Shaunna Rodriguez

Award-Winning Bestselling Author Shaunna Rodriguez
I am Shaunna Rodriguez, an award-winning, international bestselling author. I have a degree in psychology and English Literature from UOP and am a law student in Missouri. I’m certified in forensics, forensic and criminal psychology, anthropology, biology, anatomy and medicine. I’m a multi-genre author with a passion for research, writing, and reading. I’m the owner of Coffee & Cakes Publishing. I also own Coffee & Cakes Bakery and Bistro. My philosophy is coffee and a cupcake can make anything life throws your direction taste a little sweeter.
Award Category Finalist
Award Submission Title
A sports agent's new client is a bad boy hockey player from her past who could ruin both their reputations and break her heart again.
My Submission

Rule #1 Never date or get involved with the client.

Rule #2 Never develop feelings for the client.

Rule #3 There is never an exception to Rule’s 1 & 2.

For the last five years that I’ve been an agent these rules have worked out just fine for me. I’ve kept my mouth and my legs closed around my clients so as not to give them the wrong idea about our working relationship.

However, the other half of Blair & Blair is, yup, you guessed it; Aiden Cooper Blair, the almost big brother and definite best friend. I’ve never told him how I felt. I mean, how awkward would that be? Plus, I’d lose him. He’s still the bad boy, playboy bachelor of New York. Just like Connor is for Los Angeles California; or he was until he recently made a move back to New York and as you guessed it, I’m his new damn agent. Lucky me.

The only two men in the world who can make warmth pool between my thighs just by looking at me are living in my 5th Avenue penthouse apartment. Lucky freaking me. Any other girl would kill to be me. Why am I not sharing their enthusiasm to be sharing a space, no matter how huge and luxurious it is with these two Neanderthals? Because having a relationship with them is out of the question.

You give in and they’re gone. I could tell you I know this from the outside looking in for many years. But the truth is, I lived it. Yup, Piper Blair was a victim of the bad boy for life broken heart express…. Which, hang on, will come later, I promise. I will tell you that ten years later, I have never moved on, my heart still aches, and no one will ever compare to the man that took everything from me and I do mean that quite literally.

So, prepare yourself to step into my world of #brokenhearts and #badboyrules. Bad boys for life, Jonathan Connor McCarthy and Aiden Cooper Blair, have the mentality that rules are made to be broken…. I have four words for them; come at me bro.

      2        CHAPTER ONE

My small, porcelain hands blend with the bathroom sink I’m gripping tightly. I lean over coming closer to the woman staring back at me with wide-blue eyes. Her plump, cherry red lips are set in a determined line. Her expertly styled platinum blonde hair falls in soft curls over the tops of her small shoulders.

“You don’t know fear; you popped two Ativan this morning. You don’t know hunger; your body is a no carb zone.” I pause and brush the front of my tailored, white pantsuit selected just for today and take a deep breath, refocusing.

“You are hella amazing. You are a bloody damn legend. You have an MBA from Yale and a law degree from Harvard. You graduated at the top of your class, Magna Cum Laude, from both.”

“You are successful. You are sexy as hell. You can handle anything, including Vicious Vera.” I mentally psych myself up for my anticipated and nerve-racking interview with Encore Sports Network’s talk show host, Vera Pope.

Let me be the first to say, she is anything but the Pope. I highly doubt she’s prayed a day in her miserable, soul-sucking life. I can’t imagine with a mouth like hers she kisses her mother, if she even has one, much less uses it to talk to God.

It’s a fact that she has no shame. Despite the many she’s consumed over the last decade, she still lacks a soul.  Vera Pope is the equivalent to hurricane season in Florida. You know you should evacuate but you stay to see if it misses you and leaves anything standing in its destructive wake.

So, you’re probably asking why I’d take an interview with such a savage, ball-busting, career ending, tabloid contributing, paparazzi feen? Because I am Piper Blair. My mouth is as hard and fast as my right hook and I fear nothing. Except spiders. I HATE SPIDERS!


Truth be known, Vera Pope is the least of my concerns. My newest client, Connor McCarthy, however, is. He’s New York’s newest bachelor and bad boy for life; a title he owns proudly above all others. He’s also the Reds new Center. Last night I was given a heads-up that he’d be splashed on the front page of every tabloid and newspaper from New York to the ends of the earth. He is the very reason I’m facing off with Vicious Vera and cursing all things hockey at this very moment.

“Miss Blair, you’re up in five.” A thin, young girl with bright green eyes and a charismatic bounce to her step pushes the bathroom door open and informs me. I nod and smile to her, acknowledging I heard. I watch the giddy twenty-something year old with amusement.

“You must be new here.” I toss out lightly as I follow her out of the bathroom. Despite being a germ-a-phobe, I’d honestly prefer it over this one-on-one with Vera. Careers have been made and reputations obliterated by this woman. The reason I’m here has me preferring the inside of a roadside porta potty out of a horror film.

