Woot Woot! I just finished my 8th novel! Yaaaaasssss! I am so psyched! I was worried that I was developing writer’s block and anybody who knows me knows for sure that writer’s block for me is a fate worst than death. I’m so serious. But it wasn’t writer’s block. I just have so much going on right now, I’ve been going through so much for the last four years I’m just patiently waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel. It can’t rain all the time, right? But that’s another blog entry for another time. So, as I said, it’s wasn’t writer’s block. I really just needed some peace and quiet, and the opportunity to sit my ass down and write without hearing the itchy and scratchy fighting between my two oldest children, or my youngest running around being “Boss Lady” as I call her. Thankfully, my son went to Wildwood with his dad’s mom (funny how they didn’t bother to take Dallas but I’m not going to go there) and my sister grabbed Destiny and Dallas and they all hung out at her house, spending the night and leaving me to write in peace. Hunty listen, after I read over the book, my fingers went to town. Okay, well not immediately. LOL! I had to throw my earphones in and zone out for a bit. That’s how I see my books. I throw on some Tupac or some good Linkin Park, or some other groovy tunes and I close my eyes and rock out as I let my book play in my head until I see the complete ending. I gotta tell y’all, I didn’t like what I saw. One of the things that was taking me so long with this book is that I had to kill someone that I didn’t want to kill and I was trying to find away around that which is totally not like me. I believe in writing what I see. If I don’t, that’s like going against the grain and the book won’t be right! Once I came to grips with the murder I had to commit, it was just a matter of how this person was going to die. When I tell y’all I cried like a little bitch-baby over the way this murder went down. SMH it was the most heart wrenching piece of fiction I ever wrote. All in all, Hoop Dreams Deflated is the realest shit I ever wrote. It’s relatable to so many people growing up in broken homes in inner cities. I was thinking about posting a preview but NAH! I’m going to save that for my podcast as soon as I figure out how and when I’m going to get this thing popping. In the meantime, are you guys ready for this bomb-ass cover that I did last night?! Hunty, listen. I think this is the best cover I have done so far and I must say, I am getting much better at this.
Yaaaasssss!!! Oh My God!!! When I was hunting for images to use and I came across this guy, I screamed “That’s Davion!!” (main character). When I tell y’all that is damn near identical to who I pictured as I wrote this story, I’m so serious. I remember that’s how I felt when I found the guy I use as Jamal for A Thug’s Redemption series cover and A Thug’s Life Revisited. Nobody was using him. Now everybody and their fucking mama using his ass. Like damn, hop up off me! Let me be great! I hope I don’t have the same problem with him because he is fine as hell and PERFECT as the character for Davion. If I’m lucky enough to make this a movie, I plan on hunting his gorgeous ass down!
So, when is Hoop Dreams Deflated coming out? December 10th 2017 is when. Why am I waiting so long? Because I don’t want this to be a rushed release. I did that with a few of my books and though I had good sales, it wasn’t what I wanted or expected. Also, I have big plans for this book, so folks will have to be patient and stay up on this blog because you never know when I might do a give away, do a sneak preview or leak a couple copies to test the waters.
For now, get jiggy with this synopsis. Before I go, however, I will let y’all know that I’ve decreased my presence on social media. The chances of you seeing updates on Facebook, Instagram and twitter are slim to none. I just feel like I let social media and what some of these other authors do steer me away from how I initially set out to do things with my books. I’ve never been a follower. And besides, since I’m not in any of the “cliques” folks aren’t “really” checking for me unless their quietly spying on the low and I ain’t got time for that. Also because bitches are nosey (excuse my French) and only be eye hustling so they can have something to talk about. So rather than censoring what I say or trying to be mindful of what I post, I’ll just put the shit in my blog and on my website. Those who really support me will come here and those who don’t *shrugs*. They’ll hop on when it’s too late for me to give a shit about their (fake) support.
Hoop Dreams Deflated by Yani (Synopsis)
With a crack-whore for a mother, it’s no wonder that life for Davion and his younger sister Janaya, was everything but a crystal stair. Left in a dirty house by themselves with only the roaches to look after them as their tummies rumbled, the two anxiously await their mother to return with food for them to eat. Seeing LeBron James play in one of his first NBA games awakened Davion’s passion for the sport, but hearing his baby sister’s tearful pleas for something to eat makes him vow to become a super star athlete, so he and his sister would never again see days like the ones they were currently living. While salvaging slices of bread from a moldy loaf in the refrigerator, the two manage to make jelly sandwiches, only for the electric to be turned off. They are now alone in the dark, cold and hungry. A phone call placed to their father leads to their rescue and Davion and Janaya are placed in his custody.
His mother’s dope fiend habits wreak havoc in his young life, causing him to get into countless fights while losing all respect for the woman he now only refers to as Joselyn. But a heated confrontation between the two leads to a startling revelation that it was his father who turned Joselyn onto coke and created her habit that ultimately led to her overdose, with Janaya and Davion being the ones to find her. The respect, love and admiration Davion once had for the man he affectionately referred to as Pops, quickly diminishes after that dreadful day, and tragedy seems to make itself right at home in their lives.
Holding on to his hoop dreams, Davion works hard at perfecting his craft with his sister following in his footsteps. But with tragedy striking around them constantly, the dream begins to slowly slip from his grip. Davion soon learns that everyone is not who they seem as he suspects his step-mother played a part in a murder that nearly destroys the family. Through Davion’s eyes, he tells his story down to the final seconds of his fourth quarter when it’s too late for him to realize that his suspicions were misplaced… as was his trust.
