Wednesday, December 28, 2011

WIP Wednesday

This week marks the beginning of chapter three in my, as of yet, untitled story. With the beginning of a new chapter comes the introduction of my second main character in the story, Joseph Johnson.

I will admit now that what you are about to read is a draft in its purest form. I would normally think a scene like this would work, but this scene will require some major rewriting. I'm posting only so you can meet Joe, and get a feel for what kind of person he is.

Some major flaws I've noticed while giving this a quick read include:
  1. I've not yet reached the depth of character I would like with Joe.
  2. This introductory scene seems to have a lot of telling as apposed to showing.
  3. I'm not getting a sense of urgency while reading this scene.
Tell me if there are other things that you notice.


Joseph Johnson slid the pocket door open and walked out of the tiny booth into the afternoon heat, as a car squeaked to a stop at the gate. Joe knew the occupant sitting in the car, but asked for his identification anyway. The man inside the car pulled an identification card out of his shirt pocket and handed it to Joe. The man was Joe's supervisor, Jeff Tucker, but he still compared the photo on the identification card to Mr. Tucker's face—he always followed proper protocol.
"Joe, would you stop by my office after your shift tonight?" Mr. Tucker took his identification card back from Joe and slid it back into his shirt pocket.
"Sure thing, boss," Joe answered, as Mr. Tucker drove away. He gave a theatrical wave as he turned to see his shift partner, Ray, snickering from inside the guard shack.
"What was that all about?" Ray opened the door for Joe as he stepped into the small shack. "You think it's the cutbacks people been talking about?"
"I don't know." Joe scooted in front of the small window air conditioning unit, the feeling of the cool air sending a chill through his sweat-soaked shirt. Although his skin felt cool, Joe felt heat rising in his core. He couldn't afford to lose his job. He'd just started working at the plant a year ago, back when he was fresh out of the Army, and caring for his mother through her battle with cancer. He looked at Ray, but did not answer.
"Well, what do think?" Ray finally said, apparently unable to handle the silence.
"I think I'll find out in a few minutes," Joe answered. He spent last few minutes of his shift looking out window of the guard shack. Whatever it was about, he just wanted to get it over with. Joe simply opened the door and squeezed himself out of the small shack when his replacement showed up.
"Good luck," Ray said, giving Joe a mock salute as the door shut.
"Thanks," was all Joe could think to say. He walked, as quickly as he could, through the parking lot, reaching the cool air of the employee break room within a few short seconds of leaving his post at the guard shack.
Joe found his time card among the hundred or so others and shoved it into the slot on the front of the machine until the unit jumped, before pulling out and putting back in its spot on the wall. He walked to the employee locker room to change out of his blue security guard uniform and into blue jeans, a tank tee shirt, and a loose fitting polo before venturing up the stairs to his supervisor's office. He knocked on the door, and waited until he was told to enter. Mr. Tucker was sitting behind his desk as Joe walked in the room.
"Have a seat, Mr. Johnson." Mr. Tucker leaned forward in his leather office chair, and shuffled papers nervously on his desk.
Joe took the chair directly in front of the desk and crossed one leg over the other, trying to appear confident, unshaken by the sudden summons to his boss's office. He had a good idea why his boss called him in, and the thought made him wish he'd gone directly to his truck instead of to the office.
"I don't how to say this, Joseph." Mr. Tucker stared at an open file on his desk as he spoke. "You know I personally think you've been doing a great job here, and--"
"Just tell me," Joe blurted out. He didn't really want to hear it, but wanted to get it over with. He felt heat rising in his face. He could not decipher the mix of emotions coursing through his mind. He wasn't sure whether he was about to fall into a violent fit, or tear up and have a little emotional meltdown in front of his boss.
Life was so much easier in combat.
He missed his life as a covert operator, and it was things like this that made him long for when his only decisions were to run or shoot. Instead, he suffered through the emotional hell of remaining calm while some pencil-necked geek spat shallow compliments at him while he fired him. Although his mind was moving at a hundred miles an hour, he simply sat motionless, staring at Mr. Tucker.
"Look," Mr. Tucker finally said. "I know you've got a perfect attendance record here. You're always on time, and willing to make suggestions to better our procedures, but I have to be fair ..."
"Just spill it," Joe said. "Are you firing me or not?"
Joe watched his boss's reaction. Mr. Tucker tensed noticeably, his lips nearly parting. Joe could not tell whether he was just nervous or if he genuinely thought he might come over his desk at any moment and strangle him. Joe maintained his cool front, but on the inside, he was giving serious consideration to jumping over the boss's desk.
"We're not firing you, Joseph," Mr. Tucker finally said. "We're just laying you off until we can afford to hire you back."
"Either way, I'm not getting a paycheck." Joe stood and turned to leave.
"Wait, Joseph," Mr. Tucker yelled. "I didn't want to do this."
Joe didn't stop, or even turn to look back, but his boss continue anyway.
"You know we've had to cut our workforce down to two shifts. We just can't support the security staff. We'll bring you back as soon ..."
Joe could still hear his former boss yelling as the office door shut behind him, trying to convince him he wasn't being fired.
A blast of hot humid air washed over him, like the exhaust from a jet engine, as he left the huge industrial building, and walked through the vast blacktop parking lot to his truck. He turned the ignition key, bringing the truck to life, then cranked the air conditioning up until cool air blasted from the vents, making the hairs on his arms dance. As the air in the truck cooled, he reached under his seat and retrieved a Glock 26. A thin smile grew across his face as he inserted the magazine into the grip and pulled the receiver back, chambering a round. He liked the weight of it in his hands. The grip fit nicely into his right hand. It was a light, convenient handgun he often used as a backup on missions when he was in the Army. He pulled a concealment holster from under his seat, slipped it into the back of his pants, and pushed the small pistol securely into it. He pulled his shirt over it before driving his truck through the maze of cars in the parking lot, out the gate, and toward the bond office.
The sun was sinking below the horizon by the time Joe pulled up in front of the bail bondsman's office. It was that time in the early evening when things were still quiet. There was little activity at the police station across the street, but that would change by the end of the night. As soon as the door closed behind him, Jake motioned him to come beyond the front counter.
"Got a new skip for you, Joe." Jake Ballinger stood up and moved around his desk, waving for Joe to come to the counter.

