It’s occurred to me that posts re Scott and Mariana get the most mileage so I figure, I’ll cater to what the blog audience wants.
Recently, I posted this picture (same one on the tumblr account) of actress Laura Prepon with the caption she’ll be Scott Reed’s new girlfriend. The reaction was…well, how can I say this gently…interesting.
The character, who hasn’t yet been named, is the best friend of Scott’s racist sister, Christine. The new girlfriend is also into kink. I’ma let you marinate on that for a minute and see where this is going.
Now I’m not going to explain nor waste time trying to convince you, the reader, why this is a good idea. Either you think it’s brilliant or stupid.
A part of me does wonder if the visceral reaction, which was far bigger than Scott’s pairing with Dove, has anything to do with the fact that his new girlfriend is a white girl, and many don’t
want like consider Scott to actually date one. (I should note, given with Scott’s very open sexual and dating history, he’s probably dated a wide range of women from different backgrounds and ethincities.)
There are a few things that readers should note:
- Scott and Mariana are not a couple again…yet.
- Mariana is/was pregnant. (The storylines in I Need You and Wait for Love are very telling if you pay close attention to them.)
- Um…didn’t I just post that snippet of Scott proposing to Mariana? LOL
Scott’s new girlfriend will make her debut in Part 2, release date TBD.
And there you have it,
I always like to share little details that inspired some of the scenes in the series, like this one:
He saw her the moment he walked into EMK.
Scott briefly glanced at the DJ booth and saw B. spinning some tunes while Mariana sat behind him and twiddled something on her phone. She always had a bad habit of being on her phone, as if the damn device was glued to her fingertips. He was particularly annoyed that she would always be on her phone as they watched a movie. Then he discovered how well she could multitask and decided if she wanted to stay busy during a movie, she could blow him as well.
He blinked the memory out of his mind and motioned for one of the waitresses to tend to him upstairs in the main office as he waited for Jeff and Eric to arrive. He turned one of the cameras onto Mariana and hated the fact it was only a black and white camera. It was okay. He could use his imagination and strong memory to decipher what she wore.
She had on a dress with a plunging neckline and he remembered it was probably the one she wore to one of the charity functions she often accompanied him to. He imagined the bra and panty set she wore underneath was something he’d picked out for her. The black lacy set? Maybe. The white lacy set was actually his favorite and he loved the contrast against her dark skin.
Now another man was reaping benefits from seeing her naked. Another man was enjoying her incredible fellatio skills. Another man was riding in the car that he’d paid for. Another man would receive gifts from the money Scott had given Mariana for completing her tasks, assignments, and duties.
For the first time in his life, Scott could totally understand why OJ did it.
This scene was inspired by this skit:
S&M IV, Part 1 is available now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. Part 2 release date TBD.
Well, a lot.
The goal is to release a new book every month for the rest of the year so I hope to stay pretty busy. I have a few books in mind and I’ll talk about them a little here:
The Breakaway series – this is my little series that could. It’s a been a sleeper success as I go into a new category and audience. There’s one more book in the trilogy and that’s it. Sydney and Dean will go off somewhere and ice-skate to HEA. The overall story so far is 42,000 words and it’s only two books. So yeah, you’re getting a full-length novel for very cheap. Consider yourself lucky.
Blow by Blow – as I mentioned before, I’m giving this book a makeover and making the heroine White like I originally had her. This will be out soon. It’ll be a New Adult erotica.
Jackson & Liane trilogy – Working on it as I speak. This is IR multicultural. There are two more books in the series. The second book should be out relatively soon.
Love & War – same as above. It’ll be tentatively priced between $7.99 and $9.99 USD. (I should note the success of other stories will be a strong factor in how much Love and War will cost, so yes, it could be even cheaper than the starting price of $7.99.) I’m struggling with pairing Tony with a Black woman for his story so I consider Love & War to be the final IR book in the D’Amato Brothers until I’m convinced otherwise.
Soul Infinity Crew – this is the S&M YA spinoff, though the lead character is a Black female and not Scott and Mariana’s daughter. This will be out later this year.
Untitled boxing story – this is a story I had in mind last year and it’ll be a joint effort with my husband since he’ll help me a lot with the translation. I’m not sure what the heroine looks like quite yet.
This is in addition to other books I plan on releasing under a different pen name. I’ve already released a few and they’re doing pretty well! (For obvious reasons, that pen name will remain a secret.)
Um, that’s about it.
Happy Loving Day!
