Readers are right to expect free books.

Please don’t read this blog title and shoot me!🙂

Picture of the Week - Live Free!

More and more authors are getting frequent complaints their books are priced too high. Some have even said they are asked why their book isn’t free. In today’s market, people expect free books. That is a simple fact, and I can see why.

The book world is completely oversaturated with free books. As a reader, I could get by with never buying another ebook again if I didn’t want to. I have the BookBub app on my phone. If you haven’t downloaded the free app, I would highly recommend it. I get daily announcements to let me know which books are out there for free. Yay! I love free!

Free books are a great marketing strategy for writers. It’s a proven method for getting readers to try one of your books. Some of them will even come back and purchase a book from us starving writers. Thank goodness! Someone actually bought my book!!!

With that said, free books are also a strategy for struggling authors or new authors to get people to read their books. They aren’t giving the books away for a set time frame as a promotion. The books are simply free. The author does not want any reimbursement at all. What they want is readers to read them. They are desperate to get their name out there.

And guess what? These authors are still struggling even though they are giving the product away! That’s how oversaturated the market has become. Free books should be easy to give away, but sadly, that’s not the case.

Have you noticed all the constant contests out there? All readers have to do to win a free book is leave a comment, but many will not be bothered. That’s too much effort when they can click over on Amazon at any given time and pick from a whole list of free books. Why enter a contest they might not even win?

I’ve seen New York Times/USA Today bestselling authors announce on Facebook they are giving away 30 free copies of their new release. Why? They need reviews, and readers aren’t willing to take the time to leave a review without a little bribery. They are busy folks. I can understand. I bet those authors, though they are very popular and very successful, still have problems getting reviews even giving away their product for free.

So, where does this leave authors? Is it possible to make a living in a market where the value of our product has decreased to free? It seems very few authors make a living in this industry.

I love reading free books as a reader, but as an author, if I can’t sell my product, I can’t pay my bills. The book market is getting super tough, my friends. What are your thoughts? Are readers right to expect free books?

Published in: on September 23, 2016 at 12:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Another Five Minutes

I like to write an introductory poem for my books. I did it for my first published novel. A few readers said it was cool… Their praise made me feel pretty awesome. So, now I do it for every book, you know, because feeling awesome is cool. Here’s the new one for my current work-in-progress. What do you think?


I feel time slipping away.

Will you please, please stay?



Give me five more minutes, please.

I am begging on my knees.



I fear losing you so much.

Promise me at least one last touch.



You belong to me, of course, you know.

And yet, there you go.



The emptiness instantly imprisons me.

Please, my love, return and set me free.



The silence and anxiety echo inside these walls.

With you gone, I am nothing, nothing at all.



My ache churns, my passion fueling hate into flames.

It is torture and death to endure such pain.



Come home so I may breathe again, my love!

Let me show you what we are made of.



One more chance for you is all I give.

Return to me if you want to live.



No other may have you, it's true.

When I die, my darling, so will you.



Five more minutes I delay for your sake.

An eternity it shall be before we wake.



You and I are one soul bound together.

Our love is forever.



Destiny Booze

PREDETERMINED ENDINGS – A FREE Sample

Predetermined Endings Copyright © 2009 Destiny Booze

All rights reserved. Published in the United States of America. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner without the written permission of the author. www.destinybooze.com

This book is my second publication through Whimsical Publications. To this day, William Pierce is still my favorite hero out of all my books so far. Enjoy this sample!🙂

PREDETERMINED ENDINGS – Chapter One

Chapter 1

The blue flashing lights in his rearview mirror signaled for William Pierce to pull his car over. Great. He didn’t have time for this. He needed to get to the lab at Chappell Pharmaceuticals and scope things out for tomorrow night, July 4th. That was when he would break in. Only a minimal number of employees should be working on the holiday. He couldn’t let this opportunity pass him by. He may not get another one.

Chappell Pharmaceuticals had excellent security. William knew because he had kept surveillance on the company for three weeks. No expenses were spared in the three story building.

Around the clock staff kept the front lobby guarded where full-time monitors aired feedback from cameras placed in almost every room, hall and elevator. The guards were armed and well-trained to routinely make rounds of all three floors at least once every hour.

The only access inside was through the front lobby. The doors led to a metal detector and x-ray machine that all persons must walk through to enter the building. Higher security areas within required a computer generated pass code that was reassigned every three months. The fire escapes were set up as exit only doors. The windows did not open.

Breaking in was the last straw for William. On fifteen separate occasions, he’d requested a meeting with Bruce Chappell, the owner of the company, or his granddaughter Angelica, and all fifteen inquiries had been denied. Someone had the answers he sought. It was time to get more aggressive.

Fortunately, Angelica’s bodyguard had a secret. The man snuck out a side door every night at 9:00 PM to smoke a joint. He used his name badge between the door and the frame to keep from getting locked out. The other guards conveniently looked the other way.

There was no doubt in William’s mind that Angelica would work even though it was a holiday. She never missed work. So, when her bodyguard decided to make his exit, William planned to make his entrance.

The cameras would catch him, no doubt. He would have no way to avoid them. He would put a hat on to buy him a little time, but he would have to move quickly. He only needed to ask Angelica one quick question. One question, one answer, and he would be gone.

At one point in his life, even as little as five years ago, he would have been outraged by his plans to break into Chappell Pharmaceuticals. He was a man of strict code and honor, or had been. He had been a federal agent then, too. Times changed. That was then. This was now.

A bright spotlight shone through the back glass from the police cruiser. William watched his rearview mirror and saw the police officer walk slowly to his driver’s side window, a flashlight pointed at his car door. “License and registration, please.”

