#BrothersBae is on wattpad

I really tried to come up with a clever title but #BrothersBae seemed to stand out the most.

This is short story in the form of an interview by the D’Amato Brothers, their mother, Nicola; stepfather, Arturo; and finally, a word from Absent Daddy, Giorgio.  Also making special guest appearances are Eli’s exes – Faith Sheppard and Dr. Erica Toure.

This story will be on sale for 99 cents for a few days before the price goes up so be sure to grab your copy at 99 cents!  It’ll be available across all platforms as well.

But for now, go check out the interview sample chapters. You might be surprised at who is interviewing the family.

Next post will be the cover reveal and link to purchase.

Last note – I did mention on Facebook how I was starting a special reviewers program for those who consistently review my works. There’s about 10 of you who do that (and you know who you are). So, with that being said, please email me ASAP. 

To view the story, click here.

Happy Easter!

 

 

Lord of the Flowers, Pt. 2

sebastianmolina

Eli’s and Joseph’s shared office is a lot neater and nicer than I expected it was going to be. I thought I was going to see papers in disarray, orders everywhere, spilled coffee stains on desks.

Instead, I see sleek leather sofas (“Nap time,” Eli laments, “people know when that door is closed, do not bother me.”), Apple computers perched on oak furniture, and a large window that overlooks the New York skyline. A small bar sits in a nearby corner and a bathroom is hidden in another.

A foosball table and two arcade machines are in the other corner. “You’ll be surprised the number of ideas I get when I’m playing Street Fighter,” Eli laughs.

“Right there,” Joseph’s baritone points me toward Eli’s desk, “that’s where the magic really happens.”

Numerous family pictures adorn Eli’s desk. One in particular – a picture of Eli and his ex-wife, Faith Sheppard – stands out.

Faith, the daughter of famed minister, Reverend David Sheppard, met Eli when the couple was teenagers in high school. “I knew he was trouble the moment I met him,” she says as we met later for coffee, “but he was the kind of trouble I wanted.”

Faith is small in stature, just a little under five and a half feet. But her presence is big. She often greets everyone with a warm smile and doesn’t shy away from the latest gossip offerings. She had an interest in hair when she was a teenager and when she graduated from high school, Eli paid her to attend college and cosmetology school.

The pair dated for several years before they had an extravagant wedding at the St. Regis Hotel. “This was before social media so it was a huge deal. I was more or less a socialite and Eli was already famous on his own due to the shop.” Faith commented. “It was a production but it was totally us.”

Several children followed later but Eli’s affair with an ex-girlfriend nearly broke the couple. Faith’s retaliation affair did not help matters, neither. “We were both stupid,” she sighs, “really stupid. I guess I was so hurt by what he did, I figured if I did it back to him, he would feel the pain he gave to me. I was the one that got burned twice.”

The couple, once shown on TV as playful and understanding of each other, went through an acrimonious divorce that almost played out in the media.

False accusations that Eli was abusive in their marriage put a dent into the D’Amato armor and caused a few advertisers to pull their ads. Madre’s saw protests from domestic violence groups and Eli’s personal Instagram page was a landmine of hateful comments.

“I have never hit any woman ever,” he declared, “I wasn’t raised like that neither were my brothers. I don’t play that mess. I’ve never emotionally or mentally abused her nor our children.”

“If my Eli had ever hit a woman, he would have to deal with his brothers before me,” Nicola replied during our lunch gathering, “his punishment from us would’ve been worst than anything a judge would’ve given him.”

As soon as the accusations came, they left. Faith soon put out a statement denying Eli was ever abusive to her or their children. Numerous friends and family members rallied around Eli and the controversy surrounded him seemingly boosted his popularity and wealth.

It’s clear the former couple have a lot of issues to sort out. They stopped speaking to each other completely for two years, only having all communication go through attorneys. Recently, the pair spent Christmas and the New Year together. “We’re in counseling now,” Faith’s voice is soft, “I don’t know if it’s a sign of reconciliation but it helps when our kids have parents who don’t hate each other.”

“Let’s talk about the affair,” I begin and Faith’s eyes draw a blank stare, “Eli’s been pretty open about it on the show but you haven’t.”

Faith circles her cup of coffee with a finger as she contemplates an answer. “I understand why he cheated on me. I’m not saying it’s entirely my fault but I can admit I played a role in it. Not a lot of women want to admit that. I didn’t at first.” Faith takes a sip of coffee. “I was so happy on blaming him and only him that I didn’t think, ‘Well, how did I contribute to this?’”

“So what happened when you did realize it?” I ask.

Faith scoffs and shakes her long, black hair. “Honey, let me tell you that was a very sobering moment. It wasn’t even just one big thing. It’s like the snowball effect – something small here, something small there, until there’s an avalanche. A lot of things led up to it and the signs our marriage was in trouble was there. In fact, our marriage had been in trouble for a while before the affair happened.”

