I haven't done a Whatever Wednesday post for quite a long time because I've been a very boring person. So, after I had this post all finished, things started to happen! I've updated this post twice now.
First, I finished my painting and had to update the post and the pictures and today (Tuesday, February 5th, 2013) I found out I was listed on a special banner ad at the iBookstore! The new banner, titled "Breakout Books" only lists 70 books and Color Me Grey is one of them. (Yes, that's me typing excitedly.) Plus, the New York Times mentioned the banner ad in this article. AND Mark Coker, of Smashwords, posted about it on his blog along with a list of all the Smashwords authors who have books in the ad. You can read that here. It's all very exciting for me.
So, if you are interested in downloading Color Me Grey for FREE from Apple you can simply click any of the links below.
Now that I've bragged - I'm going to tell you all what I've been up to lately and expect you to care. Okay, I really don't expect you to care or even read this post. I haven't done a Whatever Wednesday post for a long time and I figured it was about time to catch up. Yes, it's mostly filler, but I am going to post a short scene that I've written. Of course I expect you to suffer through my regular life first.
First on my list of what's been a happenin' is the fact that we got a new trailer house in the middle of December that we've been slowing moving all of our stuff into. I really like not having all the stuff I've accumulated over the years. So, yes, the dumpster is getting extra attention.
I didn't use boxes, just decided I'd go from room to room and move stuff over. I didn't want a big mess in my new house and decided I wouldn't bring anything over until I knew where I was going to put it. I DO NOT recommend this method. It is probably one of the stupidest ideas I have ever had. We are STILL moving and I'm so sick of it. I have broken down and had the hubby buy some boxes that we can fill and move over. It's going to suck going through all the boxes but it is much better than going through all of our stuff in the house that has no heat or electricity in the middle of winter.
On top of moving I've been taking some time to do a little painting. Yes, I am an artist. NOT! We all got paint-by-number sets for Christmas. I thought it would be a fun activity to do as a family. You know, all of us at the kitchen table painting and chatting. Plus, I thought it would be a great way to help teach the kids their numbers. This may have been a good idea had the three-year-old not gotten into everyone's kits and painted them all one color before we could actually sit down as a family.
Only my paint-by-number and the hubby's were untouched by green paint. So, I spent a good deal of time painting after Christmas. Here are the results. I find it laughable. It's hard to see in the smaller pictures how different my painting is than the one on the box but if you click on it you might get a larger picture so you can better compare. I'm going to blame the manufacturer for not knowing I have no idea how to shade, blend or add detail.
So, there you have my attempt at painting. Sadly, I have no talent - even for a paint-by-number. But, as I said, I decided to blame the manufacturer and found another from a different company that I wanted to try. This one is titled Sunlit Fox and I may not have been completely wrong to blame the manufacturer. This one actually looks more like the photo on the box. I just finished it Monday night.
I think it turned out quite nice.
Now, onto some writing I've done. But first I want to give you a little back story.
One day, as I was sitting at my computer, I got a message from a reader to let me know she enjoyed the series and we chatted for a very long time about all kinds of things. However, my books were center stage in the conversation and that is a GREAT way to make me like you. (yes, I like the attention.)
Her name is Angela and she asked if I might consider putting her into one of my books. I said of course I'd consider it but I might just introduce her and kill her off. I didn't have any plans for a new female character to add, but you never know. I might need an incidental character at some point and if she's already named...
We've chatted several times since that first time and I really enjoy Angela so I decided it was time to at least give it a shot. As I was typing I inadvertently left the a off of her name. It was unintentional but Angela liked it and it fits the character so I left it. The new character's name is Angel Moran. Here is the result. (I'm really looking forward to developing this character a little more. I know she's going to be a lot of fun.)
Please keep in mind that this is unedited and will require more work to be able to add it into a publishable piece. For example, some of the ladies from my writers group were a bit confused as to who the character was (they didn't catch that she is a "rock star" so I'm telling you now because I haven't fixed that part of it yet - make it more clear from the start.) And, this piece has a couple of bad words in it. (I know, I'm an adult. I can say and type what I want but I think the meaning of calling Angel Moran "the shit" might be lost on some.)
Angel Moran Intro
A familiar woman entered the office with purpose as I sat chatting with Gabriella.