The officer at the window was definitely a rookie. He still had acne. If not for the uniform, he wouldn’t have looked like a policeman. William couldn’t hand over an ID for three reasons. The first reason was that he didn’t carry one and he didn’t want his identity known. The second was that there was an APB out for him. The third was that this car did not belong to him. He should have felt some shame for himself; his fall from grace was as far as it was steep, but he didn’t and couldn’t.

“Why did you pull me over?” William asked around a toothpick sticking out of the side of his mouth. He ignored the kid’s request for a license and registration altogether. He kept his tone easy and bored. He didn’t want any trouble. This new cop might actually want the added paperwork tonight. What better was going on in the wee hours of the morning?

“Rolling stop at the stop sign on the corner,” the kid said as he leaned closer to the window.

Damn rookies. William kept his face in the shadows of the car, far away from the open window. The kid would recognize him from the APB, for sure. Maybe if he kept his face hidden and played his cards right, he could convince this guy to just let him go.

A rolling stop? How ridiculous. William had to talk his way out of this stupidity. Intimidation wouldn’t work in this scenario, not with a new cop looking to prove himself. He needed to take things nice and easy.

“Listen, I’m sure you don’t want to go back to the precinct and tell the guys that your biggest excitement tonight was a ticket for a rolling stop. How about you just let me go?”

“License and registration,” the rookie said, his voice growing tighter.

“I just didn’t notice the sign. Don’t make this such a big deal. I have an excellent record. It shouldn’t be tainted over something so trivial,” William said, wishing he could just grab the punk through the window and punch him. This was just plain stupid.

“I’ll let you off with a warning, sir, but I still need to see a license and registration.”

Damn. Damn. Damn. “I left my wallet at home, and I never carry the registration with me. That’s not safe in case the car’s stolen.”

“Get out of the car, sir.”

“Come on, it was just a mistake. Let it go.”

“Get out of the car, now,” the rookie said in an angry tone, opening the door and stepping around it to wait for William to get out.

William stepped out of the car, biting back a curse. The street lamp lit up his face and he saw recognition in the cop’s eyes instantly. So much for his anonymity.

“Hands on the hood of the car, now.”

The rookie carried out procedure by the text book. He kept a good distance between them as he ordered the standard arrest positioning. Smart kid, but distance wouldn’t stop William. Without warning, he suddenly whirled around.

The policeman pulled the trigger, but missed even at close range. William grabbed the man by the throat, cutting off his circulation even as he grabbed the kid’s gun away from him and threw it across the sidewalk. It didn’t take long for the boy to pass out and slump to the ground.

William climbed back into the rental car and pulled back out onto the street, heading for the lab. He felt nothing by the fact that he had just assaulted a cop. He felt no guilt. For just a brief moment, he felt regret at his lack of emotion, but there was no changing the person, more like the thing he had become. He was empty inside, one of the living dead, not the zombie or vampire kind, but the real-life void of all human compassion kind.

He didn’t check his mirrors for traffic so he didn’t see the kid wake up seconds later and pull his backup piece. The noise of the gunshots didn’t startle him. He was too accustomed to that specific sound for even the volume of it to bother him.

Most of the shots aimed at the car missed in a big way. The rookie had bad aim. One shot, however, met its target by way of the back windshield and imbedded itself into William’s shoulder. His response to the pain was an annoyed grunt and a grimace as he bit down harder on the toothpick he chewed. Stupid kid couldn’t hit him when he’d stood right in front of him, but he’d managed to get him all the way at the end of the street. Now he needed a new car. Damn the luck.

 

* * *

 

At Chappell Pharmaceuticals the next day, Angelica Chappell stopped working to listen to the National Anthem on the radio. She didn’t have a flag to salute so she simply stopped and stared at the white wall of the lab, fingering the cross necklace beneath her shirt as she did so. All the walls were bright white; the tables were white; her lab coat was white, and the long skirt she wore underneath was also white. All she needed was a little blue and red to finish the trio of the nation’s colors, but all she had was white. The color was blinding at times because it was so bright, but it was by no means cheerful. It was sterile as the lab was supposed to be.

Sterile. She was just like the lab — uncontaminated, isolated, boring. Her life was her work and that was not how a young woman’s life was supposed to be, especially not in Nags Head, North Carolina, the most popular vacation spot in the Outer Banks. How depressing. It was July 4th, a Tuesday, and she was staring at a blank, white wall without family, without friends, without a date, and without a place to go to celebrate.

It was getting later, darkness having fallen probably thirty minutes ago or better, a detail she knew only by a clock on the wall because there were no windows in the lab. She could hear the first faint cracks of fireworks exploding in the sky outdoors. She glanced at her guard, standing just inside the doorway of the lab. He had his back to her. His name was Patrick. He was a sweet older gentleman that maybe would have been a friend under different circumstances. He sometimes joined her in conversation. She knew he was happily married with two sons. He was also very loyal to her grandfather. He probably wouldn’t let her go watch the fireworks no matter how she pleaded her case. The rule was for her to stay in the lab, away from media, away from people, away from a life.

She allowed herself a rare moment of self-pity that holidays sometimes produced. She dreamed of all the things most young women took for granted. She wished she had girls to hang out with. She wished she could go out to the movies, out for a drink, or down to the beach. She wished she had a male friend, a date, maybe even a boyfriend. Mostly, she wished she didn’t wish anymore.

Lord, please forgive me for my self-pity.

Patrick turned and watched her with a worried expression. He probably thought she was growing tired. Her last night off was what — nine nights ago? Twelve hour shifts took a toll quickly. But no, she wasn’t physically tired. On the contrary, she was ready for some excitement, some adventure, something to happen to let her live a little. What she was tired of was her life.

It was so sad and she would never reveal her secret wishes to anyone. She was a mature woman at age twenty-one with an IQ higher than the norm and more degrees than she could count thanks to her wealthy grandfather and an extensive home study program. She didn’t want anymore education. She wanted to live like a normal adult woman.

