As of the the 17th of December, I have the rights to my novel, He Belongs to Me, back from the peace of crap publisher, Aspen Mountain Press. Per the contract, if Sandra for any reason, suspends services for 60 days straight, all rights revert back to the Author.
And she did!!!
Here's the letter I Sent her:
I am writing to advise you that at midnight eastern standard time on December 18th, 2011, Aspen Mountain Press (AMP) has had their business operations suspended for sixty continuous days. Therefore, as per Clause XIX of the AMP contract; all rights to He Belongs to Me automatically reverts back to me.
I now consider myself and my novel, He Belongs to Me, free of any and all legal obligations to Aspen Mountain Press as per December 18th, 2011.
An official reversion of rights letter would be appreciated, as per the contract.
Cathy D. Colebrooke (Nya Rayne)
Yep, it's over not on to bigger and better things!! I'll be posting the cover for Storm's Fury soon, so stay tuned.
Up until recently there were no changes with Aspen Mountain Press (AMP), just the same old bull crap day in and day out. However, Sandra posted the following message to the AMP Yahoo Loop last night. Of course, I have been kicked off this loop even though Sandra is still making money off of my sales (FYI):
"The AMP site will be down for an indefinite amount of time as we try to ascertain the backend problem with the coming soon page. As soon as the error is found and corrected the site will be back up."
She posted this message, but the thing is her site was already brought down for an hour or so last week because she was still selling novels she no longer has under contract. In order to bring it back up she had to remove the novels she had up illegally.
Per the contract she can't have the site down for more than 30 days--I think--but she's claiming technical issues, which is not covered under the contract.
The woman is ridiculously slimy, I tell you!! If she can find a loop hole to save herself she'll slither threw it with the quickness!!
So, I'm still sort of stuck.
But boy wouldn't I love an attorney's opinion?!?
In addition to that, I've heard from a good source that AMP might honestly be closing its doors. That news is just a little too good to be true and needs to be verified, but my fingers are crossed. Because I'd love to get He Belongs to Me back and into the hands of a publisher who would appreciate it.
That’s all for now, but as promised, I'll keep you guys and gals apprised to any changes.
My second novel, Storm's Fury, has found a home with Musa Publishing. It's the first of my Anubi Brothers Series. Notice the picks above. Yes, they all tie in and in the end have something to do with the book!!
Musa is a new kid on the block, but from the owner to the art director and beyond--they are a well established and worldly group of people. The contract is posted on-line, the authors have say so in every aspect of the publishing process, and I'm in total love with their page lay out. It's not, I repeat, not a word doc saved as a PDF!!
Yuck and double yuck!!
In addition to that, unlike when I signed with my first publisher (AMP), I have no reservations whatsoever about Musa. So far it seems like an open door policy. I have email and contacts for everyone. So, it shouldn't take forever to get an answer when I need one.
Anyway, that's all for now. When I get the okay, I'll post an excerpt for you all to perusal and devour!
Over the past few weeks I've been waffling between letting you all in on the dark seedy side of publishing or keeping it to myself. I've decided to let you in and hopefully keep what's happening to me from happening to any of you aspiring authors out there.
My tale begins July 4th 2010.
It should have been one of the happiest days of my life and for a while it was, because that was the day I got my first contract offer from Aspen Mountain Press for my novel, He belongs to me. After reviewing the contract, I tried to get clarification on certain parts of the contract. I found my contact with Sandra Hicks to be lackluster, blah, and severely underwhelming. It honestly left a very bad taste in my mouth. Because of that, I thought about not going with her company. However, I had a few acquaintances who had published with AMP tell me that regardless of her demeanor, AMP was a good E-Publisher.
Long story short, I signed with her.
It was--without a doubt--the biggest mistake of my publishing life.
I sent the contract back to her at the end of July, beginning of August. She sent it back to me promptly, fully executed and all. The month of August went by, then September, and then October. I heard nothing from anyone at the company about my release date, edits, nothing, nada, zilch!! I sent off a generic email to Sandra requesting an update as to when I could expect my novel to be released. I heard nothing from her until the end of November, I believe. It was a very nonspecific email, but it was something.
2010 goes out and 2011 comes in and still, I have heard nothing about my release date. I end up posting to the Beware Forum at AbsoluteWrite.com (AW). One of the nice people who work at AMP responded and I promptly received a release date, and was put in contact with my editor. It's now the end of January beginning of February, 2011.
