Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Smashwords 3rd Annual Summer/Winter Sale


Ladies and Gents... Do you loveeee reading?  Do you like amazing discounts on the novels you purchase?  Do you have an e-reader or laptop capable of reading ebooks?  Wellll check this out:

Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale
July 1 - 31
Here in the Northern hemisphere, it's mid-summer.  Readers everywhere are loading up their e-reading devices for summer beach reading and vacations. But what about the good people South of the equator, who are now in the middle of winter? They deserve to curl up in front of the fireplace and enjoy a good read too! Therefore, we're kicking off the third annual Smashwords Summer/Winter Promotion!!

For an entire month a buttload of ebooks from Smashwords.com will be discounted from 25% off to FREE, including MY ebook, Temptation!!

Use coupon code SSWIN at checkout and receive a copy of my ebook for free!  (Click HERE to go directly to site)  Good for the entire month of July :)  AND know that I'm currently in the process of writing the second book in the series so... get a headstart now!  I'll even give you a sneak peek EXCLUSIVE RIGHT HERE right now from the 2nd book entitled Seduction.  So here it goes, never before seen by any eyes but mine.......

            I walked into the dingy, dimly lit club.  The last time I’d been here it had been illuminated entirely by strobe lights, filled with loud, pounding music, and flooded with sweaty bodies rubbing against one another.  Now, on a Tuesday late afternoon it was sad and weird.  The place was definitely not somewhere you’d go to admire the d├ęcor, and the five paying customers were being serenaded with really bad techno played as soft background noise.   I scanned the room for Naimah and it wasn’t hard to find her; she was sitting alone on a small, worn loveseat placed in the far corner of the room.
            Oh look, they proudly support exhibitionism and date rape.  The couches really make it convenient, I thought to myself as I stepped down onto the hardwood dance floor.
            As I slowly and cautiously approached her, Naimah’s head rose and a deep, dark smile spread out over her face as she purred, “Aww, lookie what the cat dragged in.”
            I stood about five feet from her and kept my back positioned so I could see the whole room.  Knowing her, she was bound to have brought some sort of backup – someone who wouldn’t hesitate to jump me and let her have her way with me.  “I’m here, okay,” I finally said.  “Let’s not play any games.  Just tell me what I want to know and I’ll be on my way.”
            She let out a loud, soulful laugh, letting her head roll back and her curly hair fall away to show her slender neck.  My eyes fell on the soft curves and rippling muscles and then followed her dark skin down to her exposed cleavage before I realized she was trying to distract me on purpose.  I pulled my eyes away and glared at her.  She produced a small pout and said, “Oh Jason, do ya not like what ya see?  I forgot it was so much harder to seduce a mark, ‘specially one as devoted as you.  I’m a little rusty darlin’ but I can give it another shot if ya want?”
            I cut her off, “I’m serious.  No games.  Now start talking or I’m leaving and going straight to Malcolm.”
            Her expression hardened and she let out another laugh, this one much darker and very serious, “Right… like you two are talkin’ again?  I doubt that hun, after that quick run away you did last time I saw you.  And if ya knew what I know about him, ya sure as hell wouldn’t go crawlin’ to him for help.  I’m guessin’ ya’ll haven’t talked since that night… am I right?”
            I swallowed hard and looked away from her.  After a few seconds she let out a puff of air.  “You’re no fun Jason.  Ya need to lighten up a little.  Come over here and sit by me.  I’ll help loosen ya up and I’ll tell ya everythin’ ya wanna know.  I promise.”
            Those last words came out in a low, bewitching hiss.  Against my better judgment, I began walking towards her.  I knew if I didn’t cooperate, at least a little, she wasn’t going to give me any information.  She was the only person who could tell me what the hell was going on.  Lillian was keeping things from me, my mother was in utter denial, and there was no way I was going to Malcolm.  She was my only chance to get some answers.
            I sat on the opposite end of the sofa, as far from her as I could get, but it wasn’t much use.  As soon as I sat down, she swiftly kicked her legs out from under her and rolled herself up against my right side.  She was hardly dressed conservatively and all of her exposed skin radiated a heat that made a sheet of sweat spread across my forehead – at least that was the excuse I told myself.  I clenched my jaw and tensed my entire body, anticipating her unwelcome touch and knowing how I would involuntarily react to it.  But much to my surprise, after a few moments passed by, she let out a soft chuckle and leaned back into her place without once making contact with my skin.  I relaxed, but only slightly.
            “Ya do know this is a give and take, right Jason?” she purred.
            I swallowed hard, completely understanding the terms we agreed on over the phone.  I managed to say with some strength, though I was anything but strong on the inside, “Let’s just get this over with.  You give me the information and I give you your… refill.”
            She put on a fake pout, “Poor baby… is that all ya think ya are?  Just a receptacle to fill and drain… over and over?  Is your lovely lady  not takin’ care of ya like ya deserve, sweet thang?” 
            Her words cut to my soul and I felt myself take in a sharp gasp of air.  She’d hit the nail right on the head and I didn’t know how to keep myself from giving that away.  