I keep saying that I am going to update this blog more frequently, but I just can’t seem to find the time. It’s been six months since the last time I wrote a blog post and boy and have I been busy. I’ve been writing two books- Licked Into Submission and Hoop Dreams Deflated. I also started writing the screen play to A Thug’s Redemption and I must say, it is turning out to be much better than the actual book. That’s always been my thing about turning books into movies; it should either be like the book, or BETTER than the book. Movies like Cujo, the original It, (can’t wait to see what they do with this remake) and others disappointed immensely. They didn’t do the book justice and I don’t want to disappoint my readers. One of the reviews that I got a few times about A Thug’s Redemption is that Jamal wasn’t a “thug”. (Tell that to White America…) But by “hood standards”, Jamal was not a thug. And they were absolutely correct. Jamal wasn’t a thug. Maybe a little rough around the edges, but he was never meant to be a thug. It’s just unfortunately because of some of the things he had gotten into, he was perceived and pre-judged with many seeing him as a thug. But in this screen-play, wooo, y’all about to see a side to Jamal that I don’t think y’all are ready for. I made him much more ruthless and “thuggish”. I also changed a couple of things and there’s a major plot twist. So get ready. Now does that mean A Thug’s Redemption is going to get a re-write…? Hmmm… the idea has merit…
In other news, I have signed my first author to Anitbeet Productions. Woo hoo! I am so excited for this author. His penmanship, style and way with words is not only charismatic, but artistic. He paints a vivid picture with his words that brings his story to live and gives you a taste of “the game” raw and uncut. Hood Boy: I Am What I Am by LeRoy Payton is the first of a trilogy telling the story of a young man Javon aka Slim who has a strong desire for freedom and independence, a desire that was brought on by being locked down by his father due to his behavioral problems. He gets a taste of that freedom and independence after being introduced to the street life of hustling and reaping the financial rewards that he technically does not need, but wants all the same. The seduction of the drug game pulls him in deeply and he soon faces what most street niggas face in the game: deceit, hate and threats to his street credibility that he’s worked hard to establish. Like many others, peace is sought outside of the hectic street lifestyle, but with that comes the strong possibility of it being compromised and even destroyed. Author LeRoy Payton definitely has done a great job with putting this book and series together. The ending is sure to leave you craving for the second installment in this amazing book series. So stay tuned! Hood Boy: I Am What I Am will be dropping July 27th 2017 which also happens to be his 37th birthday. I’m teaching myself how to use InDesign so I can design better and more high quality book covers. I am also looking to give Anitbeet Productions website a makeover. Starting in September, I will be taking submissions for urban fiction, erotica, Christian Fiction, thrillers, and more. I am excited to be taking Anitbeet Productions to another level! Lastly, I will be in Harlem, NY for the Harlem Book Festival. I will have all of my books with me with the exception of Terrors from Beyond since that is only in ebook format. Not only will readers be able to get signed copies of my paperback novels as well as Hard Cover copies of Love’s Deadly Masquerade, but I will also have my paypal debit card swipe device to accept credit and debit card transactions and you will be able to purchase ebooks from me as well. I will also be doing book bundle deals and giveaways with purchases to show my support to my readers. I have not been to the Harlem Book Festival since 2013 and I am super excited to be going back! So readers in New York, be sure to come check me out!!! That’s all of the updates that I have for now! I’m super excited for what this summer is going to bring! Until next time folks! And I promise it won’t be another six months before I post again. LOL!
Happy New Year everyone! I’m sure I’m not the only one who is glad 2016 is over. Between all of the bad luck and the celebrity grim reaper, 2016 was definitely one for the books and I don’t mean in a good way. Thank God I made it out alive. Maybe not unscathed, because trust and believe I had my fair share of issues, but I’m happy to be alive and able to say Happy New Year.
I’m going to be doing things differently this year all the way around. Not just when it comes to my books and how I market and promote them, but everything! I started making some serious changes towards the end of 2016. I know that people like to make New Year’s Resolutions, but I feel like if you are alive to make a change today, why not utilize the time you have right now to make those necessary changes, because as we can see from this last year alone, tomorrow is not promised. The first change I made was cutting pork out of my diet, which I’m not going to lie to y’all, it broke my fucking heart! Do y’all know how much I love barbecuing some ribs! Lawd! And pork chops smothered in gravy with onions and rice and corn. Finger licking deliciousness! And don’t get me started on how tasty pork bacon is on the side of some buttery pancakes or a plate of hot, buttery grits with some cheesy, scrambled eggs! So yes, a sister was mad hurt. But I am the kind of person who plays very close attention to my body and I noticed that summer of 2016, I didn’t eat a lot of pork. I ate a lot of fish and chicken and now and again I would have beef, like a burger or grill some steaks. But I rarely ate pork. One day, my mother made some neck bones, and I love those, too. Chile, I used to eat a whole pot of those damned things. LOL! Well, this time when I ate them, I felt sick as shit afterwards. Not just my stomach, but my overall life just didn’t feel right. That’s when I knew the pork had to go. Not only did I ditch the pork, but I joined Planet Fitness. I worked out six days a week (I’ve slacked off recently because I let other things grab my attention, but I will definitely be back in the gym this week) and when I tell you it felt so good to work out! I feel like I was becoming addicted to it. And no lie, I was starting to see results in my waist, my stomach and even my um… lady lumps LOL. I also began drinking more water as well as eating a lot more fruit, less candy and junk food (though occasionally I do like to have my Welch’s Fruit Snacks. Those shits are delicious.) and less fast food. It was one of the best changes I could have ever done for myself. This year, I plan to slowly slide into the vegan life which is going to be hard for me because damn it, I love my macaroni and cheese with fried chicken and candied sweet potatoes. Yum!
Another change that I wanted to make before 2017 was I wanted to experience life more and go out more than I do. Hell, I rarely ever go out. My life revolves around my writing and my children. I need some me time. You all already know that I went to the Beyonce concert, which was definitely an experience. I also went to the Bad Boys Reunion concert which gave me life. I even went to Sesame Place with my children for the first time in my life. I think I had more fun than they did. And since I’ve never been on a plane before, this year I plan to take my first flight to Puerto Rico for my 33rd birthday. I’m terrified to fly but that’s a fear I hope to get over this year because I plan on doing a lot of traveling.
Let’s see what else? Oh yeah, my goal for A Thug’s Redemption as well as all of my other books is to turn them into movies. In order to do that, I needed some serious capital because I don’t want them to be shot in a bullshit, low budget kind of way and I don’t want them to be straight to DVD movies. I want them to be in film festivals and generate a huge audience as well as fan base. So I decided to go back to work. There are things that I want to do for my books and places that I want to promote, advertise and market them that I just don’t have the money to do working where I was working. I must say that the company I am with now is one of the BEST companies I have ever worked for in my life. I love the staff at American Income Life. I love the energy and positivity of my boss, Dave Hausman, and my direct manager and trainers are just so encouraging. My team is so encouraging that I am positive I will be very successful as well as accomplish many great things there. That’s the first time I’ve ever had that feeling with a job that I took on.
It had also been a long time since I was able to trust a man enough to be in a relationship with him after the horrid shit my children’s father did to me. But there was a guy who had been after me for six years who I finally said, you know what, I’m going to give him a chance and see where this goes. So I am seeing someone, though I’m not holding my breath. Perhaps my children’s father turned this optimist into a pessimist. I like to think that I am a realist and there are some things that make me leery. No relationship is perfect of course, but as I said, I’m not holding my breath. I like to proven wrong though. So maybe this will be that rare time where I actually am wrong.