From there the process was pretty smooth, my novel released on April 8th, 2011, a full week early. I, as an author, was happy and had almost forgiven Sandra Hicks for her lack of responsiveness and unprofessionalism. And then in July I received my first royalty statement--YAY!
It basically told me that from the day my novel was published, I had only sold one book. Thing is, even if no one else on the face of the planet bought my novel, I personally bought 15 of them. I promptly informed AMP of this and was told that it would be researched.
Supposedly, it was and they still couldn't find proof of the other 14 novels that I purchased. So, being a good sport, I sent them my receipts proving that something was wrong with their system. It was swept under the rug or combed over—how ever you want to say, covered up.
I received no additional funds.
Since that time, I still haven't received an update as to my correct royalty statement and missing money. The entire staff at AMP has quit, Sandra Hicks is MIA and is not responding to emails, phone calls, or accepting certified mail. Every once and a yellow moon, she creeps out of her cave and posts a short message--I heard--saying she's doing her best. She has also removed any and all authors who are speaking out against her horrible treatment of AMP's authors from the AMP website yahoo loop.
Basically, she’s treating us like we’re not published with her company, but yet she is living off of money incured from the sales of our books.
Moving on, I Sent Sandra Hicks a formal email requesting a correct royalty statement and any back funds she owe me as well as a formal explanation as to the state of her company. I gave her 45 days to get back to me and clear this mess up, or I formally requested that she revert my rights back to me post-haste. That email was sent to her on the 9th of September.
To date, I have had no response from Sandra Hicks or anyone at her so called company. I'll keep you all informed as to when--if I ever do--get my rights back or at the very least some answers, a check and a freaking apology!!
That’s all folks, I'll be back in a few days with some excellent news about my new paranormal romance novel, Storm's Fury!!
This should be a blast!!! And here weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee go!!!!!!!!!!!
K: What do you love most about writing? What do you hope for your writing career in the next few years?
N: Very good question, Kim!! What I love most about writing is that there are no boundaries. If I want to write about mermaids who can’t swim, or vampires with webbed feet that thrive in water or flies that carry the vaccine for AIDS, I can and no one can tell me I can’t. I guess, I love that while I’m writing, reality is what I say reality is.
In the next few years, with regard to my writing career, I hope to have landed one of the top five agents in the business and have at least two of my books on the NY Times Bestsellers list. If I’m going to dream I might as well dream big, right?
K: How long does it take to write a book for you? Is there much research involved in your stories?
N: The time it takes me to write a book varies. For instance, He Belongs to Me took about 45 days to write, but Storm’s Fury, the novel I’m subbing out now, took six to eight months. I guess it really depends on how heavy I want the writing to be. So as to your second question, yes, I do research when necessary.
K: What would we find on your bookcase if we looked? What is one of your favorite authors?
N: If you looked at my bookcase you would find such a mixture of novels it would probably make your head spin. Let’s see, there’s some Lora Leigh, she’s one of my all time favorite paranormal romance authors, Christine Feehan, a little bit of Angela Knight, and quite a few JD Robb novels. There are also a lot of John Sanford, Lee Childs, John Saul, and I think I have one or two Zane books in there somewhere. Told you it was quite a mixture…lol.
K: What was the last book you read (e or print) and did you like it? What are you currently reading now?
N: Since I got my kindle, I’ve been really big into e-books. I can download a novel straight from the internet to my kindle in like 6 six seconds. It’s crazy!! Let’s see, the last book I read was an old Lora Leigh novel, I think it was Jacob’s Faith or maybe Aiden’s Charity. I’m really not sure, because I devour those books like a dog does peanut butter. (lol) And yes, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Right now I’m reading a paranormal romance Anthology, but the first story bored the living crap out of me so I haven’t picked it back up in about a week or so.
K: Out of all your books, do you have a favourite one? If not, then which one is closest to your heart?
N: I do have a favourite but it’s still a work in progress. I’ve been writing it for over five years and am now at chapter 65 and it’s still going. I think it’s one of those that probably won’t be released until I’m a well established author and then it will have to be broken down into two or three books. As of right now it has no working title. It’s definitely closest to my heart out of all of my books.
K: Could you tell us a little about how you develop your characters? Who has been your favorite character to write? The most challenging?