“Is White available?” She pointed to the closed office door.
Gabriella pressed the intercom button. “Mr. White. Angel Moran is here to see you.”
“Send her in.”
Angel stopped long enough to look me up and down and cock her head to the side in a question. I had no idea what that question could be.
I was flabbergasted. Angel Moran was the shit. At least I thought she was. She had some of the best dance tracks out right now. The kind that swept you up and erased the rest of the world for the length of the song. But why was she here?
I looked at Gabriella and she had a big grin.
“You knew she was coming today.” I accused. Gabriella knew how much I enjoyed her music and I was sure she asked me to come chat so I’d be witness to her walking into the office.
“Of course I did. I thought you’d like to see her in person. Besides, how mad would you be if I told you that I’d met her here and didn’t call you?”
“What does she want?”
“You are so far out of the loop, girl. I’m sure she wants a lot of things.” Gabriella waggled her eyebrows and my stomach churned.
“Brown has been dating her for the past month or more.” Her face showed the triumph of knowing something I didn’t. “You’d know this if you didn’t work all the time.”
“Personally, I think it’s just a fling. For both of them.”
“That still doesn’t answer why she’s here.”
“I actually don’t know that one. Maybe she wants to move up the chain.” She laughed as soon as I felt my face turn sour.
“Have you met her before today?” I narrowed my eyes at Gabriella.
She looked down at her desk in shame. “Yes. But,” she added quickly, “I knew you’d get to meet her as soon as you got back.”
“How could you not tell me?”
“It’s not like we talk daily when you’re off on jobs or a solo vacation. You seem to be taking a lot of vacation days.” She changed the subject.
I had no answer for that one so I said, “Don’t try and change the subject.”
“I don’t think I am. I’m adding to it.”
“I’ve been taking some secret side jobs,” I didn’t want to lie to her, but I knew I couldn’t tell her the full truth. I probably shouldn’t have said that much. But, Gabriella was savvy enough to know not to delve into it any further. If she didn’t hear it from me, she wouldn’t snoop, too much. At least not enough to realize that some of my side jobs had been Penumbra jobs.
“I thought so. Why didn’t you tell me before now?”
“Secret side jobs.” I smiled at her.
“Yeah, okay.” She smirked back.
“I probably should get back to my apartment and get unpacked but I really want to know what Angel Moran is doing in there.” I inclined my head toward the closed office door. What if she really was trying to move up the chain?
“She’s not usually in there very long.”
“She’s had meetings with White before now?”
“Yeah. She’s been here twice before. Well, twice without Brown.”
Gabriella and I sat in quiet for at least five minutes before I asked, “Usually this long?”
“No. Never this—” she was interrupted by White’s voice.
“Gabriella? If Ms. Grey is still in the office please send her in and if not, please call her down.”
“You heard the man.” She grinned. “At least we’ll know.” She added as I stood from the chair and smoothed my shirt.
I felt my nerves tense as I made my way to the office door.
“She’ll be right in,” I heard Gabriella answer as I reached for the handle. I made myself take a deep breath and reminded myself that Angel Moran was just a human being, like the rest of us. Then I reminded myself of who I was and the nervous feeling dissipated. If all facts were known, I was the scariest person in the room. I couldn’t suppress the grin on my face and walked in with it showing.
“Ms. Grey, this is Angel Moran.” White introduced me after I’d crossed the distance to the desk.
She rose from her chair and shook my hand. It was a semi-firm handshake. Handshakes were always something I took note of. I just couldn’t stand the flimsy, sweaty jiggle. I preferred a politician bone-breaking greeting to that of the dead flesh feel.
“Ms. Moran.” I nodded. We both took seats in front of White’s desk and turned to him.
“Angel would like to get to know you better.”
“Okay—” I let my voice trail off to signify my confusion.
“Is there something else I can call you besides Ms. Grey?” She asked right away.
“You can call me Alex.”
“I love that. Okay, Alex. This is what I’m looking for. I want an indiscrete bodyguard. I want the world to think I’ve gotten a new best friend but I want that best friend to be able to protect me if I decide to ditch my guard detail.”
“Why would you want to ditch the guards you are paying for? And, why don’t you just tell them to back off?”
“I’m not the one who actually hired them. My agent did and they will not take orders from me.”
I looked at White and he just shrugged his shoulders.
