My computer would not power up. I flipped out and went just a little bit crazy. And I didn’t do it quietly either. My kids gathered around me, worrying over what would happen next. The oldest asked if I was all right. The boy asked if it meant no dinner.
No I wasn’t all right. And yes it meant NO dinner. Who the hell wants to cook when the computer dies? I was in mourning. I went to bed. I didn’t have a black nightie so I mourned in pink.
Oh the thoughts running through my head. Would I be able to retrieve all of my stuff? Was I going to have to buy a new computer? Was it going to cost me as much to fix this one as buying a new one? AND? How was I going to deal without email and Facebook?
Worse than that… how was I going to tell the world I was OFFLINE?
As luck would have it, the laptop had been sent off just the week before with the promise of a three-week turn around. I don’t have Internet on my phone. Only the oldest does. So after a couple of days of just stressing, chewing my nails, staring at the monitor, I broke down and emailed my friend EM and told
her what happened and to tell everyone. I was also able to get in touch with Regina, too.But I do apologize for missing my last two Monday blogs.
How do people deal with emailing from their phone? It’s all so tiny. Not for me. Anyway, I got the comp into the shop on Friday. Dude said it would be Tuesday before he could look at it because he had several ahead of me. Okay. I couldn’t argue, could I? Tuesday comes along and no word. I called on Wednesday to be told the part had been ordered and should be in by Thursday or Friday. Okay. Progress, right?
I called on Friday to get a recorded message that the DUDE would be closed for the holiday. Gone Friday, Saturday, Sunday, AND Monday! Jerk never told me about that. Oh well, nothing I could do about it. I actually tried writing longhand. No. Not something I can do anymore. So not happening. I spent my time painting the boy’s room and cleaning out closets.
Three different times I found myself sitting at my desk with a meal. Yep, sat down with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There were things I kept wanting to do and would race to my office only to remember that my comp was GONE! I missed all of the birthday wishes on FB.
My mind was idle. Truly idle. There are only so many movies a person can watch. Ya know? I discovered a couple of things about myself through all of this. I don’t just count on my comp for writing and communication purposes. I rely on the Internet for news and weather and just information in general. TV, newspapers, and radio just don’t cut it for me anymore. None of those mediums can come close to what I can find on the Internet.
I also discovered I’m not quite as addicted to email as I thought I was. After the first three days, I sort of calmed down and realized that it would all be there when I got back online. I did continue to feel very anxious about not getting any work done, however.
Strip Down from Ellora’s Cave released on Friday. So I really had done nothing in the way of pushing it. Something I like to do two weeks before each release. Since I’ve been back online, I’ve done as much of that as possible, but I feel as though I’ve missed a window of opportunity. Sighhhh
I don’t do a lot of promo when I blog, but today I’m going to do just that. CAN YOU TAKE THE HEAT? If you think you can, run on over to Ellora’s Cave and get yourself a copy of Strip Down. Be careful—it burns!!!!
BLURB: What’s a topless dancer to do when a cop tells her to “spread ’em”? Cooperate, of course. Which is exactly what Jazzmyn Monroe does when her big-city dreams land her in a world of trouble and the arms of sexy detective Ryder Muldoon. Jazzmyn is no angel, but she doesn’t expect the rip-roaring, passion-filled rollercoaster ride given by one of L.A.’s finest.
An honest cop with a target painted on his back, Ryder is forced to go rogue if he wants to stay alive, and the hottest woman he’s ever laid eyes on is the key to his plan. It’s supposed to be just business with a side of sex. If only it were that simple. Jazzmyn’s sinful curves and aptitude for red-hot loving ramp up his libido…and a whole lot more.
EXCERPT: Copyright © TESS MACKALL, 2011
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
Rivers of blue smoke layered the air. The hoots and hollers of drunken men drilled through the savage strains of heavy metal music and surged within her body. Glass shattered and two rabid men faced off, the broken beer bottle each held nothing more than an extension of their cocks. Unfazed by the nightly display of testosterone-fueled, alcohol-induced rage, Jazzmyn turned her back to the scene and concentrated on working the runway patrons to her advantage.
“Grind it, baby, grind it!” shouted a man sitting a couple of feet away.
To reward the enthusiastic customer, she looked directly at him and smiled. Yeah, he’s good for a ten-spot at least. She pitched her hips in his direction then slowly rolled them back and forth. He lunged for her and she stepped out of reach.
Not so fast. Show me da money.
He held up a dollar bill, but the man next to him waved a twenty. We’re talkin’ my language now. She sucked on her finger, swaying her hips from side to side, and stared at the dark-haired Mr. Twenty. God, what a hunk. A little too clean-cut for this place. She figured he’d gotten lost from the rest of the convention pack he probably traveled with. For a moment she wondered what it would be like to wake up with someone like him every morning. Someone who didn’t belong here—the place where she did belong. Gesturing her closer with the crisp green bill, he never cracked a smile. Cool, not too excitable. Well, she’d just see about that. They all had a chink in their armor somewhere. It was simply a matter of pushing the right button.
Jazzmyn bent over and let her bare breasts dangle just above the money. He folded the bill lengthwise, making it good and stiff, and brushed it across her nipples. Oh shit. This guy knows what he’s doing. Lust swelled low in her belly and her cunt became moist. He had nice eyes. Dark blue. Eyes a woman could get lost in if she didn’t know any better.
And Jazzmyn knew one hell of a lot better.
A path of searing heat followed the double sawbuck on its journey down her torso to the tiny G-string that covered her clean-shaven pussy. His gaze locked with hers. She whipped upward and thrust her cunt at his face. He never even flinched, but it got her the twenty. His hot fingers lingered on her flesh as he tucked the green inside the string wrapped around her hips. Damn, he’d wound her up. Those deep-set eyes, intense and forbidden, stared up at her.