“Do you think the affair possibly saved your relationship with Eli?” I ask.

She gives a casual shrug. “Maybe at first, but the problems were still there. He was apologetic and I didn’t want to forgive him. I liked being angry at him.”

Faith’s subsequent relationship with high-profile basketball player, Jeremy Griggs, was the subject of much adoration and scrutiny. The former couple received offers for a reality show but those were shut down when Eli wouldn’t agree to have their children on the show.

That action, Faith reveals, led to a relationship that was even more contentious between her and Eli. “It felt like he hated me and wanted to get even with me for everything. I didn’t help matters. I wanted to move to L.A. and take the kids with me.”

“So what happened? I get the feeling the two of you are on good terms now.”

Faith looks away and tries to hide her wide smile. It’s not a smile of a woman who is just on good terms with her ex-husband and father of her children. If I didn’t know better, it was the smile of a woman who got that old thing back. “Things aren’t perfect but I’m probably the happiest I’ve been in years and so are my children. Things are really good between us now.”

nem-1400x2100

“I can honestly say the affair was the dumbest thing I’ve ever done,” Eli later admits, “I know why I did it. I wanted attention from my wife and I wasn’t getting it. I’m not blaming at her at all. I was the one that stepped out and that started a very unfortunate chain of events.” He’s trying to grasp at the words but what he’s feeling isn’t coming out in what he wants to say. “It’s like I hate the affair happened but I wondered what would’ve happened if I remained faithful. Our marriage before the affair wasn’t great. We were fighting a lot and I wanted her to stay at home more so she could raise the kids and not rely on nannies and babysitters…I don’t know…”

“Do you think you still would’ve divorced if you didn’t have the affair?” I ask.

Eli carefully thinks for several moments before he finally gives his answer. “Yes.”


 

The rest of the character interview will be in a short book that’ll be out this weekend for 99 cents. A preview of said book will be posted on wattpad later.

Lord of the Flowers

whereiwannabe-large

The famed two-story brick building is quite unassuming from the outside yet this is where the magic happens.

This is the place where brides and their families spend big bucks for extravagant designs, only custom made to the bride. This is the place where young Latina girls want their quincereras done just right with only the best flowers. This is the place where a young man who doesn’t have a lot of money to spend, will get a custom bouquet for the special person in his life.

Of course, this is the culture phenomenon of Madre’s and the D’Amato family. Every Sunday night for an hour, we get to follow members of the family as they navigate through New York’s finest (and sometimes, not-so finest) for their celebrity clients, rich clients, and just regular-degular folks like you and me.

We also get to take a sneak peek of their private lives away from the floral shop as cameras travel with the family to vacations and get-togethers.

Walking inside the building, a hostess a la restaurant-style, shows me to my seat. We walk past walls of pictures full of celebrity and high-profile clients, all hugging a curvy woman with sandy-blondish hair and a big smile.

That woman is the impeccable Nicola D’Amato-Rodriguez, co-owner of the Madre’s floral shop and who in person, greets me with the same big smile and hug. “I’m a hugger,” her voice is smoky and full of wisdom, “everyone gets hugs here.”

The rise of the D’Amato family is  what legends are made of. Winning the only lottery ticket to a staggering $300 million jackpot, Nicola quit all of her jobs and opened her dream shop, a floral store. It started as a little corner shop in a hidden nook on Staten Island before the popularity of the flowers grew the store into the middle of Manhattan.

A reality show, numerous magazine covers, and a ton of celebrity and noteworthy clientele spread the word about the flowers. Anyone can get a dozen roses; no big deal. It was the personal touches, the customer service of the family and all of the employees that made Madre’s stand out from the competition.

A small menu of appetizers and beverages awaits me and Nicola tells me to order whatever I like. “No charge,” she smiles again, “we order from here all of the time.”

I decide on the caprese sandwich and small pizza while Nicola gets the chicken Caesar salad. “Just one moment,” she pulls out a walkie-talkie and speaks fluent Italian into it. A deep voice replies in English and Nicola rolls her eyes. “I can speak nothing but Italian to them,” she refers to her sons, “and they all answer back in English.”

I want to ask her who was the voice on the other end but the anticipation holds me back. It could be any of her sons or other family members of the D’Amato tribe that work in the business. Of course, the floral designs are just one small fraction of the show’s viewership. The D’Amato brothers – Nicholas, Kieran, Joseph, Eliodoro, and Antonio – are very easy on the eyes.

While the world knows them as the #BrothersBae, their upbringing was no laughing matter. Nicola was nearly eight months pregnant with Nicholas when she became a teenage bride. Four more sons in several years rounded out the family.