I hope you enjoyed this scene introducing Joseph Johnson. This is the chapter where strange things start to happen, and I think that you, my fine readers, will be pleased at how the relationship between Joe and Lexi grows. Of course, I won't be giving away all the secrets in these weekly postings. If you want the complete story, you'll just have to get the novel when it is finished.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

WIP Wednesday

I skipped ahead a scene for this week. Lexi has called her Grandfather to ask his advice. He agreed that she should stay put and wait for things to calm down in the pack. He tells her that Leonidas has gone looking for her in Atlanta.

In this scene, her decision to stay finalized, she heads to the RV Park Sam told her about in hopes of finding a cheap place to lay low until things cool down. This scene introduces a new minor character, Viron. He is the owner of the RV/Trailer Park.
Alexis walked along the dirt road, passing under large wooden sign indicating the entrance to Forest Lake RV Park. The small road opened up into huge square lot, the size of at least four football fields. The dirt gave way to gravel as she continued into the property, looking for the manager's office. Tiny patches of lush green grass surround each little camping site, and a small lake, or pond bordered the property to the South. Alexis heard the dull roar of Interstate sixty-five to her right, and a faint diesel odor permeated the air. She thought it strange to locate a campground in the middle of a city. Maybe the proximity of the site to the Interstate, and a big chain truck stop, made it convenient for travelers.
The property was mostly deserted, with only three camping trailers parked diagonally amongst ten or more rows of empty parking spots. Alexis saw a man sitting in a rocking chair on a makeshift porch in front of a singlewide trailer. He was wearing a blue jumpsuit, whittling a stick or something, and whistling to himself. It looked like a scene from Mayberry, or Deliverance. A small wooden sign above the door of the trailer said 'Park Manager' so Alexis turned and walked toward the man, thinking about what she would say to him as she approached.
The man did not see her until she had reached the wooden steps of the porch. When she walked up the steps, her hand extended in front of her, he put down his stick and his knife, and slowly eased himself out of his rocker, with what looked like, a great amount of effort.
"Afternoon Miss, what can I do you for," he said, in the kind of gurgling, raspy voice people get after years of smoking.
"Are you Mister Woods?"
"That be me. But please, call me Viron," he said, as he shook her hand.
"You come in here on foot?" Viron looked around her to the gravel road. "We ain't got no primitive sites here. Spots are for RV's and campers only."
"I'm here to see about a trailer rental," Alexis said. "Sam, from the Pink Pony sent me here, told me to mention him."
"Sam?" Viron's eyes rolled up and his chin jutted forward.
Alexis could almost hear the cogs and gears squeaking and creaking as he recalled the name.
"Sam," he said again, as if the gears in his mind suddenly aligned into the right position. "He's a good man. I rented to him when he first came to town. He's doing better now. Lives somewhere, Northside." Viron rambled on, lost in his thoughts. "I remember him talking to me about buying that run-down old strip club. Thought he could make it into something more respectable."
Viron stopped and looked at Alexis for a moment. She saw that little sparkle in his eyes that southern gentlemen get when they are with a lady. He stood there looking at her for a moment, his hand still clutching hers, before letting go.
"I'm sorry, Miss," Viron said. "I must've missed your name."
"Oh, where are my manners," Alexis returned, in the sweetest southern drawl she could manage. "My name is Ale ... Paulina. Paulina Grey."