Now let’s get to the books. Am I releasing anything this year? I plan to have at least two releases; Licked into Submission and Hoop Dreams Deflated, which is what I am working on now. But things are going to be a little different from now on. First things first, I shut down all of my social media accounts except for Instagram because there are a lot of pictures on there that I need to download first. But I will not be active on it and I will not be using Facebook, Twitter or any other social media outlet to promote my books. Before any of you give me the screw face, let me explain why. I have almost 1100 followers on twitter and over 3,000 friends on Facebook and hardly any of those people support my work. I can count on one hand how many actively and openly rock with me. Maybe both hands. Yeah, I’ll say both hands just to be nice, excluding a couple people because I know for a fact that a few of them are the type of people who will claim to be proud of what I am trying to accomplish but really don’t. Smiles ain’t matching handshakes and all that shit. So I feel like most of those people are only my page to be nosy and to boost their friend list numbers and I don’t have time for that shit. I’m sure I could go through my list and just have a block party, but I don’t have time for that shit. So I removed myself. I feel like this, if you really fuck with me and my work, you’ll subscribe to my blog for release dates, cover reveals and sneak previews. You’ll follow my Amazon Author’s page so when I drop a book, you get that notification, buy it, read it and leave a review. So this year, outside of the various places I will be promoting and advertising my books, everything will be done from this website. Books will be released here FIRST! For the first 90 days of my new releases, the ebooks and paperbacks will only be available here. Why? Because my pockets are more important than Amazon’s Barnes and Noble’s, Smashwords, Kobo’s and every other ebook outlet and book store. My bottom line comes first. I don’t just want “fans”. I want supporters. Of course when people catch on that I’m not on social media anymore, they are either going to sniff me out and find me here or assume that I quit. And when they do find me here, they’re going to spy just as they do on my social media pages. The only difference is, this is my playground and I set the rules. No hard feelings and no love lost. I’m just simply weeding out the fake while I build.
Be sure to subscribe to my blog for previews and cover reveals, book trailers and other news. Make sure you go to my Amazon Author page and follow me there so you are one of the first to know when a book drops and by all means, when you purchase a book, leave a review. That is the best way to help an author is by leaving a review on their book because it helps the next reader decide if they are going to buy it and read it as well.
Last thing before I close out this blog post, no disrespect to those who are getting into promotions, but I will not be using mom and pop tweet blasters and other promotions like that because I have found in the past that it doesn’t work. I would much rather work with an established book promoting company such as Bookbub and promotions through Publisher Weekly and other Literary companies. I’m aware of the costs, but I’m a firm believer of you get what you pay for. And in most cases, you have to spend money to make money and quality ain’t cheap.
Thanks so much for stopping by, reading my blog and subscribing to it. Feel free to drop a comment. I love interacting with my readers. Just be respectful. I ain’t above cussing folks out! *wink*
Hello guys! I know it has been a long time since I’ve updated this blog and for that I am extremely sorry! I have been a very busy little bee and I have also been sick! Over the summer, I thought I had pneumonia. I was wheezing, I had shortness of breath and I was coughing up some disgusting phlegm. Ugh, I was so scared! But the people at Chestnut Hill Hospital took such good care of me and it turned out not to be pneumonia, but instead an acute case of bronchitis. Listen y’all, they had me in there looking like Bane from the Batman movie with that damn oxygen mask on. Then they put me on this albuterol inhaler. No lie when I say that thing worked out like gang busters lol. After that, I cut my hair. Ugh, I’ll have to do a separate blog post about my disastrous experience at Foxxy Diva’s hair salon located on Germantown avenue off of Chelten Avenue. But, I also have been getting a lot of writing done and just finished my first book of short horror stories! Woo hoo! I am so excited! I always said that I didn’t want to just be stuck in Urban Fiction, that I wanted to branch out to other genres. I’ve done erotica, crime fiction and psychological thriller, and I’ve had so much fun with those titles. Now I want to see how readers feel about me throwing my hat in the ring of HORROR! (villainous scary laugh here) So this is what I’m doing…
Since I know how much readers enjoy a good free read as well as discounted ebooks, on my site only, I am doing the ultimate BUY ONE GET ONE DEAL! The name of my new horror book is called Terrors from Beyond and it has THREE short horror stories inside: If I Should Die Before I Wake; Revenge of the Necromancer; and The Elevator. I am making it available on my site for $1.00 and when you buy this ebook, you get to choose any one of my other six novels to also receive as a free ebook! How dope is that?! This BOGO sale will last from now until December 31st, 2016 at 11:59pm.
I am also on a quest to reach 1 million readers and I need your help to achieve that. All I am asking is that you share this blog post through social media whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google +. My dream has always been to have my work reach the furthest places in this world and make sure that my name is not only locally known, but known internationally! So if you follow me on twitter and you see me posting this blog entry, please retweet so others can know how to get two of my books for just $1.00.
So how do you take advantage of this awesome deal? Click the paypal button below to purchase Terrors from Beyond for $1.00. The link to download the ebook will become available instantly once payment is received. Visit http://www.theauthoryani.com/ebooks.html and pick out ONE other novel by Yani that you would like to read for free. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org showing me your proof of purchase and let me know which book you chose as your freebie and the email address you want it to be sent to . Your ebook will be delivered within 24hrs. That’s it!
Step 1: Click here>>
Step 2: Visit My Site and choose the free ebook that you would like to receive.
Step 3: email me at email@example.com showing your proof of purchase and the name of the ebook you chose
Step 4: Share this blog post with your friends on Facebook and Twitter so your family and friends can take advantage of this great BOGO deal!
Alright, y’all finna see a side to Yani that you’ve never seen before. Today was a good day. I went to this event – Philly Girls Jump at Awbury Park and planned on posting a blog entry about it tomorrow after my hips, thighs, ass, back, shoulders and arms stopped hurting from all of the vigorous double dutching that I’d done with some really awesome women that I met today (along with my sisters, daughter and niece) I should be in bed right now resting my sore bones. Instead I’m about to roast this bitch who just left the dumbest and most ridiculous review on Love’s Deadly Masquerade. Her name is Joanne R. Greene.
Every night before I go to bed, I check on book placement, ratings and then do a little promoting to generate book sales throughout the night while I sleep. So imagine my surprise when I go to Love’s Deadly Masquerade and I see where I’ve gone from a PERFECT 5 start rating down to a 4 1/2. Now, I am not some delusional author who expects everyone to love my work and give me kudos and 5 stars. I know there are going to be some people who don’t vibe with my style of writing which is fine. Everything ain’t for every body. But if you are going to 1 star me BITCH you better show me where I earned that shit. I was expecting a three star rating or something like that. Maybe the plot twists were too much for them to handle or
whatever. This bitch didn’t even finish reading the book! Was it for too many grammatical errors, you ask? (nope) Was it because the story-line was too far-fetched or outlandish? (nope) Was it because the book didn’t make sense or seemed amateurish and incomplete??? (NOPE!!) This bitch 1 starred me because I had too much profanity! DA FUCK? Listen, I had to read her review like three times, like is this bitch serious? I can only think of one movie with a domestic violence type plot where there was no profanity and that was “Sleeping With The Enemy” starring Julia Roberts and that movie was so unbelievable in regards to what really goes down in an abusive relationship I wouldn’t know where to poke holes in the story-line. For God’s sake, Roberts jumped off a fucking boat in the middle of Hurricane Katrina and swam to shore, conveniently had a stash of cash, threw a wig on, hopped a bus all the way to east Jablip somewhere, was able to rent a home with NO ID NO SOCIAL SECURITY CARD NO PROOF OF INCOME but the bitch couldn’t make sure when she flushed the ring down the toilet the shit actually went down? Da Fuck? I’m going to assume Joanne thought that movie was amazing and Julia Roberts was cunning and courageous. Meanwhile What’s Love Got to Do with It- Tina Turners biopic about how Ike Turner was beating the snot out of her in between calling her bitches and raping her in music studios probably made Joanne’s eyes fall out and sent her screaming to the Priest asking God to forgive her for indulging in such an animalistic film. And God forbid she ever read Rose Madder by Stephen King, who started the book off with Rose’s husband, Norman, dishing out Mike Tyson blows that caused her to have a miscarriage in their living room all for reading a romance novel. And as poor Rose’s baby is vacating her womb while she sits in a pool of fetal blood, this bastard is making and munching on a ham sandwich. See no evil, eh?
