Saturday, November 2, 2013

Of poltergeists and files that come back from the dead

I spent most of yesterday morning crying over something only other authors would understand. And before you whisper in fear, "Oh, no, her computer crashed and she lost (insert irreplaceable work here)," that's not it. This is a happy story. So if you're looking for gloom, doom, and failure, get lost.

You see, I've been writing for a long, long time. Long time. Lots of material. Lots.

But since I started writing, technology has changed. When I first started, we didn't have computers. The daisy wheel IBM Selectric was a new thing (crap - I probably shouldn't have told you that). My first computer had no hard drive, and every time you started it you had to insert a 5" floppy (or whatever size those things were - it's been so long that I've forgotten). From there, I graduated to a computer that actually had a hard drive. I also had Internet service and, for $19.99 per month, I got 20 hours of Internet time per week. And who would ever use all of that up? Right?

By 2000, I had a computer that had about a gig of hard drive, 256K RAM, and a internal modem. I was high-tech, baby. I was saving things on 3.5" floppies like you wouldn't believe. Had cartons of the things; all colors too. Then along came the ZIP drive. I had to have one of those bad boys because I was doing so much graphics work that I couldn't store some of the files on a 3.5". Stuff got put on those disks which, for the record, were insanely expensive.

So in 2000, while my daughter was in Europe briefly, I wrote a novel. It poured out so fast that I almost choked on it. I spent four days and three nights with no sleep, trying to get it out while it was still in my head, not to mention that I knew life would come crashing down on me when she walked back through the door. I thought the novel was pretty good. It still needed some work but, hey, what novel doesn't? Then something tragic happened.

Life got in the way. I was busy all the time. I didn't get back to the novel. Oddly enough, I wrote other things, really good things, and didn't think a lot about the novel. I even started writing another novel. It was pretty good too; same thing, needed a lot of work.

In the meantime, the 3.5" floppy became a thing of the past. I moved work from 5-inchers to 3.5-inchers and from 3.5-inchers to ZIPs. I bought an external hard drive to back up everything; it was 140M, which everyone knows should be more than enough space forever, right? Gig? Terra? Nah. No one would need anything that large.

Fast forward to last week. My partner and I were talking about my writing - I was getting ready to launch my second novel, the third book in that series. I was telling him about these novels that I had written some time ago. I had looked and looked for them and they were nowhere to be found. In the shuffling-around of technology, they were lost forever. I told him that I wished I could remember enough of them to recreate them, but I didn't think I could. Sad.

I launched the second novel in my series on 30 October to be up and live on 31 October. That's not how it worked. At nine o'clock on Halloween night, we were still waiting for the novel to go live on the biggest retailer's site. Finally, a little after ten, it was there. I could rest . . . and stop biting my acrylics.

I performed my usual rituals at bedtime, the washing of the face, the brushing of the teeth, the taking of the medicines. And I hooked up my brand-new external hard drive (1.8 terrabytes - now who will ever use all of THAT space?) and started backing up  my files. When it was done, which is a forever three minutes, I did something I hadn't done before: I checked to see if all of the files had transferred. I went in through My Computer and physically checked the hard drive. To my dismay, my updated files weren't there - anywhere. I started to panic. Sure, I had them on my desktop, but I wanted them backed up. So I went back into the external hard drive again and entered the word "writing" in the search bar.

When it all came up, there were some weird files I couldn't identify. Out of curiosity, I clicked on one of them. And the universe cracked open.

There they were - ALL of them. Huge files. Both novels. Probably seventy-five short stories. More poetry than I could even believe. Things that were complete. Things that were barely started. Things that weren't, for which I only had files with outlines and sketches, scenes, parts of paragraphs, things that I'd intended to go back to. I could see them listed, but were they there?

It was late and I was exhausted. I decided that the next morning I'd check them out. I went to bed and slept the sleep of the dead.

And so yesterday morning, after I'd checked all of my email accounts and all of that daily crap, I went back in to look. Most of them were in WordPerfect documents (see, I told you they were old). I went to the first chapter of that long-lost novel, changed the name to a .DOC extension, and opened it.

Unless you are a writer, you can't imagine how I felt in that moment. Words truly are inadequate. The opening paragraph struck me right in the face, its words cutting straight into my heart. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't speak. All I could do was weep. It was there, all of it, right in front of me. I'd found it - on a drive that hadn't had anything on it two months ago, hooked to a laptop that I've only owned for a little over a year.

Where did it all come from? Where had it been? I have no idea. I don't know how it found its way back to me. I don't know who decided I needed a break. But whoever you are out there in the great big wonderful Universe, I thank you. You have no idea what this means to me. Or maybe you do.

So I spent last night poking through the manuscript, and it appears that I could have it ready to publish in as little as six weeks if life stays out of my way. But it won't. And I have other projects to work on. Even so, I've already printed out the pages from it that I will help me figure out what's missing and how to finish it. It won't take long. And I'm more than excited. I'm stoked.