N: My characters sort of develop themselves at first, and then during the “gutting” I go back through and add in the little twitches that make them human. The character that was the most fun to write had to Ice, Phia’s best friend from He Belongs to Me. She’s just a ball of fun—every girls bestfriend!! The most challenging by far would be Donté. He’s been through so much in his life that his feelings at times were hard to sort out, especially where Phia was concerned.
K: What character out of all your books is the closest to your personality?
N: The character that most closely resembles me is in a novel I’ve only recently begun working on. She’s a control freak, set in her ways, who thinks her way is always the right way. When she falls it’s going to be quite a tumble. That novel probably won’t be out until the end of 2012.
K: You have to ask a fictional character out on a date—who would you ask and what would you do together?
N: Wow, Kim you’re entirely too good at this! These questions are awesome!! Let’s see, I’d probably ask out Jack Reacher from Lee Child’s Reacher Series. What would we do for a date, well, let’s just say we wouldn’t be leaving the house…lol.
K: You come back from the dead as a spirit, what message are you trying to get across?
N: Where the heck are you getting these questions? (lol) To the question, I honestly don’t know what I would want to get across because I’ve never experienced death, but I would hope it would be something along the lines of there’s no need to be afraid of death because it’s just as the bible says it is...beautiful!!
K: If your muse were to talk behind your back, what secrets would he/she tell?
N: The rat-fink bastard would probably tell you that all the little dark moments in my books are the closes to my real thoughts. You know the ones; you don’t want other people to know you have. I should probably delete this answer, but I want. (lol)
K: What is your favorite way to relax after a hard day working and writing?
N: With a nice cold beer, preferably a Dos Equis and a trip to the dog park with my favorite pouch.
K: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 things would you have with you?
N: Wow, well let’s see... I would bring a satellite phone with a back up battery, a grill, some steaks, charcoal, and twelve-pack of Dos Equis. I’d have everything I needed to grill out while I wait to be rescued.
Wow, Kim great questions!! It’s been fun and please feel free to stop back by anytime for a visit and to chat!!
What a wonderful week it has been!! I've met some wonderful people, who I hope will continue to swing by from time to time to let me know how they're doing. Hey, if you don't come to me, I'll come to you...lol.
Any who, tonight marks the end of AMP’s Birthday tour, but I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who commented and let you all know that you are now in the running for a beautiful Kindle Graphite. The winner will be announced tonight on the AMP site during our wind down party bash--click the gold banner and it will take you there.
I will also be announcing the winner of the autograph copy of my novel, He Belongs to Me and the interview with me on my blog—this thing—tonight, so be around or be around!!
See you all later at the festivities and thanks again for stopping by!!!
First and foremost, I want to thank all of you wonderful-wonderful, wonderfully crazy people for stopping by my blog on this, Aspen Mountain's Anniversary!!
Bonsai! Hooray!! Way to go!! Great job!!
I'm a newly published authoress, so let me introduce myself. I'm Nya Rayne, but please call me Miss Rayne when I'm nasty. I spend my time between sunny South Florida and beautiful Charlotte, NC, and I'm the proud parent-owner of a 1 and 1/2 year-old German shepherd by the name of Apache-Star.
Isn't she gorgeous?!?! I love dogs, so feel free to share some of your own with me!!
In addition to being a novelist, I am also a licensed stylist and cutting specialist to the stars--yeah, I'm claiming it!! If you want to find out more about me, click here and friend me on that wonderful thing called FACEBOOK!!
But I digress...
My current novel is a Futuristic Romance called, He Belongs to Me. It's about a world dominated by women where men are not only an endangered species, but a priceless commodity available only to the ruling class. It is the first novel of a three book series, the second of which is currently being written.
Check out this excerpt, it's all about the lead male with his sexy booty, chest and dreamy eyes:
Xavier stood, stepped to the end of the bed, and brushed a few thick locks of hair from his face. His Intimacy Instructor strutted in his direction, her blonde, board-straight hair pinned back away from her face. Her light brown eyes focused on him.
He didn’t like her, not because of who she was, more because of what she was. He’d read and studied his text thoroughly and he knew what she taught him was not considered intimacy. It was more barbaric and demeaning than anything else.
She stopped before him, a tight smile on her face. “Good evening.”
Kail and Savior spoke in unison, “Good evening.”
She ignored them and spoke directly to him, “Good evening, Xavier.”
