An Excerpt from Book 3 of my NEWLY COMPLETED Tinseltown Temptress Series

from Chapter 1 of  Screwed Over ~

Relieved to have completed the requisite physical activities for her assignment, Cassie couldn’t wait to get out of the costume, shower and sleep forever. But riding down in the elevator she began to worry about all of the little things that can go wrong when an extremely wasted person is left alone. Sure, Dagmar had been fine when Cassie left her snoring away on her stomach, and sure, her unobservant bandmates should have returned from the closed down club hours ago. But she couldn’t think of a single reason (other than walking around barefoot, with crazy hair, no mask on and half a Catwoman costume mostly laced up around her oversexed body) not to put her mind at ease and check on her new friend. Cassie watched the doors open and close again on her floor then she rode back up. As she got closer to the girls’ suite, she could hear the faint, muffled sound of a man’s voice raised in anger. She pressed her ear to the door but couldn’t make out any words. There was definitely a man in there shouting. Stupidly scared that somehow Dagmar had let some asshole breach the security of her room, Cassie pounded on the door like the police.

The man’s voice approached the door and Cassie heard, “. . . that will have to satisfy me until morning then.”

The door swung open three inches, bouncing a bit on the chain, to reveal an angry, red faced MH. Cassie’s jaw dropped. He sputtered for a minute, his mouth having a hard time keeping up with his brain, before saying, “YOU?!?” and slamming the door shut.

Cassie was so shocked to see him she didn’t even react. Running for the stairs might have been prudent. Instead, she just stood there in her bare-ass-feet, mouth hanging open, awaiting whatever was about to befall her. She heard the chain clear the latch. MH whipped the door back open and stood rooted in place, a meter away from Cassie.

“What are you doing here?” he asked, words careful but very slightly slower than normal, anger held tight behind his beautiful, blue-green eyes. He hadn’t shaved in days and Cassie yearned to reach out and stroke the rough stubble that covered much of his face and neck.

“I’m here to check on Dagmar. Is she okay?”

Shaking his head back and forth for a couple of breaths he finally sighed, his shoulders sinking. He leaned back into the room and grabbed a handy trash can, wedging it in the door before joining Cassie in the hall.

“Let me understand. You send me a cryptic fucking text message about my sister needing me, and I rush up here as fast as I fucking can. Silly me, I assumed she’d be awake and you’d still be here to explain what the fuck you were doing spending time with my fucking sister in the first fucking place.”

He waited for her to say something. She didn’t.

He continued, “Only Dagmar is passed out here alone. Has no idea who you are really. She will only say that Selina saved her, is her knight in shining leather. Which I didn’t understand fully until now.”

He looked Cassie up and down, open lust coupled with disgust. Her blood sped up in her veins, the sound of it rushing behind her ears.

“She won’t even consider that you might have been involved, that this was all an elaborate setup to make you look like a hero.”

Cassie felt that one like a knife to her sternum. “Did you tell her that?”

“I suggested it.”

“Why?”

“Maybe you did set all this up just to get to me.” He leaned away from her to see her face better in the sparsely lit hallway. “Did you seriously think I would be stupid enough to fuck you again?”

The brighter light glaring into his face revealed to Cassie just how drunk he was and she cursed her rotten luck at finding him like this.

“Did you think that saving my sister from some unidentified thugs would make me fall harder for you?”

He took a step closer. The veins on his neck bulged out as he clenched his jaw.

Cassie did not want to hear another thing. “Stop.”

“Why?” He mimicked her voice, the way she had sounded asking him the same thing only moments before. “You dressed up like my favorite, Catwoman,” his fingers rose to flick at the mask that she’d rolled up and tied down to her shoulder. “You thought since I’m already hooked you could jerk the line and I would fall totally under your spell. Treacherous snake.”

He took another step closer, and this time Cassie retreated a half step back.

“Look, I didn’t even know you were here, let alone that you like Catwoman. Do you think I have access to your diary or something?”

“Bullshit.”

“You aren’t on a panel and none of your friends on social media have posted anything about this con. Get over yourself.”

“Except Dagmar.”

“What?”

“Dagmar must have posted all sorts of things about coming here. Why are you messing with my family?”

“M, I swear. I did not know either of you were going to be anywhere near this con. I met her by accident. I only got her away from those guys because I was terrified of what I saw going down.”

