Authors: Nikki Turner
“Few writers working in the field today bring
the drama quite as dramatically as Nikki Turner. …
[She's] a master at weaving juicy, 'hood-rich sagas
of revenge, regret, and redemption.”
“Turner [takes] street literature to the next level,
further proving that she is indeed ‘The Queen
of Hip-Hop Fiction.’”
“USDA hood certified.”
—Teri Woods, author of
True to the Game
The Dutch Trilogy
Also by Nikki Turner
Forever a Hustler's Wife
Death Before Dishonor
(with 50 Cent)
Riding Dirty on I-95
The Glamorous Life
A Project Chick
A Hustler's Wife
Street Chronicles: Christmas in the Hood
Street Chronicles: Girls in the Game
Street Chronicles: Tales from da Hood
Girls from da Hood
Girls from da Hood 2
The Game: Short Stories About the Life
This book is dedicated in loving memory
to a man who was indeed a superstar
in his own right … my grandfather,
James “Buddy” Lewis
To every ghetto superstar worldwide, but
especially those who have crossed my path,
touched, or impacted my life in some way.
There are too many of you to name
BUT you know who you are!
Dear Loyal Readers,
I have to begin this letter by thanking you so much for the everlasting support you have given me and my work. There aren't enough pages or time to tell you how much I appreciate you.
I'm really excited to tell you about my newest release:
The actual delivery of this particular baby was very difficult for me, and this project took longer than expected to complete. Once I got going, the first draft was a breeze until my editor pulled out a gigantic-ass axe and commenced to chop up everything within her reach. I'm talking not just a word here or a sentence there but entire paragraphs and chapters. Yes, CHAPTERS! “Hold on, this isn't
and you aren't Michael Myers, are you?” I asked with a raised eyebrow. Then the writer in me let my mind run wild—could she have been a homicidal maniac in her last life? Melody, you know I love you and all, but you also know that I have to uphold my reputation for keeping it real with my readers. The edits were so thorough and in depth that they damn near drew blood—my blood at that. Talk about the excruciating pain of being in labor for hours—try months and months of edits? Trust me it's NO JOKE!
But two good things did come out of it. One was the realization of how much respect and admiration that Melody and I have for one another (because it could have gotten down right ugly) and the second was the super terrific book that we ended up with. I still think using a machete to edit is a bit of an overkill, but I know she only wanted the best for the newest baby joining our clan.
As I started writing, I kept asking myself and everyone who would listen, why can't I bond with this girl, Fabiola? Then I realized why it was so difficult: I normally start with a character that I have something in common with and build upon that. I was struggling to find some part of myself in the core of this character. And then it hit me—the struggle. Like Fabiola, I've been knocked down many times, but I kept believing in myself and got up each time. Fabiola never gives up on her dream. She thinks about it, but in the end, she keeps her eye on the prize. I could definitely relate.
And then there were my writing priorities. Normally when I'm working on a new novel, that is the only project of mine I am focused on. But this time I had two other books on my mind. As I wrote this book, I found myself brainstorming the plot of my next novel and had practically written it in my head. In fact, it was screaming to get onto paper in addition to the outline for another project in the works—
Hustler's Wife 3
. Although I was energized about these books, I could not stop writing
because by this point Fabiola was in me and burning to have her story told.
Then there was the ending. For months I was not happy with the original ending of the book. I lay awake in bed many a night coming up with new ending after new ending, but for the life of me I could not find the perfect one. But when it finally came, it struck with the force of a Mack truck doing 90 down the highway. Once I had it … boy you couldn't tell me sh#@. And when I sent the new ending over to my editor, she loved it, too. That's when we both realized that a star—Fabiola—had been born.
Because of the long hours of work and all of the times I had to neglect family and friends because I was working (writing, re-writing, edits, edits, and yes, more edits) I sincerely apologize, but I'm proud of the final product and I hope you will be, too.
If the old folks' tale is true that the more pain a woman suffers during the delivery the more successful the child will be—then I know this will be my most successful child yet.