Anybody with half of a brain knows that domestic violence isn’t pretty. If it were, it wouldn’t be domestic violence. It’s definitely not limited to a man just slapping his woman in the face now and again or pulling her hair. It’s grimy, its ugly and to a person who does not lack a conscience, it can easily bring you to tears when you hear and/or see some of the things a lot of women go through every single day. I made sure I captured that in this book. I spared no punches with the descriptive way I told this story from start to finish and if it’s too much for a person who lives in a PG-13 world, too FUCKING bad (yup I said FUCKING not FREAKING) because the world isn’t PG-13. For many of us, the shit is NC-17 even when we try our best to avoid it. So while little Ms. Daisies and sunshine may think that what went on in this book with the profanity and the abuse and the way Eric talked to Vanessa was trash because I used FUCK and BITCH and SHIT and GOT-DAMN and NIGGA, like Freddy Kruegar said in almost every Nightmare on Elm Street movie: Welcome to my world, bitch. This shit is real. And hiding behind your cotton candy bubblicious existence won’t make it any less real.
I do want to thank her. Because she gave me an idea to put a warning at the top of Love’s Deadly Masquerade’s book description letting readers know that if they have sensitive eyes and are too delicate to handle profanity and the descriptive manner in which I described the way Eric was beating the shit out of Vanessa and tormenting her, exit now and go find something else more happy-happy, joy-joy. I won’t change my style of writing because a few sensitive creatures can’t handle what goes on in the world outside of Beverly Hills 90210. Not catering to my personal art-form would be a disservice to my art, my talent, my craft and myself. I don’t see Stephen King making any apologies for the creepy shit he writes. (I love Stephen King by the way LOL) Alright, that’s my rant for the night. I will see you darlings next time! Peace.
For those of you who don’t have sensitive eyes and can handle reading a very real story with real like characters in real life situations, check out Love’s Deadly Masquerade on Amazon Kindle for $5.99. If you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, you can download it and read it for free. Then give me your opinion on the STORY itself. I’m all for legit reviews. If you think the story-line and plot was trash, I’m eager to hear why. Because those who gave me three stars on A Thug’s Redemption were legitimate and their opinions helped me work on my craft which is why The Wrath of Andre and Obsessive Intimacies are damn near perfect 5 star reads. Keep in mind that I’m an artist, and I’m serious about my shit!
For those of you who have already read Love’s Deadly Masquerade, the ending may have given you the impression that another installment to A Thug’s Redemption was coming. Well, you are partially correct. Jamal, D-Ball, Andre and some of the other characters are back in another book and it’s called “A Thug’s Life Revisited.” Can y’all believe I wrote this book in 9 days?! Nine mutha-flubbin days!! That’s the fastest that I’ve ever written a full length novel! Before this, I wrote A Thug’s Redemption 3: The Wrath of Andre in three weeks and A Thug’s Redemption 2: Jamal’s Return in five weeks. I’m proud of myself.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but one of the main characters from A Thug’s Redemption dies in this one. I know, I know! How could I do such a thing?! Cold hearted bitch, right? (sigh) I write what I see. And I saw one of them die. If I don’t write what I see, I won’t be able to write the book. It’s kinda like going against the grain, ya know? Who’s the guy on the cover with the gun, you ask? Remember D-Ball from the original series? Well let’s just say he’s uh… pissed in this book. I’m sure you all recognize Jamal from the other covers.
So I’m going to give you guys a little taste of what’s to come, so you have an idea of how juicy and action packed this book is. It sure to take you on a hell of an emotional ride from start to finish. But I’m positive you guys will love reading it just as much as I enjoyed writing it.
It was another long day at the office for Jamal. He was completely swamped with a few cases that he and his partner Dante had recently closed out. Earlier during the day, a young man who only gave him the name George, had given him a package. With the size of his workload, he hadn’t had a chance to look through what was in the thick envelope. Jamal decided that he would put it off until the next day so he could get home in time to have dinner with his wife, Tiffany. Their two-year-old son was having a sleep over with Deisha and Maurice’s two children so they could finally have some alone time together. He promised Dante he would drop him off at home first.
“Yo homie, you ready to roll?” Dante asked as he approached Jamal’s desk.
“Yeah man, I was just finishing up,” Jamal replied as he stood up. He threw his jacket on and was about to walk away from his desk when he remembered the envelope that was given to him by George earlier that day. He snatched it up and he and Dante headed out of the precinct together.
“You never checked out what was in the envelope that dude gave to you earlier?” Dante asked as they walked over to the parking lot.
“Nah, I said I would look at it tomorrow since I’m off. Dude was real secretive about it like it was some Mission: Impossible type shit. It was weird.” He and Dante chuckled. Jamal took out his keys and hit the keyless starter. As soon as the car started, an explosion erupted lifting the car from the ground. The explosion caused multiple car alarms to go off and the blast knocked Jamal and Dante back into a wall. Jamal’s ears were ringing and his head and back hurt. Dante slowly moved to his knees and looked at Jamal in disbelief. Jamal looked at him wide-eyed.
“What the fuck was that?!” Dante yelled. Other cops ran from the precinct to see what happened.
Jamal shook his head with a look of shock written over his face. “Your guess is as good as mine.”
“Nah fuck this. You’re looking at that file tonight! Whatever is in it, they don’t want you to see it.” Dante grimaced. “Here we go again with this bullshit.”
Sirens from firetrucks and ambulances could be heard approaching the scene. A Sergeant from IAB stood in the window of the fifth floor looking down at what was going on. His cell phone rang.
“This is Rutkowski,” he answered as he continued to stare down below.
“What’s the result?” a male asked on the other end.
“Targets were missed. We’ll get them though,” Sergeant Rutkowski replied.
“That’s not the answer we were expecting,” the man on the phone said.
“I know, sir. My apologies.”
“Save your apologies. Next time, be more efficient.” The man disconnected the call and Rutkowski put his phone back in his pocket. He continued to stare down at the scenery as the fire fighters put out the flames to Jamal’s 2015 Acura RDX as he plotted on his next move against Jamal Williams and Dante Smith.