The muscles in his face relaxed a little. He leaned back out of the light and slouched against the wall.

Cassie went on to drive the point home while he was still interested in listening. “I didn’t know you were here.”

MH swallowed while readjusting his thinking to the idea. The implications of what that meant about Cassie’s true agenda here at the con, namely giving some other celebrity a magic carpet ride, occurred to him seconds later. His eyes narrowed and his hands curled into fists.

“Who are you stalking this time? Or is it just open season?”

“Since Dagmar was able to fill you in on the evening’s activities, I’ll assume she’s well.” Cassie spun on her heel and took two steps toward the elevator.

“Hold on,” he said, using only one giant stride to reach her. He laid both his hands on the wall to either side of her head and leaned down in her face. “Or is your mission a fait d’acompli?”

Cassie couldn’t say a word and cursed her body for responding to his nearness with a rush of lust rather than the detached uncaring pose she wanted to show him. Something in her face must have given her away.

“Already scratched your itch then. Who is the unlucky bastard?” MH leaned in quite close to her, and she wondered if the crazy man was restraining himself from kissing her. “Maybe I could extend him my sympathies in advance of your article. Give him a little heads up before his life implodes.”

She finally found her voice. “Sorry, no advance spoilers without a premium membership. You’ll just have to read my next column.”

“Not good enough, Cassie.”

pre-order on Amazon or Smashwords ~ COMPLETED SERIES

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Wednesday Check-In: At least there’s Jensen Ackles

I never have enough time. Ever since my grandmother patiently explained to a very young little me that there is never a good reason for an imaginative person to allow themselves to be bored I’ve been keeping myself all sorts of busy. Sometimes, back in my pre-parent days, even busy doing nothing. But as of late I feel like themay17 race begins when I wake up five minutes before my alarm and ends when I lay down having only accomplished three quarters of my to-do list. On my good days! My small, super dependent roommates have been sick on and off this week and making me beautiful art.

 

I’ve been reading A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn. I’m only about a quarter in, but it is mesmerizing, terrifying, shocking, and revelatory so far. I highly may17brecommend educating yourself with this fine book. I don’t read that much non-fiction for fun, so an interesting experience to say the least. We started watching American Gods, of course, and it is amazing (my review). I would take any job Bryan Fuller wanted to give me. How does one apply to be an apprentice to a TV God? Hubs and I watched American Honey a few weeks ago and scenes and moments from it are still replaying in my head. It was engaging while we watched but I did not expect to still be thinking back on the film. Beautifully shot too. Also reading Bared To You, by Sylvia Day. That’s going about how you’d expect 😛

Maximus remains a doggie challenge, though I did get him to come to me for a treat when he got out of the yard a few days ago. Progress of a sort, I suppose.

I almost forgot! With all the stress and uncertainty in our world right now I wanted to recommend watching all the back seasons of Supernatural. For some reason, I find watching Sam and Dean Winchester driving around together and stabbing bad guys oddly therapeutic. Maybe you will too. All previous 1 million seasons are on Netflix for your tuning-out-your-brain needs.

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WIP is still Tinseltown Temptress #3 – Screwed Over. I’m loving this one the most of any of the books. So much touching back on various characters it’s like old home week every day on my keyboard. Cassie is … changing. Evolving, I guess, but it sounds pretentious. She is learning to prioritize.

Both my released books continue to get great reviews on Amazon. Book 1, Screw Up, is still at 99 cents and Book 2 remains on KU for a limited time😀 Click here to sign up for my newsletter if you want insider info and offers.

The sun is actually shining today, though it is still cold and VERY windy. Hope you’re on a warm, sunny beach right now. What are you reading?

Still unsure about watching Bryan Fuller’s American Gods? These three giant spoilers from episode one will help you decide.

 

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click embedded links to see (NSFW) gifs of that scene on the gif creator’s sites

I’ve heard a few people say they’re on the fence about watching Bryan Fuller’s new tv adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel American Gods, brought to us lucky mortals by Starz. The aim of my words here are to push you one way or the other. Warning: there will be blood (not actual blood, only really, really bloody SPOILERS, but still).