When her country’s song came to an end, her deep sigh would have echoed in the lab if not for her radio. She was the only one working. It was always that way. The other biologists worked during the day. She was the only one to take the night shift. That schedule was orchestrated by her grandfather without regard to her preference, but as usual, she would not argue.

The hiss of the lab door broke Angelica’s concentration and she looked up to see its cause. Patrick was no longer standing there. The door was made of glass and she could clearly see that he wasn’t anywhere in the hall. Perhaps he had gone to the restroom, though it was very odd for him to go anywhere without telling her first.

She looked back to her microscope, unworried. She wondered if he’d snuck away to get a peak at the fireworks. She wouldn’t have blamed him if he had. It wasn’t fair that he didn’t get to see them just because she couldn’t go out.

“Hands where I can see them.”

The unfamiliar voice made her jump in surprise, breaking a rack of glass vials when she knocked them to the floor with her arm. She did as the deep, velvety voice commanded as she stared wide-eyed at the man before her. She was terrified, her pulse taking a speed out of control, her breathing suddenly an effort rather than involuntary movement.

No one could just walk into the lab. It wasn’t supposed to be possible. This couldn’t be happening. Her brain just couldn’t process what she was seeing. What should she do? What could she do? He stood between her and the door.

He moved like a lion — slowly, muscles tense and almost twitching, eyes on his prey. This man carried no visible weapon, yet he still scared her easily. She knew he was dangerous by intuition and instinct. His body language spoke volumes. He was huge in both build and height, his presence towering over her with power and intimidation.

He sweated profusely and his face looked flushed, as if he had just run a marathon, or maybe he was taking some kind of drug. His animalistic, dark eyes held hers just below the brim of his hat with a steady, unwavering grip that conveyed his seriousness without voicing a threat. He intended to hurt her; she understood immediately. She placed her hands in the air and didn’t move, certain this man could kill her just as easily as a bullet.

William blinked sweat from his eyes, trying to clear his blurred vision. Angelica looked distorted before him, her all white clothing casting a white reflection around her like a halo. She looked like an angel. She was too beautiful for words.

Somewhere in the back of his mind, he realized his perception was distorted. He was sick from the gunshot wound in his shoulder, running a fever evident by touch. He should have gone to the hospital. Instead, here he was breaking into Chappell Pharmaceuticals to talk to Angelica, except now he couldn’t talk. She literally took his breath away.

She glowed just like an angel, a real angel from Heaven. He felt an odd panic that he hadn’t felt for a long time. He thought his emotions were dead, but here they were coming to the surface at the worst possible opportunity. For one crazy moment, he wondered if she was there to punish him for all his sins. A strange flood of fear swooned over him and through him. The things he had done were awful, he knew. The FBI had sent him undercover into the land of the living dead for five long years. It had slowly killed him inside. He was a broken man, and the damage done was irreparable.

Would she tell him he was going to hell? He understood that he would and deserved to. No matter what had happened, he was responsible for his fate. He was a self-condemned man.

William saw her trying to glance around him to the lab door. She was probably hoping her bodyguard would come and rescue her. He simply looked at her for a long time, trying to break the spell he suddenly felt under. Her eyes widened and dropped to the floor.

She was obviously terrified and frozen by her fear. It would do her no good to scream. No one would hear her from the lobby. She must have also realized it was futile to run. He wouldn’t let her get away. He could see her visibly trembling and he felt an unusual pang of guilt for causing this angel such great fear.

He felt like the Beast standing before Beauty. She was trapped, his prey.

As he still stared, she quickly glanced back up, and then returned her eyes to the floor. He forced his weakening body forward, stepping closer to her. If he touched her, would God strike him dead?

Wobbling slightly, he planted one of his hands on the table between them to steady himself. He couldn’t show the weakness. Her fear was his control.

Angelica despised her immobility. She was in shock and frozen with fear. Why didn’t she do something? Run! Her body screamed at her to move, but there was just nowhere to go.

One of his gloved hands was planted on the table between them. He seemed to be leaning on it for support. Maybe drugs were making him dizzy. Maybe he was hurt. Maybe he was crazy and angry, just wanting to press something. Maybe he really was some kind of animal.

“Where is Alberto Palmetto?” he suddenly asked in a thick voice.

Her head jerked back up at the sound of his voice, again jumping. She wished she had the courage to shove him and run, at least try to escape even if it seemed futile, but she didn’t want to do anything to cause him to hurt her. Surely if she just cooperated with whatever he wanted he would leave her alone. Trying to fulfill that plan, she had to struggle to get her voice working so she could answer his question.

“I don’t know anyone by that name,” she managed softly, confused. Out of all the possible reasons that had entered her mind for him to be there, this possibility was not among them.

“Do not lie to me. Where is he?” he said sharply.

“I- I’m sorry. I don’t recognize the name.”

Her eyes stayed riveted on his this time, afraid that if she looked away he might attack. He slowly pulled out a photograph from his front shirt pocket and held it out. Never increasing pace, he walked around the table toward her, showing her the man he thought she knew. She stood unable to move just as a deer caught in a headlight, her body’s betrayal a dire threat to her life, even as curiosity held her just as still. She was a natural puzzle solver. It was instinct that held her ground so she could get a look at the picture. She wanted to understand what was going on.

The danger approached; her muscles were tense and ready to bolt, yet she did not move. Who was Alberto Palmetto and what did he have to do with her? Her eyes were wide and frightened as she watched the lion walk to her.

Then, she saw the photo. The man in the picture was a small, middle-aged man that looked of a foreign descent because of a dark tan and rounded eyes, though she couldn’t name a specific country of origin. He was wearing a lab coat in the photo and he was standing in her lab. She recognized her radio in the background. But she did not know who this man was.