Over the last few weeks, I've wanted to quit. Now I can't. In the immortal words of Nikki Walters, Tony's wife, in my newest novel, Tearing Down Walls, "Fuck you. No way."

Thanks, Nikki. That's my sentiment exactly.

Thursday, October 31, 2013


Well, it looks weird on the KDP page, but it's obviously there. Tearing Down Walls is now officially released! And I'm glad. I'm very happy with this book, and I'm really excited about getting started with the next one. Happy reading!

Well, here I sit.

I am (im)patiently waiting for Amazon to get their act together. It's been every bit of twelve hours and I'm still waiting. I'd heard from other authors that they've started an epic dragging of feet, but I didn't know it was THIS bad. Really, dear readers, it's been posted. I swear.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

We've come to the end of the road - or maybe the beginning!

This is the last one! In less than 24 hours, Tearing Down Walls will go live. Well, at least I hope so - I hear Amazon is dragging their feet these days, so if it isn't there when you get up in the morning, know that it will be soon. Last teaser - enjoy!

And by the way, if you have friends you'd like to see get involved in the series (so you can talk, speculate, cuss me when things don't go like you'd liked, etc.), the first novel will be on sale too. Send 'em on over!

     While Vic drove, he tried to decide what to say first. Laura sat, silent and terrified, cowering against the car door. Vic wasn’t sure who she was most afraid of, the crazy bastard who was chasing after her, or the crazy bastard driving the car she was riding in, and the thought made him laugh.
     “What’s so damn funny?” Laura whispered.
     “Nothing, sweetie, nothing at all. When we get where we’re going, we’re going to have a long talk. And that’s after I’ve pulled you across my knee and given you a good reason to never do this again.”
     “Oh, no, you’re not going to . . .” she tried to protest.
     “Oh, yes, missy, I most certainly will. You watch me. You’re getting the spanking you deserve. In the meantime, would you like to tell me how scared you are?”
     “Pretty damn scared,” she whispered.
     “Yeah, that’s what I thought. We’re going to get out of this one, but there’ll be another one if you pull another stunt like this, and I might not be able to get you out of the next one, so think about that while I try to keep us alive until tomorrow.” Vic stepped down on the gas and the Mustang shot down the road.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

This is WAY more than a teaser!

Today's offering is not really a teaser - it's an actual excerpt. I thought I'd give you a little more to spark your imagination. The lady in this passage is someone you haven't met before, but you'll get to know her through this book; she's a real doll, very classy, and she turns up later in a very unexpected place. Enjoy!

     Vic gave her a brief history of the implement, telling her that he’d received specialized training in its use. “Very impressive. You’re very impressive. Dark and gorgeous, well-built, and that package you’re packing around down there, well, that’s really impressive!” she said, looking at the front of his leathers.
     “It’s like every other gift you’ve ever gotten. The wrapping is pretty, but the gift inside is much better. Plus this one will make you scream,” Vic boasted. He liked to wait for an uncollared submissive to ask, but something about this woman made him want to try her on for size. Unlike the other women who came into the club, there was a forcefulness about her that was tantalizing in an almost irresistible way.
     She shocked him when she said, “Nope. Not tonight. This isn’t about sex for me. If it were, you’d already be buried inside me by now. But thanks for the offer.” Vic was stunned; she hadn’t even seen the monster and she’d turned it down cold, and she was confident to boot. “Now, when shall we start?”
     Vic moved in toward her as close as he could without touching her, then wrapped his hand around the back of her neck. [She] watched his whole demeanor change. “Right now, this very minute. You will remove your boots and pants and take your place on the whipping bench.”
     [She] took off her boots; she unbuttoned and unzipped her skinny black pants, then shimmied out of them and dropped them on the floor. “Panties as well.” She dropped them on top of the pants. “Hmmmm,” he murmured. It would be easier for her to reach the point of intolerance if she was also uncomfortable with her state of undress. “I think I would like for you to remove everything.” Without hesitation, she pulled her top over her head, then undid her bra and threw both onto the pile.
     Vic was a little surprised. He’d gotten used to seeing younger, buxom women coming in and out of the club. [She] was neither of those. He guessed her to be about fifty, and she was far from perfect. Her breasts weren’t especially large, and she had a little sag about her whole torso.
     But there was something about her that made Vic feel warm all over. She stood before him, not at all like the other women in the usual crowd there, but it didn’t appear to bother her that she looked far from twenty. There was a glow about her, and Vic’s heart was sucked into the vision before him. For all its faults, her body had a well-loved look about it, sensuous and soft, very thin and very fit without being hard or angular. By all appearances, she was a woman who was used to having a man tell her how precious she was. And he couldn’t get over the look in her eyes – total trust.
     For a second he was so overwhelmed that he couldn’t speak or breathe, and then he whispered, “Oh my god, you’re unbelievably beautiful.” As soon as the words were out, she turned shy eyes down to the floor. Just like Nikki. Sweet lord, this is why Tony fell in love with her, his mind screamed. Almost in the same instant, his mind went to Laura and her scars, and his head cleared.
     “To the bench and mount it.” Within seconds she climbed onto it, her upper torso resting on the declining slant. The cuffs were already attached, and he fastened them around her wrists and ankles. Her ass was small and soft, and she was wearing some kind of lotion or cream on her skin that made it shimmer like a pearl.
     But something else almost made him gasp out loud: Scars. Every fraction of an inch of her backside was completely covered in them, all kinds of lash marks. Some appeared to be from caning, others from – what was it? – rope, or chain, or something else with a bite. Vic had to fight to keep his concentration.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Here's another one.