Many fans of the book are afraid to watch, worried that the adaptation can’t possibly live up to the source. ‘They’ll cut the wrong stuff and they won’t get the characters right, not the way they are in my head.’ Episode one down, and I’m here to tell you; it’s going to satisfy you. Obviously not every word and deed can be included but it seems a pretty solid match so far. Toward the end there’s an epic bar brawl between our hero Shadow (Ricky Whittle) and Mad Sweeny (Pablo Schreiber) where they decimate each other and destroy part of a gator-mouth-dominated bar. Look no further than Mr. Wednesday (expertly played by Ian McShane) casually enjoying their violence to perfectly exemplify the role in which he was cast. The performances throughout were nuanced, deep, and thoughtful. Whittle’s physical performance gives the audience incredible glimpses of Shadow’s inner struggle often without words, or even concrete action.

Another cause for hesitation is the fear that this show, like many other MA rated, high-end cable productions, will use rape to convey horror, character motivation, or heighten the suspense of the male protagonist’s storyline. Fuller don’t play that. He is against using rape scenes just to add drama, saying, “My role, as a showrunner, is to want to watch the show we’re creating. And if something feels exploitative or unnecessary, I’ll try to avoid it.” That being said, smack dab in episode one, a man just re-entering the dating scene (Joel Murray) agrees to have sex with Bilquis (Yetide Badaki) and does gets sucked into her vag, happily consumed whole. I think most of us would qualify that as a violent sex act, so perhaps Fuller intends to stick with the story as written on this subject.

Then there’s the old, ‘it looks too violent. Isn’t it going to be gory?’ dilemma. It is. One of the Gods’ coming to America origin tale is told here in the first episode. Vikings land on a shoreline and must plead with the Allfather to make wind for them to sail home. They end up fighting each other to please him (war God, don’t you know) and the resulting battle is absolutely horrific. A man’s arm is severed while holding a sword and flies through the air to land stabbed directly through his pal’s exposed throat. Truly fantastic pacing, cinematography, and effects during this scene, but if action/horror is not your thing, you might need a blanket to shield your eyes as needed.

More obstacles: ‘But I don’t have/can’t afford Starz.’ The app is just $9 a month. Wait a few weeks and it’ll only be a bit over $1 per episode. Well worth it. ‘I haven’t read the book yet!’ Go to the library. The novel by Neil Gaiman is wonderful and I highly recommend it.

With no other issues to address, I think it’s clear that American Gods should be your new favorite show. Now let the wait for next week’s episode begin.

Wednesday Check In – Does It Get Easier??

Taxes, child management, and job hunting have robbed me of all my time as of late. I have also been querying my paranormal romance novella. That process is not unlike the online application for the copywriting and video production jobs I’ve been looking at in the Detroit Metro area. Cover letters are getting easier to write quickly.

Haven’t been doing much reading beyond fanfic and children’s books (mythology and gross stuff are heavy favorites in my house). Being a filmmaker and horror fan from Michigan, MaximusI’ve always loved the Evil Dead film series. Hubs and I have been catching up on the tv series the last few weeks. Bruce Campbell is a revelation. We also very much enjoy how the overall tone of the films has followed through into the series. Pretty groovy. With mid-season starting up this month, the show I’m most looking forward to getting back to is Flash. But as far as I’m concerned they can just focus 85% of each episode on Iris/Barry. So adorable and hot.

We’re looking into training classes for Max. His strong doggie personality is a bit too much for me to handle on my own.

My ‘work at your own pace’ contracting class has turned into a ‘neglect cause your life is too full’ problem. I need to make a plan on how to finish the damn thing!

WIP is still TT #3 – Screwed Over. But I have to get a couple of series related short stories out of the way first. I love doing the serious work on Cassie’s story. Can’t wait to wrap up the series with an amazing book. Revisions are going well, though rewrite is really the proper term for most of the book : It is going to be so great! I’m also doing more plotting and character work on my scifi series. Here’s a shot from its spot on my workboard:

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All that empty space under the light year stuff is where the scene cards go 😛

Both my released books continue to get great reviews on Amazon. Book 1, Screw Up, is still at 99 cents and Book 2 remains on KU for a limited time😀 Click here to sign up for my newsletter if you want insider info and offers.

The sun is actually shining today, though it is still cold and VERY windy. Hope your day is beautiful wherever you are. Happy Women’s Day! What are you reading?