I contemplated whether this blog post was even a good idea. I have a history, and not necessarily one I’m proud, of writing detailed blog posts that tend to go ignored by a large majority. It’s interesting. With as much traffic this blog gets on a daily basis, there are a few that will just flat-out ignore it. But then, unbeknownst to me, are shocked by some revealed details in a long-awaited book. Go figure.
Anyway, I decided to take the chance and talk about the love quadrangle of Eliodoro, Faith, Simone, and Darren.
Two years ago, while I was pregnant on bed rest, I was a little surprised to see the visceral reaction of Where I Wanna Be. It was immediately slammed and I got called all sorts of wonderful little ditties. (Everyone’s a thug behind a computer.) A few months later, another author wrote a similar book and hers was praised. And of course, so was she. The butthurt was real, yo.
I remember one reader in particular tried to argue with me on this very blog about what my intention was and how she could predict the next story, which is hilarious since at that point, I hadn’t even outlined it. And that’s when I thought…why is this particular book causing this reaction?
What was it about this book that people got their panties all up in a bunch but they cheer for the union of Olivia and Fitz on Scandal every week? Why do people justify affairs in one area but not in another?
I think so many were so upset by the book (or in some extreme cases, with the author) that I do feel a lot of people missed the point. The book was about love and redemption. Forgiveness. Growing up and even growing a pair. The book never promoted adultery nor did it justify.
I don’t know…it just seemed all of it was emotionally-based. I’m still not sure if it was the subject itself or the fact that I wrote it (I think it was the latter and not the former) that caused the hysteria. Still, two years later (and even several months later when I said I wasn’t going to write the continuation…more on that in a bit), it amuses me. The same critics who slammed me are the very ones looking forward to the sequel.
Well, now that I got your attention, let’s begin…
Writing a sequel to a controversial book took a lot of soul-searching. Not so much my meltdown but rather was this something I really want to go through again. While I laughed it off and vigorously defended it the first time around, did I really want to do that again? Motherhood changes things, namely attitude towards situations and even how much time I spend online. I also learned to ignore a whole lot. It’s better to make the haters starve than to feed them.
So anyway, I decided to finish up this story and the other D’Amato Brothers book (Tony’s story, though Tony’s story will be regularly priced at $4.99). I’m finishing up the books for the readers who wanted it. A few years ago, because I was receiving a litany of unfair negative reviews, I offered a free copy of Love and War to anyone who left a positive one. Well, I’m holding to that. If you left a positive review, you’re getting a free copy of the $7.99 Love and War book. There’s about 10 people who took me up on that offer and I still have your email addresses. As many people can attest to, I’m a woman of my word. The offer still stands, by the way.
Love & War picks up four years after everything. The D’Amato Brothers are worldwide famous now due to their reality show. Think Kardashians level of fame, that’s where they are. They’re global and have a chain of Madre’s flower shops. Everyone loves them, they’re richer than before, and here comes Simone sweeping into Eli’s life like a hurricane. And she’s not alone.
Darren is like Tom Brady (deflategate aside) so he’s more popular than before and for whatever reason, Faith still has his number (and he has hers, don’t trip). And of course, there are special guest appearances from Sanora, Scott & Mariana, since someone has to clean up the potential PR disaster.
I haven’t decided if Eli is Elena’s father or not. At first, he was. Then I decided he wasn’t. Now I’m undecided. I do know, however, whatever Eli decides to do in terms of Elena, he’s going to make somebody unhappy (Faith or Simone).
Oh, and one of the D’Amato couples might be divorcing.
Okay, I spilled enough and possibly too much. It’s going to be a wild ride, I will say that. I hope you all enjoy it. Even you too, critics.
And there you have it,
In continuation of supporting the latest S&M book, I present to you another good friend and fellow erotica/BDSM author, Ms. Areya Branxton-Chase.
Areya and I go back several years; ten, actually! So we know each other pretty well. Believe it or not, this is our first author interview together. She’s going to share a little bit about herself, what she really feels about the 50 Shades phenomenon, and why people should mind their own damn business when it comes to how she parents her daughter.
Ms. Chase…the floor is yours.
Tell us about yourself.
I’m a simple girl I think. In fact in a lot of ways, I’m pretty normal. I’m 32, mom of 1, a reader, a writer, an entrepreneur, a friend, daughter, a sister. I sell sex toys and other adult accessories and I write erotically. I can say I’m not that complex a girl.
What made you become involved with the Lifestyle?
There’s the textbook answer of I always knew I was different and in a way I did. But I was told that people of color did not do the things I like to do sexually. I was told that the lead that I wanted the men in my life to take, the amount of control I wanted to give was not conducive to a grown woman. When I found a group of my peers that replicated what I wanted I ran in head first. I wouldn’t that though.