Wiggling her way to the pole at the center of the stage, she pressed her barely covered wet pussy to the cold metal and slid her slickened folds up and down the smooth steel. It was the special part of her little show. She dared a glance at the man. He shook his head and beckoned with a fifty.
Fuck! She often pretended to get off on stage, but this man didn’t seem to want that. What’s up with him? Her fake orgasm act on the pole usually netted her a hundred bucks in appreciative tips. It wasn’t as if she’d allow any of them to do the job. So why stop her? Then again, maybe she would let this one. He wasn’t the average asshole, was he?
What was she thinking? He was an asshole, all right, or he wouldn’t be here, would he? He’d be at home with his wife and kids. If she were his wife, she’d make sure he stayed at home. No chance of anything like that happening for her though.
Maybe he thought seventy bucks earned him the right to say when. Okay. She’d play along. Back to the man. Back to the money. Angling her knees outward, she squatted in front of him. Almost eye level, she stared him down. Make your move, honey.
His tongue snaked from his lips as he glanced down at her silk-covered cunt and back up at her eyes. Ohhhh, he wants to touch the pussy. I might look like an easy piece dancing around up here, showing my ass to keep a roof over my head, but it’ll take more than a fifty to get what you want, slick. Jazzmyn shook her head and rocked her hips forward. He nodded his understanding.
Stowing the fifty in his wallet, he withdrew a hundred and raised an eyebrow. She shook her head again. He coupled the hundred with another. His blue eyes darkened and narrowed somewhat, which she took to mean he’d reached his limit.
She grabbed the money and held it between her teeth as she flattened her hands on the floor behind her and heaved her hips into the air. The man dipped his head to her cunt. Only seconds remained before the bouncers would tear him away.
Then all hell broke loose and cops flooded the joint!
The man jumped from his chair and pulled her from the runway. Jazzmyn slapped at him but he tossed her over his shoulder and ran toward the rear of the club. Heart racing, blood rushing to her head, she looked up from her position on the guy’s back and saw the waitresses and customers being herded up against the walls and handcuffed. Why the hell were the cops raiding the club? She thought about screaming for help, but who the hell could—or would help her? The cops would take her to jail just like the rest of them. Her best chance was to hang on tight and hope the man carrying her knew what he was doing and that he wasn’t some sort of crazed serial killer.
Jazzmyn recognized the sound of the club’s metal door as her temporary savior shoved it open and rushed out into the alley where the heated air of the L.A. night met them. Mr. Good-Looking turned left toward the alley, which swung her dangling body to the right. The two hundred dollars she’d held crushed in her hand fell to the pavement with the jostling movement. Shit. She lifted her head once more, seeing the crumpled money skittering away on a breeze and slowly receding from sight. She watched in awe as police lights strobed and reflected off the large plate-glass windows in the few storefronts she could see.
The deeper the man ran into the alley, the darker it became—eventually growing lighter again as they reached the other end, where he set her down next to a car. What now? Would he let her go? Fear drummed inside her and dizziness from hanging upside down over his body overwhelmed her, buckling her knees. The strange man held on to her and she slumped against his massive chest. His strong heart thumped loudly in her ear—such a surprisingly soothing sound.
With the dizziness gone, she pushed off his arms. Damn, the guy must have spent hours in the gym. She looked up at his face to find him staring down at her. Shining bright with the glow of neon lights, his eyes stunned her. Definitely not your ordinary asshole.
He moved his face closer and her gaze strayed to his lips. She wondered how they would feel on hers. Mere seconds ticked by and their mouths came together. She breathed in his scent, so virile and spicy. His mouth tasted of whiskey, his tongue soft and warm twining with hers. And she was all but naked, just a tiny scrap of fabric separating them. Since when did she feel self-conscious about her state of undress? For that matter, when the hell had she started kissing customers?
His hands moved down her back and lower to cup her bare ass cheeks. Spasms of pleasure flared in her cunt. Her juices trickled. Sex in an alley with a man she didn’t know—dangerous, forbidden. What she was doing finally registered and she broke the kiss.
Her heart stuttered. It was one thing to perform on stage for money, maybe to cross the line and let a guy cop a feel for a little extra, but sex in a dark alley with a perfect stranger wasn’t something she’d bargained for. Why the hell had she ever left Georgia? In the last five years she’d bounced from one shithole to the next, one asshole to another. Searching for what? Love? Yeah, at first. Now she just wanted out, but there was no one or nothing to go back to. Not a single inviting rainbow on her horizon. She was stuck.
“I’m a dancer, mister. That’s all I do.” The words came out in a rush of air.
His hypnotic gaze bored into her. He brought his hand to her cheek and let his thumb brush her lips. Holy shit. What is he? Some kind of sexual Svengali? Rising and falling with his steady breathing, his chest grazed her naked breasts. She shuddered and he dropped his hand to cover one of the aroused peaks, fingers flicking the nipple. An almost torturous desire streamed through her.
“Oh, I think you can do a lot more than dance,” he said.
Some people wear their hearts on their sleeves, but Jazzmyn had always kept hers in her shoe so she could step on it herself. And this man’s lay-me-down-in-the-shade-and-fuck-me-honey voice had just nailed her to the pavement. Her body—and if given the chance, her heart—were going to roll over and play dead. Well, not dead. Done deal. She was as good as his.
“Ther-there’s a policy against fraternizing with customers.”
“We could be the exception to the rule,” he said.
That voice stalked her, moving in like a summer storm, and there was no place for her to run even if she could. It had been a long time since she’d actually wanted a man—lusted for one—and she sure as hell lusted for this one. Every once in a while those silly little-girl dreams of happily ever after popped into her head without warning.