Tingling sensations raced up and down her neck. What was going on? She made no more denials to the lion. He wasn’t going to believe her. He had evidence that the man he was looking for stood in the very lab she’d worked in since age five, and she’d never seen him. It didn’t seem possible even to her.

“I’m still waiting, Ms. Chappell,” the man said, his expression both intense and cold.

Her eyes fell back to the ground, in part because she couldn’t bear to face him any longer, and in part to hide her shock at his use of her name. The dizziness came on suddenly, making her feel faint and light-headed. She knew she was reacting to the adrenaline and drama on top of too many hours worked without enough sleep in between, but she couldn’t bring her body back under her command. She swayed on her feet and tried to catch herself on the table.

Her hands landed, not on the table, but on something just as solid. She felt the ridges and plains of the man’s chest move under her palms as his arms went out to steady her. An invisible fire she was unable to name the origin of scorched the bottoms of her hands, the feel reminding her of raw energy and stealth, and she tried to jerk away, unable to do so because the man held her in place. He would surely kill her now. No one touched a lion and lived to tell about it.

Lord, please help me to get out of this alive. This man is the Devil, himself.

“Look lady, I don’t have time for this. I’m not going to hurt you. Just tell me where Palmetto is and I’ll go,” he said with a huskiness to his voice that hadn’t been there before.

“I’m sorry,” she said, her voice sounding so soft she didn’t know whether he could hear it.

The door opening caused the man to jerk around, taking her with him, her back landing against him. His heat burned into her as she was swung around to face the front of the lab. Patrick stood there with his gun drawn and aimed high. Angelica again worried about fainting as the world seemed to spin around her.

“Let her go,” Patrick said.

The man’s hands left her arms and slid around her throat. He had gloves on his hands; the cool feel of the leather spread across her esophagus. The threat was easily communicated. He was either going to snap her neck or choke her. She went like stone, still needing to lean into him so she wouldn’t fall to the ground, vaguely wondering if she would be better off by doing so.

“Back away from the door.”

Patrick backed away as told. He probably didn’t have a choice. He was a security officer, not a marksman. He couldn’t shoot without the possibility of hitting her.

“Drop your gun and slide it this way. Get on your knees, put your hands on your head, and face the wall.”

She listened to the mesmerizing voice behind her and thought that maybe Satan would use that same velvety tone. Patrick, again, did as he was told. She still didn’t blame him.

They moved slowly to the door, only stopping long enough for the man to bend over and pick up Patrick’s gun, which disappeared from his hand to a place Angelica couldn’t see. Then, it was the lion to enter a security code into the lab’s keypad to let them out. How he had a code, she didn’t know.

The pace was increased as they headed out a side fire exit. Patrick’s gun was tossed onto the sidewalk. Angelica’s panic escalated as she realized she was being kidnapped. Quiet tears streamed down her cheeks.

“Please, don’t do this,” she pleaded.

He ignored her, of course, as he led her to a silver Lincoln and sat her in the passenger seat. It wasn’t a car she expected a man like this to drive. It wasn’t the kind of car criminals drove in the books she read. Oddly, she also took note that no fireworks lit up the sky. They were over for the night, at least up above anyway.

She put on her seat belt and tried breathing exercises to get her dizziness under control. She couldn’t get comfortable. Folders filled the floorboard of the car and it didn’t feel right to trample them with her feet. She realized it was pretty dumb not to want to trash this guy’s stuff, but she couldn’t help herself. He should have moved his stuff if he planned to kidnap someone.

The interior light of the car didn’t come on when he got in the driver’s seat. Was it broken or was that planned? Details were her forte. The papers on the floor might have suggested he had not meant to kidnap her, but the inconspicuous car without an interior light and gloves on his hands most certainly did. He was also wearing long sleeves in July.

The car smelled of stale cigarette smoke. She wondered if he’d been watching the lab. She watched him as he calmly tossed his hat to the backseat, then put the car in drive and smoothly pulled onto the street. He faced straight ahead at the road without looking at her. She fingered the cross under her shirt as they went. I’ll be okay. Everything will be okay, she tried to calm herself. If I just do as he says, he’ll let me go.

She distracted herself by studying her abductor. She could see his side profile from the soft glow of the dashboard. She could also see a shine of moisture on his right gloved hand. With his arm stretched before him, his sleeve came up enough to see a dark black substance on his arm just above his black glove. She knew it was blood.

“You need medical attention,” she said, her voice shaking despite her best efforts to find a brave face.

He closed his eyes firmly just once and reopened them as if he was just now remembering the pain. She worried that his wound would impair his ability to drive. What would she do if he passed out at the wheel?

“Where is Palmetto?” he asked again.

“I don’t know, and kidnapping me isn’t going to change that answer,” she repeated softly and shakily, fearful of angering him.

He didn’t respond, his expression maintaining a blank slate. He didn’t seem angry that he didn’t get the answer he wanted. She continued to study him, the dark making her brave. He had a strong jaw line, Italian good looks with dark brows, lashes and pupils, dark long hair that fell to just past his shoulders, the front threatening to fall in his face, and just the beginnings of a mustache and goatee. He looked the part of the villain in the thrillers she liked to read. He was handsome, yet his looks did not soften her fear of him. The details were impossible to deny.

His lack of emotion terrified her. It was as if he was just doing a job. A professional. A killer?

She closed her eyes against the tears and silently recited the Lord’s Prayer as she rocked herself back and forth against the seatbelt. It will be okay. It has to be. How could this be happening? She didn’t want to get hurt. She didn’t want to die! What should she do? She couldn’t jump from the car. They were traveling too fast.

She wasn’t sure how long they drove. It seemed like forever. Maybe twenty minutes went by before he turned into a solitary paved driveway and parked in front of a small, white house. No neighboring houses were in sight. No other cars were parked out front. They were all alone. No one was around to hear her scream.