"Well, Miss Paulina," Viron said, as he turned to the door of the trailer. "Let me go get some keys, and I'll show you what I have."
Viron went into his trailer, leaving the door open behind him. Moments later, Alexis heard keys rattling, but instead of coming back out directly, she heard him talking to someone on the phone. She thought she heard the name 'Sam' and assumed he was asking Sam about her. When Viron returned, he had a large brass ring with at least twenty keys on it.
"The key we need is in here somewhere," he said, as walked out in front of her toward the other end of the lot.
They walked to the other side of the park, passing the three camping trailers on the way. On the far gravel roadway stood three dilapidated old singlewide trailers. The three trailers shared the same look; tiny windows hung high along stark metal siding, and propane tanks mounted to the front. Viron continued to the last trailer in the row and fumbled through the keys on the ring until he found the right key.
"I know it ain't much," he said, as he opened the door. "But, the rent's cheap and the property's safe, quiet."
The trailer looked as ancient on the inside, the walls covered in simulated wood paneling. Except for the small kitchen area, the entire floor was covered in green shag carpet, but the place was clean, smelled fresh, and was fully furnished.
"What do you think?" Viron held out his hand like a model on a game show. "It's old, but I keep it clean, and the bug man just came through last week."
"How much?" Alexis shuffled her feet in the deep threads of shag carpet.
"One-twenty a week," Viron said. "But that includes all utilities. It ain't got no cable television hookup though."
"I'll take it."
Viron worked the key off the large ring as they walked back to his office. He asked her inside his office, and once inside, pulled out a rental agreement, handing it to her. His office was a small round table in his kitchen. The inside of Viron's trailer smelled of cigarettes and Aqua-Velva aftershave, and sported the same interior design as the trailer he had showed her. Alexis looked at the application. It asked for information she did not want to give, like her name, and social security number, and phone number.
"Look," she said, as she slid the paper back across the table. "Isn't there any way I could avoid all this paperwork?"
"It's the law, Miss Paulina." Viron slid the paper back to her. "State law requires it."
"Look, Mr. Woods." Alexis thought of the first lie that came to mind. "I'm just leaving a bad situation. I don't mind giving you my name and a phone number, but I just don't want my ex to find me." She gave him her best pout. "Can't we work something out? I can pay cash. Up front."
Viron stepped back and looked hard at her. His eyes were dark, intense, and piercing, with a depth that came only with age and experience. She feared he would see right through her, and into her soul, where her lie could not be concealed. Relief came as a slight smile swept across his mouth, a softness forming in his eyes.
"Alright. No paperwork," he said, taking the form from her hands and placing it back on the table. "But, I'll need two weeks rent paid up front and in cash. We'll talk about it again after that."
Alexis thanked him and fished the money out of her purse. He gave her the key, and she gave him a big hug before nearly skipping back to the trailer—her new home—aand conducting a more thorough inspection before testing the shower. After her shower, she dressed in her same clothes, and walked back to the Pink Pony to start her new job.
Hope you enjoyed this scene. It is the last scene in the chapter, and the next chapter begins with the introduction of Joseph Johnson, our bounty hunting main character, and future love-interest of Lexi. With Joe comes more trouble for Lexi, but the question will become, who will save who?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Now Available at iBookstore