Antonio was just an infant when the family patriarch, Giorgio, left. “No rhyme or reason,” Nicola says with a sigh, indicating a pain that’s still present many years later. “Never a phone call or a letter except the divorce papers.” She looks pensive for a moment as if she’s trying to decide the next thought. “I read the Book of Job a lot during that time.”

While Nicholas and Kieran helped support the family with after-school jobs, Nicola worked a variety of jobs to keep a roof over their heads, lights on, and food in the pantry. “A lot of things weren’t repaired back then. We couldn’t afford someone to come out and fix things when my kids were small so as they became older, they learned how to fix things themselves. Regular handymen, I tell you.”

A chance lottery ticket changed the entire landscape of the family. Other than the typical new money purchases – upgraded clothing, cars, and each brother has a nice home – most of the lottery winnings remained in the bank. Joseph, the family’s business manager, invested the money wisely. The D’Amato family owns several properties and are silent partners in a few other businesses.

“When you grow up poor, you remember what it feels like,” Joseph commented as he joins us for lunch. “No one looks back on being poor and thinks, ‘Ah, yes, the good ol’ days!’ No one does that. We never want to go back to that, neither.” Looking every bit of a wealthy executive, Joseph appears he just stepped out of Wall Street and into Madre’s.

He’s the COO of the D’Amato Enterprises and makes all of the business decisions for the family. He’s also the reason why the family didn’t become like many lottery winners and broke within a few years. Married with twins to celebrity fashion designer, Zoe D’Amato, Joseph is often seen on private planes, having expensive lunches with business clientele, and around Silicon Valley, where the family are private investors in a number of start-ups and businesses.

Out of the five brothers, he’s definitely wears his wealth on his sleeve. “Appearances only,” he grumbles, “if I could go to a board meeting wearing my Timbs, I would.”

I ask Nicola and Joseph if they would ever consider meeting with Giorgio to finally clear the air and get closure. “I got all of the closure I needed the moment he left us,” Joseph says rather defiantly. “Look, he only showed up when we won all of that money. Once he heard about our popularity, he writes a bestselling book telling his side of the story. What side of the story? You left your wife and five sons. There is no story to tell about that.”

“But you are in some contact with him, right?”

“A few emails here and there isn’t going to make up for thirty years of being gone. It wasn’t like he was kidnapped or was a POW in a foreign land; that stronzo was living just a few miles away from us at one point.” Joey tightly clenches his fist and lets go. “I really don’t know what we would have in common to talk about.”

“What about you?” I ask Nicola. “How would you feel if Giorgio wanted to have a sit-down talk with you?”

Nicola lightly shrugs. “I’m open to it but I don’t see the point. I spent two years of my life, angry, very angry at him. And those are two years I can honestly say I wasted. He was still gone and I was still alone raising five boys. I had to teach them how to become men when I was still trying to figure out where in the woman handbook was the chapter, ‘You’re Going to be a Single Mother.’” Nicola softly shakes her head. “Whatever is done is done. He made his decision thirty years ago; I’m good.”

Love large

I’m about to take a bite of pizza when the chair besides me suddenly moves. I look over and my heart is lodged in my throat. Ladies (and some gents), Eliodoro “Eli” D’Amato is even more handsome in person.

He has these light brown eyes that aren’t quite brown but aren’t quite amber. He smells heavenly and that smile…my goodness, that smile, is why millions of women turn in every Sunday.

“I apologize for being late. Traffic was just…” he shakes his head and doesn’t finish his sentence. As a native New Yorker, we all know what he means without even saying a word. “I’m just glad I’m here.”

The most popular – and probably the most misunderstood brother – is finally here. Dressed in jeans and fitted shirt that does nothing to hide his muscular frame, Eli digs into lunch after a brief quiet prayer. “We were all raised Catholic,” he reveals after he’s done, “some of us are more than the others.”

“God knows my sins,” Joseph smiles, “I don’t need to be in church to explain it.”

“Hence why I just said,” Eli chuckles, “some of us are more Catholic than the others.”

Becoming one of the world’s most sought-after floral designers didn’t just happen overnight. In fact, if Eli originally had it his way, it wouldn’t have happened at all.

He went to New York University and graduated with a BFA in studio art. His dream was to work for a Fortune 500 company and travel the world after he graduated. One night, he received a fateful phone call from Joseph and Nicola, asking for his help in creating flyers and the website for Madre’s. “I told them, I’m only doing this for a few months and that’s it,” Eli chuckles, “I had no interest in flowers, in brides, in any of that. My sole interest was computers.”

