Friday, December 27, 2019

Guest post: Choosing Fate by Curtis A. Cooper

My guest today is Curtis Copper talking about his book Choosing Fate. Welcome to Curtis.







Tell us a little about yourself:

I’ve been writing since 2009, when I finally picked up a story I’d started twenty years earlier. I have affection for keeping the family name continuing and I thought a book would be a good way of leaving my mark. What I didn’t count on was the writer’s bug. I had only planned on writing the one story. It was a suspense that took me two years to write during lunch hours. Once I had finished, I had all that time on my hands. So, I developed a board game and wrote a fantasy based on it. My third book was a mystery with its own opinionated detective and a love scene. Half-way though my fourth novel, I learned the meaning of writer’s block. Then something TOTALLY out of character happened. I came up with an edgy love story that flooded my head with all kinds of possibilities, and I wrote a story in the one genre I never saw myself being equated with – Romance. Straight from the Heart became my breakout novel that put me in touch with Extasy Books. That was my beginning of becoming a romance novelist. I now have nine books with a tenth due out in the beginning of the New Year. I also have two short stories and my third, Choosing Fate, published and available on eXtasybooks today.

I am married, with 4 kids and 3 grandkids, all living in upstate New York

What do like the most and the least about writing?

What I like most, is being able to come up with a believable plot and slipping in quietly, parts that somehow come to light later on in the story. Straight from the Heart was filled with them.  I alluded to a secret she had, but few of my readers caught them. They became obvious when the secret was revealed.

What I hate is partially the English language at fault. If I go too fast in my typing, I can type a word that is real, sounds exactly like the word I want, but is a totally different meaning. For an easy example using the word pear when I mean pair.

Give us a peek into your latest published work?

My short story, Choosing Fate, which I always seem to go right up to the maximum number of words allowed for the short story, is a heart warmer for eXtasy Books’ New Year’s short story collection:

Samuel Misner is in a slow downward spiral and has been for the last four years since his wife and son died. Turned bitter, he catches a young orphaned boy stealing a couple doughnuts from his shop. His assistant of eight years leaves him at the beginning of the Christmas holiday, his busiest time. To try to win her back, he hires the same boy who stole the pastries. As they begin develop a bond, he realizes that he isn’t the only person with a bleak past and can’t go through with the charade. Will his assistant see through him, or will she return?

What’s next on the writing horizon for you?

Currently, I’m working on what appears to be my first novella for eXtasy’s special collection called Noted. My story is called On a Side Note. After I finish, I will return to my Heart series with book number four. As with the other three, I have new main characters but the same secondary characters

Is there anything you want to tell readers?

My Heart series centers around the town my parents grew up in. I used homes and other landmarks familiar to me. I took pictures and made videos of the sites in the stories. They’re on my web site.
Watch for my next story, The Reluctant Private Eye. It’s a mystery/suspense in first person centering on a housewife who wants to find out who killed her husband.

Excerpt: 

Carrie had just returned to the front of the shop in time to hear her boss, Sam Misner, grumble at the woman standing outside the front door

“We’re closed,” Sam said through the glass.

“Please? It’s my daughter’s birthday party, and I got stuck in traffic. I believe you have a cake ready for me.” The woman looked utterly panicked.

“I don’t make exceptions. If I make one for you, pretty soon I have everyone waiting ’til closing.” He turned around and walked into the back room.

Carrie stuck her forefinger up as soon as he was out of sight. She removed the only personalized decorated cake that hadn’t been picked up and opened the box to reveal Happy 12th Birthday Rebecca. She tilted the cake slightly so the woman could see.

The woman nodded.

She brought it to the door and turned the knob on the lock. Then she opened the door and handed the cake to the woman.

The woman paid in cash and murmured, “Thank you so much. Keep the change.”

“Thank you.” Carrie smiled as the woman walked away. She closed and locked the door, then turned to find her boss standing with hands on hips and a frown on his face.

“Didn’t you hear me tell her we were closed?”

“Oh, come on, Sam. You would rather toss the cake than sell it and keep the customer?”

“It’s the oldest trick in the book. A person orders a cake and comes late, pretending to be held up. 
Then he, or in this case, she…holds me up. And I’m out hundreds and a cake with someone’s name on it.”

“That didn’t happen.”

“This time.” He frowned, obviously unhappy with her.

“You don’t trust anyone anymore, do you?”

“I can’t afford to.” He stomped off into the kitchen.

Carrie rolled her eyes and set about putting the pastries away.

* * * *

Samuel Misner drove home, still steamed from Carrie’s defiance. He shook his head as he unlocked the deadbolt and doorknob of the front door. After entering, he headed straight to his bedroom to change out of his bakery clothes.

Walking down the hallway, he passed the closed door of his son’s bedroom and the bathroom across from it. His wedding picture hung on the wall just left of the bathroom door—his wife in white with a younger Sam in a blue tuxedo, standing in front of an arch. On the other side of the bathroom was a school picture of his son in fourth grade. He paid them no mind and continued to the room at the end of the hall, focused on the task at hand.

As he changed, the phone on the nightstand rang. Recognizing the number, he hesitated, but went ahead and picked up before the answering machine started. “Hi, sis.”

“Hi, Sam. Are you coming to the party next weekend?”

“You cut right to the chase, don’t you?”

“Well… You’ve avoided answering your phone the last three times I’ve called. So, are you?”

“Why do you want me there?”

“What kind of question is that? You’re my big brother. Why wouldn’t I?”

“I don’t know. I can’t see it being much fun.”

“You need to get out and return to the living.”

He frowned. “What are you talking about?”

“Sam, you’ve been on your own for close to four years now. It’s time to move on with your life.”
“Easy for you to say, Sharon.”

“No, it’s not easy. You lost your wife and your son, but I lost my brother that same night.”

He ignored her insinuation. “Hardly the same.” He heard her sigh.

“I’ll take that as a no, but you’re welcome if you change your mind.”

He hung up the receiver as soon as he heard the click on the other end. The last thing I need is the memory of another Christmas gone by. He flashed back to that fateful Christmas Eve when he’d returned home from a busy day at the bakery to find his wife and son had gone out. The note she’d written lay on the dining room table, telling him they went to the store to get some eggnog. Then the phone call. His wife was in emergency surgery—no mention of his son.

He brushed off the memory and finished changing.

The next morning, six o’clock couldn’t arrive early enough. Sam’s inner clock always managed to wake him at five, but out of caution, he still set the alarm. He returned to the shop to begin his morning routine. First up, glazed doughnuts.



Buy Links:

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