Happily Ever After has been attained.
But what happens next? Do they continue living HEA?
I didn’t want the typical HEA ending for my characters. Each of them already overcame issues to in order to get to the fun part of their relationship, and in the end, accepting the fact they’d fallen in love was not a fight, nor a challenge. So, I tested their relationship with the events that happen later in the story by raising these questions: What do you do when you discover a secret that can not only ruin the one you love, but destroy everything you’ve come to build? How far can you trust the one you love? Do you really have the capability of forgiveness? And above all else, can we look past mistakes and bad decisions and get what is good and real?
What had I done?
We’d been married for less than a month and I’d already failed as a wife.
The image of Zack’s pained expression plagued me every time I closed my eyes.
‘There’s nothing you can say or do to make me change the way I feel about you right now.’
The pain of his words radiated through my body, making it hard to breathe.
I huddled under the covers of the throw blanket on the sofa, clutched my cell phone, and ran my thumb over the blank screen. No matter how many times I called, he didn’t answer. It didn’t take much to figure out where he’d gone; his mother’s house. Every part of me wanted to go there and beg for forgiveness and pray he would understand the reason why I kept his mother’s secret.
But a part of me wondered how much had been done for Ms. Belinda?
How much had been done for me?
Sacrifices were made by both of us since the night we found Ms. Belinda on the bathroom floor. Moving up our wedding date, continuing to stay with her even though Zack wanted me to move in with him…none of it was a hardship because I had come to love Ms. Belinda as my own mother before Zack and I acknowledged our feelings. I did my best to persuade him to stop working to pay for our honeymoon, but of course there was no way for him to understand without me telling him the truth.
Even though Vegas had been wonderful, I would have been just as happy leaving the ceremony and returning to our home. Being with him was what was important, not the location.
If Zack had found out, she would have been angry, but at least the two of them would have acknowledged the fact their time was running out and made the best of it.
Ms. Belinda’s anger with me would have been easier to deal with than my husband no longer trusting me.
My fear of losing him had manifested anyway. I should have known this would happen. With my relationship track record filled with lies, deceit, and heartbreak, I was destined to be alone.
A devastating breakup leaves Yasmine Phillips in shambles. Unable to trust another man with her heart, she focuses on the one thing she can control—starting her own business.
When her computer crashes, taking months of hard work with it, she must rely on computer genius Zachariah Givens to save her. A complete opposite of men from her past, she doesn’t expect the passion that ensues. But just as she finds happiness, she learns the truth about the other women in Zachariah’s life.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
M.J. Kane stumbled into writing. An avid reader, this 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 two pit bulls. MJ can often be found hanging out at the local library where 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.
MJ’s debut novel, A Heart Not Easily Broken, Book one of the Butterfly Memoirs, became an instant Amazon Bestseller in Multicultural Romance and African-American Literature and Fiction within hours of publication. It has also spent time on the African-American Women’s Fiction and African-American Romance Bestsellers lists.
You can find MJ on social networking sites, sharing writing tips, talking about music, life, and family. She’s always excited to meet new people. Connect with her via the websites below.