Once he was done with the layout of the website, he overheard his mother speak to a bride about what she wanted. While Nicola was being thorough in her questioning, Eli wasn’t impressed. “She was asking the typical things – do you want peonies? What’s your favorite color? What are your wedding colors? How do you feel about hydrangeas?” He shook his head. “Anyone can ask that to anybody and guess what? You’re going to get a copycat wedding of somebody else’s that’s not yours.” He takes a bite of his gnocchi and wipes his mouth. “Think about your bedroom. You might’ve been in a ton of bedrooms in your life – your parents, your friends, others. I bet you anything they didn’t look like yours. Why should your wedding look like somebody else’s?”

Creating bouquets wasn’t as simple as he makes it seem. In fact, Eli actually had to study nearly every flower and plant on earth. “I’m still learning because there are new ones every year. People will combine things and see what works. Sometimes it comes out spectacular and sometimes not so much.”

“How many species of roses do you know?” I ask.

“Not all 150 but close to it,” he replies as if it’s not a big deal, “but I definitely don’t know the thousands of hybrids and such.”

With a talent in drawing, Eli often sketches a makeup floral design and presents it to the customer within minutes of getting to know them. His personal bouquets range anywhere between $30 to an extravagant $500. “That five hundred dollar price tag was by accident,” he smiles, “a bride came in one time and said, ‘I want a five hundred dollar bouquet.’ Most of our bouquets range from ten to a hundred dollars. I tried to talk her down but she was insistent. Was I really going to say no?”

Of course, it helps that Eli is one of the few – if not the only – heterosexual male floral designers. His full sleeves and light goatee have made him a fan of both genders and those in between. GLAAD honored the family show at its recent gala where all five brothers and their significant others attended.

He’s currently helping with a gay summer wedding in the Hamptons. “We don’t discriminate,” he takes a sip of water, “if you want flowers, we’ll be happy to provide. Just don’t be a dick.”

nem-1400x2100

Eli is quite the enigma. He often puts on Frank Sinatra, John Coltrane, and Bessie Coleman to concentrate when doing the initial design. Kendrick Lamar, Rae Sremmurd, and Missy Elliott fills the warehouse when he puts the creation in action.

But don’t be fooled. He proudly owns a ‘NSYNC CD and is hoping for a reunion. (“C’mon now,” Eli has no shame, “every dude in Harlem was bumpin’ “Girlfriend” when it came out!”)

“I only work at my desk when I do the initial stages and sometimes adjust what the client wants. Seventy-five percent of the time, I’m in the warehouse with everyone else.”

“Twenty-five is upstairs?” I clarify.

“Fifteen percent is working. The other ten percent is sleeping.” He winks. “I need a break now and again.”

Does he ever. Eli estimates Madre’s does an average of ten weddings a month, with prime season being between April and August, where the number jumps up to a blistering twenty a month during that time. “Usually things are set in stone prior to the weddings, but brides often change their minds and well, it’s espresso and go time.”

He often works 24-hour shifts during those months and is lucky if he sleeps in his own bed at night. “My kids are very understanding that when Daddy has to work, it means he can’t be home for ice cream at night.” He lets out a deep breath. It’s clear he loves his career but he also resents it at the sacrifice of not seeing his children as much he wants to during the peak months. “I can totally understand what my mother went through with us.”

When he’s not doing the physical designs, he has a team of assistants who knows what he wants when they see the sketches. “They’re the hardest working people I know,” he nods, “sometimes they’ll have contests between each other on who can do the design the quickest.”

Eli as a boss is just as personable as the guy people see on TV. “He always inquires about us, and our families,” Eli’s longtime assistant, Maria, confirmed. She’s worked for Eli since the inception and they’re best friends. They often attend family gatherings with each other, and go on double-dates with Maria and her wife. “If we need time off, he grants it as long as there’s coverage. He does work us hard, no doubt, but he’s not mean about it.”

“Employees work better if they respect the person in charge,” Eli replies, “If they don’t respect me, why should they care? Ask any person who has a boss they hate. They’re only there to clock in and out until something better comes along.”

Eli’s charm has definitely worked. The Madre’s chain boasts of long-time employees and while some do eventually leave, it’s never because of creative clashes with the bosses. “Employees are allowed to give their input. Hell, if they have a better idea than mine, I definitely want to hear it!” Eli laughs. “And sometimes they do, I’m not going to front.”

Fluent in Italian and Spanish, Eli also speaks plenty of street when the mood arises. A recent episode showed the viewers the light banter when he and Antonio were trying to teach Nicola slang words like, ‘on fleek’ and ‘bae.’ “I like Italian,” Nicola lamented during the episode, “there’s no mistaken on what anyone means when you say, ‘go to hell.’”

“I grew up in the streets,” he answered a question that was on my mind. It’s clear looking at Eli and Antonio they have a bit more edge to them than the other brothers. “I wasn’t messing around with drugs or anything like that. But I knew what was hot. I knew what was going on. Everything originates in the Bronx and Harlem before the rest of the world sees it. Everything.” His voice is smooth as whiskey. “What was ghetto back then is now considered to be hipster now if you can believe that shit.”

