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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hurricane Regina Audiobook Released

The Girl Who Forgot to Say “But”

The  Girl Who Forgot to Say “But”

“Dad, tell us how you met mom.”
“Well, it’s not how I met your mom that’s interesting. It’s how we stayed together.”
“Well, your mother and I had been having some problems. A lot of them, really, mostly me. So we had broken up for a time. She would tell me, ‘I love you, but…’. And I wouldn’t let her finish.”
“Okay. So?”
“So one day, when I was at my worst, feeling sorry for myself, she said, ‘I love you’.”
“And she forgot to say ‘but’.”
“That’s it?”
“That’s it. We’ve been together ever since.”
“Corny, dad.”

Friday, December 21, 2012

Perfect Me/Hurricane Regina - Free Through Christmas

Perfect Me - Funny Sci-Fi

Hurricane Regina - Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Both are free for the Kindle through Christmas day.

Penultimate Hustle: L.A. - Chapter One

1 – Touchdown

Chris and Janique touched down in L.A. and immediately visited their lawyer to sign the papers insuring their continued freedom. It was a handshake agreement that largely revolved around an exorbitant sum of money. There were tears in Janique’s eyes when the deal was done and she was assured of not being separated from Chris.
“Never again,” she said, hugging him tightly as they left the courthouse.
“Now what?”
“To paraphrase Ray Kroc, I don’t make porn, I deal in real estate.”
“Office space. Tomorrow. Tonight, I want to be with you. Free.”
That night they withdrew some play money and rented a room for two nights so they could sleep late.
The next afternoon, Janique had her own floor in an eight storey office complex in the valley, with an option on the floor above.
“Oh, Chris,” Janique said, hugging him. “It’s perfect.”
They made love on the floor as soon as the realtor left them.
The next few weeks were set aside for planning and decorating. Chris was exhausted just watching Janique work, and eventually suggested she hire an assistant.
“But Chris, you’re my assistant.”
“Be that as it may, love, you don’t let me do anything.”
“You’re sweet. Being with me is all I need.”
“Oh, alright. Whores, or someone serious?”
“While I appreciate a good whore, I think you need a receptionist.”
“Fuck Ray Kroc. Whores first,” Janique said.
The next day, she ran an ad. Two days later, there were three potential draftees up for interview: Mia, Gia, and Lateesha. Mia and Gia were blonde twins. Lateesha was a beautiful black girl with an impossibly shapely ass and coal dark skin. Janique arranged her interview for the next day.
Chris, meanwhile, worked on Tokio’s case preliminaries and ran an ad for Janique’s personal assistant.
When Lateesha came in for her interview, Janique had a contract packet ready and began detailing the benefits plan.
“Two hundred thousand for fourteen films, plus health insurance.”
“Two hundred thousand?”
“Yes, upon completion.”
“Where do I sign?”
“I’m sure you want time to read it over and decide.”
“No, thank you. I’ll sign now.”
“Well, there’s still an audition process, but I’ll let you sign today if you want.”
“Yes, ma’am, I do.”
Janique slid the packet across the desk. “You can still back out by not doing the movies.”
“Oh, I’ll do them. I need the money.”
Lateesha signed, and Janique said, “Okay, then, let’s get you started on the package.”
“The package?”
“Tonsils, braces, tibal ligation, etcetera.”
“Tubal ligation?”
“Reversible. Drug test.”
“Drug test?”
“Drugs are not a dealbreaker. We just like to know where everyone is at.”
“Chris, what do you think? Anal bleaching on a black girl?”
Chris looked over his newspaper. “Might be cool. Like a bullseye.”
“Anal bleaching?” Lateesha asked nervously.
“Sure. And a neck tattoo of our logo.”
Janique made a call to her doctors.
“Okay, you’re all set, Lateesha. Go here to start the package, and report back tomorrow for the audition.”
Neither mentioned that the contract gave any other Ultimate Hustle employee complete sexual access to the signee at any time, and always on camera.
“Chris,” Janique said the next day, “I want to go see Tokio.”
“I’ll get us on his visitor’s list.”
Lateesha came in with a sore ass, showing off her neck tattoo. When she got up to use the restroom, Janique handed Chris a tube of cocoa butter and said, “Do your duty.”
He caught her at the sink, his cock already erect and lubricated.
“Lateesha, you can still back out, but I’m here to audition you.”
“Just like that?”
“Just like that. You should have read your contract.”
“Can I suck it first?”
She did so and said, “Bleh, tastes like hand cream.”
“Let’s start over,” Chris said, washing.
“Mmm, that’s better,” she said, and began her ministrations. Soon, Chris had her bent over the sink, delivering an anal pounding like she had never had before. He observed her in the mirror and came up with her porn star name.
He finished on her face for the cameras Janique had installed everywhere. Lateesha wore the cum out into the offices, where Janique filmed her with a handheld.
Chris whispered in her ear, and Janique said, “Your porn star name is Fuckface.”