I keep telling you there'll be one every day. And you keep coming back to read, so I'm keeping my end of the bargain. This little exchange makes you wonder - exactly what is this thing that Vic's training with? Once you find out, I'm guessing no one reading this will have ever heard of it, so you'll learn something new.

Enjoy! And come back tomorrow, of course.

     “Where’s Vic been lately?” Peyton had to ask Steve. He hadn’t seen Vic around for a couple of weeks.
     “He’s training. On use of the [uh-huh, curious now?].”
     Peyton’s face went white, and Steve retorted with, “I assume from the look on your face that you’re familiar with the instrument.”
     “Uh, yeah,” Peyton almost whispered. “I was involved in martial arts for years before and after the service.” He looked at Steve like he was deranged. “You’re not planning to let him use that here, are you?”
     “Yep. My idea.”
     “Uh-huh.” Peyton looked at Laura. “Well, I’ve got to go follow the lieutenant governor around. I’ll see you tomorrow maybe?”
     “Yeah, okay.” Laura shot Peyton a funny look before turning back to Steve. “What was that all about?”
     “I see Stokes doesn’t approve.” Steve grinned and headed toward his office.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

By popular demand!

Your voices have been heard! Here's another one. It's a little steamy, so you've been warned.

     Looking up, he saw her make her hand signal. “Permission to speak,” he growled into her ear.
     “Sir, please,” she begged in a breathless moan, “permission to moan?”
     “Permission granted,” Vic smiled into her hair. She moaned as he continued to stroke her, her hips bucking solidly, and he pressed his iron cock into her belly. With his full length against her flesh, she cried out and shook, then resumed her bucking against him. “You are fine, so fine. I’m going to enjoy fucking you so much, ragazza bella,” he told her, tormenting her with the promise. She moaned even louder, and he felt her stomach muscles tightening against his rigidness. “You will not come until I give you permission, do you understand?” She nodded and groaned.
     He kept up his determined stroking and she moaned and whimpered louder, a pitiable louder. As her stomach muscles hardened even more, he reminded her again, “You will not come until I give you permission.” She cried out, and he increased the speed of his strokes, but his gaze was cautious. It was obvious that she was headed deep and fast into subspace, fighting to keep her orgasm at bay, and he continued to stroke faster and with more pressure, watching her strain and gasp, shaking all over and breaking out into a sweat. She looked like she might pass out, and Vic decided she’d had enough. “You have my permission to come whenever you . . .”

Happy Sunday! And happy teaser!

Arrrggghhhhh - I was up late last night. Won't go into details, but there was a fire pit involved. It was fun! So here's your teaser for the day. We're almost there. Three more days. Can you hold out?

     “And you go around to the left. I’ll go around to the right, meet you at the back. Stay low but try to see in the windows.” They heard a sound and saw Tony and Nikki’s white Yukon pull up behind Vic’s car. Both got out with weapons drawn and crouch-crawled to Steve and Vic.
     “So, what are we doing?” Tony asked.
     “We’re going around the house. You need to go in the front. Cover for each other as you clear each room. Give us a count of about fifty before you come in. Key?” Tony handed Steve the back door key. Nikki handed Tony her front door key. “We all ready?”
     “There is no ‘we all.’ You’re staying your ass here, babe,” Tony hissed at Nikki.
     “Wish you would,” Vic added.
     “Fuck you. No way,” she whispered back, and Tony realized it was useless to argue with her. She was going to get herself killed, and he’d just have to keep that from happening, so now he was trying to protect two stubborn women – perfect.
     “Let’s go.” Steve and Vic took off, leaving Tony and Nikki beside the car. Tony started counting, and Nikki reached into her bra and pulled out an elastic, putting her hair up into a ponytail. Tony just shook his head; was there anything she didn’t have with her?
     “I’m first in the door, hear me?” Tony growled. Nikki nodded to him. “You stay behind me. I mean it. Don’t make me shoot you.” Nikki grinned at him.  He finished the count and whispered, “Come on.”

If I get one comment on here today that asks for it, I'll post a bonus teaser this evening. Just let me know.