“I’ve known Eli forever,” one of his best friends, Quentin Jones, says. They’ve known each other since they were in diapers. “He’s never been the type to try to be down or anything like that. He’s just him. This isn’t him acting or putting out false pretenses. Take him or leave him. He truly doesn’t give a shit either way.”

It’s Eli’s lackadaisical yet smug attitude that often brings him some unwanted attention. His IG page is full of thirsty women, eager to be Mrs. Eli D’Amato. His kindness towards others has made some people call him a simp. When he showed compassion for a recent transgender wedding, a few began to question his sexuality.

When he was photographed at a recent protest in support of Black Lives Matter, it was the first time Eli was called racist. “That still confuses me,” his eyes crinkle with curiosity and annoyance. “My children and some of their cousins are half-black. My exes are black. Most of my friends are black. I have a few black sisters-in-law. I have black employees. Am I not supposed to care about what happens to them?”


 

Part Two of Eli’s “interview” will be posted next week.

#FlashFriday: War

“You can’t keep doing to this to me, Faye!” Eli got up and paced the kitchen. “When I had the affair with Simone, I came clean about everything in therapy, okay? Every fucking thing! I told you when I had issues in our relationship. I told you how it made me feel when she gave me some attention. I told you when we had a fight, I went to her. I told you all of this! And I came clean. I didn’t want any more secrets, any more lies, I wanted a fresh start.

“So then I find out you’ve been texting the quarterback. And then I find out you’ve had lunch with him. Not from you, though. The phone bill told me. My friend at the paper told me. But we got past that, man. We worked on everything.

“I thought we had a good life, Faye! I thought we worked past everything! And now I got find out in front of the whole goddamn world that there’s a fucking sex tape starring you and him? And now I have to find out there are pictures floating around and he might have shown other people? And now, you’re telling me there’s more. And now you’re telling me it wasn’t just that weekend with Darren but there were a few times after the reconciliation.

“And there’s more, there’s more, there’s more!” He angrily pounded his fist into his palm. “And this is what you did every time I went to the shop? Every time I went out of town, you ran up the damn phone bill talking to him?

“I told you to tell me everything all at once. I told you I didn’t want to find out from anyone but you. You don’t think I’ve heard whispers? You don’t think there are people saying, ‘Yo, I heard from so and so about Faith?’ And what did I do? I ignored them because if it didn’t come from my wife, it was just bullshit. And it’s only when we have a fight, ‘Oh, by the way, I fucked Darren after we reconciled.’” He mocked her voice. “But I shouldn’t question E.J.?”

“Faye, every time I’ve worked on our marriage, you worked just as hard to destroy it. Why do you put me through all of this? Break my heart once! You gotta break my heart each time I do something that pisses you off? You gotta bring up shit from the past? This is every single time, Faye! I’m tired, okay? I’m tired of fighting. I’m tired of we’ll have a good week, a good month, and then it’s like World War Three in our home because you’re still hurt over Simone.”

The silence was thick between the pair for a long while. Faith remained silent at the dining room table while Eli breathed hard as he found the strength to press on. “If you don’t want me, let me go. If you don’t want our marriage, let’s end this shit right now.” His voice was calm like a river. “But let it be no mistake, there are many women who would love to be Mrs. Eli D’Amato, would love to be in your shoes, and you’re abusing the fucking privilege.” He left.


 

Do reasons behind the divorce look a little clearer now?

War will be out this spring. Release details and pre-order will be out within the next few weeks.

#TeaserTuesday: One More Chance #romance #contemporary

Once More Chance - 1400x2100

“Yo, if you want to talk about chemistry? Let’s talk about McNulty and Bunk, for a minute. One scene and they only said a variation of fuck. You cannot get more brilliant than that!” Tony exclaimed. “Do you honestly think people are still talking about a controversial scene from Breaking Bad? No. Why? Because no one cares about a white dude who has terminal cancer and wants to see the world burn. If anyone praises Breaking Bad the same way they praise The Wire, it’s a clear bias. Fuck outta here.”

Krista giggled. Tony was always so passionate about his shows. His DVR recordings were sometimes astronomical and she wondered if he had any time at all to watch through all of them. It then occurred to Krista, Tony had time for everything that interested him.

Including her.

“So, where he is tonight?” Tony finally asked between bites.

Krista lightly shrugged. “He had a business meeting to attend to so there’s that.” She loved Marc’s hustle and in turn, that made her hungry for more. She also hated how lonely she became in the process. He always made up for his absence in the forms of lavish gifts and trips.