She stared at him, and he had to wonder exactly what she was looking for. She had to have known once he had found favor; she could not touch him in that way ever again. “Good evening,” he finally said.
She stepped closer to him, her breasts brushing against his bare chest. “I wanted to congratulate you on your wonderful luck. I hear your goddess is most desirable.”
“I wouldn’t know,” he bit out in a tone he had never used with any of his instructors before. He took a small step back away from her.
Her head tilted to one side and for an instant, he saw the look he’d seen numerous times on her face just before she chained him to the wall of her private classroom and tried to beat him into submission.
“If I had known you were going to be chosen, I would have made sure to schedule one last session with you,” she admitted brashly.
He could feel the eyes of the other nurturers trained on him as he took another step back away from her.
She stepped forward and continued, her hands gripping her hips, “There is still so much I need to teach you.” Her eyes traveled the length of his body and back as if devouring him. She bit down on her lower lip in what Xavier figured was meant to look sexy. It set his nerves on edge.
Xavier looked away from her and around at the other occupants of the room. “I have learned all I need to learn from you,” he said as he stepped back again, his back bumping up against the cold steel of his hanger.
She grinned. Her breasts flat against his bare chest felt like warm soft pillows begging to be plumped or pulled closer. If she weren’t such a sadist, the thought might have appealed to him. Her lukewarm hands moved up his arms and over his shoulders.
Xavier shot a look at Savior and Kail for help, but all he saw staring back at him was regret and helplessness. They could not intercede. If he had not found favor, she would have been allowed to do this to him at will and in the presence of everyone because she was his instructor. Her eyes sparkled with mischief as her hand slipped down to his waist and into the elastic band of his white, loose-fitting cotton pants. His body froze as her hand found his member and cupped it, her nails digging into the tender skin.
He hissed and closed his eyes, his hand coming up to hers, gripping it. “Stop,” he growled. His anger surged to the forefront and it took every ounce of will he had in him to keep it in check. He was too close. He was too damn close. “I’ve found favor! You can’t do this!”
Xavier knew he couldn’t hit her or push her away. He could never put his hands on any female in such a manner. It went against everything he’d been taught and bred for, but her, he wanted to pound into the ground at his feet. His free hand clenched and released as he bit down hard on his lower lip and tried to suppress the hatred he felt for her and the violence he wanted to inflict on her. He couldn’t and wouldn’t allow her to throw his gift away.
She laughed in his face. It was a wicked cackle that caused the hairs on the back of his neck to stand on end and his ire to spike even more. “And do you…”
“Carnie, what are you doing?” a voice bellowed, cutting her off.
Now that you've purchased your copy of the book, be the first to tell me; first, what city were Phia (female lead) and Xavier in when he was recaptured, and second what city does Phia and her remaining compainions escape to inorder to avoid capture.
First Place Winner: $50 AMEX Gift Card
Second Place Winner: $25 Amex Gift Card
Respond to this blog, telling me about your favorite character and you'll be placed in the running for an autographed copy of He Belongs to Me and a one on one conversation on this blog with me!! On second thought just post to this blog and you're in the running!!
1) Tour Starts: Monday, August 1, 2011 at Midnight (EST) Tour Ends: August 7, 2011 at Midnight (EST) Final Celebration is August 7th from 6pm-11pm (EST) at the AMP Community Loop. Grand Prize: a Kindle (Wi-Fi, Graphite, 6″ Display with New E-Ink Pearl Technology) is the Grand Prize. Drawing will take place and be announced on August 7, 2011 on the AMP Community Loop at 11pm (EST). Only comments posted before 10pm (EST) on August 7, 2011 are eligible to win the Kindle. Winner will be notified by email on August 8, 2011 if they are not present on the Loop for the announcement. ***Individual winners from author contests will be drawn and posted August 8, 2011 on their individual sites.***
2) Participation at every blog on the tour is not required but the more blogs a person comments on, the more chances they have to win. If a person comments on one blog, they are entered into the Grand Prize Drawing once. If they comment on ten different blogs, they will be entered into the Grand Prize drawing ten times. Only one comment per blog per person will be entered to win the Grand Prize. 3) The winner of the Grand Prize must be a resident of the United States with a US mailing address. Non-US winners will be eligible for $50 US in Aspen Mountain Press books from the AMP Website. 4) Prizes at individual author blogs are completely at the discretion of the individual authors and are not in association with Aspen Mountain Press and its prize system. To enter the contest on any given blog, you must follow their contest rules and objectives. 5) By commenting on any blog in the tour, the participant is agreeing to these rules and policies. 6) All prize winners will be chosen randomly by using Random Line Picker.