I'm happy to announce that many of my stories are now available at the Apple iBookstore. These books include:

The Fifth Beauty - My free historical fantasy involving Azra, the lovestruck succubus as a chinese Hulijing.
All The Right Places
Window Treatment
Pleasure Doing Business
Lovestruck Succubus - My Novel about a demon succubus looking for love in all the wrong places. I would classify this as paranormal erotic suspense fantasy. Yeah, I know that's not really a genre, but it's the closest I can come to a real classification. I would say that it is kind of a suspense crime novel with strong STRONG erotic elements in a paranormal setting. Hey, she is a demon succubus after all, would you expect anything less than strong sexual content from a succubus?
Fantasy League - First in my Sporty Sex series, a light-hearted look at sports from both sides of the fence.

Just follow the link below to visit my author page at the Apple ibookstore:

Apple iBookstore Ellison James Author Page

Enjoy. And, on a side note, for those of you on my mailing list, look for my first newsletter to be sent out in the beginning of next year (should be first week of January) for some exciting news and special deals!

Friday, December 16, 2011

New Release FREE!

Just Released!

I'm still offering it FREE at All Romance eBooks. (click for link)

Get your copy now. Please pass this on, tell all your friends. Leave a review if you would like.

Tight End is the second book in my Sporty Sex series. This series is my light-hearted, highly sexual stories centering around sports in one way or another. In the first Story, Fantasy League, (also free now) Charlene finds a way to break her husband, Jeff, of his fantasy football addiction by providing him with a different kind of fantasy. And don't forget, my anthology story, The Cusp of Libra, is still FREE at ARe also.

In this story, Tanya is tired of being the Tom Boy and finds a way to express herself as a woman with her new friend, Billy.

Of course, this new story is also available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords for just $0.99 - still a great bargain!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