Krista soon realized while she might have been materialistic in the past, she most certainly wasn’t in the present or future. A closet full of designer wear meant nothing if the man giving them to her was always gone. “I’ll see him when he gets back.”

“The most romantic day of the year and he’s not with his girl?” He held her hand and softly kissed it. “Shame. I would’ve never left you alone tonight.”

Tony’s declaration sent a shiver down to Krista’s spine, causing all sorts of pinpoints prickling up on her skin. “I thought you hated me, though.”

Tony slowly leaned back into his seat and licked his lips. “Once upon a time.”


 

I should note people should pay close attention to some details in this book. It reveals several storylines regarding Eli and Faith.

One More Chance is available NOW. To purchase, click here.

It’ll be on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and other select sites soon. Will post when it becomes available there.

 

#TeaserTuesday: Sweet Spot #contemporary #sportsromance

photo-1446597152631-22e3f57785ea

Unedited Snippet: 

“I’m so gonna hit you in the face!”

Bobbi stood a safe distance from Quinn in his large backyard as she casually bounced a baseball in her hand. Quinn squatted lower and held the catcher’s mitt out from his face. “No, you won’t.”

“Dude, if I break your face, the Dodgers are going to kill me.”

“You’re very confident in your pitching,” Quinn nodded. “I like a woman who’s confident.”

“Whatever!” Bobbi laughed. “Here it goes but if I poke your eye out, you better not blame me.” She wound back her arm and threw the ball. It bounced and limped over to Quinn.

Quinn still had his arm out, despite the baseball was ten feet from him. “Okay, that’s a good start. Let’s try another one.”

“I was distracted!” Bobbi defended and laughed. “Too many pancakes.”

“It’s okay you suck, honey.” Quinn smiled. “We can’t be good at everything.”

“Oh, what?” She smiled. “For your information, I’m good at a lot of sports like tennis, basketball, and I can even play a little football.”

“And apparently you suck at baseball,” Quinn nodded.

Bobbi narrowed her eyes at her boyfriend. “I got something for that ass.”

“I sincerely hope you do!” Quinn hit the mitt and extended his arm again. “Let’s go.”

Bobbi wound her arm back and threw another pitch. The ball landed in the mitt and Quinn nodded. “That’s my girl. Let’s keep it going.”

For the next several minutes, Bobbi threw pitch after pitch to Quinn. Finally after the last one, she was exhausted. “Dude, my arm is jelly.” She sat down on the plush grass. “How do you do this every night?”

Quinn grabbed a couple bottles of water and sat next to her. “For the love of the game. Plus, your techniques really do work some magic.”

“That’s why they’re paying me the big bucks,” she took a swig of water, “I can do it when no one else can.”

“You are one of the best,” he looked over at her, “why did you go into physical therapy?”

“I wanted to become a doctor but I couldn’t handle the thought of surgery. I wanted to show there are other ways to relieve pain without relying on painkillers, especially in athletes where the rate of addiction is super high.” She shrugged again. “So I went into physical therapy. I was contemplating opening my own clinic when I got the call from the Dodgers.”

Quinn nodded. “Do you think you’ll still open your clinic?”

“I don’t know,” she looked out into the bright Los Angeles sky, “traveling during season takes up a bunch of my time and the off-season is very short. I know it’ll be successful as all heck but it’s just a matter of putting that much effort into something. I wouldn’t be able to travel with the Dodgers or any other team. I would have to stay put here.”

A brief silence passed between the pair before Quinn spoke again. “I don’t want be a reason you don’t open your clinic.”

He was and they both knew it. Opening her clinic meant she would have to quit the Dodgers and be in Los Angeles full time while Quinn traveled during the season. She knew how long, grueling the schedule was, and maintaining a commitment long-distance relationship was hard on any couple.

Bobbi exhaled a deep breath and chewed her lips. “I didn’t say that.”

“You didn’t have to.” He looked over at her. “But I’m putting it out there in case that is an issue. I don’t ever want to be a reason why you don’t pursue your dreams.”

Bobbi wasn’t sure how to respond to that. She’s never had a man who was fine with her goals and dreams, and didn’t mind playing a background role so she could pursue them. It made her feel surprisingly uncomfortable. “Okay,” she took another swig of water and stood up, “ready to start pitching again?”

Quinn caught Bobbi’s deflection and let it slide. They’ll revisit the conversation again when she was ready; he just hoped it would be soon. “Let’s go.”


 

In the back of the D’Amato Bros. novelette will be an extended sample of the next sports romance, featuring Quinn Riordan. He made guest appearances in the Breakaway series and The Ex-Factor (Scott & Mariana).