“Oh my gosh, is it that obvious?” She throws a shy smile over her shoulder further amusing me.


“You’re just super happy to be here. Who did you replace?” I ask curiously following her down the long, familiar maroon corridor with black marble flooring. It was one of the more unique sets I’d been on and my least favorite. As much as I’ve gone on about the detestable Vera, I’ve yet to lock horns with her. I’m not typically one she pummels with her banter, questions, accusations and tabloid trash to spike ratings.

But I’ve watched it done to a many a colleague. I always keep in mind I could be next. Today, given Connor is one of the front-page splashes, my stomach is in knots, my reputation as one of New York’s top sports agents and attorneys, is hanging by a thread and Vera just might be the scissors to cut it.

“I am so thrilled to be here. I’m really hoping it’ll launch my career in TV, production or journalism.” She nods, tossing tendrils of short, light brown hair as she walks and talks. Not well at the same time, I might add, as I watch her almost walk right into a wall.

“Oh.” I pause and bite my lip trying to think of something nice or encouraging to say before I step onto the stage as Vera’s next victim. I feel like chum being thrown to the sharks and take several calming, slow breaths.

“That’s nice. Good luck with that.” I tell her as Vera announces me.


“You know her as the jaw dropping, bomb-shell of New York. Lumped in with the top sports agents for our bustling city, she needs no introductions. Please give a warm welcome to my next guest, Piper Blair.” Vera stands and claps then tosses a casual wink towards me. I step out and wave both hands to the audience.

They’re on their feet clapping and yelling my name like I’ve just stepped up to accept an academy award. Jokingly I stand at the front of the stage and blow kisses then clutch my chest with “they love me! They really, really love me!” I have them laughing as I go on with, “I’d like to first thank all my fans because without you, I just wouldn’t be who or where I am today.

Next, I’d like to thank my outstanding agent and attorney, Piper Blair; oh crap, wait no, that’s me!” They’re eating out of my hand, laughing and clapping, joking around waving papers and asking for autographs.
“Please, no pictures. No pictures. Okay, get my good side.” I strike a pose to the left and prop one hand in the air and the other on my hip then kick my cream-colored Christian Louboutin pump up behind me.

I giggle and bow before walking backwards continuing to wave, curling my long, French manicured fingers to my palm. I retreat to my yellow, floral print seat that Vera gestures to like she’s nothing short of Vanna White.

She hugs me, standing about an inch taller than my five foot five frame and presses her small, muscular body against mine. I catch a hint of peppermint and vanilla mingled together and get an instant headache. I smile warmly and wave again to the audience then cross my right leg over my left knee then prop my elbow up on it making Vera laugh with the audience.

“Piper, I have to say, you’re so relaxed.” She starts.

“I saw my masseuse before I came.” I wink and nod keeping the laughter going.

“You’d never know from your expression or body language you’d just stepped into the Vipers Pit.” She teases.

“I have one hell of a masseuse.” I banter back. She grins appreciatively then clears her throat and takes a breath.

“Piper Blair, you’re one of the few people who have come onto Vera’s VIP and left with your ass and reputation still intact.”

She points out as I stare at her, cocking my head to the side waiting to see where this is going.

“You’re one of the best in the business Piper. Highly respected. I have it on good authority you’ve just been named one of Forbes most successful, self-made multi-millionaires, despite coming from a legacy and family money. You are ranked as the number one sports agent in New York, are you not?” Vera asks.


“I don’t like to brag.” I blow on my fingers making everyone laugh.

“Yes, that is one of your biggest selling points, Piper; how humble you are now and have always been.” Vera nods her head in approval.

“I appreciate you having me here today, Vera. I always wonder who you’ll make cry before I get on here. I brought Kleenex just in case it’s my turn.” I tease making her giggle. It’s not a sound most hear often from this sharp shooting, quick witted and tongued woman. She’s called Vicious Vera because she is in fact, a viper and always goes for the jugular.

“Well, I love having you as do the producers, the audience and our viewers at home. By the by, I want a full commission off all the new athletes you’ll be signing after you leave here today.”

Vera gives me a playful wink making me laugh. My body isn’t rigid outwardly. I’m cool as a cucumber and complete relaxed to the naked eye. Inwardly, I’m an ice statue waiting to be shattered by the thirty-nine-year-old, petite, auburn haired beauty sitting next to me.

She poises a black cup with pink polka dots and her name scrawled in gold script lettering to her bright red lips and smiles at me over the rim. I see a glint in her green-eyes and know she’s going for the kill. I smile at her letting her know I know. She clears her throat then claps her hands in front of her mouth.


“Piper, you’re pretty much an open book, are you not?” She asks, making my head do its little curious tilt to the side.

