On the outside, Vince is the man of every woman’s dreams. He is a Summa Cum Laude Morehouse graduate, CEO of his own company, no children, handsome, rich, charming and single. So what’s the catch? Unfortunately, he also comes with baggage like you wouldn’t believe. After losing his father, love lost its luster and he fell back into the playboy ways of his youth. After a very forward conversation with his best friend, Vince decides to make his 32nd birthday the last one he spends as a single man. Unfortunately, love doesn’t follow a set schedule and the bad habits of “Instant Vincent” aren’t so eager to go away. His search for love lands him on a date from hell, a one night stand and a whirlwind romance with a woman that seems too good to be true.
After all of that, Vince begins to wonder if his search should lead him closer to home. Insert Mykael, his doting young assistant, who he now sees through a different set of eyes. Then there is Ksenia, the Russian bombshell with whom the connection was instant and undeniable. Before long, Vince finds himself going from having no one to love to having a pair of incredible women to choose between. He knows he has to make a decision that could leave someone with a broken heart. But the question is: when he has decided, will he still have the power to choose? Or will the choice already have been made for him?
That Saturday, Nechole and I went out. I’m still kicking myself over that date as we speak. I picked her up at her apartment in College Park (her profile said she lived in Dunwoody). When she came out, she was dressed in some stretch pants, a man’s dress shirt and some high heeled Jordans. I immediately felt overdressed in my tailor-made sharkskin suit, pink Hermès shirt and tie and black Gucci loafers.
“Ooh shit! You drive a Range Rover! Damn, you ballin’,” she exclaimed as she climbed into the passenger seat.
“I do alright for myself,” I responded, trying my hardest to hide the utter disgust that threatened to erupt all over my face.
“So, where we going?” she asked as she pulled down the visor so she could check her makeup in the vanity mirror.
“I made reservations at Silver Spoon. Is that okay?” I answered as I got on the highway to head towards the restaurant.
“That place is kinda bougie, but I guess it’s fine.”
“We can go somewhere else, if you want,” I insisted, even though I hoped she would decline.
“Nah boo, Silver Spoon is okay if that’s where you wanna go.”
When we arrived at the restaurant, things went even further downhill. The hostess sat us at our table and Nechole used the salad fork to pick something out of her teeth. Our waitress, Brittanye, came to the table to introduce herself and ask what we would like to drink just in time to catch the end of this spectacle. When she regained herself, I said, “Hi, you just received a case of 2010 Giacondo Chardonnay. We’d like a bottle of that, please.” I turned towards Nechole and asked, “Are you okay with white wine?” She nodded and went back to looking at the menu.
Brittanye shot me a confused look and quickly scanned the wine menu. “Are you sure, sir? I don’t see that wine on our list.”
I took a deep breath. “I’m very sure; I had the crate delivered here before Christmas.” Brittanye looked even more confused and started to scan the room for some assistance.
“Who’s the Manager on duty tonight?” I asked, trying my best to remain calm.
“Gerald is the current Manager on duty, sir. Is there a problem?” she replied, looking even more nervous.
I smiled to reassure her. “No, there’s no problem. But if you could please have Gerald come over, that would be great.” Brittanye excused herself and went to retrieve the Manager.
“You not about to get that girl fired before New Year’s Eve, are you?” Nechole asked. Her eyes full of concern.
“God no, I just want to make sure that the wine I bought is here. That’s all.”
Her face softened and she sat back in her chair as Gerald approached. “Mr. Coleman, so good to see you again,” he said as we shook hands. “The wine you ordered arrived a few days ago. We weren’t sure if it was for the restaurant or your personal use, so we left the crate unopened in the wine cellar. I’ll gladly have a bottle brought up for you.”
Bradley was born Marlon Bradley on November 17, 1980 in Kansas City, Missouri. Marlon’s love for literature started at a very early age. After learning how to read at 3, he could usually be found curled up with his favorite book, Grimm’s Fairy Tales and dictionary to look up any word he didn’t know. Throughout his early years, his affinity for books grew and grew. Around 10, Marlon discovered the works of William Shakespeare. Even though he could barely understand the playwright’s words, something spoke to him. The melodic way that Shakespeare’s words flowed inspired Marlon to try his hand at poetry. Noticing his son’s new hobby, Marlon’s father found a way to focus his son’s burgeoning interest. At 13, he challenged his son to continue honing his pen by occasionally issuing a challenge to tell a story with his poetry. At 18, Marlon made his first attempt at writing a novel. And while he never finished that first manuscript, the seed had been planted. Throughout his 20’s, Marlon tried his hand at songwriting as a new way to combine his love of both storytelling and lyricism. Before he passed away, Marlon’s father issued one final challenge: tell the stories that are closest to his heart. With his father’s words playing on constant repeat in his head, Marlon devoted himself to finishing his first novel at any cost. After going through countless ideas that just didn’t feel right, a seemingly innocuous conversation with a friend produced the idea that eventually became Torn.
Get to know Marlon:
How did you come up with the concept for Torn: Confessions of a Selfish Lover?
It started with a conversation with a few friends. They were telling me about the male characters they seemed to come across while reading romance novels, that seemed to either be hyper flawed or too perfect. So I decided to create a character that was more in line with how real men think and act, especially when it comes to affairs of the heart. After that, I just borrowed different experiences from my own life and embellished them.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
William Shakespeare, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou
How do you deal with writer’s block?
Usually, I just walk away from my laptop and try to get my mind off of writing. I’ll go play video games, listen to music or watch TV or a movie. If that doesn’t work, I’ll go back and read the last couple of pages to try and recapture the same frame of mind I was in.
How did you start writing?
It all started with my dad. I was 13 and came home frustrated by an assignment in my English class. The teacher wanted us to write a haiku. I had no idea how to do it, even after reading countless examples. So my dad made me a deal: if I wrote him a poem, he would turn it into a haiku. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Describe your perfect writing environment.
I don’t think I really have a perfect writing environment; I can write pretty much anywhere I might happen to be at. I’m not really picky about location, as long as it’s not too bright. I don’t mind noise because I listen to music. I don’t mind people moving because I draw inspiration from everything. As long as I have a flat surface to put my laptop on and my headphones, I’m good. Oh, and a comfortable chair.
What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
Be true to who you are, don’t try to write outside of your character. Be brutally honest in telling your story. And take the time to research the hell out of any and everything you want to use in your book.
What’s next for M. Bradley?
Currently, I’m hard at work on Torn Part 2. Vince made his decision on who he wants to be with, now he’s got to go find and fight for her. I also have a spy novel I’m working on. There’ll also be a third book involving Vince, but I’m still in the early brainstorming stages of that idea. And then there’s my passion project: a book of poetry that I want to release at some point in time.
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