There are different dynamics – Dominant/submissive, Master/slave, polyamorous, etc. Explain why you chose your particular one and why it’s a great fit for you.
I chose the polyamorous Master/slave dynamic. Being a collared slave is freeing to me. The boundary is the sky for us. It’s a good look that someone has the confidence to push me the beyond my comfort level but it is also scary to have someone make the decisions that would affect me the rest of my life but He does it well. I don’t want the burden of life without structure. I can admit it was hard finding a Master that was in harmony with a polyamorous heterosexual female slave…but He understood my needs to have more than one love and respected it as I respected His need for more than one slave. I don’t have to me one man’s everything I can be strong where I am strong and don’t have to worry about whether or not His needs will be met they will be, within the safety of our family…and He doesn’t have to be everything for Me though for right now He is….He’s always going to be my number 1 though and He knows that.
There is a lot of misperception of erotic humiliation. Some find degradation of a person to be a horrible act, while others find it empowering. Could you explain your experience with it? Be as detailed as possible.
There is a huge difference between erotic humiliation and erotic degradation. Erotic humiliation takes what embarrasses a person most and sure they face it, often, consistently and blatantly. Erotic degradation strips a person, it is debasing and yes it is a dark and desolate. It takes what someone is most afraid of and throws it in their line of vision at the most inopportune times. It’s scary and it’ll do one of two things…break down or break through. I have been through both…humiliation I enjoy thoroughly. Degradation left me dazed and confused and horny as hell. It’s not on the top of my list of things to do again but it made for one hell of a hot scene.
Describe your Master. For those who have never met Him, how would you describe Him?
He is tall, dark and handsome. Thick, muscular with a voice that would put Barry White and Joe Morton to shame with piercing brown eyes and incredibly sexy lips. He’s witty and intelligent, silly and confident to a fault. He has the kind of aura that makes panties wet from across the room, I call it a quiet aggression. He reminds me of a first generation vampire…silent, deadly and sexy as fuck. He’s gentle and comforting, strict and structured, demanding and talkative as hell. He has a savage tenderness I crave.
What is a typical day like in your dynamic?
Wow it depends. We have a very hectic life with four adults and multiple children, so it depends on what we have going on. We get up, we the kids together, we check our respective itineraries and report back to Him. We have our assignments for the day and we go to work. We are all working professionals. We make sure we eat as a family as often as we can as well as support our local BDSM community.
You have a young daughter who you take care of full-time. I know you’ve personally told me that some people have given you some flack for ‘exposing’ your daughter to the Lifestyle. What do you say in response?
I tell them to not stand in judgment of which they cannot conceive. If by exposing her to the lifestyle they mean I am exposing to her to a stand up man, who takes care of her, who shows her what responsible men do in terms of taking care of the family, if they mean having a house full of people who care for her, love her, honor her, help her and teach her then yeah…I think more kids could benefit from it. I think people think that we are swinging from the chandeliers every day, that is an unrealistic thought process to have. Most days, sex is the last thing on anyone’s mind when they have school, work, kids, PTA, booster club and extra curricular activities only to have to come home and get our domestic on. We are normal, we are no different than any other family with multiple people living under one roof. We expose no child to what happens in our bedroom any more than vanilla people…so don’t speak unless you know is always been my motto.
In the writing world, particularly those who write BDSM, there’s the argument based on 50 Shades of Grey, whether we should entertain or educate. Some say it’s possible to do both, while others, like myself, say you can focus on one really well and possibly sacrifice the other. Where do you stand?
We can definitely do both. The issue with 50 Shades is it is a double edged sword. The complete and utter lack of research that EL James did in terms of what it is we do cuts one way for it did NOT shed us in the best of light, it cuts the other ways because it did shed light on an underground lifestyle….we are invited to the table where we once were not even allowed in the room. We can now educate as well as entertain. I like to think I do both in my series.
I’ve read a couple of books in your Days series. D’Aren a very complex character and even I had to admit, I wondered why in the hell was she still with Master when it wasn’t clear He was just as devoted to her as she was to Him. (I’m referring to the part re the canceled vacation.) Can you explain the mindset behind her devotion to Master?
