#SantaHelpers: What If It Feels Good by D. J. McLaurin

11 Dec
What If It Feels Good by D.J. McLaurin

In this story of love, betrayal, and revenge, bonds are tested, friendships are challenged, dark secrets surface and an epic romance blossoms amidst a media circus.

Michael Bagley, street savvy and beautiful, learned the art of the con and sleeps with older women to survive. When an accidental shooting sets off a citywide manhunt and thrusts Michael into certain danger, his mother, a stripper at a local nightclub, is finally forced to confront the biological father who didn’t know Michael existed. Soon, Michael finds himself whisked off the streets of Detroit and into a world of champagne dreams with more money at his fingertips than he ever thought possible.

But Michael’s life takes a bizarre turn as he bonds with his newfound father’s best friend. Chachi is a charming, down-to-earth ladies’ man, who awakens sensations Michael can’t explain, throwing him into identity turmoil. When the dust settles, Michael learns that neither riches, fame, nor age has anything to do with love.

As Michael struggles to find his place in a new world, he hopes the streets have toughened him enough to hold on to a secret relationship that may be against the odds and out of his league, and win the fight for the love of his life.

Book Review Written by Minnie E Miller

Looking for love, wherever!

In “What If It Feels Good?” D.J. McLaurin makes it clear in her opening that Michael Bagley is not your typical teenager. McLaurin’s skillful mapping of Michael’s life would seem to some “unspeakable.” Conversely, to Michael it was a matter of survival. Michael runs head-on with his mother’s boyfriend because of his abuse, which leads to a near fatal conflict between the two, causing the 14-year-old kid to escape into the streets, and live among the homeless. Legal trouble lands Michael into a home for adolescent boys. A friend of Michael’s biological father begs and threatens him into rescuing his bastard son, and taking him into his established family. Michael goes from rags to riches under Joe’s roof. The mixture is not mixing well, however. 

Young Michael’s needs overpower his logic, and he falls in love with an older man, who is fascinated by the young boy’s wit and wisdom, feels he is 14 going on 30. The odd couple receives constant blows to the stomach about their relationship, especially from an ex-girlfriend. This novel makes it even more evident that the need for love does not go away unless it’s satisfied, no matter the age. As I sat glued to D.J.’s novel, my emotions were on a roller coaster ride. I felt fear, anger, happiness, and sadness for Michael.

D.J. McLaurin is a professional author with undeniable talent, depth, and perception. She made a believer out of me, a seasoned woman, and author. I give the novel 5 stars.

Review written by Minnie E Miller, Author

Book Excerpt: What If It Feels Good 

The phone rang. Michael ran to it.

“That little fool!” Sarah screeched. “He hung up on me!”

“Who?” Michael asked.

“I called the number you gave me and respectfully asked to speak to Joe, right? Why did that little prick ask me how I got the number? Like it was any of his business!”

“Who, ma?”

“I oughta hop a plane right now and go beat the crap out of him! I see what you mean now, honey! I don’t want you there anymore!”

“Ma, what are you talking about? Who hung up on you?”

“David! I asked to speak to Joe and he told me he couldn’t take my call, and just hung up on me–”

Michael dropped the phone and headed for the door.

“Uh, Oh,” Eric muttered. He and Leah scurried after him.

“What’s going on?” Leah asked as they descended the staircase. Michael ignored the both of them.

“Look man, this is just ridiculous!” Eric put his hand on Michael’s shoulder but, with a shake, Michael sent him sailing down several stairs before Eric was able to stop his fall by grabbing hold to the banister railing.

Michael searched rooms, kicking doors open, until he found David in Joe’s study, reading an investment magazine. David spun around in surprise.

“You hung up on my mother, you little prick?” Michael growled.


Michael’s fist made contact with David’s jaw, knocking him backward out of his chair.

“Daaaad! Daaaad!” Leah shrieked.

Michael grabbed David by his shirt collar and punched him over and over again.

Eric made a fruitless attempt to separate them before Joe and Dominic came rushing from the adjoining office.

David’s shirt was already splattered with the blood oozing from his nose and mouth when Joe reached them.

“Stop it!” Joe demanded. He wrapped his arm around Michael’s neck and attempted to pull him away from David. He underestimated Michael’s strength and all three of them went toppling forward.

Dominic wedged his body between the two boys to help separate them. It finally worked.

“What is your problem?” Joe yelled at Michael.

“You too!” Michael spat at him.

Joe touched his hand to his face and watched the wet stuff drip down his finger in disbelief. “He did not just spit on me…” he said, his eyes widening then shrinking as his face darkened.

“I hate all of you!” Michael shouted. His chest heaved, his eyes were red with anger. “You think you’re gonna treat my mother like a piece of shyt, you good-for-nothing, stuck up–”

Joe dived on top of Michael.

They tussled on the floor before Michael twisted from underneath his father. He sprang to his feet with the agility of youth, fist raised and ready.