Angelica wiped her eyes with the back of her hand and gulped back a lump of fear as he pulled her from the car. No light was left on to welcome them. She was partly dragged onto the porch when she stumbled on the first step, yelping as she scraped her leg on the cement. Because she was off balance, she offered no struggle. The front door wasn’t locked and they crossed the threshold faster than she had time to process.

The inside of the house was dark and she had to allow him to guide her as he turned on the lights. The first room they entered was meant to be a living room, she thought, though it resembled nothing of the like. One wall of the room was decorated with sticky notes, pictures, newspaper clippings and tacked notes so vast and thick that it seemed like a mural of a bulletin board. One corner of the room was stacked with piles of manila file folders. Another corner had a small sofa and table, perhaps the only sensible aspects of the room.

To her right she glimpsed a kitchen of complete contrast of the room in which she stood. It looked normal and spotlessly clean, though not unused. A chopping board and a knife sat in a drainer by the sink. A wash cloth draped the counter. A dish towel sat folded within easy reach. The appliances looked modern and state of the art quality. It was the type of kitchen a chef would keep, she thought.

He didn’t pause long enough for her to inspect further as he led her down a dark hallway with a no-nonsense shove and a guiding hand at the small of her back. They next turned into a bedroom that she saw as soon as he flicked the switch by the door. A waterbed marked the center of the farthest wall. A dresser sat adjacent the bed. Both were piled with stuff — papers on the bed and a lot of things on top of the dresser in a way that didn’t look as dirty as it did cluttered. This room looked as much like a bulletin board as the living room with maps spread out on the walls, markings drawn on each that she didn’t understand.

He guided her to the bed and forced her to take a seat despite her stiffened, uncooperative figure. She landed softly against the mattress though the quality felt firmer than water. Papers crunched beneath her. This room was maybe the most dangerous in the house for her to be in. What were this man’s intentions? She didn’t want to speculate.

“Don’t move,” he said.

“Okay.”

She felt oddly calmer now. He didn’t act like he planned to kill her, just talk. She could do that. Then, he would let her go. That made sense, didn’t it? She continued to finger her cross and rock as she trembled with fear, waiting for whatever came next.

He went into a bathroom connected to the room. She could see him from where she sat — his choice instead of hers. He took off his gloves and placed them on the counter. Next went his jacket. Her panic escalated. He was undressing! The only item that remained on the top portion of his body was a black tank top. Then, she realized what he was doing. He was looking at his injury. She could clearly see blood flowing down his arm. It was coming from the back of his shoulder.

An unprofessional bandage covered the wound. With one hand, he took off his tank top so that he could tend to the shoulder. Angelica’s eyes flew to the floor. Did he not care that she was there? Her eyes returned to him when she heard him moving, fearful he was heading in her direction, but he wasn’t.

His chest was fit and sculpted, a noted fact in the mirror rather than observation. His wound was finally uncovered and she could see that it was definitely ugly…and infected. The skin was aggravated and swollen around a bleeding area that she was sure was a gunshot wound. She had medical training. It looked raw and painful and she couldn’t believe he was standing on his own two feet with that kind of damage.

Acting on a stronger instinct than her fear, she got up from the bed and walked to him, keeping her movements slow and calculated, fully aware she was approaching the lion at her own risk. She just had to. There wasn’t a situation in this world where she could ignore someone hurt.

With trembling hands, she examined the wound. She did it without his verbal permission, though she considered his silence to be consent. Or maybe he was in too much pain to voice a complaint. As tenderly as possible, she explored the tissue.

As soon as her hands touched him, William’s skin felt in flames. He almost gasped by the sheer force of it, not of pain, but of her. His eyes closed and he pressed his lips firmly shut to keep from making a sound. He held himself tightly rigid, refusing to let threatening tremors come to the surface.

He couldn’t ever remember reacting so strongly to any woman before, but this wasn’t a woman; this was an angel. He was instantaneously overwhelmed with too many emotions to comprehend at once. It had been so long since he’d felt anything, and it all seemed to be coming at him at once. It wasn’t just his sudden arousal, though that was definitely one reaction he felt. It was her beauty, kindness, intelligence, or even her seeming naiveté. He had kidnapped her, and still, she was trying to help him. She had come to him. How long had it been since anyone had shown him they cared?

The sudden guilt and shame that pierced his chest was unbearable. He didn’t deserve for her to take care of him. He didn’t deserve her at all!

She smelled sweet, not of perfume, but of a flowery fragrance that filled his nostrils and beckoned him closer. He wanted…wanted… Suddenly, his eyes flew open and he stilled himself from obsessing anymore into these unexpected reactions. He had no right wanting this woman. He wouldn’t!

“The bullet is still imbedded in your shoulder,” she said, her voice trembling so much that she sounded as if she were crying.

Her voice made him ache inside. It shouldn’t be her tears. It should be his. Perhaps this was why an angel had been sent to him, to punish him and torture him. Opening the feelings inside of him was like opening Pandora’s Box. He was terrified he wouldn’t be able to make them stop. He longed to go numb again. The guilt would kill him! He couldn’t stand it. All his damn feelings belonged hidden in the black hole inside. He couldn’t let himself open up like this, not now, not ever again. He’d let himself die inside because he couldn’t handle it all. He couldn’t let this woman reawaken his soul! Please, stop. He wanted to beg her not to make him feel, to just go away, but he couldn’t say anything past the emotion within.

A groan escaped his tight lips.

Angelica jumped at the sound that came from him, partly from fear and partly because she thought she had hurt him. She was so scared! She looked up from the wound and found him looking down at her over his shoulder. His eyes shone glassily with dark intensity. The shock sent a jolt to her system.

