I’m on SwoonReads!

So, yes, that means I am working on a novel. You can connect with me on the site here. I haven’t published anything yet, but the story is in progress. How about I share an excerpt with you right now? Lemme hear you say YEAH!

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you…a sneak peek of “Nineteen”…

I remember meeting the famous (infamous?) Maribelle Anselmi like it was yesterday. She was a freshman at our university, and as the graduate assistant for the media department, it was up to me to aid her in planning a schedule for next semester.

She arrived in the dean’s office exactly two minutes before her appointment time, a camera bag wrapped around her shoulder, and sat unceremoniously on a leather couch. I didn’t think much at first until I looked up a second time and spotted her gazing at me from the corner of her eye. Those eyes struck me- ice blue in opposition to her cascading chestnut waves. I figured she was Italian for two reasons. One, the last name. Everyone knows that if you are Caucasian and your name ends in a vowel, you are probably Italian. Two, this town. It has the highest concentration of Italian-Americans outside of New York’s five boroughs. Chances are, if you were born here, you are Italian. Or you speak Italian. Or you wish you were Italian. Or you eat Italian food. I myself have family roots in Sicily.

Anyway- back to Maribelle.

“Hi,” I said with a smile. “Would you kindly present your student ID and check in?”

“Certainly.”

She approached the desk with her card and handed it over. Maribelle Annina Anselmi, Film Studies major, nineteen years of age. I swiped it into the computer and her course grades popped up on the screen.

“Okay, we’re all set,” I said. “You can sit back down. Dean Morales will be with you in a few minutes.”

She winked. “Thanks, Mr.…?”

“Rizzoli,” I replied, holding out an ink-stained palm. “Christophe Rizzoli- some people call me Toff.”

After we shook hands, she cocked her head slightly. “Rizzoli, huh? That name sounds familiar. I once attended an indie rock show at the civic center where the lead singer’s name was Rizzoli, but I suspect there’s no relation here.”

“Jaime Rizzoli?”

She raised her eyebrows. “Yeah!”

“He’s my older brother.”

“Oh! I knew this couldn’t be a coincidence. Well, if his guitar skills are any indication, talent must run in your family! I may have to ask you to read for my next short. Thanks!” And with that, she laughed and returned to the sofa.

Dean Morales called Maribelle in not long after. I heard her sashay into the office, a simple pair of black pumps clacking against the wooden floor. As the door shut behind them, like clockwork, another girl came in. This one was the antithesis of Miss Anselmi- porcelain skin, flame-red hair pulled into a bun, and brown eyes. She did not sit on the waiting couch but came right to the desk with her ID card.

I swiped it. Felicity Lena Contini, Dramatic Acting major.

“May I help you?” I asked.

“Not really. I was just wondering if I could speak to Dean Morales regarding my application for honors credit.”

“You’ll have to wait a bit. She’s in an advising appointment with Maribelle…” I stopped myself. Why in the world had I mentioned her name? The identity of the person in advisement was none of this girl’s business. Or so I believed.

“Maribelle?” Felicity’s interest was officially piqued- yet she didn’t pursue it any further. “Well, that’s all right. I’ll come back later.” And just as suddenly as she’d drifted in, was Felicity Contini drifting out.

I then tried to get back to work- but I guess you could say I was already spellbound.

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