“Look, I’ve got a reputation to uphold and if I ditch my guards from time to time, it makes for good headlines. I’m not a complete idiot. I know there are plenty of weirdos out there and I really shouldn’t go without protection in public. But, if it looks like I’m being completely reckless, all the better for me. So, what do you say? Wanna help me ditch my guards, party like you’ve never partied before and make some money doing it?”
“How long does this job last?”
“As long as it still works out for both of us.”
Again I looked at White, who, again, was no help.
“Can you give me a minute with White?”
“Sure.” She stood with grace, fixed her hair and walked out to the front office.
“Anything on the books coming up that might interfere?”
“Nope. You’re on a clean slate right now. Red wanted to put you into isolation training, but my guess is that this’ll be a lot more fun.”
“So, you recommend it?”
“Sure, why not. It’ll keep you closer to home. I think she’s in the city for a while. Recording a new album.” Then he added, “She won’t have you full time, if that helps. She’ll only call you when she wants to break the rules.”
“Oh, so I’ll become the instigator?”
“Aren’t you, anyway?”
“Whatever. I’m a good girl.”
“Too good for your own good. Get out there and tear it up for a while. I really doubt you’ll run into much trouble while you’re guarding her. Maybe an over zealous fan here and there that you might have to trip.”
“Why can’t Brown do it?”
“She doesn’t want to involve him. Says he’s her current boyfriend and she should be able to just have fun with him. She doesn’t want him on his guard all the time. Also, she said there are plenty of times she’d like to get away from him.” He laughed.
“So does Brown even know about this?”
“Yes. He’s the one who recommended you to her. Angel told him that she wished she had a female bodyguard so she could actually have a conversation with her while they shopped.”
“I’m not a shopping kind of girl,” I said without thinking.
“No, you aren’t. But Gabriella has been working on that and Angel can help, too.”
“So, you think I need to shop more?”
He laughed. “I don’t care if you shop or not.”
“I can back out whenever I feel like it?” I brought us back to the real conversation.
He shrugged. “Yep. Her main contract is with our competition so I really don’t see the harm in walking away from this one even if the client isn’t ready for you to do so. Keep ‘em wanting more.” He gave me a sidelong glance. “But you know how to do that.”
I felt the flush starting to creep up into my face, saw the sly look on White’s, and purposefully calmed myself. It had been more than a month since I’d seen him. Before my latest Penumbra job, White and I had been spending a lot of time together and I was hoping for him to ask me out on a date.
I won’t sleep with him unless he takes me out on a date. That was my newest rule. It just happened that neither of us had the time for dates and then I got a job. If I had known it would take me so long to complete I would have kissed him to seal the deal before I left.
While out doing Penumbra jobs, the majority of my time is spent doing a whole lot of nothing. This time, the majority of my time was spent worrying about getting back to White. Would we be able to get back what we’d built, would he want it back or would he have gone out and had a fling or two while I was gone?
This was our first contact since I’d come back and it seemed like business as usual. I smiled sweetly at him and put on my innocent face. Innocence was one of his downfalls and I could play innocent with the best of them. It helped that I was fairly innocent in relationship recreation, but I didn’t want to admit that. Not even to myself.
“I’ll take the job.” I let his comment drop. His little show of interest had relieved some of my trepidation. We did have a client out in the front office and now probably wasn’t the time for me to get my White fix. I glanced toward the office door.
“I’ll call her back in shortly. I want to hear about your job. Why did it take so long? You have no idea how worried I was.”
“I was fine.”
“I see that, but I need details.”
“No big deal. I had to wait for him to become accessible. That’s all it was.”
“You could have sent me some kind of message.” His face was creased with worry lines.
“I’m sorry. I guess I didn’t even consider it.”
“How can you not consider it?” Now he was getting angry.
“I thought no contact was the rule.” His attitude was seeping into me.
“I guess we are going to have to change that rule then. There is no way you should be gone for more than a month without checking in. It’s fucking stupid.”
I stopped short. I’d never heard him use the f-word. He’d really been worried about me.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t know.”
“How could you not know?” He took a deep breath and shook his head with scorn.
“Gabriella? Please send Ms. Moran back in.” He said into the intercom and just like that I was right back to wondering where I stood with White. I knew he was mad at me but would he get over it?