She froze again with indecision. Would he retaliate because she had hurt him? She was foolish for joining him in the bathroom! Without speaking, he reached for a drawer,  pulled out a pair of tweezers and handed them to her.

Her hands shook violently as she accepted the tool with a slow nod of understanding. She didn’t know if she could do this! She was shaking too badly! He needed a medical doctor!

Lord, please help me get through this alive.

She used a bottle of alcohol that sat on the vanity to sterilize the tweezers and her hands before beginning. She also took a moment to gather her nerves. She was terrified of him and of the situation, but also of further injuring this guy. The wound was really bad. Could she possibly live with herself if this guy died? She didn’t know if she could do this! She had some training, but… There would be blood…  She hadn’t pursued a medical career for this very reason. She wouldn’t even allow Patrick to step on a bug in the house for crying out loud. Did this jerk want her to have a heart attack?

“Sit on the toilet, please,” she said, ignoring the inner voice that suggested she wasn’t strong enough to do this.

He did as commanded, straddling the seat so that he faced the back of the toilet. She went to work. If he noticed her further emotional breakdown, he made no comment. He showed her no emotion. She would have thought he would be terrified that she would hurt him.

The bullet wasn’t too deep, thank goodness. She felt his muscles contract as she performed the dissection and a wave of nausea almost forced her to leave the bathroom. He did not cry out, though she was sure Hercules would have. His silence made her question his status as a human. He had to be some kind of professional killing machine. Or maybe it was divine intervention because if he had made any sound of pain, she would have quit right then and there; she was sure of it.

At the moment of extraction, several things happened at once. The bullet fell to the floor, blood instantly free-flowed from the wound, Angelica cried out and jumped back, and the man went limp and slumped forward over the toilet. Her kidnapper passed out. Apparently, he was human after all.

 

Like what you’ve read? www.amazon.com/Destiny-Booze/e/B002BMHNNW/

Published in: on July 22, 2016 at 6:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

He said WHAT?

dialogueDialogue.

Writers, did you just cringe at that word? Lol. Most writers either feel they write strong dialogue or they feel like it is the hardest thing on the planet. Which one is it for you?

Here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way that might help when writing dialogue for your story.

  1. Think about how people sound. Read it out loud. Does the dialogue sound like your character would sound? Does it sound too formal? Most people use contractions when they speak. Correct grammar tends to fly out the window during conversations, so don’t make it sound too formal.
  2. Do all the characters sound the same? Everyone talks differently. Make sure your dialogue is a good match for the person speaking. A child does not sound like an adult. A teenage girl should not sound the same as her mother. A doctor uses terminology people without medical experience wouldn’t know. Make sure the dialogue fits the person.
  3. Are you using the dialogue to move your story along? Reading a whole page of people saying good morning to each other may be very genuine to the way we interact with one another, but on paper, it is totally B-o-r-i-n-g, right? Make sure the conversation has meaning. Bring it to life. Make in interesting.
  4. Add emotion to your dialogue. What kind of scene are the characters in? Should they be happy, angry, sad, or excited? Make their voice match what is happening in the story.baby.jpg
  5. Use your dialogue to really show who your characters are. Some people have certain phrases they tend to use that is unique to them. That can make a character stand out. And don’t forget people lie. Is the character saying one thing, but thinking something else? If you are writing from that person’s point-of-view, you can really emphasize the differences in their thoughts verses their words.
  6. Don’t overuse tags. As long as the reader understands who is speaking, you don’t need to add that tag to every line. Use it when necessary for understanding. A character’s actions can serve the same purpose. People move when they talk. Add a few actions in. Make the scene come to life. Nonverbal cues and body language can tell a lot.

Have anything to add? I know I always welcome suggestions. Please feel free to comment below and add your own advice!🙂

Author Amanda Greene’s Real Life Romance

Happy St. Patrick’s day!

 

Would you like to hear how Author Amanda Greene met her husband? It is a real life romance, folks! So sweet! Read the full interview at Coffee Time Romance here: http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/Interviews/2016/amandagreene.html#.VurTIJr2YdU

 

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Published in: on March 17, 2016 at 11:56 am  Leave a Comment  
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Where should I end my chapter?

Learning to find the flow to your writing is an ongoing process that is unique to each author. I know I’m still learning with each book. When I first started writing, one of the things I stressed the most about was where to end my chapters.

You wouldn’t think that would be so hard, but let me tell you, it was for me. I wanted, and still want, to do it the “right” way. I don’t want my readers to feel like I’m making those chapters too long or too short. I want it just right.

So, my approach to this issue at first was to simply count pages. After seven typed pages, I would find a good pausing point and begin a new chapter. There you go. Problem solved.

I’m very proud to say I did not stick with that strategy. I read an article by a fellow writer that made me stop and reevaluate what I was doing. I wish I could have found the article to link to it, but since I read it so many years ago, it’s lost in the big world wide web somewhere. But, oh boy, it was an eye opener for me.

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In the article, the author stated his goal was to hook his readers so well at the end of each chapter that they had to keep reading until they read his whole novel in one sitting.

Good goal, huh?🙂

He went on to say that each break in the story was a place the reader might choose to stop, and if they stopped, that reader might not pick that book back up. For an avid reader like myself who finishes any book I start, I was shocked by that. What? The reader might not finish it? No way!

Well, yes way. This is a busy world we live in. The day job, the second job, kids, sports, homework, cooking, cleaning, washing, working in a small bit of a social life…and on and on and on. After all that, is that reader going to pick that book back up at ten o’clock the next night when their eyes are so tired their vision is blurry, or will that reader just turn on the TV and conk out in the recliner?

Even as a die-hard reader, I’ve chosen the TV over the book. That’s life, right?