“Typically, yes. I mean, I like my privacy as much as the next person. Speaking of which, Vera, was that you climbing over my wrought iron gate just last night.” I gasp playfully and touch my chest making her laugh.

“I’m brave and I’m curious Piper Blair, but I am no fool and your fence is one that you will not see me hanging off anytime soon.” She held her hands up laughing.

“A henchman of yours then?” I ask amused watching the lines crease on her forehead. I love the fact that she’s thinking she’s been scooped on something good.


“I’d like to take credit.” She laughed nervously making me smile as I lean back in my chair perfectly content that I have her on the ropes. Now, I wonder, what blow she will deliver.

“Float like a butterfly but baby, I sting like a bee,” I think to myself as I wait.

“So, okay, lets get down to it, Piper Blair. Recently I heard you’ve added a new player to your roster.” She tells me.

“Ah, I cannot discuss my clients or anyone else’s with you. You know this.” I hold my hands up and shake my head. Client privacy is a must to me. Many boast I’m their agent or lawyer, but that’s their place. Not mine.

“Of course. Of course. So, do you know the name Connor McCarthy?” She moves on.
“Mmm, Connor, Connor McCarthy you say?” I tap my chin making the audience laugh with her.

“Gorgeous, tall, tanned, kinda looks like a surfer, plays Center for the New York Reds. Known to be aggressive on and off the ice and is quite the ladies’ man. Actually, he was just added earlier this week to the Reds roster, was he not?” She asked me after describing the notorious bachelor with a bad boy reputation.


“I’m still trying to figure out who this person is, so why are you asking me?” I fire back.
“Because I have it on very, very good authority you not only represent him as his agent, but you may have some very, very carnal knowledge of him.”

She leans forward and smiles wickedly at me. Inwardly I am screaming profanities while imagining slowly crushing every bone in her small body.

“Vera, I’m not sure where you’re getting your information from.” I start but stop when she holds a hand up to me.

“You got your MBA from Yale, did you not?” She asks.

“I did and you got yours where?” I asked amused.

“I took a different professional route. I’ll admit, I’m not quite the woman you are, Piper, but I can still hold my own in my profession. Which brings me to my next question. Weren’t you serious with him while attending Yale together?”

I stare at her and smile as the audience gasps. I can imagine the viewers at home are on the edge of their seats shoveling popcorn in as they anticipate my answers.


“Vera, this isn’t gossip girls but since you think you clearly have something on what sounds like my past, given I am an alumnus of Yale, and no longer a student, I pose a question for you. Aren’t you the other woman in several players as well as coaches’ beds?”

I ask and check my nails as she gasps along with the audience.

“Plot twist, baby.” I shoot my fingers at her as the audience dies laughing and Vera narrows her green-eyed gaze on me. They are dancing furiously with rage. She clears her throat and gathers her thoughts while I reach forward for my cup that matches hers.

I have a collection of these with my name on them from the times I’ve been on her show over the years. This isn’t the first time we’ve fired shots at one another. But it might be the first time I’ve ever truly struck one of her nerves. Digging into my personal affairs and trying to make that shit public will not ever fly with me and she knows better.


authorshaunnar Fri, 04/09/2020 - 22:29

In reply to by alexjtremari

Thank you! I had the best time writing YOU! I’m a huge hockey fan and of course, a romantic at heart. Sometimes love and romance only exist in the pages we create. Hockey mingled with romance and the one who got away.... what could be better? Manuscript is written and I’m working on book 2! Can’t wait to hear what you think! Thank you so much for your feedback and support!

Best wishes!

authorshaunnar Fri, 04/09/2020 - 22:31

In reply to by C.R.Mitchell

Thank you so much! You as well! I recognize your name and gorgeous picture. So proud of you for making it as a finalist. I wish you nothing but the best and success which I know is at your fingertips.

Best wishes


soiamthat Tue, 01/09/2020 - 11:52

Another wonderful achievement, well done.

authorshaunnar Fri, 04/09/2020 - 22:32

In reply to by soiamthat

Thank you so very much!!! I count each achievement as a blessing and couldn’t be happier with my current standings.

all my best!

enikotolnai Tue, 01/09/2020 - 17:33

Oh what a teaser, I am hooked. I want to read more.

atgoldin Wed, 02/09/2020 - 00:42

This is the first time I have read any of Shaunna’s work.

What an intriguing set up: to get a look at the behind the scenes of the sports world and talk show television world, yet I find Piper’s position and character so relatable, even if I don’t have an MBA from Yale or a law degree from Harvard or family money.

But to know right from the beginning what makes Piper truly feel vulnerable is a piece of gold.

This opening has so much dimension, you are dug in. You have to keep reading.

authorshaunnar Fri, 04/09/2020 - 22:35

In reply to by atgoldin

Thank you so very much! My heart raced and I couldn’t stop the smile even if I’d wanted to- which I don’t 😊

I can’t begin to tell you how moved I am!

All my love