Monday, July 11, 2011

Did You Hear Me Scream?

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.

This was one of those times.


Anonymous said...

Luckily I'm not as addicted to the internet as I used to be, but I still rely on it way to much. Not as much as Hubs and the kids, but more than I should.
By the way I feel the need to mention that Hubs tried to kill my mini on me Friday, but was redeemed when he fixed it again. Yes I had a minor break down, all my stuffs on here. I really should back it all up just in case he tries to murder it again.
Glad your back on!

Ana Lee Kennedy said...

Glad you're back, my friend! I was worried about you. And I had to laugh at what the boy said. Sounds like something one of my kids would ask too.

You know I've told you you're an amazing writer, so good luck with your new release. If anyone reading this has never read any of Tess's work, go check out the book and buy it ASAP!

Hugs, lady!

Tess MacKall said...

Well, Nanny...I thought I was totally addicted. But really, after two or three days I didn't really stress that much. Sure, it was on my mind, but mostly because I had a new release coming up. Although the times I sat down to eat in front of the comp were real eye openers. lol

I can't do that anymore. Actually, I just had breakfast and MADE myself sit at the breakfast bar.

Tell hubs that you think there is a law against all that and that you'll lock his butt up! lol

Tess MacKall said...

Yep, boy was real concerned about his stomach. I think I ended up giving them money for Subway that night. I'm not sure. Things are still kind of hazy. lol Believe me, that night I was beside myself. I think I even cried a little. lol

But I survived.

And thank you so much for all of your kind words. And may I return the compliment by saying the same about you!!!! Run and pick up Faith's books! Whoooo hoooooo

Ana Lee Kennedy said...

LOL, you're a doll, Tess!

Anonymous said...

How you went that long without your computer, Internet and email is beyond me. I am an online junkie! I rarely use my desktop except for writing. Mostly my phone and tablet. Being without those two handy dandy devices makes me feel nekkid. I know--Sad.

As for your book...DAYAM! Smokin' hot, funny and just plain ass FAB. I have to admit Strip Down was my first read of yours. What an impression! I absolutely loved everything about it. Anyone who hasn't read it--Get your fingers movin' and get it. You'll thank me! *taking a self-assured bow*!! ;0))


Tess MacKall said...

I don't use a phone with Internet cause I simply never thought I'd need it. My oldest can't be without hers. She takes it to the bathroom. She will lean outside of the shower and text. Honestly.

But now that I was forced to use hers to make contact with the outside world, I can honestly say I won't get a smart phone. It was just too damn tiny for me. I couldn't relate. It took too long to get anything done too.

And you read Strip Down? Whooo hooooo...thank you so much. And double damn thank you for all of the kind words. I'm so glad you found humor in it. I was a bit concerned about that. I would laugh out loud while writing, but then worry over whether anyone else would think it was funny. So it thrills me to no end that you thought so.

I LOVED Cletus. Just loved him. I researched Jamaican expressions and used quite a bit. But it was a little on the heavy side and my ed had me cut some of it in favor of Americanizing the dialogue.

Again, thank you so much!!

Regina Carlysle said...

Just about the only thing that can throw me right the hell into 'panic mode' is being without my computer. I soooo feel your pain but glad you are up and running again, honey. I'm with you...don't know how people do so much stuff, so easily with those itty bitty smart phones. For me, in computers at least, size DOES matter. LOL

Regina Carlysle said...

Oooooh and HAPPY RELEASE for Strip Down. I have it on my computer and will load to my Nook ASAP! Can't wait to read it.

Tess MacKall said...

LOL Yep...size DOES matter, Reg. I just don't think I could handle using a phone constantly. I'd go nuts.

And thanks in advance for reading Strip Down. Love ya, girlie!

Harlie Williams said...

I'm not as bad as I used to be with the internet but its still bad. And no, I didn't hear you in Texas.

Happy Release and OMG Strip Down was hot!

Glad you're back. I can barely text on a phone much less look up stuff on the internet. I don't have a smart phone but I've used my brother's IPhone and it was just too weird.

Tess MacKall said...

Yep, just too damn weird for me, Harlie. Even with my reading glasses on it was just too tiny. Like Reg said, size matters. lol

And you read Strip Down? OMG...thank you so much. So glad you thought it was hot. I love that story. lol And the sexiness! lol

Oh goody, my second reader reaction to Strip Down. I love it!!!

P. Robinson said...

I enjoy writing by hand sometimes but it does take a while to get it all typed in so I usually forego the longhand nowadays. I think we all get addicted to our online presence and that isn't always a good thing.

I am glad you're back and I hope you've stopped biting those nails now. Congrats on your book release!!

Tess MacKall said...

Thank you, Kissa! One thing about long hand that bugged me is that my hand got tired really fast. It's like I'm not using all of the muscles in my hand that I need to use when I type. So it was really a bit painful after a page or so. AND? My handwriting is HORRIBLE now. No practice on writing anything for years but my signature. So I guess that's all that's legible. lol

anny cook said...

Missed you, dear. Been without my computer on more than one occasion for over a week. And hey! The world did not come to an end... Yeah, I know. We like it, but just sayin'...

Lisa Alexander Griffin said...

Missed you, Tess. Got worried too when I didn't hear back from you by Friday. lol. Couldn't imagine what might be going on!