Is that teaser enough for you to see what the first book's all about???  If so... go buy my book Temptation right now!!  I mean hey, it's free... whaddya got to lose?  Just remember, the offer isn't valid until July 1st, so don't forget to go check it out!!  And Happy Independence Day!!

Enjoy (and thanks for reading!!)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

End of an Era

It's hard to come to terms with the end of an era.
The act of growing old, growing up, changing.
What happens when one is stripped of that childlike innocence and instead filled with the overwhelming next step of adulthood.
The life cycle at its finest.
When you're young you think that things will always be as they are; maybe you'll just look at them differently without those rose-colored glasses that have blocked out the years of experience you've yet to obtain.
When you're young you think that the people you've always held dearest to you will be the same ones you hold dearest as you experience your first love...
      your graduation day...
          that fairy-tale proposal...
               your wedding day...
                    that first major step into securing the future you want...
                         the birth of your first child...
                              anything that is a stepping stone to the next big moment of your life.
But it's all just wishful thinking

In reality, everyone changes, bear in mind to differing degrees.  No one person can say that they are the same at age 25 that they were at 18 or that they were at 10.  With the continuous play that is life is the constant of unknowing.  You maintain some key morals and standards and the enveloping essence that is YOU, sure.  You may even hold on to those things you swore you'd never do or say just to prove people wrong, but in the end... we all make mistakes, we all grow, we all learn, and we all CHANGE.  It's not so much that I have a problem with the changing itself - I mean what's the point of all this if we don't develop, evolve, adapt?

No... what I have a problem with is the person who changes to hurt others, to be spiteful, to purposefully forget those who've been there through those tough changes.  When you change so much that the person who you were at your core is nonexistent, no longer present.  When the person who you grew into from toddler to kid - the person you are completely unadulterated, without the poison of society having affected the real you yet - when that person vanishes.  Because that is voluntary.  That is deliberate.  That is cruel.  Because the people around you are the ones who help mold you - help nurture you - help you change.  Everyone in a different way and providing varying amounts, yes.  But we put effort and time and love into the foundation with an expectation that you would always have a place in your heart for us.  That you will always remember what we did to help you become the you that you are now.

When I'm forgotten, pushed away, neglected... it pisses me off.  I feel like I was robbed, used up, cast aside after ringing every ounce of love and compassion I had in me and gave to you.  It hurts more than words can say and it's the hardest thing to have to get over - realizing that I wasn't worth keeping in your life and being a constant presence like I once was.  I think why?
     Why did I waste my time?
          Why didn't you keep me?
               Why did you drain me?
                     Why do I still care now?

And the answer is simple.  Because I love you.  Because love is the strongest bond to break.  And I can't not love you.  It hurts the worst, especially when that love is meant to be unconditional.  Whether it's a friend, a family member, or a lover... love isn't supposed to have limits.

As family, you have no choice but to love, even when you know in that moment that you hate that person.  God created you to share your life with this person and you have no say.  You're brought up to share in each other's memories and expect each other's presence.  You take it for granted.  You assume it's the same for them as it is for you.  You'd die for that person, sacrifice anything you have for that person, love that person until the day you die.  And you're taught you aren't supposed to expect anything in return because that's what family is.  When that person doesn't have anything left to give, you accept it and you help them.  When that person is dried up, you give them what you have and you don't expect to get it back.  When that person treats you like the scum of the earth, you grit your teeth and bare it and hope for them to return from that darkness.  And when it's your turn to be in that funk, you know they'll reciprocate.