In other news, tonight at 9pm EST I am doing an interview with the fabulous Jeanette Sapphire Blue on Blog Talk Radio to disgust my new book, Love’s Deadly Masquerade and domestic violence. I want you guys to tune in and feel free to join in the conversation as well. Domestic Violence is very serious and many women suffer from it daily. Call 646-668-2123 and hang out with us on the event page on Facebook
I meant to make this post last month to show some of the promotional material I put together to give to readers who bought copies of my book and also for those who want to purchase them separately. I’m so in love with the logo that was created for me by a good buddy from high-school that I want to showcase it EVERY-WHERE! Honestly, I want it to become a house-hold logo like coco-cola, Pepsi and other items. I posted pictures of them on Instagram and Facebook and people loved them. I appreciate the support of those who hurriedly purchased pens and mugs. I had no idea that they would go so quickly which is why I only ordered a few. As soon as I have more in stock, I will post the word as well as how these awesome items can be purchased. For people who are buying the entire A Thug’s Redemption series at once, expect a mug and pen to arrive with your title, gifts from me to show my appreciation for supporting my work!
The day that I have been waiting for has finally arrived. (Hits my Cabbage Patch) Yeaaaaaah boooooyyyyyy! (in my Flava Flav voice) Love’s Deadly Masquerade is officially out and it is already generating buzz! This is what Online Book Club had to say:
…The writing style is raw and evocative. The vivid and (mercifully) short descriptions of the various forms of tortures that Eric inflicts on Vanessa are particularly hard-hitting. Then there are those glimpses into Vanessa’s psyche which are particularly impactful, for example, when she wonders whether God is making her experience firsthand how shallow was her viewpoint on domestic violence, and perhaps God is punishing her for believing what she would have done in such a situation without ever understanding how overpowering the fear of violence is.
To read the review in it’s entirety, visit Online Book Club Readers are also enjoying this book as well!
This is what one of my biggest supporters (Tiffany W.) had to say on Facebook about Love’s Deadly Masquerade:
This is why I do what I do! Writing actually, is not just something I do, it’s who I am. When I wake up every day, if I can’t do anything else, as long as I can write, I am okay and I am happy. I pray that I never experience writer’s block again because that period of time was the hardest, darkest time in my life. I love what I do and knowing that readers appreciate my work and look forward to the next piece of work that I do makes me love it even more.
So where can you get this awesome book from? EVERYWHERE! Your local book store and if they don’t have it, let them know you don’t appreciate them slipping and they need to get it on their shelves ASAP! You can get it online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and many others. You can also visit my site and purchase a paperback copy through there. For those who are using Paypal, FREE SHIPPING is available to you. If you don’t have Paypal, don’t worry- you can send a money order for $15.00 plus $2.99 for shipping and handling and I will see to it that you get your book in 3-5 days. Ebook readers, at this time, Love’s Deadly Masquerade along with my other titles are available to Kindle EXCLUSIVELY because they are enrolled in the Kindle Unlimited Program. So you can either purchase your kindle copy for $4.99 or if you are a Kindle Unlimited Subscriber, download it and read it for free! I do ask that once you read Love’s Deadly Masquerade, please be sure to leave feedback on Amazon. Feedback is very important to an author because it let’s other readers know to check me out as well!
Can you believe it has been more than 11 years since I’ve performed at an open mic night? And of course when I put the word out that I was invited to recite some original poetry, people started asking me if I was going to do my legendary poem “Why Tyrone Can’t Read?”. Folks really gotta let that poem go. LOL It’s been more the 16 years since I performed that poem for the first time at University City High School.
I wanted to do something fresh and new, but relevant to what’s going on in the world around us now since I was going to be performing in front of a new audience. I’m not going to lie, it’s been so long since I sat down and wrote a poem, I felt rusty, dusty and completely out of whack. Not to mention the first one I started writing, Dallas (my baby girl) felt the need to delete the damn poem and turn the laptop off. I almost DIED! But I think baby-girl knew best because after she went to sleep, I kicked back on the couch and instead of typing up a poem, I went old skool. I forgot how good it feels to hold a pen in my hand and put my thoughts, my feelings, my soul on a sheet of paper. It’s something much more intimate for me, in handwriting a poem versus typing it up on a laptop. I went NUTS with this poem and the crowd loved me. I was happy to have my sister with me, Markisha (Why Yet) who also performed that night as well. A fellow author from Philadelphia, Chippy Pendleton, also came out to see me perform. But the biggest surprise came when a friend from high school who out side of Facebook and Instagram, I have not seen since 12th grade showed up. Unfortunately she got there about five minutes after I had already performed but it’s the fact that she came all the way from New Jersey to see me do my thing.
Gaybriel Bracy has no idea how good that made me feel inside. Some people don’t get that for an indie-author, support means a great deal. Support from family and friends mean a great deal! Lack of support or a lot of support can make or break a person’s will to continue to pursue their dream. While I don’t have much support from family and even friends who I thought would have been thrilled that I finally went after my dream of publishing a book, I use that as a means to keep pushing. My theory is: you may not support me now, but soon, very soon, you’re going to wish like hell you did support me! So thank you, Gaybriel for coming out and showing love.
The name of the poem that I recited is: I am a Black Woman, I am GOD! Check it out below and feel free to leave a comment to let me know what you think!
I Am a Black Woman- I am God
You will never catch me with my head bowed in shame
Eyes low, shoulders hunched
Completely off balance and without aim
I stand Tall with my head held high
Shoulders back, love for self in tact
Catch this twinkle in my eye
And though I walk alone
The strength in my stride
Grows from having my ancestors by my side
Guiding and reminding me that I am a Black woman. I am God
Now Pardon me as I adjust my crown and
Flip my mane
For those who lack understanding this all may seem so strange
But I’m desired and hunted for this melanin coursing through my veins
And these secrets hidden between my thighs could drive the gayest man insane
I don’t reject when I self reflect on
The beauty from which I came
The heat that emits from my soul’s flame is for the fire in my desire to make sure when I’m gone my name remains
And because of that, I won’t stop no matter how hard they try
Knock me down if you will but like the Phoenix
And all of my truth will over run any of your lies
I am a Black woman, I am God
I gave birth to every nation of races
From Haitian, to Asian, Middle Eastern
And even Caucasian
Though you may not mention it in your fictitious books of literacy
Its really no mystery
That no matter how far back you search
I show up in history
While you may think what I’m saying is odd
But you can’t dispute facts that debunk your lies
The very essence of my being spreads abroad
I am a Black Woman, I am GOD
That’s right, folks. Yani has done it again except this time, the book hasn’t even officially been released and it is already sitting in the top 100 on Amazon’s Best Sellers list for Women’s Fiction>>Mystery, Thriller & Suspense>>Detective. I am so proud of myself! I am having a lot of fun marketing and promoting this book, submitting press releases and working to get things where I want them to go with this book. I want to make sure that everything goes great with this book and it generates the attention, respect and readership that I have been working so hard for over these last few years. It was a lot of fun writing this book and so far I am getting a lot of positive feedback from those who heard me on a blogtalkradio interview that I did Saturday February 6th 2016 and listened to the excerpt that I read. Domestic violence isn’t talked about enough and most times when it’s talked about, it’s always when it’s too late and a young lady has already lost her life from being in an abusive relationship. Hopefully through this book I will get the chance to reach young women who feel as though they are trapped in a dangerous situation and help them find the courage to get out of it.