Wednesday Check In – Clearly Not a Dairy Artist

Busy with holiday errands and commitments this week, especially since the children will be ‘on break’ soon. My office is still bare and unfinished but I’ve been fighting a cold and it’s winning so I’m not beating myself up about it. Check out the cheese for the first grade party tomorrow.

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Finished Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. Enjoyable enough story but all the bird imagery got to be a bit much for me. Could just be my general distaste for birds. It had spectacular characters. Daisy Day is my favorite for obvious reasons, though Rosie’s mother comes in a close second. Started on Abigail Barnett’s The Boss. It’s super hot. We are caught up with Flash (though I feel like all the storyline stuff really gets in the way of important Barry and Iris make out time) and I can safely say I have no idea where they’re going with all this Cisco hates Barry shiz. The Bill Murray Christmas movie on Netflix is directed by Sofia Copolla, bleak af, and oddly charming.

Maximus the Destructor continues to drive us all nuts and my contracting book has dust on it.

My Eden revision (that’s my new paranormal vampire romance) is taking much longer than I’d hoped for a myriad of reasons, most of which are all excuses for not giving it enough time. Of course break for the kids means no rest for the mom so not much more progress is likely to happen until January.

Both my released books continue to get great reviews on Amazon. Book 1, Screw Up, is still at 99 cents through the holiday season 😀 Click here to sign up for my newsletter if you want insider info and offers.

I hope you all have a fantastic holiday season. Stay warm and enjoy your time with your family. What are you reading?

Wednesday Check In – Moving Sux!

Getting settled into my new home office and still trying to determine where everything’s gonna go. The whole process is so time consuming. Should have my books unpacked soon which will be a novelty for me as most of them have been boxed up for months. I’ll try to get a pic at night soonhomeoffice so you can see the great paint color of my new office but this oddly white balanced one will have to do for now. The kids really like my homemade valance but I’m contemplating a redesign. It looks very college dorm room atm. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, just I’m 41.

Still reading Anasazi Boys and I will be reading The Boss next, since the ten-year-old managed to find my kindle. Hubs and I are almost caught up with The Flash. Iris and Barry are the cutest. We have also been watching some stand up on Netflix lately, trying to stave off winter madness. Michael Che’s was much funnier than I expected to be based solely off the SNL appearances I’ve seen. We watched John Mulaney’s Comeback Kid last night and it was really well paced. His timing is excellent and the Clinton bit was hysterical.

Maximus continues to be an extremely challenging dog. Hubs has taken to barricading our trash and recycling down with cinder blocks to keep him from tearing it all apart. Fingers crossed he doesn’t figure out some way around them. He’s only killed one yard animal this week (that we know of).

The six-year-old’d new favorite phrase is “don’t even ask”. Well, don’t even ask about my contracting class. The book is getting dusty!

Click here to sign up for my newsletter if you want insider info and offers.

My rough draft of Eden is done and I’ll be beginning revisions this afternoon. I’ve decided not to post an excerpt today, but I will be posting the whole story chapter by chapter here on the blog very soon! It is a vamp paranormal romance. The two MCs, Ardor and Ivan, are both so sexy and funny. It’s turning into quite the steamy read 😀

Hope you’re all staying warm. What are you reading?

Book Review: More Than Exist

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Today we are celebrating the release of MORE THAN EXIST by Bethany Lopez. This book is a Women’s Fiction title. Check out the excerpt and teasers below. Buy your copy now while it’s on sale for just $2.99!

my review:

More Than Exist is a compelling story of one woman’s journey through grief and alcohol addiction after the loss of her husband. Mirabelle thought of Ricky as her soulmate and author Bethany Lopez vividly portrays how losing him pushed Belle into a self-destructive, alcoholic, downward spiral. The widow drinks away the better part of a year before taking an ill fated road trip cross country to her parent’s house which only highlights her problem. She soon finds herself needing to make some tough choices if she wants to get her life right. Since some of those choices involve her new employer Luke, the handsome owner of Hope Heals Ranch, Belle has a hard time sorting the past from her present day feelings. Her struggle with her guilt over moving on from her husband romantically is especially poignant. This novel is a glimpse into a difficult recovery process and the persistence and support it often takes to change a life. It’s an interesting read with complex side characters and Mirabelle’s meal plans might make your stomach growl.

More Than Exist by Bethany Lopez
Contemporary Women’s Fiction Continue reading