Thanks so much guys and gals for visiting my blog, it's been a real blast!! Please feel free to stop in anytime, but for now your next stop will be to the wonderful and gifted Viki Lyn another one of Aspen's finest authors. Go ahead and grab your towels and spray bottles because the girl is HOT, HAUT, HOT,and did I say, HOT!! Just click here, or here, or here and you'll be on your way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I just wanted to post a quick note to let everybody know I'll be on the upcoming Blog Tour with my Publisher, Aspen Mountain Press. It's scheduled to start on the 1st of August and last until the 7th of the same month.
Feel free to click the banner at the top of the page for more details and I'll be posting the rules for the tour as the time draws closer. Seriously, make sure you're there because there will be fun, prizes, and more fun!!
See you all soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I hope life has been as good to you as it has to me. Between reading, writing, and doing hair, I don't honestly have time to do much of anything anymore. But I promised myself that I would update this blog today, and to hell with everything else!!
Anyway, just a quick update: I'm in the final stages of editing my second novel (paranormal romance), Storm's Fury. Hopefully, it will be in the hands of an agent or publisher before the end of the year. I've also finished the next chapter of that ever-loving fan fiction I've been working on for six years or so. Unfortunately, I still need to do some editing before I can post it. Some of you should really like that. And in my downtime... (wipes forehead) I've started a new a novella--it's all about horny mermaids (lol). The first draft should be wrapped up by the end of July and the edits should start right around the end of August or so.
So, yeah, the last few months have been insane!!
Next on the agenda is the sales for He Belongs to Me. Well, I have yet to hear back from my publisher with regard to this, so I am as in the dark about his as you are. My publisher--I guess--is swamped. Maybe there will be a special post from me in the coming days all about it. Keep your fingers crosses!!
He Belongs to Me is in its first contest!!! Please click here to vote for it for best first chapter and book cover.
Now sit back, relax and click this link, it’s my favorite song for the moment!!
Isn't this great?!? You all get to share in all of my firsts!! I swear, you're a privileged bunch of people, not to mention beautiful, and blessed!! Am I laying it on thick? Probably, but that's who I am.
Gotta love me!!
Anyway, I've shared the release of my first novel with you all; my first review and now I'm sharing or rather would like to share with you my first INTERVIEW. It's going to be a live interview on Saturday, the 7th of May on http://www.thatscifishow.com/ at 4:30 p.m. If you reside in South Florida, feel free to listen-in on WWNN 1470 AM. Otherwise tune-in online. I promise, you won't be disappointed.
Oh, and I'm going to be announcing a special contest for my fans on air. So, if you haven't bought your copy of He Belongs to Me and read it, I advise you to do so before Saturday. (Just saying.)
Here's a list of the prizes:
First Place -- Winner becomes a character in my next novel Second Place -- Autograph copy of He Belongs to Me when it goes to print Third Place -- $25.00 Visa Gift Card
Okay, guys and gals, it's been just over two weeks since my novel, He Belongs to Me, has been out and I have know idea how I'm doing in sales. So, I'm not reporting on that. But, yesterday I got part one of my first review and this afternoon, part two of that same review.
And well, I wanted to share it with you all...
Review Part one:
I just wanted to tell you, that I just bought He Belongs To Me, which is a very out-of-character thing for me to do, as it really isn't my genre and I don't much like e-books - but I clicked your link, read the excerpt, and... well, I had to read the rest.
So I bought my first ever pdf of a book online!
I think it's magic, so far. I don't know why, there's something so sweet and rich and escapist about the story you tell, that for the first time ever I'm reading every sentence of a romance and just drinking it in rather than being all snotty in my head about every little flaw I find...
I love it. I even love Phia, which is also a first for me. Very few heroines fail to annoy me, but Phia is just likable.
That's all - so you take care, and write more books!
Review Part 2:
Oh, darling ... I just finished the book, I read every minute I had to spare all day today and yesterday. I want to read it again right away.
I cannot wait to see what kind of a writer you evolve into with your next book, and the one after that. Like I said there is just something sweet and simple and rich about your story, and I enjoyed every second of it. I think it might be the mixture of the almost simplified, fairy-tale style characters and good-evil dichotomy and the quite sophisticated rendering of adult love between two real people. It's just really, really satisfying to read.