If you haven’t pre-ordered your copy of Love’s Deadly Masquerade yet, click on the link below and get your copy for $0.99. Once it is officially released it will go up to it’s regular price of $5.99, so take advantage of this $5.00 discount!
Check out an excerpt from Love’s Deadly Masquerade below and if you crave more like many of my readers have been this last month since I announced it was coming, there’s another excerpt in the post before this one.
The ceiling fan oscillated from high above, blowing a cool breeze meekly about. While the room’s temperature should have felt like a cool, autumn’s day, to Vanessa it felt hot as hell, like the middle of summer.
“Bitch, you must have lost your fucking mind having a man in my house while I’m not here.” Eric barked from the bathroom as he ran the sink water. “I swear, you never learn. You’d think by now you’d be tired of me going upside your muthafucking head. But you must like it. Yeah, I think you like this shit.” He soaked Vanessa’s wash cloth in the cool water before partially wringing it out. He then checked his appearance in the bathroom mirror before heading back to their bedroom.
The mere sight of him caused Vanessa to back pedal on the floor towards the corner, positive he was coming to deliver more blows that still had her feeling dizzy. Her ribs ached as well as her back from the rapid kidney punches he gave to her after she tried, to no avail, guarding herself against his assault. She was afraid to look up at him, afraid to speak and even more-so, afraid to breathe, worried that he may have fractured her ribs. It wouldn’t have been the first time.
“Why was that nigga in my house, V-Dot? Huh?” Eric asked as he walked over to her slowly.
Vanessa shook her head getting ready to make her plea for him to spare her anymore punches. “Please Eric, I swear. He was just an insurance salesman doing door to door sales,” she whimpered in a hoarse voice.
“So the fuck what!” Eric bellowed. “You should’ve left that nigga outside. But you brought him in my house!”
“It was raining out, I was just…” Vanessa was cut off by Eric’s strong hand going around her neck.
“I don’t give a fuck if the Bloods and the Crypts were having an all-out gun battle out this muthafucka. You think I worked my ass off all these years to get everything I have just for you to bring some bum-ass nigga in here to take my shit?” Eric spoke through clenched teeth while getting all the way in Vanessa’s face.
“Please…” Vanessa managed to squeal, feeling a bit of darkness begin to take over. “Oh my God, this is it. He’s really going to kill me this time.” Vanessa thought to herself. She didn’t bother fighting him back, knowing that would only make things ten times worse. Eric stared at her a moment longer before shoving her into the wall and standing up. Vanessa let out a dry, ragged cough, trying desperately to get in air to breathe. She wanted to scream, but she knew better with that as well. There was no screaming in his house. No way would she ever raise her voice louder than his.
Eric picked up her dampened wash cloth and threw it at her, hitting her in the face with it. “Clean yourself up and clean up this damn room,” he said calmly before casually walking out of their bedroom as though nothing happened.
Vanessa placed the cold rag on her face and began to sob. For the life of her, she couldn’t understand what she had done in her life that was so horrible that karma was dishing out this kind of wrath on her. At twenty-two years old, she had suffered and endured more than most women who were twice her age.
“Why me?” she asked herself before coughing again. She spat in the wash cloth and wasn’t surprised when she saw the red spots of blood.
Vanessa thought back to when she first met Eric two years before while she was in her junior year of college. She was with her best friend Arianna shopping in the King of Prussia Mall when they crossed paths with him inside of Saks Fifth Avenue. Though Vanessa was immediately attracted to him, she was sure that he was going to go for Arianna instead.
Eric appeared alluring to Vanessa, standing over six feet tall and having a medium, muscular build. He had a honey brown complexion almost looking as though the sun has placed golden, glowing kisses on his skin. His deep, chocolate brown eyes almost took her breath away when they initially made eye contact, and the dimples in his smile nearly made her melt inside.
She noticed that he was coming over to her and Arianna and she pretended to be smitten by a faded pair of 7 for all Mankind jeans.
“How are you ladies doing?” Eric asked in a deep, friendly voice filled with sex appeal.
Arianna hadn’t noticed him until he came over to them and gave him the once over before smiling. “We’re good. How are you?” she asked with a seductive grin, ready to shift into a flirtatious mode.
“I’m good also,” Eric replied. He mostly ignored Arianna as he stared intently at Vanessa. “What’s your name, sweetheart?”
“Vanessa,” she said with a blush as she looked away from him.
Eric studied her as he made small conversation with her, immediately seeing that she was younger than him and quite shy. He watched her as she tentatively picked up different pairs of jeans, checked the price and then placed them back on the rack. He could tell she wanted to shop, but her pockets were holding her back.
“You should get those jeans. Not too many ladies have the right look to pull those off, but I think they would be perfect on you.”
“You think so?” Arianna replied with a slight grin as she looked at her friend, not at all pleased that Eric seemed more interested in Vanessa than in her. “She needs to put some meat on her bones with her little boney ass,” she chuckled at her one woman comedy show. Vanessa shook her head and rolled her eyes, slightly blowing off Arianna’s comment as she prepared to put the jeans back on the rack.
“Not at all,” Eric replied. “Petite, slender women make the best models and I can definitely see you ripping the run-way in a pair of these.”
Vanessa blushed. “I wasn’t going to get them anyway. I was just checking them out real quick.”
Eric picked the jeans up that she had just placed back on the rack and looked at the size. “How about I get them for you?” he offered with a charming smile.
Arianna’s eyes bulged knowing that the jeans her best friend was just looking at had to be over $200. Envy boiled inside of her but she clenched her teeth to hold back on another snide remark, not wanting to appear jealous of the offer. Instead she told herself the guy was just bullshitting, expecting Vanessa to turn him down so he could put them back without embarrassing himself.
“Oh no, you don’t have to do that,” Vanessa said quickly.
“Oh, I know I don’t have to. But I want to. How about this?” Eric said quickly. “You letting me take you out to dinner can be your way of saying thank you for buying these jeans for you.”
Arianna was now standing behind Eric and looked at Vanessa wide eyed. She quietly stomped her feet and mouthed dramatically, “Bitch, you better say yes! I swear to God, if you say no, I’ma punch you in the throat. Tell the man yes!”
Vanessa peered at Arianna and then smiled nervously at Eric unsure of what she should say. Eric sensed Arianna’s influence behind him and turned to her. She quickly rubbed her hand across her neck as though she was doing and saying nothing and gave him a friendly smile. When he turned his attention back to Vanessa, Arianna gave her an evil eye and mouthed again, “You better take them damn jeans!”
“You’re really serious?” Vanessa looked at him suspiciously.
“I’m really serious. I want to get to know you better and though this is one of my favorite stores, this isn’t exactly my idea of a first date, you know what I mean?”
Vanessa took a deep breath and thought to herself, “Screw it, how often will something like this happen to me?” “Okay…” she replied hesitantly. She retrieved the jeans from the rack and was about to place them over her arm when Eric stopped her.
“I’ll carry those for you,” he said with another charismatic smile that almost made her heart stop.
“Thank you,” Vanessa said shyly as she smiled as well.