 

#TeaserTuesday: Pressedt and Shook – WIP #contemporary #romance

“I get it, Krista. I truly do. You were used to being dogged out, you couldn’t think for a moment that someone with my reputation would change. I get it. That’s why when you went through my phone, I didn’t say anything. When you demanded you smell my dick, I thought, ‘Wow, my girl is kinky and weird as all shit. I kinda dig this’ but I didn’t say anything. Because I knew you had some trust issues from your past and I was determined to prove to you I wasn’t like the others.

“And it’s kinda funny when you think about it. I remember this one guy you dated; this supposed “baller.” He always made excuses for why he had to cancel dates, why your weekend trips were always short, why he had to do this and he had to do that. He was so busy trying to build his brand, he couldn’t afford to call you back?

“Our family could’ve been like those other numerous lottery winners. We could’ve blown through the money and be back where we started. Luckily, God felt otherwise for us. The money my mother gave me, I tripled due to my hard work and Joey’s business acumen. Eli designed the flyers and business cards. K and Nicky spread the word amongst their friends about their little brother doing hair cuts. I had a brand before I even opened my first shop.

“And guess what? I’m at a two-star Michelin-rated restaurant, spending an ungodly amount of money on food and services with a woman I still love, even though I shouldn’t,” he revealed a slow and sexy smile, “and I have all of the time in the world for her but she playin’.”


 

Honestly, I’m not sure if this is the actual title but I’m keeping it for now.

A D’Amato Brothers short story coming by the end of this month. Next post will be release date and details on where to purchase.

#FlashFriday: Super Rich Kids #YA #contemporary

photo-1446597152631-22e3f57785ea

Every morning, he would wait by the parking lot and watch her arrive. Sometimes she would be with her friends, other times her dad would drop her off.

Every morning he walked her to class and made plans to meet up with her during lunch.

Every morning he was determined it was going to be the day he would finally ask Olivia out.

Every morning, he tuckered his tail back in and went about his business.

Life was hard for Ryan Singleton. And he truly hated that he lived up to his last name, granted it was by choice. On second thought, he should probably change his name to Foreveralone.

The son of two doctors, it was always suggested that Ryan went into the family business of medicine. Ryan figured out early on in life that if seeing fake blood on screen made him squeamish, seeing real blood on a regular basis wasn’t going to happen. He figured once he went to college, he’ll make a decision on what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. Until that day came, he was going to focus on the woman that constantly eluded him.

Olivia.

He’d been friends with Olivia since kindergarten but only recognized his crush on her until their junior year. Then he had to watch as she went through boyfriend after boyfriend, bringing him along with her as she shopped for dates, and cried on his shoulder as she suffered heartbreak after heartbreak. Just when he mustered the courage to finally ask out his best friend, she found another guy and Ryan, well, just had to deal.

Not that anyone felt too sorry for him; Ryan did receive more than his fair share of dates. With his muscular build, dirty blonde hair, and stunningly beautiful blue eyes, Ryan spent more time fending off the various girls that threw themselves at him on a regular basis than hunting for a girlfriend.

His stature suggested he should’ve been active in sports and he was to a degree. But he was more interested in academics and prided himself on being a nerd. He just broke up with one of the most popular girls in school and was currently dateless for Homecoming.

That is, until Olivia accepted his date proposal.

Whenever he got around to asking her.

For now, he would play his part and stay in the background, waiting for the right time to ask her. It had to be perfect. It had to be special. And most importantly, Ryan had to get over his fear of Olivia’s dad, who was currently boring holes through him with his eyes.

****

Scott stared down at the young man who was just merely a few feet away from him. For several years, he’d watched him come over to the house and be the nice best friend to his daughter. Though their relationship was strictly platonic, Scott knew better. In his mind, men only had platonic female friends because they haven’t slept with them yet.

With Olivia being his only girl, Scott kept an eyeful watch on her. It was no surprise to anyone why her boyfriends never lasted a long time. “I see Ryan’s waiting for you.”

Olivia glanced over and waved at her best friend. “Great! Well, this is me, Daddy. I’ll meet you at the firm around one?”

“Sounds good. I’ll take you out for lunch.” Scott kissed his daughter’s cheek before he focused his attention back on Ryan. He briefly wondered if he would have to use the same scare tactics Mariana’s father used on him. “Good Morning, Ryan.” Scott said after he rolled down the window.

“Good Morning, Mr. Reed!” Ryan waved and smiled at him. “How are you doing today, Sir?”

“Great.” Scott nodded. “Have a good one.” He then sped off.

Ryan kept waving even as Olivia gave him a hug. “Oh, your dad hates me.”

Olivia was too busy relishing in the smell and comfort of her best friend. He smelled like wood, musk, and a touch of vanilla. His embrace was warm and comforting like a hot fire on a cold night. She immediately felt her thighs tingle and her insides shiver with pleasure. “My dad doesn’t hate you.” She briefly glanced up and locked eyes with Ryan. “He’s just overprotective.”