“Fuckface. Uh-uh, I’m Queen Lateesha.”
“Read your contract. You’re Fuckface. But you passed the screen test. Great footage.”
Lateesha, now dubbed Fuckface, went to have it tattooed on her lower back while Chris and Janique met with Janice Livingston, the personal assistant candidate. Her credentials were unparalleled.
“Mr. and Mrs. Turner, I have but one request: no touching. That aside, I’d love to be part of the Ultimate Hustle family.”
“I can do that.”
“So what do you think?”
“She’s your assistant.”
“Then yes, you’re hired.”
“Thank you, ma’am. You won’t regret this.”
Janice’s office consisted of a phone, desk, and empty filing cabinet. When not answering the phone, which was mostly silent, she busied herself with writing. Her phone list consisted of one actress, two potential hires, and a Japanese restaurant Chris and Janique favored.
“So tell us, Janice,” Janique asked, “What made you want to work for Ultimate Hustle?”
“Oh, to be on a winning team. Publishing is dead.”
“But you know what we do here, right?”
“Certainly. You make Hollywood grade pornography, and run a legal escort service.”
“And what do you know about us?”
“Chris Turner, consomm√© x-rated actor, devoted husband,  strong arm robber, ex-drug dealer and bagman for a heavy Japanese consortium.”
“Ooh, do me,” Janique said.”
“Janique Turner, nymphomaniac, sexiest adult actress in the world, devoted wife and lover, driven by a desire for art and extreme wealth.”
“Wow. You really did your research.”
“I try, madame.”
“Here’s what we need today.”
Janice readied her pen.
“First, make sure Chris and I are on the visitation list for Tokio Jones. Here’s the number.”
She handed her a Post-It note.
“Second, arrange a visit for today, and schedule a screen test for Gia and Mia.”
“No problem.”
“Finally, we need to make this place functional. Get phones in each room. Here,” Janique said, “Is the number of the AV guys who did the cameras. Also, I think we need designers. Try and find us the perfect interior decorators.”
Janique busied herself with planning while Janice made calls and Chris read.
Eventually, Janice stuck her head in their office door and said, “Done. Mr. Tokio Jones, one p.m., Gia and Mia, four p.m. I’ll be interviewing designers all afternoon. Is that acceptable?”
“It’s great, Janice, thank you.”
They drove to the prison Tokio had been transferred to, both feeling tense as they approached. Their sense of unease never left during their stay.
The visitation room was loud and harsh, dirty plexiglass and whitewashed cinderblock. It pained Chris and Janique to see Tokio when he was finally wheeled in to see them. Chris tried to talk, but quickly grew frustrated at the noise level. Janique was afraid he would lose his temper.
“Hey, shut the fuck up,” Tokio growled. “Can’t you see that’s Chris motherfucking Turner?”
Instantly, conversations on both sides of the glass were reduced to low murmurs.
“Toke, man, how are you?” Chris asked.
“Chris Turner, ain’t you a sight for sore eyes. What are you doing here?”
“We have your money. We’re going to make arrangements for your operation.”
“You’re bullshitting me.”
“Never. We’re also going to motion for a retrial.”
Tokio’s eyes misted over at the thought.
“Serious?” he asked
“Never more serious about anything,” Janique stepped in and said.
Toke let out a low whistle. “This must be Janique. You’re even more beautiful than he described you, and the man is a stone poet.”
Embarassed, Janique said, “Do you have a lawyer in mind, or should we use ours?”
“Man, I’m still trippin’ off the operation news. But I do have a dude you can use to augment your legal team. Cat by the name of Payback.”
“Payback. Is it safe to assume he’s a motherfucker?”
“Heh. We’re all motherfuckers in here. But, no, he’s just meticulous about staying out of debt. That’s how he got the name.”
“Do you know his number?”
“Of course.” Tokio recited it while Janique wrote it down in her flowery script on rose-colored paper.
“Worry no more, Toke. The cavalry is here,” Chris said.
“How’s Hazel?”
“She’s, um, resting,” Janique cut in. “But we’re bringing Ultimate Hustle to L.A.”
“Wow. This is like Christmas and my birthday put together.”
“Do you need commissary money?” Chris asked.
“A true player will always stay fed, and a true player will always stay paid. But, sure, actual ash would be nice.”
Janique wrote this down as well.
“Say, I’m slippin’, with the excitement and all. Show me them titties, girl.”
She blushed. “But of course,” she said, revealing her perfect tits and pushing them against the glass. Tokio’s hand moved instinctively to his crotch. Then she raised her skirt, revealing her shaved mound and a pair of diamond and platinum wedding rings.
“Whoa, whoa,” Tokio said. “You can’t do that to me. Damn, girl.”
“Sorry, Mr. Tokio, sir,” she said primly.
“So, are we cool?” Chris asked.
“Cool? You two are Frosty and Santa. I’m gonna call you Kris Kringle.”
The guards came for him, and they said their goodbyes, all three leaving considerably happier than when they had arrived.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Amber's Chronicles