Her devotion to Master should be like any slave’s devotion: deeper than the skin. A lot of people hear Master and envision a man or woman with a willing and pliant subject that will do anything to please, and they are right. But they usually also envision that the Master will do anything to amuse themselves, think the Coming to America scene when Eddie meets his new queen, which is furthest from the truth. When one decides to dedicate all that they are to someone, to be used and molded and presented to One’s liking, they must understand they may not always like it. This is not all fun and games, it is work. And sometimes Masters will test to see how deep one’s devotion goes and the canceled vacation was a test…did it suck? Like a well paid stripper…was it to prove a point? Absolutely. Lord knows I don’t agree with everything my Master does, I don’t have to. I have to trust that everything He does is to my betterment and the betterment of this family. De’Aren had to learn that same lesson, granted a canceled vacation was minor and she should’ve kept her cool, I wanted to illustrate how sometimes life can suck for a slave. And I can’t say that De’Aren’s Master isn’t as dedicated to her as she to Him, it merely looks different.
Last question – Many people, like yourself, live and breathe BDSM 24/7. For those who are interested but don’t know where to start, what advice can you give them?
Read. Read until your eyes cross, and then, uncross them and read some more. Get out and into your local community and around some people who have done this longer than five minutes. Vet your ass off…vet often and vet thoroughly. There are a LOT of people coming up off the sidewalks talmout…yep…talmout LOL, they have been in the lifestyle for over 20 years and yet no one in the lifestyle has ever heard of them. Ever. Especially in the BDSM hot spots, LA, Vegas, the DMV, Atlanta, Florida, Texas…you’ve been participating in this lifestyle and no one, not one soul can vouch for your as a Master…or as a slave? Haul ass! Experienced Dominants and Masters, submissives and slaves come with a community behind them, no matter how small, to be able to vet with. They usually suggest people you should talk to to vouch for their character. If they cannot? Run…quickly.
This can be a great lifestyle for those of us that honor the traditions and protocol and rich history associated with it. It can be disastrous for those that think that what they see in porn is a way of life. Learn first, this lifestyle has been here for years…it’s not going to tuck its tail and run any time soon. Take your time.
Thank you to Areya for taking the time out of her very busy schedule to chat with me!
To follow Areya on Facebook, click here.
To follow Areya on Twitter, click here.
To purchase any of Areya’s books on Amazon, click here.
In promoting the latest book in the S&M series, I called upon my fellow BDSM authors and friends to give a little insight into BDSM, what inspires them, and how they really feel about writing BDSM in light (or maybe, in spite) of 50 Shades of Grey.
I present to you, Author Shakir Rashaan.
Tell us about yourself.
I’m a married, polyamorous, Leather Master. That’s the kink side of me. The author side of me is a bit more multi-faceted: I write in erotica, erotic romance, mystery, paranormal, young adult (under a different pen name) and romance (yes, I can be romantic, dammit LOL).
What made you become involve with the Lifestyle?
I actually stumbled into things years ago. There was this woman (you know, there’s always a woman), and she initially mistook me for a submissive (I was 21 at the time; she was in her early 40s). She approached me with interest for a one night stand, and as the conversation developed, she realized before I did what I was. She felt her husband would be a good man to mentor me in all things dominance and submission, and…well, the rest is history.
You’re under Zane’s imprint. How much influence has she had on your career to-date? Will we also see a Shakir Rashaan project on the screen?
Zane has helped me take things to levels I really don’t know if I would have been able to go on my own. She is an absolutely wonderful wealth of information and experience, and I’m blessed to have been able to work with her throughout this entire literary journey…one that I hope will continue for as long as she will have me.
As far as a Shakir Rashaan project on the screen…well, I’m putting in work to hopefully make that happen, too! I’ve been learning the fine art of television script writing, with the possibility of pitching “The Nubian Underworld” to the cable networks, hopefully in the next eighteen months. I want to make sure I learn the process so I don’t look like a rookie that doesn’t know what he’s doing.
Hopefully something will happen in that time frame. Anything is possible!
There are different dynamics – Dominant/submissive, Master/slave, polyamorous, etc. Explain why you chose your particular one and why it’s a great fit for you.
D/s and M/s are personal journeys in and of themselves; for me and my Beloved, it was a process, transcending from D/s to M/s. We’d always been poly, though, so that was the easier transition when it came to merging the two lifestyles.
It’s a great fit for us for one simple reason: submissives, once they have given their trust and their essence, strive to make their Dominants happy, especially when they have a service-oriented core to themselves that appeals to anyone who enjoys control of another.
I’ve known you for a few years and honestly, you’re one of the most charming and intelligent people I’ve met. Lately, however, you’ve been getting some flack for your strong criticism of the 50 Shades of Grey series and movie(s). While some are claiming jealousy, as a fellow writer, I do understand your point of view. Explain your side.
Flattery will get you everywhere!