So, yes, I chose to reevaluate where to end my chapters. I want the same thing with my readers. I want to write so amazingly well that they simply cannot put the book down! Bam! And, THAT’s what it is all about!

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So, where should we end the chapter? My suggestion is simple. Don’t force the ending. Make the chapters match the flow of your story. Don’t worry so much about long or short. Just make sure you choose to end the chapter at a weighty moment.

It doesn’t have to be something as monumental as a death. Unless you are writing a slasher story, I’m sure you won’t have that many people, if any, dying in your book. But, you should choose an important or pivotal moment.

You could choose the ending right as the geek got asked to the prom. Emotional turmoil and intensity can be very important to the reader. Maybe end the chapter right as the hero declares his love for the first time. End the chapter with a mystery, a surprise, a crazy turn of events, or anything that could hook your reader.

As long as the ending matches the natural flow of your story, it should work. And, if we’re lucky, that reader will keep reading all the way to the end before life can get in the way.

Published in: on January 29, 2016 at 11:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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Quotes Chosen by Readers

I love hearing from readers. It brightens my day!

Here are some highlights from two of my books that were chosen by the readers as their favorite parts. What do you think? Which one do you like, or do you have a favorite you would like to share? It can be from any book or any author you like. Did a certain part of a book you were reading stand out to you? Was there a part that you couldn’t get out of your mind?

I would love to hear it! It might be a book I need to put in my to-be-read pile.🙂 Comment below, book addicts. I want to hear from you!

 

Cover Art for Altered BeginningsFrom Altered Beginnings:

(1)  His smile was both beautiful and sexy. “You and your friends used to sunbathe at my lifeguard stand on the beach. Maybe you would remember if I took my shirt off.”

His charm worked on her. “So you’re that older hunk we used to daydream about in high school,” she said, flirting half-heartedly.

“Still am,” he said with a wink and mischievous grin.

 

(2)  “I would say yes,” she admitted, “but I would wonder why you would do that for me and what you expect in return.”

“And I would say I expect a little conversation and a little company from the most beautiful woman I have ever laid eyes on.”

She allowed a giggle to slip out. “Oh Jason, you overshot that one. You are most definitely going to be trouble for me, aren’t you?”

He grinned. “With a capital T, sweetheart.”

 

(3)  “Jason, if you don’t write this story, I’ll gladly give you what you want. That’s not a problem. Okay?”

She was out the door as soon as those words were out of her mouth.

Jason stared dumbfounded at his front door. Had he heard her right? Had she just offered to sleep with him in exchange for him not writing a story? He had never felt like a bigger jerk. And to think he had been trying to tell the girl that he cared for her.

 

(4)  His eyes met hers so suddenly that it felt like a physical force, and she instinctually leaned away from him. He followed. “It’s you. You’re my ideal. I love you. I won’t leave.”

“Love doesn’t work that way, Jason.”

“I wish I could go back in time and pistol whip every ass that ever taught you that. I love you. I know you can’t trust that yet, but you will.”

 

The Curse of a Mind smFrom The Curse of a Mind:

(5)  “This is Aidan Wolfe,” Cash said.

She recognized the obvious attempt to get her to speak. She was astounded that she, of all people, would be tongue-tied in front of a man. Her team stood watching the awkward moment in a tense silence.

“Mr. Wolfe, this is my boss, Chris Chambers,” Cash continued after another uncomfortable moment.

Chris watched in horror as Aidan extended a hand to her. She couldn’t speak to this man. There was no way she was going to touch him.

 

(6) “What do you want?”

A new circulation system for starters, she thought. “Look, I’m not interested in more than what went on last night. I’m sorry.”

“That’s a shame. I know a few tricks with my mouth, too.”

She felt a blush warm her neck and cheeks, eliciting a chuckle from Aidan.

“I’ll do the dishes,” he offered.

Published in: on January 21, 2016 at 2:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Ebook Sale! 50% off!!!

From now until the end of the year, you can get any of my ebooks for half off! How awesome is that? Ho ho ho!!! Merry Christmas!🙂

Use the links below to find the coupon code to use for this offer!

 

againstthegame_front2

Eric Teague is moments away from making history. Thanks to him, the world of gaming is about to experience technology like it has never seen before. When his new establishment, Against the Game opens, playing video games will be a thing of the past.

Players experience the game as if it is real in a virtual reality. There is no TV, no console with wires and controllers. The game feels absolutely real.  No matter the person’s health or physical ability, they will be the characters in a world without limits.

But, all too soon, reality breaks into Eric’s moment when something goes terribly wrong. He and his best friend Lacey get trapped in the virtual reality of the supercomputer behind his establishment. It is definitely no longer just a game. The danger is real. The consequences are real. And, Eric and Lacey’s fight for survival is more than real.

To live, they must win, and to win, they must overcome the biggest challenge of all: to trust and to love.

http://www.whimsicalpublications.com/destiny_booze/Against_the_Game.html

 

The Curse of a Mind sm

They can’t win. The perpetrator is using a marvel in the medical field known as techlepathy, a combination of technology and telepathy to produce a telepathic result. He’s reading their minds. How can they possibly get away when he knows their every move?

Chris Chambers is a private investigator with great instincts and a shady past. She works with a skilled team on cases that most P.I.’s won’t touch. She’s hardened to life, hardened to people and as tough as the military trained her to be.

Her team’s newest case is a construction worker by the name of Aidan Wolfe. Aidan is hardheaded and successful, a man with no friends and a long list of enemies. Someone is trying to kill him, someone with extraordinary gifts.

The perpetrator thinks Aidan did something to him, and he wants revenge. He’s coming for Aidan, Chris, and her team. He wants them all to die in a terrifying manner; but first, he’ll make them face their worst fears.

The intensity grows as Chris and Aidan deny a growing attraction for each other while they fight to stay alive. Her life is a constant test of control and he makes her feel anything but in control. She doesn’t do relationships and he doesn’t do casual. There is no middle ground for either of them.