Joe stood too, aghast with shock. “How dare you,” he snarled, seething with anger.

Eric, Leah, and David huddled behind Dominic, watching helplessly.

“Oh, you’re a man now?” Joe challenged Michael, his chest laboring. “You think you’re man enough to take me, Michael? Cause if you think so, let me know, and I’ll beat your ass like a man!”

“I swear,” Michael panted, “you hit me, I’ll kill you.”

Joe slapped Michael’s face with a force that sent him reeling.

Michael responded with a right hook, grazing Joe’s chin. Stunned, Joe cradled his face. He’s dealing with no ordinary boy. Michael darted across the room and headed for the stairs as soon as Dominic was able to detain Joe.
Joe shook himself from Dominic’s grip. Leah ran for the phone.  Michael raced for his bedroom, attempting to push the door closed behind him, but Joe was already at the threshold. Using his foot and shoulder, Joe pushed his way in, slamming and locking the door behind him.  Michael retreated to one side of the bed, Joe the other, out of breath, gazes locked.  Outside the door, Lydia and Dominic pleaded with Joe.

“So, whatcha think now, Michael?”

Michael’s shoulder’s sagged. “Just leave me alone!” he pleaded.

Joe lunged across the king-sized bed and grabbed him.

“What’s wrong?” Joe asked, his face distorted and close, his breath coming fast, “Something wrong?”

Michael shook his head frantically.

“Oh, you’ve decided you don’t wanna be a man now, huh? C’mon Mike, make up your mind! You’re a man or a boy!”

Michael shut his eyes tight and lowered his head.

A key turned in the door.

Joe yelled, “Don’t come in here!” He turned back to Michael “I didn’t hear you.”

“I’m not a man,” Michael whispered, humiliated. He just wanted it to stop. This dude had gone mad.

“Oh, now I hear you,” Joe’s eyes were shining. “You’re a boy now. Good.” He shoved the boy onto the bed and unbuckled his belt, removing it from his pants loops. “Now I’ll just beat your ass like a boy.”

Joe sat in his office and swiveled in his chair. He could hear the commotion outside his door. Lydia, crying, begged for him to come out. Jake’s voice trailed toward the staircase. More muffled voices, then Dominic was at the door making his appeal. Joe knew he screwed up. He was upset with himself for losing control, but he was not crazy and he knew he had not done enough harm to cause Michael any permanent damage. The phone on his desk rang. He figured it was Chachi or maybe Sarah, or whoever. It didn’t matter. He was going to handle this his way. It wasn’t until Steven showed up, furiously banging on the door that he decided to emerge.

“Come out you crazy bastard! You coward!” Steven shouted.

Joe yanked the door open. Steven stared at Joe with rage-inflamed eyes. Joe leaned casually against the frame.

“You beat that little boy like that?” Steven yelled.

Joe waved a hand at Steven. “He’ll be okay.” He turned back into his office.

Steven stormed in behind him. “Okay? Are you crazy? That boy is up there hanging by a thread! You almost killed him!”

Joe walked over to his desk and sat down. “If I was trying to kill him, he’d be dead.”

“You think this is a game, don’t you?” Steven bent over Joe’s desk to meet his face.

“What’s your point, Steven?”

“My point? I’ll show you my point!”

Dominic and Jake had come in quietly. Steven had almost run the two of them down storming out of the office.

“Where are you going?” Dominic grabbed Steven’s arm.

“I’m taking him out of here!”

“Don’t you touch him!” Joe shouted. Steven turned to look at him. “He’s my son, and I say don’t touch him!”

Steven breathed deeply. “I’ll file a motion in the morning to have this child snatched from you so fast it’ll make you dizzy!”

“Do what you have to do,” Joe warned. “But don’t you touch him.”

Steven spun around, but Jake blocked his path.

“Wait a minute!” Jake pleaded. “Joe, what’s going on?”

Joe exhaled. “I know I lost it.” He shot a hot glance in Steven’s direction. “But I’ve got it under control now.”

“You need to see a doctor!” Steven charged.

“I need to see a doctor?” Joe flushed. “The boy spit on me! Spit! And he punched the shyt out of my face!” Joe turned his head to the side to display a bruised chin. “And yes, I beat his ass, and nobody is gonna come into my house and tell me how to raise my kids–not you,” he pointed at Steven, “not the judge, not the police!”

“You’re sick!” Steven shouted.

“Is he gonna be okay, Jake?” Joe asked as coolly as if he were asking about the weather.

“He’s got a bloody nose and some cuts as well as some bruising. He’ll be sore but he’ll be okay,” Jake said.

“Good.” Though Joe smiled, his eyes did not. “See?” he said turning to Steven with a sneer. “Now get the hell out of my house!”

( Continued… )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, D.J. McLaurin. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this sneak peek.

Purchase What If It Feels Good by D. J. McLaurin
Contemporary, Alternative Fiction 


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