There is no jealousy on my end when it comes to my criticism of ELJ and the FSOG franchise. What I have always criticized (and what I will always criticize) is the piss-poor research that was done when she created the relationship between Christian and Ana. That was not a D/s relationship; that was systematic stalking at its finest, masquerading as an “intense” relationship.
Take away the money and the power that came with it, and he’s a creepy dude that needs to have a restraining order placed on him.
She trivialized and marginalized a relationship that is at the very core of my being. I don’t simply write about this; this is my life. She didn’t care about any of that: the struggles we go through, the legalities that we have to circumvent as much as we can. All that mattered to her was a punchline: “I’m fifty shades of fucked up.”
Well, I’m here to tell you: I’m not, and the majority of the men and women who enjoy this lifestyle are far from it.
If I had her connections in the television industry…well, that’s all I’m going to say about that. Combine that with capitalizing off someone else’s work through fan fiction and literally copying the formula (instead of creating something on her own), and yes, she really didn’t accomplish anything. Now, if you want to criticize me for that, then I have no problems with it.
You’re a devoted husband, family man, and you also have submissive(s). Now this blew me away when I first learned of it and was even more blown away when I learned your wife, Layla, was also a Master. Explain to everyone how that dynamic works. Is there jealousy? Do you two fight for power and ownership?
Well, at current, we do not own any submissives, and we’re still healing from that loss as we’re speaking. When we do own one, WE own him or her.
We’ve gotten to the point in our marriage where jealousy no longer registers anywhere on the Richter scale; that wasn’t always the case, but it’s a beautiful thing to behold now.
There is also no power struggle; we are One, not two separate souls, and that is also the case within the realm of D/s. Whatever decisions are made, they are made together, so there is no doubt or confusion from the one who eventually serves us. Even those who are in service to us (as opposed to in a relationship with us – big difference) enjoy the fact that they know that whatever directive they are given, regardless of who gives it, they know that it came from both of us.
In the writing world, particularly those who write BDSM, there’s the argument based on 50 Shades of Grey, whether we should entertain or educate. Some say it’s possible to do both, while others, like myself, say you can focus on one really well while sacrificing the other. Where do you stand?
Anyone who has read my Nubian Underworld series has been able to come up with their own questions about different things within the kink community and how they might want to create their own D/s relationship. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten emails from readers who have told me that because of my series, they were able to get over their own apprehension and check out their real-time local kink community.
And yes, other readers have emailed me to let me know that they’ve thoroughly enjoyed my books on a more sensual, sexual level also. (Insert smirk here)
All of that is to say, both can be done, but it’s not something that someone can come out of the gate trying to pull off. As you said, something will get sacrificed, and the readers will be able to tell.
I’ve read a few of your books and I’m just now starting the Nubian Underworld series, which is also available at Amazon. You write about different dynamics and your characters aren’t the typical kind one would find in romance. In fact, I believe one was an openly bisexual male. When you write characters like that, is it based on someone you knew or is it just your imagination? In other words, how much of your real-life and interactions, both past and present, are in your works?
At the beginning of the series, I left a disclaimer which, in part, states that some of the situations and scenes actually happened, and some of them were a part of my vivid imagination. It was simply a matter of the reader trying to figure out which one was real and which was fabricated, and I wasn’t going to divulge which was which, ever. That’s the fun part of creating this series; I get to borrow from real-time friends and associates, current and former submissives and lovers, and change the names to protect the not-so-innocent.
Last question – Many people, like yourself, live and breathe BDSM 24/7. For those who are interested but don’t know where to start, what advice can you give them?
In this day and age, Google is your friend, honestly.
Also (and I’m not being paid for saying this, either) joining FetLife helps tremendously. People are creating different local events, especially in the major metropolitan areas, so it’s simply a matter of going to the events and finding out what’s going on and showing up. It’s a helluva lot easier than when I was growing up in the nineties LOL!
Once you’ve figured out where you want to go, be open, be friendly, and listen to the conversations that are going on around you. Everyone started out somewhere, and you don’t have to try to impress anyone with that you think you know. The more open you are to learning, the more people will be willing to help.
Thank you, Shakir, for your very frank and honest discussion. I am very excited for your future endeavors and I certainly hope to see one of your projects on the screen! Keep us posted!
For more information on Shakir, please visit his blog here.
To purchase his books on Amazon, click here.
To follow him on Twitter, click here.
To follow him on Facebook, click here.