You've made a fan for yourself - and one who has never liked romance before.
I was walking around here biting my nails and sweating profusely for nothing! Seriously, everytime someone asked me about the release date or reminded me that it was coming out soon, my heart would skip a beat or two.
It was all for nothing.
I was waiting for Monday. You know, for the release of He Belongs to Me, but found out a few minutes ago that it was officially released at 6:30 p.m. today!! Okay, so I'm not really all that mad about it, I'm actually kind of relieved.
Celebrating doesn't begin to describe what I'm about to do...lol.
Yep, it's almost that time, my minions. Fifteen days to the release of He Belongs to Me. I must admit as the time draws nearer, the more anxious and frightened I'm becoming. I'm anxious because, I never really thought I would see this day and I'm frightened because allowing my work to be read is like allowing you into my mind.
Trust me, at times, it's not a very nice place...muhahahaha.
For those of you, who know me personally, "DON'T JUDGE ME!!" (lmao) Seriously, don't look at me any differently, okay? Gah, what does that really say about me?
Over the past few weeks I've been working with my editor to finalize the changes and have--as of today--gotten the final copy. Yes, the copy that you all will be reading on the 11th of April. It looks real good, if I do say so myself. (lol) And guess what, here's your first look!!!
An Excerpt, my minions!! Devour and enjoy, and then wait for more!!
Excerpt from somewhere in the beginning to the middle of the novel:
“It’s simply adorable,” Phia’s mother, Baroness Varonda Zen, gushed while walking around Donté as if taking in a new piece of deco furniture. She stepped close to him, looked him in the eyes and continued, “Did you have them give it eyes that color? They’re astounding if I do say so myself.”
The other patrons in the restaurant were turned in their seats now, taking in the scene, and Phia felt her face flush. “Mother, stop it. He’s not a piece of meat.”
“I certainly beg to differ,” Varonda said, continuing her perusal. “It’s nothing short of aged Angus beef. And you know how hard that is to find these days. Have you broken him in yet?”
To Phia’s abject horror, her mother stepped even closer to Donté, reached a hand out, and grabbed for his genitals. “Mother,” she warned, standing from her seat. To her surprise, Donté grabbed the woman’s hand, stopping her grope-fest a mere inch from his groin.
“It is wonderful to meet you, Baroness Zen. Perhaps you should have a seat.” Donté released her hand and stepped back and to the side, away from her.
To say Phia was pleased would have merely scratched the surface of how she truly felt as she watched her mother’s flabbergasted face go from red to stroke red.
“What is this? How is it, he speaks without being prompted?”
“Mother, sit down,” Phia ordered again, with chagrin. She was proud of Donté. He not only stopped her mother in her tracks, he also did it in a respectful manner. Unfortunately, this could also pose a problem. FAPs and PAPs were not unruly. They spoke when spoken to and never talked back. They were submissive by creation. If it got out that Donté was willful, she’d have a lot of explaining to do.
Her mother moved begrudgingly to sit down, her eyes trained on Donté, who had taken the seat between them. “Sotophia, is something wrong with its wiring? Perhaps you should trade it in now, before your warranty expires.”
“I have wiring and a warranty?”
Phia shushed Donté, her attention focused on her mother. “There’s nothing wrong with him, Mother.”
The waiter came to take their orders and Phia asked, “Donté, do you know what you want?”
His tone was clipped, but Phia tried to pretend she didn’t notice. She couldn’t deal with him and her mother at the same time. If she placated him, her mother would ask questions. If she treated Donté as if he really were a machine she would have a lot of explaining to do later. “Well, do you want me to order for you?”
“Why are you asking it? Just order something. It’s not like he can digest it anyway. Jesus, Sotophia, we don’t have all night,” Varonda blustered, staring daggers at Donté.
“Mother, you wanted to meet him, so please stop behaving like a shrew.”
Her mother started to say something, but Donté interjected first, “I’ll have what you’re having, as long as it’s meat.”
Phia smiled, and leaned over to whisper in his ear. “No, you don’t have wiring or a warranty that matters.” She couldn’t explain why she needed to make sure he was fine. At the moment, it just seemed like the most important thing she’d ever had to do.