I'd have been climbing the walls as well, and especially wondering if my stuff could be saved. Glad you didn't lose anything.

Congrats on the release of Strip Down. I've read the first few chapters and my pages are smoking! teehee. It's gonna be one HOT read!

C. Zampa said...

It is so good to see you back!
Bummer about the computer problems, though!
Glad they're fixed!

Congratulations on Strip Down!

Emmy Ellis said...

OMG. I'm not laughing at the fact that your puter broke, but the way you described it all. It feels devastating at first, doesn't it. LMAO @ the boy asking about no dinner, and even funnier...MOURNING IN PINK! I read that out to Mr P. Too damn funny.


June M. said...

Welcome back to cyber space. I go through spurts of serious addiction to the internet and not hardly using it. Since I discovered blogs (I know I'm slow, I only started reading and following them about 6 months ago), I have definately been addicted to the net. Gotta start limiting this!

The new book sounds great. Definately on my TBR list.

Cassie Exline said...

What a perfect way to describe that horrible feeling that rips through your body when you realize that your computer is down and you're offline. Your new hawtastic release sounds great and a must have, especially since I know how well you write. Glad you're back and no one was killed in the process.

Allie Standifer said...

Poor Tess! Been there done that, have the shock therapy t-shirt to prove it. You're a better woman that I 'cause I'm addicted and I know it. There's no unplugging me thanks to my MacBook Pro, iPad, iPod & iPhone. Should I be ashamed?
Good to have you back and thanks for the screaming. I needed a good wake up call :)

Tess MacKall said...

Awwww Anny...yep the world didn't come to an end. I kept seeing doom and gloom on the horizon. But everyone is still here. Like I never really was away. LOL

Tess MacKall said...

Yep, Lisa...the first three days I was a wall climber for sure for sure for sure.

Do you know how pathetic it is to sit down and stare at a blank screen? Yep, did that. Kids laughed at me.

And thank you for the kind words with regard to Strip Down. I got a couple of other comments today too. Very happy with the feedback I'm getting.

Tess MacKall said...

Thank ya, Carol! Hope your little issue with that obnoxious click me thing went away too!

Tess MacKall said...

Thank you, June. Let me know how you like Strip Down. I admit being addicted to blogs myself. Some are pretty doggone interesting. I love the sense of humor some bloggers have. We do all right here at 3WW Plus Two I think. I love blogging!

Tess MacKall said...

Trust me, EM...I should have gone to the florist and bought white lilies and placed them on my desk. Needed a big ribbon with RIP on it. It was bad to start with. Took me three days to get out of the funk.

I just had to get busy. Once those closets were unloaded, I felt a bit better. lol

Yeah, no black in my nighttime repertoire. Must get me some black and red slutty stuff. Must Must Must. hee heee

Taryn Elliott said...

Yeah, I've had that 'scream' moment a time or two. LOL At this point, I need a backup computer for the times I kill one. LOL
Glad you're back, Tess.

And that excerpt was HOT, HOT, HOT!
Explosive = them.

Great stufff. *shoots look at TBR pile*


One more can fit, right?


Tess MacKall said...

Cassie!!! Thank you so much for the lovely compliment. I feel the same way about your writing.

No one was killed. But that's not to say I didn't have murderous visions. Wine helps that, ya know? lol

Tess MacKall said...

Well, the withdrawals only lasted about three days, Allie. I thought it would be much longer. So I must not be as addicted as I thought I was. Doesn't look like there is a chance you'll have to go without again, though. lol

May have to buy myself another back up monster.

Tess MacKall said...

There's always room for Jello and erotic romances, Taryn. LOL Thanks for the lovely compliment on the excerpt. Elvis thanks you too!

Adele Dubois said...

A day without email? Facebook? Blogging? I didn't think I could do it, either. But when I attended the RWA National Conference in NY, I was determined to go sans laptop. I didn't want to carry the extra weight on the train, plus I was going to NEW YORK! There would be plenty to do.

And there was. Turned out, I didn't miss my computer a bit and I was gone five days! Who knew?

Good post, Tess. Nice to have you back. Best of luck with your hot new release!


Tess MacKall said...

Thank you, Adele. And Whooo Hooo on attending the RWA Conference. Lucky thing, you! I can imagine there was lots to do. Just talking to everyone would fill the hours. Hey, works for me. lol

Unfortunately, I was stuck at home. sighhhh...I talk to the kids all of the time. lol

Dragon Lady said...

So sorry for the computer troubles. Glad they have cleared up tho!

Whoooooo-EEEEEEEEEEEEEE! HOT blurb! I'm heading now to get that one, or at the least put it on my wish list. DANG, woman! *fans self*


Janice Seagraves said...

Smoking hot excerpt, Tess.


Lily Harlem said...

Thrilled you are back, Tess and I am sure STRIP DOWN will sell its smokin' hot little self - Phew!Love the way you write this stuff!

And go buy yourself some sexy little black bedtime numbers :-)

Lily x

Tess MacKall said...

You'll be drinking gallons of ice water with this one, Stacey! lol Thanks, hon.

Tess MacKall said...

You're right, Lily. I need some sexy little black numbers for sure. Might toss in a red too. lol Thanks for the kind words.