The investigative team and Aidan will be confronted with their worst enemies—themselves. They are cursed to face their own thoughts, inner fears, prejudices, and every private feeling or emotion they have as this man toys with their minds and hearts. Can they survive? By the end, will they want to?

http://www.whimsicalpublications.com/destiny_booze/The_Curse_of_a_Mind.html

Cover Art for Altered Beginnings

The headline in the small town newspaper read Girl Missing, Presumed Dead or Worse.

Leigh Lawson returned to Nags Head, North Carolina after four years with a huge shock. That big and bold headline
was about her! Everyone thought she was dead!

The truth was that she was doing well. While gone, she had gotten clean from drugs and worked hard to get her
bachelor’s degree in engineering. With her life back on track, she returns home in hope that she will receive a warm  welcome. Instead, she gets the townsfolks’ disdain.

Everyone hates her, everyone except Jason Altarez, an ambitious and resilient reporter with his sights locked on Leigh. He chases her with oozing charm and romance, but does he really want her or is he after his next story?

Leigh’s life soon spirals out of control when the police recruit her for an undercover assignment. They want her to go back to the life of her troubled teenage years, back into the drugs, and help them to bring the local drug supplier to conviction. It may be Leigh’s only chance to redeem herself with her family and friends. If she can complete this one
assignment, the town will forgive her. The only problem is that she needs to figure out how to stay alive in the process…

Jason is her continuous partner through it all, proving his dedication to her as he struggles to keep her safe. Leigh wants to believe he is a man of his word. She wants to believe that her heart isn’t completely foolish for falling for him, especially when she discovers evidence that Jason may be working for the very drug dealer that Leigh is trying to have arrested. Will he betray her in the end or will he demonstrate the most romantic notion of all – that love at first sight truly exists?

http://www.whimsicalpublications.com/destiny_booze/Altered_Beginnings.html

Cover Art for Predetermined Endings

Angelica Chappell’s story made huge headlines. Only a few months ago, she released a new pharmaceutical drug
called Krytonix that effectively slows the spread of cancer cells. She had no idea her story would attract the attention of
a serial killer. Suddenly, she is a target whether she realizes it or not. This killer is interested in more than her life. He
wants her reputation, too. His first mission is to sabotage Krytonix.

William Pierce worked undercover for the FBI for five years to bring down a ruthless mobster that he ultimately is forced
to kill. Two months have passed by since that assignment. Still, William saw things he can’t talk about. He did things he
can’t talk about. He believes his soul is damned. Returning to “normal” everyday life isn’t an option. He isn’t the same
man he used to be. He refuses to return to FBI headquarters, and instead, becomes a rogue agent with an agenda.

When Pierce’s agenda leads him to Chappell, it will take both of them to keep Angelica alive and figure out who is after
her. William soon finds himself developing feelings for Angelica. Too bad for her killer, William worked as a trained hit-
man for the mob. Will he find her killer and hand him over to the legal system to see that justice is served, or will he
search and destroy?

http://www.whimsicalpublications.com/destiny_booze/Predetermined_Endings.html

 

acceleratingcircumstancesJenny is different. She can read people’s minds.

At age seventeen, Jenny Reid was arrested for killing her own mother. There was no evidence that an intruder entered
the house. No one believed her as a teenager when she tried to tell them how she felt the killer’s rage saturated within
the walls, that she knew the presence of evil had been there. The police thought she was crazy, not psychic.

A conviction was never made in the case due to lack of evidence. Jenny is still the sole suspect, but now, she is doing
something about it. She’s on the right side of the law, an FBI agent determined to finally find justice for her mom.

The time has come to set things right and nothing will stand in her way. She’ll come up close with evil again and face
the ultimate choice—kill or be killed in these ACCELERATING CIRCUMSTANCES.

http://www.whimsicalpublications.com/destiny_booze/Accelerating_Circumstances.html

 

 

Published in: on December 16, 2015 at 11:26 am  Leave a Comment  

Goodreads Giveaway! Win a signed print copy of AGAINST THE GAME!

Are you on Goodreads? Enter to win a signed print copy of Against the Game at the link below!

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/s…ainst-the-game

againstthegame_front2

Eric Teague is moments away from making history. Thanks to him, the world of gaming is about to experience technology like it has never seen before. When his new establishment, Against the Game, opens, playing video games will be a thing of the past.

At Against the Game, players experience the game as if it is real in a virtual reality. There is no TV, no console with wires and controllers. The game feels absolutely real. Kids get so much more than puppeteering cartoonish characters through a game of basketball. No matter the person’s health or physical ability, they will be the characters in a world without limits and they will experience what it is really like to compete as a pro ball player.

During test trials, kids called Against the Game “amazing,” “fantastic,” and “miraculous.” One kid declared it was the best experience of his life. Indeed, everyone knew it was going to be something big enough to alter the whole gaming industry. For Eric, it meant a long awaited dream come true.

But, all too soon, reality breaks into Eric’s moment when something goes terribly wrong. He and his best friend Lacey get trapped in the virtual reality of the supercomputer behind his establishment. It is definitely no longer just a game. The danger is real. The consequences are real. And, Eric and Lacey’s fight for survival is more than real.

To live, they must win, and to win, they must overcome the biggest challenge of all: to trust and to love.

Do my friends and family know that I’m a romance author?

againstthegame_front2

Many writers keep their pastime/career a secret. Do those close to me know that I write? You can find out the answer to that question and more in my interview at Kam’s Place. Follow the link here: http://www.superkambrook.com/2015/10/author-showcaseinterview-and-review-of.html

There is also a new review of my recent release by Kameron Brook. Read her review after the interview. I think she liked the book!🙂

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