Phia ordered for herself and Donté, and then her mother ordered. She thought for a fraction of a second maybe the night could be salvaged. Unfortunately, the minute the waiter, a FAP—one could tell by the dead look in his eyes—left the table, her mother started up again.
“I gave you enough credits to purchase three of these things, but you had to go and purchase the most broken-down, decrepit one you could find. Haven’t I told you about bringing home stray dogs? Haven’t I warned you about that?” She pulled her c-pod from her purse.
“What are you doing? Who are you calling?”
“I should have known you wouldn’t handle a purchase of this magnitude properly. As usual, I’ll fix it for you.”
Varonda glared at Donté, and Phia deduced he must have seriously insulted her for her to be behaving in such a manner, not that it surprised her. Her mother had always been the uppity-prima donna-scowling-at-servants-banshee who got what she wanted when she wanted and had no problem throwing an outlandish fit when she didn’t get her way. So, no, her current rant didn’t surprise her at all.
Shaking off her thoughts as the waiter brought over two glasses of white wine and a glass of water, which Donté had ordered, she heard her mother say contemptuously, “Lorraine Lobush, I’m appalled you would sell such a broken down piece of…”
Phia sprang from her seat and snatched the c-pod from her mother. After disengaging the call, she turned to her mother. “I’ve had about enough of this. You wanted me to get one, so I did. I got Donté, and regardless of how you feel about him, he’s mine and I’m keeping him. I don’t need you interfering with anything involving him, Mother. Do you understand me?”
Varonda’s face flushed with incredulity as her thin lips slipped from a thin line to an ‘O’ shape and back again before she finally stated, “Sotophia, calm yourself. This thing is damaged.” She made a flippant dismissive motion in Donté direction. “You can’t see it because you’ve never owned one before, but I have and I know damaged when I see it.” She made a show of straightening out her lap-bib. “Had Elric behaved in this manner, I would’ve hauled his rump back to the nearest facility without a second thought.”
Phia clenched her fist, ground her molars, and willed herself to not blow a gasket.
Donté reached over, his large hand slipping over hers. He squeezed her hand in a show of camaraderie and smiled as he said, “Perhaps we should go home now.”
As Phia gazed back at him, she wanted to melt into a thick, creamy ooze at his feet. The anger she was feeling dissipated. She smiled at him, interlaced her fingers with his, lifted the palm of his hand to her mouth, and kissed it. “I’m fine, Donté. Thank you.” She kissed his palm again. “Thank you.”
“It’s quite alright,” he said. “However, I would prefer to eat at home. The company tonight is not desirable.”
“It tells you what to do?” her mother screeched. “This is blasphemy, and I won’t hear of it!”
Phia clenched his hand at her mother’s words and tried to maintain her calm. “Donté, could you please find the waiter and let him know I’ve changed my mind? I do want a salad before my entrée is brought out and another glass of wine as well.”
He looked at her for a long moment as if he knew she was trying to get rid of him, but he eventually stood, released her hand with reluctance, and started off in the direction they’d seen the waiter go in a few moments earlier. As he disappeared from sight, his broad, powerful back swaying beneath the tan smoking jacket she’d picked out for him, she allowed her eyes to roam over the female occupants who were sitting with FAPs and PAPs. All of them, every last one of them was watching him. She swelled with pride.
“Mother, Donté is perfect just the way he is. He’s mine. I’m his mistress, not you, and there isn’t a damn thing wrong with his wiring.” She glanced over her shoulder for Donté. “I don’t even know why I’m telling you this, but I had him programmed without all the extra blockage crap other Personomale models have. I wanted him to have a sense of free will. I wanted him to make his own decisions. I wanted him to be Donté, okay? Not some android who jumps when I say jump or sits when I say sit. You can call him every name in the book, I don’t care, but you will not talk about him in such a manner to his face or in front of me. I won’t allow it.”
Her mother scoffed. “Still the hopeless romantic, I see. How many times am I going to tell you romance is and always has been highly overrated?” A dry laugh escaped her. “I’m glad it died with the rest of the chauvinistic pigs.”
The way her mother spoke was so cold, so emotionless, it sent a shiver down Phia’s spine.
Varonda took a slow sip of wine and ran her bright red painted fingernail around the rim of the crystal wine glass. “Sotophia, an android, is an android. Beneath the clothes, the fabricated skin, and the gentle words, they are nothing more than programmed possessions to be owned, used, and disregarded at our whim. You can call it what you like, but it is what it is. No amount of pampering or petting is going to change what is.”