“You’re going to need a shirt to go with that as well as a pair of shoes…”
Before Vanessa knew it, Eric was paying for her a Dolce & Gabbana blouse along with a Chanel hand bag and a pair of Chanel low heel stilettos. Vanessa thought she was in a dream by the way he helped her try the shoe on and didn’t seem the least bit impatient as she made up her mind about what she wanted. Arianna tagged along enviously feeling like the third wheel, not understanding for the life of her what Eric saw in Vanessa that he did not see in her.
Though they were best friends, Arianna always felt a need to compete with Vanessa. They were equally beautiful young ladies who had both grown up in the “Brickyard” section of Germantown. “Cradle to the Grave” is how they always said they would be, meeting when they were in the second grade. They were enemies at first, getting into a small fist fight in the school yard of Kelly’s elementary school over a double-dutch game. They would later become the best of friends after Arianna saw a few girls from Morton Homes trying to jump Vanessa one day and she jumped a fence to intervene. Ever since then, they were thick as thieves and inseparable.
Arianna was a “red-boned” female mixed with Italian and Black. Her great-grandfather was a full blooded Italian who shunned his daughter when she got pregnant by a “Black Mooly”. Practically her entire family disowned her in her Chicago home-town. When she was asked for her hand in marriage, Inga quickly accepted and moved with Barry to Philadelphia. Tragically during the race riots near Girard College in the late 1960’s Barry was killed while Inga was pregnant with Arianna’s mother, Josephine. “Josie” wasn’t exactly mother material. She was more attracted to running the streets and bar hopping than raising Arianna, so Inga took care of her and raised her as though she were her own. And while Arianna was indeed intelligent, she used her strikingly beautiful appearance to get most of what she wanted in life. She stood at 5’8 and had a soft, creamy complexion like a cup of coffee that had been heavily diluted with milk. Her hair was naturally thick and curly, but she kept it bone straight and wore it just past her shoulder blades. She was curvy and slightly bow-legged with dimples and dark seductive eyes. In her mind, any man who was not attracted to her was either dumb as hell, or gay.
Vanessa on the other hand, was shorter than Arianna and petite. She was barely 5’6 but had an athletic body from playing sports all through grade school and even in college. She played badminton, volley ball and ran track. She was the color of a coconut shell with smooth skin and dark shoulder length hair. And though she was twenty years old, Arianna often joked that if she were to put on a school uniform and pull her hair back into a pony-tail, she could pass for a high-school freshman.
Arianna sat on a bench and began playing with her cell phone while pretending not to be jealous of the mini shopping spree Vanessa was getting from Eric. “I hope his card declines,” she thought to herself as an evil grin crept across her face. But when Vanessa and Eric were walking over to her carrying shopping bags while grinning and giggling like the pair had been dating for months, she knew that wasn’t the case.
“So what time can I pick you up tonight?” Eric asked Vanessa as they slowly walked through King of Prussia.
“I guess 8 o’ clock sounds good.”
“Alright, I’ll make dinner reservations for us and I’ll see you at 8pm.” They exchanged phone numbers and then Vanessa texted him her address. “Would you ladies like a ride home?”
“No thanks,” Arianna said quickly. “We have some other stops to make, right Vanna?”
Vanessa cut her eyes at her best friend. She hated when Arianna called her that and Arianna knew it. “Yes, we have a few more stops to make. Call me later when you are on your way.”
Eric smiled and gave her a warm embrace. Vanessa thought she was going to melt when she smelled his Izzy Miyake cologne. Arianna rolled her eyes again and looked at her non-existent watch on her wrist to drive the point home that she had run out of patience.
Eric parted ways with Vanessa and she walked away with Arianna with a bit of a bounce in her step.
“You are such a cocky bitch,” Arianna said with a smirk.
“And you are a hater,” Vanessa smiled.
“I can’t believe he bought all that for you and didn’t know you from Adam. You better watch it, that fucking credit card is probably stolen,” Arianna said.
“Ugh, you are such a hater, shut up!”
“You think I’m joking. What man does that? Just walks up to a strange girl that he doesn’t know shit about and spends over a stack on her in Saks? This ain’t Pretty Woman and you are not Julia Roberts.”
“Hay-ter,” Vanessa said again in a sing song manner.
“Yeah, whatever. Watch he tries to fuck you in the ass tonight,” Arianna said before laughing loudly.
Vanessa burst out laughing with her. “You are a horrible, HORRIBLE person, girl. Just horrible! You wouldn’t be saying that if he had bought this stuff for you.”
“Nah, but you probably would.”
“No I wouldn’t because unlike you, I’m not a hater,” Vanessa replied as she continued to smile.
“Yeah well, you better take your mace with you because ol’ boy definitely finna steal your virginity tonight.” The two of them laughed together as they took the escalator down to the food court. “You’re laughing like I’m joking. But you gon’ learn tonight. You gon’ learn about that long dick,” Arianna mimicked Kevin Hart.
“Alright, alright, alriiiiight!” They both said at the same time before leaning into each other and laughing. They went over to Chick-Fil-A to grab something to eat before heading home.
Later on that night, Vanessa nervously got dressed for her first date with Eric. She obsessed over how she should wear her hair, her accessories; hoop earrings or diamond studs, lip-gloss or lip-stick. Arianna sighed and shook her head before propping herself up on her pillows.
“You need to get a damn grip girl, shit. It’s not that deep!”
“It is that deep. I’m not like you, going out on dates with different guys every other day,” Vanessa replied as she checked herself out in the mirror.
“Well maybe if you did, you wouldn’t be tripping.”
Vanessa turned around. “How do I look?”
Arianna looked her over. “Your outfit is cute but honestly, you look like a kid playing dress up in her big sister’s cool wardrobe. Take that pony-tail out of your hair and put some make-up on.”
“I don’t like make-up,” Vanessa frowned.
“Well, you’re going to like it tonight. You’re rocking a Chanel bag and Chanel shoes. Bitch, if you don’t at least put some eye-liner on and some mascara and make your lips look kissable,” Arianna suggested as she pushed her friend down in the chair.
“He liked me without make-up, though!” Vanessa whined.
“Vanna baby, I love you to death. But trust me when I tell you, he may have been attracted to you in Saks today, but he also dropped over a stack on one outfit to take you out. He wants to show off his lady not his little sister. Now hold still so I don’t poke you in the eye with this pencil.” They both giggled before Arianna started fixing Vanessa’s face. She quickly undid her ponytail and ran her fingers through hair before parting it on the side and re-styling it.
“Hot-damn, girl! Eric is gonna be on that ass tonight!” Arianna grinned as she admired her handy work.
Vanessa smiled as she looked at herself in the mirror. She hadn’t been done up like this since her senior prom.
They heard a knock at the door and Vanessa jumped up. “Oh my God, that’s him. I’m nervous.”
“Girl, have a seat in here while I get the door. You want to wow him when you make your grand entrance,” Arianna said before leaving the room so she could answer their door. The two of them shared an apartment in a duplex near La Salle University where they went to school. It was their way of being adults and not having to stay in their parents’ homes while completing their education. It was more of a benefit for Arianna than Vanessa since it kept her from having to deal with the unbearably strict rules her grandmother set for her in hopes that it would keep her from traveling down the same path as her mother, Josie.