Behind the Pen – All I’ve Ever Wanted
Creating a series involving five brothers is an interesting challenge. Not only does each brother get his own story but also, you have to make the stories compelling and something people would want to read. It was way too tempting (and quite mundane) to make each story another version of The Nanny. First, that’s an insult to the reader. Second, as much as I loved The Nanny, there’s only one Kieran; not five of him. Lastly, as much as the reader will let me get away with a family of brothers who love Black women, I think that’s the final straw of reality and fantasy.
Enter Joseph “Joey” D’Amato.
Joey’s character is interesting for the simple fact that through the series, he was (and is) characterized as a playboy and he’s proud of that fact. And of course, a man will play the field as long as he wants until he finds that one woman who will make his toes curl and turns his world upside down.
Shaping his character was interesting. I didn’t want him to be just a rich playboy, however, I also didn’t want him to be this cold, calculating executive who doesn’t know love until he meets The One. (I already did that in S&M and I’m sure you have read that in countless other novels.)
So I thought, ‘Hmm…how can I make this guy work?’ I borrowed a page from one of my most beloved characters, Scott Reed. I needed a calculating executive. I needed someone rich. I needed someone who is very business-oriented. But I needed someone who doesn’t do BDSM. Could that work?
Why yes, it could. J
Joey is very guarded and protective of his family, due to childhood issues. Though he doesn’t admit it, he was very impacted by Kieran’s failed marriage; after all, if the nicest man he knows was played by his first wife, why would any man take a woman seriously?
But I also wanted Joey to use his player attitude to be a cover. I wanted him to be someone who cares about his brothers, loves and adores his mother, and will do anything to make sure all of them are financially set for life and not go back to a life of wondering when their next meal will come from.
As much as I needed an alpha male, I also needed an alpha female to create a powerful dynamic. I needed a sista who didn’t care about her man’s money because she’s wealthy on her own. I needed someone who could go toe-to-toe in the bedroom with him and be even kinkier than he is. I needed someone who was willing to walk away if presented the choice.
Enter Zoe Mitchell.
Zoe’s character is described as half-Black/half-Asian, who is Kieran’s assistant. She’s young(ish), facetious, but has a good heart on her shoulders. She can be a wild child when she wants to be but is really a good girl. She eventually leaves her position to take on a bigger role as the main designer behind Kieran’s and Tiana’s fashion line, Tyson’s Heart.
Zoe, next to Zerrin Campbell and Sanora, is probably one of the strongest heroines I’ve ever written and she’s based on a few offline and online friends. I didn’t want Zoe to be weak and feel her life becoming complete the moment she meets The One. Instead, I wanted her to be in a predicament of sorts – she has everything going for her and then she meets The One. How can she make him fit into her world?
It’s not a situation most women find themselves in; we’re usually the ones that will bend over backwards and pull out our calendars to make time for a relationship. I wanted a heroine to be in a position where she would have to choose between the career she’s always wanted – or being with the love she’s always desired.
It’s a tough decision.
While the story does deal with a heavy topic, it’s really along the lines of The Nanny in terms of storytelling. Not a lot of sex but Joey and Zoe do get it in. I really wanted this story to be more focused on two people, intelligent and stubborn in their own right, potentially sacrificing what they have in order to get what they want. Would it be a mistake? Would one of them regret? Would one of them resent the other?
After many delays (which will be explained in a future post), All I’ve Ever Wanted will finally be released this November.
And there you have it,
Behind the Pen: Where I Wanna Be sequel
Whenever I start writing about Where I Wanna Be, the third story in the D’Amato Brothers series, I always have a smile on my face. The smile is because of a few reasons: 1) I quickly remember the “firestorm” of sorts that book had when it was released; 2) the ongoing debate on whether I should’ve even wrote the book; 3) people’s reactions to the book and about themselves.
It’s all comical to me.
When I sat down to write the first book, I knew the book was going to be controversial. After all, how many romance novels are there with the hero leaving the heroine for the mistress? But I wanted to take it a step further. In my belief, when people cheat, it’s never a black/white issue. There’s always some shade of grey. Is it always the cheater’s fault? Did the cheatee play a role? What about the third-party?
That was the intention and purpose of WIWB. I honestly do believe too many people were focused on what Eli did and they missed the point of the story, which was about temptation and forgiveness, because their judgment was too clouded on hating the characters and in some special snowflakes, the author.