“My…name…is….Phia,” was all she could manage to retort.
I'm back with excellent news!! Not only do I have my definite release date, but I also have your first glimpse of my book cover!!
He Belongs to Me will be released April 11th, 2011 via Aspen Mountain Press!!! Buy early and buy many, my friends. You will only be able to purchase an e-copy at first, but as soon as it sells 300 copies, it will be available in print.
Gotta start somewhere, right?
I'm also working out some way to do preordering, so stay tuned for more information!!
I just had dinner with two of my best girlfriends at Carrabba's Italian Restaurant; the crusted chicken parmesan was awesome as were the two Coronas. Anyway, the topic of "Fear" came up and it made me wonder, what exactly is, FEAR?
How and why did this topic come up?
Well, I, like most human beings with an ounce of common sense, have numerous fears--some more debilitating than others. One of which is the fear of flying. I made a comment at dinner that I wanted to vacation in Paris and Italy this year. Anyway, one of my friends brought it to my attention that the flight is over nine hours (hasn’t been verified, but will). That little bit of knowledge brought me up short and I immediately began to rework my plans to vacation some place closer to home (preferably within driving distance). When I realized what I was subconsciously doing, there was no way to avoid admitting that because of "Fear," I'm missing out on a hell-of-a lot of life.
For instance, I've wanted to travel to Japan for more than half of my adult life, but even when I have the funds to support such an adventure, I'm too much of a fraidy-cat to get on the plane. (Because, you know it would be just my luck that the plane would crash.) I've also been talking about driving across country and back. I think about it at least once a day and yet, the thought of climbing into my car, starting my engine and pulling out my driveway with just my dog, a bag of clothing and my ATM card, scares me stiff.
Well because CSI, SVU, Criminal Minds, ID, True TV and a host of other shows, like the aforementioned, have me petrified that my bones will be found in a ditch, 5 years after I vanish off the face of the planet. (Stay close to home and you’ll live longer.)
So is this fear rational or irrational? Am I just paranoid?
These questions bring me back to my initial question, "What is fear?"
• Per the Oxford dictionary it's an unpleasant sensation caused by nearness of danger or pain.
• Per Webster’s' dictionary it's to have a reverential awe of , to be afraid of: expect with alarm , to be afraid or apprehensive.
• Per dictionary.com it's a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.
I don't know about you, but what I feel when I experience "fear" isn't really defined above. For me, fear is unaccomplished goals, dreams undiscovered, lost chances at love, and the hands that keep me stagnant.
So here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to add another goal to my New Year's resolution: I'm not going to allow fear to keep me from living anymore. I’m going to go where I want to go (taking baby steps), do what I want to do and with whom I want to do it, and I’m going to enjoy myself, because you know what they say, “You only get one life”.
So my faithful 17, what are some of your fears and how has fear changed your life?
Okay, so it's been a little while since I've posted. I suck, I know, but you all will be happy to know I haven't been sitting idly. I finished Fury's Storm as promised and I'm now in the throes of subbing it out to agents in hopes of landing a much larger deal than my last novel. Maybe even my dream agent: Mrs. Brown of Brown Literary Agency out of Florida--if she will have me---.
So far I've sent out 22 queries and have gotten 3 partial requests. Yay me!! Don’t get excited…lol. I have a total of 95 agents and/or publishers to go through. Hopefully, it won’t take all or even half of them for me to find the one, but you know… This publishing business is more than a little subjective.
I haven't begun the editing on He Belongs to Me with the publisher yet, but based on what the EIC (editor-in-chief) says, it should be out during the summer--the beginning, middle, or end?--I haven't a clue. But I'll let you all know as soon as I do.
Moving on to more up to date things...
So, we've moved into a new year full of promise and potential. I generally don't make resolutions but I have set a few goals for myself:
• Land a great agent (you had to know that was going to be first.)
• Get back to my 2006 weight (130 lbs.)
• Write and finalize two additional books (one from each of my series)
• Go to three states I've never been to (LV, TN, CA)
• Get rid of dead weight (both in my personal life and professional life)
Well that's mines. What's yours and how do you plan on meeting each of your goals?
To all my fan-fiction buddies out there, I haven’t forgotten about you. I started working on the new chapter a few days ago and I’m please with where it’s going. I’ll try to have it updated no later than the 14th of Feb.