“You say overprotective,” Ryan shrugged, “I say they’re going to find me in the river with a butcher knife in my back.”

“Don’t be silly,” Olivia stepped away and began walking with him, “my dad would merely shoot you with one of the guns he owns.” She caught Ryan’s flat stare. “I’m kidding! Kinda…”


 

Super Rich Kids will be out sometime next month.

For unedited sneak reads, click here.

Sometimes, people will tell you without actually saying it, they’re good.
The slow sales and lack of reviews of the latest S&M (Stronger than Pride) is good indication the series is done. It’s been a crazy six years but I think it’s time to end the series on a good note.  I’m very proud of the last story and I gave the characters a happy ending.
I’m working on a YA that features S&M as parents so I can actually continue the series when it jumps way ahead into the future, though the book is catered more towards teens.
 
S&M IV will be scheduled as planned – a Jay and Sanora story. Because I’m going into a different direction, I’m not sure when that book will be out. 
 
But hey, at least the final story isn’t a cliffhanger! LOL.
 
So stay tuned! Lots more to come! Thank you all for all of the support. 
And to those who have read and reviewed every single S&M story, let me know because I’ll create a special project just for you that would require me having your mailing address.
xoxoxoxo
-V.

#FlashFriday: Super Rich Kids #YA

78c8dff1

It was the familiar look Coco was used to – a bunch of rich and preppy kids who couldn’t believe the black girl in front of them was a hi-level computer hacker.

No girl wakes up one day and decides it’s time to become one of the most respected and feared computer hackers in the world. It started innocently enough. Her stepmother enrolled her in coding classes at the local community college. From there, the fascination with computers grew.

Coco didn’t know how it came to be that she was an official hacker but she did know after realizing she can find just about anything she wanted on the world wide web if she tried hard enough, she was officially unstoppable. She could find anything, anyone, and pretty much anywhere.

That is, for the right price.

She didn’t have to get a regular job due to her father’s wealth. But she didn’t want to be like some of her friends with celebrity parents who boasted about their status via social media and reality TV.

So, she became engrossed in computers. She created a persona, PharanØid (pronounced paranoid). “PharanØid” was the typical internet user – a native of 4Chan, favorite video game was Skyrim, loved heavy metal – especially Black Sabbath – and had a Mountain Dew addiction.

“PharanØid,” of course, was lily white.

It worked in spectacular perfection. Even when those tried to hack into her computer to find out more details about who “PharanØid” was, Coco was always ten steps ahead. She quickly learned how to hold someone’s computer information hostage if they kept playing with her. She became a very rich teenager by people’s stupidity.

Including the ones in front of her.

She lightly yawned and looked around the fresh Beverly Hills sky. She had other things she could’ve been doing but instead she was humoring Dumb Ass 1 and Dumb Ass 2 while she tried to keep the side-eye she wanted to give Ryan at bay. If he were as stupid as these idiots he brought with him, no wonder he kept striking out with her best friend, Olivia.

“Are you sure you can change my grade to a B?” Dumb Ass 1 asked.

Coco sipped her iced caramel macchiato and wondered why she had to repeat herself for the fifteenth time. “Yes,” she answered flatly.

“Are you sure sure?” Dumb Ass 2 asked.

“What kind of fu—” Coco rolled her mouth inward. “Yes, I’m sure sure.” She turned to her friend. “Check your boy before I do it.”

Ryan let out a small breath. “Guys, Coco is one of the best in the world. She knows her stuff. Trust me, she can hack into just about any system.”

Dumb Ass 1 rubbed his chin. “I don’t believe it.”

“Then I’m wasting my time,” Coco stood up and gathered her coffee. She threw up the peace sign to Ryan. “It’s been real, yo.”

“Coco, wait!” Ryan rushed over to her. They talked at a private distance away from the guys. “These are big clients for us. They have a lot of money and their friends have money.”

“Yo, the money ain’t an issue, Ry.” Coco softly replied. “You and I both know if I looked like your Malibu Ken ass, they wouldn’t be questioning my credentials. Holler at me when they’re serious.”

“Coco, please?” Ryan begged and she rolled her eyes. “Let me talk to them just a bit longer. Please, Coco? You’re really helping me out here. I just need a bit more time.”

Coco softly chuckled. “Magical Negro.”

“Wait, what?”

“The Magical Negro is a fictional character that helps the white character – usually a white guy who can pretty much figure shit on his own but refuses to because he’s either too stupid or just plain old lazy as fuck – realize the error of his ways in such examples like The Green Mile, Legend of Bagger Vance, and my personal favorite, Ghost.” Coco began to imitate Tarzan. “You, lazy white boy. Me, Magical Negro.”


 

Get to know Coco and the rest of the crew when Super Rich Kids drops next month. For real, this time.