“Hey Eric!” Arianna said with a smile after opening the door for him. She gave him the once over just as she had done at Saks Fifth Avenue earlier and thought to herself that he looked good enough to eat. He was wearing a pair of faded blue jeans with a pair of Prada sneakers, a white Polo shirt and a blazer. He even smelled better than he did earlier.
“How are you…?” he winced not remembering her name.
“Arianna…” she replied with a frown. “I’ma let you slide on that one, home-boy. Just don’t let it happen again,” she joked in a flirty manner. She called for Vanessa to come out of the room for her date.
Eric smiled at her but turned his attention to Vanessa. His smile widened as he gave her the once over. “You look beautiful.”
“Thank you,” Vanessa blushed. He took her by the hand tenderly and kissed her on the cheek making her blush some more.
“What time should I expect you?” Arianna asked.
Vanessa looked at Eric and then looked at Arianna. “Um, I don’t know. Are we just doing dinner tonight?” she asked Eric.
“Whatever you want to do afterwards is fine with me as long as I get to spend as much time with you as the night allows me to.”
Vanessa blushed again. “You don’t have to wait up, I’m a big girl,” she said to Arianna.
“Yeah, uh huh. Okay,” Arianna replied as she walked them to the door. She watched from the window and her mouth damn near hit the floor when she saw Eric open the car door to what she estimated to be a 2012 Infiniti. Vanessa sat inside and he closed her door before jogging around to the other side and getting in. Arianna watched the car until it disappeared down the street.
“He’s probably a drug dealer. Yup, that nigga’s a trap king,” she smirked before closing the blinds and going to pop some popcorn for her mini marathon of Law & Order SVU.
Though Vanessa was nervous, she hit it off very well with Eric during their drive to Chima’s Brazilian Steakhouse for their dinner date. Eric made her feel at ease as they both talked of their child-hoods. While he didn’t look it, Eric was 25 years old and worked as a partner with one of the top Financial Brokerage Firms in the Tri-State area. He had no children, had never been married and for the last five years, he had been more focused on establishing a career and a good life than starting a family and settling down. He told Vanessa that he dated off and on but hadn’t met a young lady he could see himself with for a long time.
Vanessa thought that he was too good to be true. Most of the guys that she knew who were his age had done at least one bid in jail, were barely making above minimum wage at a mediocre job with hardly any aspirations for anything better than the next get rich quick scheme; a party promotor or an “up & coming” rap star from Philly with a mix-tape always coming soon but never arriving. And then there were the DJ’s hustling at hole in the wall bars and clubs or alley-way block parties, guys with multiple children by multiple women who still lived at home with their mothers; back bedroom or basement dwellers who only left home when their chick of the moment let them stay with them. Because of the same scenarios she constantly ran into, she gave up on dating and focused more on school, hoping to enroll into law school after she graduated with her bachelor’s degree in criminology.
Eric was impressed with her aspirations as well as they sat in Chima’s talking some more while waiting for their dinner. At first, Vanessa was afraid to order after she had seen the prices. Not wanting to over step her boundaries, she asked him to recommend a dish stating that she had never been to the restaurant before. Eric ordered the Picanha-top sirloin for Vanessa and a salmon steak for himself with a bottle of Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon- 2010 wine and two salads.
“I’m only twenty,” Vanessa whispered to him after the waiter poured both of them a glass and walked away.
“It’s okay, I won’t tell if you won’t tell,” Eric smiled. “You’ve never had wine before?”
“I’ve never drank, smoked, nothing,” Vanessa said bashfully.
“Well, first things first: sip, don’t gulp. But when you sip it, don’t swallow it right away. Close your eyes and let the flavor dance around your mouth for a moment. Let it play a sweet melody on your tongue almost as though it’s singing to your taste buds,” Eric said softly. He watched her intently. “Now swallow it.”
Vanessa did as he said and then slowly opened her eyes. Looking into his eyes, she felt hot, and aroused. She felt his seduction wash over her body and felt as though she was getting to know him intimately without having him touch her physically.
“Was it good?” he asked her in the same soft voice, snapping her out of her trance.
“Yes,” she replied trying hard not to bite down on her lip and trying even harder not to stare at his.
Eric sat back and smiled as though he read her thoughts and could sense what she was feeling. He took a sip from his glass and then swirled it slightly before sitting it down and looking back at her. “When do you turn 21?” he asked.
“In June. My friends want to throw me a big party, but nah. I’m just not into that.”
“Well, how about I take you to one of my favorite vineyards and we can go wine tasting together. You’ll love it. That’s normally around the time that I grab a few bottles for the winter and the fall anyway, so if things work out for us, we can make it a date.”
Vanessa smiled. She was liking Eric more and more even though she had just met him. “Maybe we can.”
They ate their dinner and desert continuing their conversation, sharing stories, laughing, and enjoying each other’s company as they got to know one another. After Eric paid the bill, he drove them over to Warm Daddy’s where they listened to the live band and had a few more drinks. Eric then noticed that it was almost 1am and decided to bring the evening to a close.
He pulled up in front of her residence and got out of the car so he could open her door. He walked her to the front door and she turned to face him.
“I had a wonderful time tonight. I honestly can’t think of any other time I went out on a date and had this much fun with a guy who genuinely seemed interested in me and was such a gentleman. Thank you,” Vanessa said with a smile.
“You don’t have to thank me, Vanessa. That’s what a man is supposed to do, and if a man isn’t doing those things for you, he isn’t a man.”
Vanessa blushed and looked away from him for a moment. Before she realized it, Eric leaned in and kissed her softly. She hesitated momentarily, but then kissed him back. He pulled away before giving her another peck on the lips and then brushed her hair behind her ear.
“I’ll call you when I get in, okay.”
Vanessa nodded unable to speak, feeling like her breath had been taken away.
Eric waited for her to go inside before getting into his car and driving away.
Vanessa floated to the bedroom that she and Arianna shared and plopped down on her bed grinning from ear to ear. She replayed the night over in her head mainly focusing on their kiss as she continued to smile. She was snapped out of her daydream by Arianna’s groggy voice.
“GTD or naw?” Arianna asked in a husky voice.
“GTD?” Vanessa asked confused.
Arianna clicked the lamp on by her dresser. “Got the drawls, dawg!” She burst out laughing, imitating Tommy from the T.V show “Martin” and Vanessa laughed with her.
“You’re so goofy! No he didn’t get the drawls, girl shut up!” Vanessa went into the bathroom and changed into her night clothes before crawling into bed and dishing the details of her date with Eric.
That night, Vanessa was positive she had found the man she was looking for; charismatic, smart, funny, and ambitious, good looking, kind and gentle. She was positive Eric was the man of her dreams. Little did she know he would turn out to be nothing more than a hellish nightmare from which she could not escape…
Love’s Deadly Masquerade – Coming March 1st 2016 to a book store near you!
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