Or at least that's how we're raised.
That's not always how it turns out.
And that's the change I'm talking about.
     The one that is voluntary.
          The one that is deliberate.
               The one that is cruel.
                    The one that simply isn't fair.

And there comes a point, there has to come a point, where you've given everything you can, been drained dry as a summer desert, been treated like the worst kind of person and you realize you can't do this any longer.  No amount of nurture, nature, teaching, or training can prepare you for the moment when you've hit your wits end.  Because in theory, that moment should never come.  It's meant to be a give AND take and those moments of give are always meant to be temporary.  You're taught not to expect a return but you are taught to expect help when you are in need.  So when you need and nothing is thrust in your direction, you're hit with emptiness and longing and anger and utter trepidation.  And eventually there comes a point when you realize you're waiting for something that isn't going to happen.

And at that point is when you know that end of the era has finally arrived.  That change has taken over that person who has been there for you in the past and stripped them of the essence you've come to know and love and expect.  And your heart breaks because you know you still love them and you know they'll still be in your life always but now you can't like them anymore.  You can't see past the hurt and pain and anguish they've caused you and everyone around you.  No matter how many times you've tried opening their eyes to
the reality they've created, nothing you do helps and you feel utterly useless, like you've failed them somehow.

It's sad.
It's draining.
It's exhausting.
It's the end of an era.
And it's hard to accept.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Night


                The darkness engulfed her and she reached out for him involuntarily.  She expected her cold, fragile fingers to grasp onto flesh, heat, life.  But when she met the cold starchy sheet, her heart immediately began pounding in her chest.  Frantically she rummaged around under the covers, their weight increasing with every swipe she made.  After a few seconds she sat straight up in bed and begged her eyes to adjust to the absence of light.  She saw bright white spots in her vision as her eyes strained to take in her surroundings.  For a panic filled moment she couldn’t even remember the layout of her own room.  It took a few moments to regain her bearings and recollect where she was.  Then she began searching the room, looking for him.  Had he gone to the bathroom so early in the morning?  Maybe he’d run to the kitchen for a cold glass of water to help wash away the heat that a few hours’ sleep can bring on.  Or maybe the dog needed to be let out and he’d return to her in a few moments.
                She strained her ears to hear every miniscule sound that came in the dead of night.  She heard the buzz of the electricity coming from her alarm clock and the whir of the fan overhead.  She picked up the ice falling in the freezer and even the dull bass of a passing car.  She could even hear her dog’s soft snores from the corner of the room.  That ruled out the walk she thought he might have gone on.  Slowly she shifted her weight and allowed her legs to fall to the ground beside the bed, her toes softly embracing the thick carpet as they made contact.  Her eyes scanned everything in front of her and for a moment she feared the worst – there had been an intruder and he’d been injured; she was going to find him lying dead on their living room floor.  But as she rounded the corner of the hallway, she was met with an emptiness only a still, silent house can possess.  Empty.  Still.  Silent.  Nothing.
                Where was he?  Had he run to the store for some midnight craving?  Had he went outside with a phone call so as not to disturb her?  She made her way through each room of their home, eagerness and fear coming out of her in the form of shaking hands and sweaty palms.  She could literally hear her hardened pulse in her head and feel it taking over her temples and throat.  She swallowed hard, unsure how to handle these irrational thoughts swirling through her mind.  She told herself to calm down, get a handle on her emotions.  She yelled at herself to think logically.  She stood in the middle of the living room and ordered herself to be still.  She closed her eyes and took a few deep breaths.  When she opened them again, a picture on the wall caught her attention.  As the light from the streetlamp outside cast itself upon the glass of the frame, reality came tumbling over her.  She stood face to face with her husband’s picture – him in his service uniform.  She crumpled onto the sofa and curled up into the fetal position, letting sobs and sadness overtake her.
                Of course her bed was empty, her house only holding her human form.  She was alone and he wasn’t there.  He couldn’t be there.  He wouldn’t be there.  There was no late night trip to the store or quick sip of water that had taken him from her bed.  It was his job, his duty, his life as an airman.
                After a little while, her cries fell silent and her momentary lapse in memory resolved.  Reluctantly she made her way back to her empty bed, no one awaiting her return.  And as she crawled under the covers and sent up a silent prayer for strength, she whispered, “I love you” and closed her eyes, ready for sleep to take over and erase the night.