I never thought going to the bathroom could be such a big deal. Wait, let me back up. My name is Amber, and these are my chronicles. That's a literary joke, I don't expect you to get it. The Chronicles of Amber is a series by author Roger  Zelazny. It's my favorite set of books, given to me by father.
My father is an asshole, and my mom is a dumb bitch.
Not exactly, you know, but that's the sort of things kids are expected to say. They fucked up and got  divorced. Mainly because they fought all the time. I guess  that’s an acceptable reason. Still, I don’t care for the arrangement. So I’m on a bus to go back to live with mom. Which is where the bathroom thing comes into play.
The bus is gross. It’s cross-country, and the bathroom on the bus is unusable. Consequently, I have to plan my bathroom breaks and time them with the bus stops, so I can use the slightly less gross toilets at the gas and bus stations. Each time, I’m so relieved, literally, I almost cry. If this is life, I’m not sure I want any part of it.
The only bright spot in this so far is that I already have a boyfriend when I get there. Zak, his name is. He wrote me at my dad’s when he found out I was moving back. He says we went to elementary school together. Truth be told, I don’t remember him. Still, it’s sort of sweet.
His first letter said:
Hi, Amber,
My name is Zak, and I’d like to be your boyfriend. Wait for me.
Sincerely, Zak
How can a girl resist that? Actually, I think most girls could, but most girls are dumb. Like the girls at my old school. I call them The Police of Pretty High. They know nothing of romance.
I call them the police because they are the law at that school. Bitchy, judgmental, condescending law. Pretty High is because they’re all so insufferably pretty. Also because all of the guys are burned-out stoners.
Back to my bathroom stories. I was in a mental ward for a while. Fuck you. Sorry, but I get defensive about that. I’m not crazy. Even my doctor says it was an episode brought about by stress.
The bathrooms at the mental ward are a mess, as you might expect. Some of those people are really crazy. Even some of the girls are gross. So, same deal. You have to time your bathroom breaks around cleaning times, or find a bathroom that no one else uses. They’re all kept locked, for whatever dumb reason.
So my world currently revolves around clean toilets. It’s not where I wanted to be at fifteen, I assure you.
I sent my mom a letter when I found out I was being shipped off to live with her. I threw in one for Zak, too.
Dear Zak,
Not quite as romantic, but it’s the thought that counts. I don’t know why I’m blogging this. I feel dumb.
I already miss my dad. He’s a good guy, even though he’s basically a fuck up. Almost fifty and still working shit jobs to stay afloat. I do think it’s time to give mom a try again, though. Dad knows nothing of girly things.
I wish they had managed to work it out. Living on opposite coasts is a bit extreme. Still, I want to be a writer, and writers need something to write about. I just never expected my adventure to revolve around peeing.
I fell asleep and had a dream. Mom was there to pick me up, and Zak was with her. I ran up to him and he threw his arms around me and squeezed me and swung me around. I felt so happy.
It could happen, right? Happy endings and all that. Dreams coming true. I hope so. I need a reason to live.
 Zak wrote me back: "Do you believe in fate?"

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New eBook - Self Publishing Tips and Tricks

This is a collection of my blog posts concerning publishing, about 16,000 words. $.99 cents on Amazon and Smashwords.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Penultimate Hustle: Japan Cover Reveal

Just got my new cover for Penultimate Hustle: Japan from C.L. Smith of Humble Nations/Go On, He's having a half off sale for pre-made covers, and this was $30! Plus he does the best typography. Fast. One day turnaround. I'm stoked.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Six Stories Short & Sweet is Free Today

Lost Manuscript Horror Stories

On a recent misguided and naive tour of L.A., I had all of my luggage stolen. Laptop, camera, microphone, phone. I don't care about that stuff.

I had *two* hand-written manuscripts in that luggage. I don't think words can describe that loss. Penultimate Hustle: L.A. and Army of me, which were at 100% and 80% complete, respectively, are gone forever.

Lessons to be learned all around. If you hand write, take it to Kinko's and have a copy made. And don't dawdle with typing them up. It's exhausting, but it beats rewriting from scratch.

I'm trying to be positive about the rewrites. I don't think I could match what I had done with the Ultimate Hustle text. Army of Me needed work, but not a total rewrite, for sure.

But I'm going to do it. The series and the fantasy novel were both favorites of my girlfriend, whom I write everything for.

I'm currently replotting the books from memory, determined to make them as good as they were before.

How about you? Have any lost manuscript horror stories?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Making Money with KDP

A lot of people don't seem to understand how to turn free books into sales with Amazon's Kindle Direct Program. I really didn't know either, until recently.

Assuming you're enrolled, set up a two day promo. Of course, the more reviews and higher rated your books are, the better.

Then, a month in advance, do your work with the free book sites. I use this list from Katrina Williams, which is wonderful:

The trick is to start charting well right around the time the promo ends. And it is a good trick. That's where the month lead time can help assure you get listed on as many sites as possible.

When the free days end, you should see sales for at least a few days after. Another approach is to cancel your promo when you are charting well, but I don't feel this meshes well with the free book sites that are promoting you. It will still result in sales, though.

That's it. Go make some money.