The reaction to the story was really interesting. There were two camps – either you loved it or you hated it. Many people praised on how real the story was and applauded that I took that big of a risk in I/R romance. Some people, however, had other strong feelings. I had people leave some interesting reviews saying it wasn’t a romance while others channeled their second careers as members of Dionne Warwick’s Psychic Friends network because they could predict the sequel. (Newsflash: you can’t predict something that isn’t written yet.) I had people intentionally leave bad reviews because the story reminded them of someone they knew or worse yet, themselves. I can’t really fault the latter. After all, if someone held a full-length mirror to myself and pointed out my flaws, well, I probably wouldn’t like that person too much, neither.
I wrote a while back that as a society, we accept cheating based on who the participants are and the situations surrounding said cheating. After all, a show like Scandal wouldn’t have so many hardcore Fitz/Olivia fans if people didn’t accept them. A friend and I went back and forth on this very issue and she told me that people accept their relationship because of how Mellie is, to which I only had one reply:
But Mellie is still Fitz’s wife, right? That means he’s cheating on her, correct? But he gets a pass because he’s gorgeous, powerful, and likes a sista?
I often hear that certain incidences of infidelity are okay because one of the parties is in a bad situation. So, that makes it all better? Rather than them just leave and move on, they have to cheat and you’re perfectly okay with that?
No one wants to admit that. No one wants to admit that they’re okay with infidelity depending on the circumstances. Case in point – why is Bill Clinton still respected but John Edwards is looked at as a pariah? They both did the same thing but the circumstances were different. There are many other examples and you could probably think of quite a few.
When a spouse steps out, a lot of people will always say, ‘Oh, I’ll leave him!’ ‘I’ll leave her!’ ‘That’ll be the end of it!’ but how often does that happen? Think about all of the people you know, including yourself, that have been cheated on. Did you forgive? Or was it a, ‘Hit the door and do not look back’ situation? Chances are, you forgave and I bet there were times you wondered if you should’ve done that.
The detractors were so focused on Eli stepping out on Faith, that they didn’t look at his character as a man who was struggling with always being the good son and wondering what would’ve happened if he turned left instead of right. This was someone who struggled with the thought of cheating on his wife and if you were to go back to the story, even after Eli and Simone were established as a couple, Eli never did feel entirely comfortable with her. I did get a feeling of, ‘He should’ve just sucked it up and dealt with it’ vibe from a few people as if they have never heard of someone having a midlife crisis. What happens when you do everything in the order you’re supposed to do it and you wake up one morning just to realize you missed out on a chance?
Those who didn’t like Simone can even admit she struggled with being Eli’s other woman and that was a role she didn’t want to play.
The criticism of Faith’s character was interesting because as I laughed at some of the reaction (really, I did), I wondered about the women who were so harsh on Faith, as if they were mature and perfect angels throughout their relationships. Faith is a character with real emotions. Yes, she’s going to throw a fit over nothing sometimes. Yes, she’s going to be immature. Yes, she’s going to be confused.
That’s called being human. You can be the most put-together woman on the planet but every so often, you’ll make a decision that will question your sanity. We all do it. Hell, I still do it and I’m married.
The WIWB sequel deals with the aftermath of what happened. The four years between the parties and everything that took place. In the original story, everything was wrapped up tightly in a nice little bow but a lot has happened since then.
It is assumed Faith just took back Eli with no hesitation but did she really?
What is Simone’s real intention of coming back into the picture?
Is Eli really Elena’s father?
It’s also assumed Eli, Jr. is Eli’s son…but really?
WIWB wasn’t supposed to be a feel-good, lovey-dovey story. It was supposed to make you think, wonder, and feel about what happened. What if your husband’s mistress had a baby? How would you react? As the mistress, how would you feel that you would always come second to the man you’ve wanted? At what point is enough is enough? I’m sure some of you were Eli, Faith, and Simone at some point in your lives or know someone who played those roles.
The purpose of this post isn’t to convince you to do anything. As an author, I often have people assume they know what I’m doing or what my intentions are, without actually talking to me. Quite a few read more into what I’m saying, thinking I meant X, when I was really referring to A. Reading my blog post and speaking with me directly are two different things and please don’t treat them as the same. I have spoken to several of you, via private conversations on Facebook or by e-mail, regarding this book whether you hated it, loved it, or had many questions about it, and we’ve had very mature and adult dialogues about it.
If you have any questions or want to talk to me in-depth about anything, I do encourage you to e-mail me: email@example.com.
The sequel is scheduled to be out this winter. I hope to start working on it this weekend. I don’t know how long it’ll be; the first story was over 120K words. The sequel might be that long or it might be shorter. I will say, it’ll be one for the record books.
And there you have it,
When I started writing S&M, I really had no idea it’ll be a major serial. Sometimes I really don’t think that far ahead when I write a story. It occurred to me, I believe, when I was writing Vol. II, that there needed to be a Part IV.