So, now I introduce the world to my newest baby:
abiola Mays stood under the hot lights as she grasped the sweaty hands of two of the finalists in the talent show. She and her family had traveled a long way—from Richmond to New York City—and winning this competition could make all their dreams come true.
Wearing a curve-hugging silk tiger-print dress with a high side split and low back that fit her to perfection, compliments of her sister, Adora, Fabiola surveyed the crowd for her support team. There they were: Adora and her mother, Viola, were sitting in the middle row. Mom gave Fabiola
, and a smile. Adora just kept screaming, “You gave it to 'em, sis! You did yo thang guurrl!”
Hot Soundz, the fastest up-and-coming record label in
the industry, had sponsored the contest, and first prize was $50,000, plus a recording contract worth another $150,000. Hot Soundz was slowly taking over the hip-hop and R & B industries, flooding the radio and the music charts with number-one hits and giving The Wizard, a legendary label that dominated the Billboard charts and was run by one of the biggest music moguls, Johnny Wiz, a run for its money.
“And now … the moment you've been waiting for.” The commentator's voice echoed from the speakers, causing the final five contestants to hold their breath. The host pretended to have a hard time opening the envelope that held the name of the winner. The anticipation was killing Fabiola, and just when she thought she couldn't wait another second, the MC then removed a handkerchief from his pocket and mopped some invisible perspiration from his brow. The crowd and the contestants were in total silence.
Finally he opened the envelope. “And the winner is … hailing from Richmond, V-A … Fabiiiiioooolllla Maaayys.”
Fabiola screamed and leaped into the air, completely forgetting that she was wearing four-inch stilettos and almost breaking an ankle. She hugged and thanked all the other finalists, then, after regaining her composure, she flashed a radiant smile to the stunned crowd. Had the winner hailed from the Big Apple, the New York crowd would have gone crazy with applause, but that wasn't the case.
It didn't matter, though. Viola and Adora more than made up for the crowd's lack of enthusiasm and were screaming and carrying on as if they had just won the competition themselves. As if they had just sung “Fallen” by Alicia Keys in a version all their own. And in a way, they had. They had both sacrificed to make sure that Fabiola achieved this goal. This wasn't her win alone.
Slowly but surely, the tough New York crowd started to come
around. One at a time they began to come to their feet, clap, and cheer. The girl from down South with the songbird voice had won top prize fair and square. And boy, after hearing her sing, they couldn't deny that whatsoever.
Fabiola always knew in her heart that she was destined to be a star. Now, thanks to the prize money and contract, all her family's worries were about to be over. No more robbing Peter to pay Paul, no more shuffling and scraping to get by, no more waiting and anticipating when opportunity would come a-knocking; this time Ms. Opportunity had kicked the damn door down.
As Fabiola walked up to the host she imagined she was at the Grammys. The host placed a platinum chain with a diamond-encrusted Hot Soundz pendant around her neck, and handed her a bottle of Dom Pérignon and a giant check for fifty thousand dollars. She smiled as she stepped up to the microphone. “I just want to thank Hot Soundz for this opportunity and New York for showing a small-town girl some big-city love!” The crowd continued to applaud as flashbulbs popped in her face. She felt that the smile on her face would never go away.
Viola and Adora joined her backstage as Fabiola changed her clothes for the after-party Her mother hugged her. “We did it, chile!” She turned to her other daughter and said, “Flag down one of those cute attendants with the champagne; we're celebrating tonight!”
The party was all that and a slice of cheesecake: Well-known music artists, actors, and actresses were in attendance. The oldschool players mingled with the new school, and the filthy rich touched elbows with the not-quite-so-filthy rich. Everybody that was anybody was there. An endless supply of champagne flowed as the latest music bounced off the walls and both male and female groupies were in full chase.
When Fabiola entered the room, she was called over to DeMond
Walker, the president of Hot Soundz Records, who was surrounded by some of the upper management of his label. “Fabiola”—DeMond placed his hand on her shoulder—“I don't know if you are aware of it or not, but Hot Soundz is the fastest-growing label in the industry, and we want you to grow right along with us. The prize money and the recording deal is only the beginning. My people were very pleased with the way you performed.”