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Friday, March 28, 2008

From "Cautious Heart" to "Let's Get It On"





From 'A Cautious Heart' to 'Let's Get It On'

Published Thursday, March 27, 2008
by By Erica Singleton, For The Charlotte Post


For Cheris Hodges, the first novel she wrote that was based in Charlotte began with the experience of an ex-boyfriend. Though Hodges had already self-published her first novel, “Searching for Paradise,” in 2000 her first book with Charlotte ties was “Cautious Heart,” which initially came out in 2003. It all began with the line, “He thinks I’m stupid.”



“It was kind of inspired by an ex-boyfriend of mine,” said Hodges. “He inspired that one line...and the story was kind of framed around that one line. But, it was exciting to write about a tough kick booty heroine.”


Hodges recently signed copies of “Cautious Heart” which was re-released this year as part of the Recapture the Romance theme by Genesis Press. Cautious Heart was one of the more popular titles that Genesis decided to re-release, as they move into Mass Market publishing. “Other authors that they re-released under this were Donna Hill and Rochelle Alers, so I felt kind of special to have one of mine re-released as well,” she said.


Hodges has published eight novels and won the Shades of Romance reader’s choice award for best Genesis Press romance for 2005’s “A Love of Her Own.”


During a signing at RealEyes Bookstore in North Davidson, Hodges gave readers a taste of her upcoming new release, “Let’s Get It On,” her ninth novel. Scheduled to hit stores in August, it’s the story of a fictional Carolina Panthers wide receiver named Maurice Goings, who is a graduate of Johnson C. Smith University.


Though Hodges is a Golden Bull herself, the similarities end there. “He was engaged to be married to a woman he broke up with his high school sweetheart to be with,” she said. “However, on their wedding day she leaves him at the altar...for another woman.”
Not to give too much away too soon, but when he takes his honeymoon, with his brother, Goings runs into his first love, the high school sweetheart he left behind.


Hodges said she has never been in engaged to a high school sweetheart or dated a professional football player. However, the professional journalist does admit she is a huge NFL fan, even giving a shout out to her favorite team, the Dallas Cowboys.


“I chose football because I’ve written sports, and I’ve always been a little curious about the players’ lives off the field,” she said. “But this book is not based on any one player or any one thing. I’ve never had any personal knowledge of what players do off the field, but I’ve always wondered what would happen to a football player that proposed on the [television]...had a big wedding planned...and things just didn’t go his way.”


The football theme is one that is popular in this area this year. Hodges is teaming up with author Altonya Washington of Davidson for the Love and Football tour. “She has a book coming out in August that also has a hero as a football player,” explained Hodges about the collaboration.


Washington’s novel “Rival’s Desire” is the story of two stars, one a sultry singer and the other a sexy football player, who are thrust together to run their grandmothers’ business.


The kickoff party for the tour will take place in Charlotte. To find out more about the books, the authors or the tour visit www.cherishodges.com or www.lovealtonya.com. Readers can also ask Hodges questions directly on her MySpace page at www.myspace.com/www.cherishodges.com.

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