I wanted to tell a story that was different from anything that was currently out and would be different from anything that would be out. No one can say the S&M serial is like anything else; there is no comparison. The story was purposely dramatic because in real life, there is drama – whether that drama involves you or another person. You are surrounded by it in some form. Dramas are often the highest-rated TV shows; people like to watch it.
It was that very idea that made me go, ‘I want to create a story where people could read this as if they’re watching it on TV.’ With that, the S&M serial was born. I wanted to create a hero that was different. A millionaire Dom? Been there, done that. A millionaire Dom who loves Black women? Hmm…intriguing but not original. A millionaire Dom who loves Black women, but has also experimented with his sexuality? A-ha! Bingo. Let’s face it – how many women are this excited about a straight man who once had a boyfriend?
A part of my creative process was to see how much I could get away with while a part of it was telling a story. I think my favorite comment has been, ‘Oh, I already know what’s going to happen in the next story’ to which I always reply, ‘Please tell me so I can stop writing it.’ (Some readers seem to be confused when I say that to them and always backtrack what they said shortly afterward. Funny how that works…). I’ve received a lot of flak, if you will, about how I was doing the serial. The most notable complaint was I shouldn’t have to do the books the way I did them – releasing one at a time. It’s easy for those to comment when they’re not the ones writing. They’re also not the ones releasing full-length books, and not novellas, one at a time. Please keep in mind, I did put out five S&M books all within a year. Can a sista have a break? LOL
S&M IV will be Sanora-based. It was important for her story to be told and how She became who She is. She’s this powerful and wealthy Mistress but really, how did She become that way? What was the moment where She went from being royalty and in the public eye, to being hidden and away from the cameras? And what is up with the fact She has to wear a wig and prosthetic nose when She’s out with Her husband? Obviously, he knows all about Her. What was that arrangement like? How did Dove and Aileen get involved? What do the submissives do when they’re not with Sanora? Do they have lives of their own?
If you’ve followed the story, you will see a pattern – Mariana’s story was I and II, Scott’s and Caprina’s story was Vol. I and II. It only makes sense for Sanora’s story to be Part IV. There are two S&M groups – those who love the story as a whole and those who are just in it for Scott & Mariana. Part IV is for the lovers of the serial. This is for y’all.
Sarah will have a redeeming quality in Part IV as well, but this post is about Sanora. Sarah will get her own post later.
As quite a few of you know, I’m a woman of my word. As I stated with the release of Where I Wanna Be, if you left a positive review of that book, you could either receive a free copy of S&M IV or the WIWB sequel, your choice. All you have to do is email me. (And don’t tell me your review name or what you said; I go by the honor system. If you lie to me, that’s between you and God.)
Quite a few are anxious for the final S&M IV. Well, so I am. It’ll be fun. I don’t know how long it’ll be but I imagine it’ll be epic. If by chance, it’s quite big, the story will be broken up into two books and will be released at the same time.
Of course, I can’t leave this without sharing a snippet. As always, I’m available via e-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Can we stop by the pharmacy on the way back?” Mariana asked B. as they got into the car.
“Sure thing. Is everything okay?” He inquired.
Mariana knew the truth. Everything was not okay. Everything was pretty far from being okay. She wondered how Scott knew she was at the club. She didn’t see him or his friends. Security wouldn’t have recognized her. The servers didn’t know her. Yet, Scott knew she was there. He specifically knew she was in that particular bathroom. But that wasn’t the only thing that bothered her.
She still loved that man. She was still in love with that man. Her body missed him being inside her. Her heart fluttered when she saw him. And he felt the same way by the way he took her in the bathroom. Her back was still a little sore from being banged against the stall door. Her sex slightly contracted upon the thought of Scott. The worst part was the tight pull of her heart, yearning for him. “Um, yeah. I just need to pick up a prescription. That’s all. They’re open twenty-four hours so it’s good.”
“Okay, darling,” B. kissed Mariana’s hand. “Anything for you.”
B. drove to the nearest pharmacy and Mariana quickly got out of the car. She went straight to the pharmacy desk. “Yes, I was wondering if you have Plan B? Thank you.” Mariana cleared her throat. Plan B was an emergency contraceptive. She didn’t know what Scott’s game plan was but it was best she had one of her own. She didn’t want a fleeting moment of carelessness to result into something both she and Scott would regret. If she couldn’t be his wife, Mariana was not about to settle into being his baby mama.
(Makes you wonder exactly when did Mariana get pregnant if it wasn’t at the nightclub….)
And there you have it,