#TeaserTuesday – Dream Chasers

After hugging me and DJ, Sunny sat down and crossed her legs. She gave me an amused smile.
“Dreamz, what have you done?”
“Man, it’s not what you think,” I answered, assuming that she had watched the finale inside of Aubrey’s dressing room.
“I was checking out your girl too. She’s wearing that hell out of that Cavalli dress. I know that dress well, and no reality star can afford that. Did you buy that for her?”
I shrugged. “Maybe. If I did, she doesn’t need to know.”
“That girl has you all twisted up.” Sunny giggled. “You spent forty stacks on a dress? I’ve never seen you like this.”
“What do you want, Sunny? I know you didn’t come in here just to tease me.”
She grinned widely. “Actually, that’s the only reason I’m still hanging around. And maybe to give you some much needed advice.”
DJ burst out laughing. “How can you give him relationship advice? You act like we don’t know your track record. We grew up with you, Sunny. We know we can’t trust your relationship advice.”
Sunny smiled because she knew he was right. We all went to junior high and high school together. We weren’t the best of friends, but that doesn’t change the fact that every aspect of her current and past relationships was tabloid fodder.
“You tried it, DJ! You were at my wedding! Obviously, I’m doing something right because I’m not divorced. I’m not giving your cousin relationship advice because he doesn’t have a relationship to advise on. I’m giving him female advice. And I’m not talking to you; I’m talking to your cousin.” She turned towards me. “Dreamz, I think you’re about to do something really dumb, and you better tread carefully. You hurt that girl to her core on national TV. Millions of people saw her embarrassed by you. Her forgiveness isn’t going to come easily so don’t expect it just because you still like her. Your feelings don’t even matter. From what I’ve seen on the show, she’s more likely to say fuck you and your feelings than forgive you so you better be prepared for it, friend. She’s a tough cookie. I like her though. And next time you want to dress up one of your girls, call me. That is what I do for a living.”
Sunny’s harsh words hit me hard. Seeing Chase at her school and our brief conversation solidified my feelings for her, but we hadn’t had a conversation about what happened. Sunny could be right, and I was overestimating Chase’s feelings for me. Damn. I didn’t know what I’d do if Chase rejected me in front of a live audience.

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Thank You, Jackie

Jackie Collins sigToday is the eighth day that I’ve had to live in a world where my favorite author, my unofficial mentor, my inspiration, and the reason why I write no longer resides. It’s been a long eight days. I’ve finally come to terms with this therefore, today is the day that I’m able to say goodbye to Jackie Collins.

I was twelve when I discovered that life wasn’t all Ramona the Brave and Sweet Valley High. This realization came in the form of Nick and Lauren in American Star.

I fell in love with the way Jackie Collins told a story. I was fascinated by the way she showed the dirty and glamorous sides of Hollywood. I loved her behind the scenes all-access pass she gave her readers into a world most of us could only dream about.Then I met Lucky. Since reading Chances, I’ve chalked up a body count of books high in the thousands but no other character has held my attention like Lucky Santangelo.

I, like thousands of others, had the opportunity to meet Jackie Collins at a book signing. This was when I was writing my first book and was trying to get published. As soon as I walked through the bookstore door, I felt her presence. I was star struck. Her smile was warm and comforting. Her aura was magnetic. I found the courage to ask her what I should do in the face of consistent rejection from publishers and her advice still holds true today.

“No doesn’t mean stop and no doesn’t mean you’re not good enough. No just means you can’t give up. Just keep writing and trying. Someone will love what you do.”

John Mayer once said, “Who I am as a guitarist is defined by my failure to become Jimi Hendrix.”

The same holds true to me as an author. I picked up a pen and pad because I wanted to be the black Jackie Collins. I modeled my career path after hers. It was in my attempt to emulate my favorite author that I found my own voice, my own style, and was able to define Jackie Chanel as an author.

I used to imagine having a one on one conversation with Jackie Collins where we’d talk about writing and Hollywood and she’d share the secrets of her immense success. And I would finally get to say what I’ve always wanted to say. With her passing, I won’t be able to say that in person so I’ll say it now.

Jackie,

Your work awoke a sleeping giant in me. Each time I read a Jackie Collins novel, I want to become a better writer. Your work encouraged me to write more engaging characters, more thoughtful plots, but most importantly, you encouraged me to never ever give up on myself. You didn’t have to know me personally in order to be my motivation and inspiration. I have called you my unofficial mentor since the day we met in that bookstore. It’s a moment that I will never forget and you are a person that I hold very near and dear to my heart. As a reader, a fan, and a fellow author, my life changed as soon as I opened a Jackie Collins book. Thank you for just being the amazing woman that you are.

You will truly be missed.

xojc

 

Dear Universal…

Yesterday, the Internet was abuzz with the announcement of the leading actors in the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey film. So far, based on Twitter and Facebook responses, the fandom is equally split on the casting.

I am one of the many who is not particulary excited about the casting. When I saw that Charlie Hunnam is going to play Christian Grey, my heart sank.

Really? I mean, seriously Universal? What are you thinking?

Continue reading “Dear Universal…”