WIP Wednesday

In this week's excerpt, we rejoin Alexis as she enters the Pink Pony Bar and Grill for the first time. A new character, Sam, is introduced, and Lexi makes the decision to stay in Montgomery as it seems, it is the best place to hide out for awhile.
Alexis walked into the cool darkness of the Pink Pony Bar and Grill, swiveling her head left and right, looking for a bathroom. The walls and windows were all painted over in black or dark purple, and a small stage extended from the back wall with a long catwalk in the center. Three men sitting together seemed to be the only customers in the place. They all stared at her as if dazzled by the sunlight streaming in behind her through the open door. This was not looking much like a bar and grill. A lone bartender stood behind the bar, washing glasses and whistling to himself. He looked up at her as the door closed behind her. Alexis saw a small sign marked "Bathrooms" at the far left of the building, and made a beeline to the alcove under the sign.
"No free bathrooms," the bartender yelled, as Lexi entered the alcove. "With purchase only."
Alexis yelled back at him as she opened the door under the sign with the word 'Mares' she assumed was for women, "I'll be buying lunch as soon as I come out."
The bartender was still washing dishes when Alexis took a seat at the bar. The three customers that were sitting together had left. Now, she sat alone, the only customer in the darkened building. The bartender was still whistling to himself, and Alexis realized, he was wearing earphones. The earphone wires trailed down to an old cassette player attached to the string of his apron. She waved her hand until the bartender looked up from the sink.
"Can I get a menu?" Alexis yelled to him. She could hear the tinny music squeaking from his headphones.
The bartender simply looked up at the wall behind him and pointed at a chalkboard. She looked up at the chalkboard and found only three things written on it by hand: Hotdog, Chicken Fingers, Wings, no prices and no specials listed. After mulling over her choices for less than a minute, she waved at the bartender again. This time the bartender turned off his cassette player.
"I'd like an order of Chicken Fingers ... and a coke, please."
"Chicken fingers, coming up." The bartender said, and walked through a set of double saloon-style doors to the kitchen.
Alexis watched through the small window as the bartender moved back and forth across the opening. She did not hear chopping or frying. Instead, she heard only the beeping of a microwave as the bartender set the timer. She began to wonder if he was ever going to come back to the bar and make her drink. Alexis heard the microwave beep, and a moment later, the bartender emerged through the double doors with a small plate in his hand, three large breaded chicken fillets stacked on top of it.
"Do you have any dipping sauces?" Alexis asked, as the bartender set the plate onto the bartop.
"We got ketchup and barbeque sauce."
Alexis decided to forgo the dipping sauce, as she picked the crumbles off the chicken, and waited for the bartender to bring her drink.
"First time in Montgomery? The bartender asked, as he put her drink in front of her.
"How did you know?" Alexis said, feeling a little self-conscious, looking at her clothes for some obvious sign that said, "not from around here."
The bartender smiled as he watched her look herself over. "We don't get many pretty young ladies in the Pink Pony in the middle of the day."
"Doesn't look like you get much of anybody here during the day," Alexis said.
"Well, it picks up in here at night," the bartender said. "Gets a little busier at night than we can handle right now."
"Do you run the place yourself at night?" Alexis pushed her plate and empty glass away. She wondered how the single bartender could handle any real business. He barely seemed to handle one order.
"With the dancers, the cook, a couple of servers, and bouncers, we can handle just about anything here," the bartender said; as he took her glass, washing it in the small bar sink. "But right now I've got a cook and a server out sick."
"I know how hard that can be," Alexis said. "I worked as a waitress in college."
The bartender stepped back from the sink and looked at her, bringing his wet hand to his face, leaving a white beard of soapsuds over the dark stubble of his goatee. "How'd you like to work here, as a server?"
"What makes you think I'm looking for work." Alexis wondered if the wear of her travels was that obvious. The thought of staying in Montgomery never crossed her mind until that moment. True, she was in a place she was not familiar with, but staying, for just awhile anyway, would make it difficult for Leo, or her own parents, to find her, if they came looking.
The bartender looked at her, waiting for answer. When she did not give one he added, "The job pays cash, if you really do have experience like you said."
Alexis thought about the offer. She had not planned on this, but thought it would provide a great way to hide in plain sight. Not that she was afraid of Leonidas, or her parents, but she wanted to be alone, without someone running behind her, chasing her down, dragging her back to the pack.
"When do I start?"
"How's tonight sound," the bartender said. "I'll just have to do some paperwork first." He pulled an application and a notepad out of a drawer under the register.
The bartender held the application in his hand for a moment, looking at Alexis like he was gauging her reaction or something.
"Look, this is strictly under the table," he said, as he slid the application back into the drawer. "I can't pay you any benefits. The job's temporary ... for now, anyway." He hesitated again, looking at her. Then added, "But, it does pay cash every night, still interested?"
"No paperwork? Cash? Sounds even better"
The bartender picked a pen up off the counter and aimed it at his pad, "I'll need your name."
Alexis was dumbfounded. She suddenly realized she would be giving up anonymity if she gave him her name. She opened her mouth, hoping the right words would come out, but all she managed was, "uh ... my name?"
"Yeah, a name. Is that too much to ask?" The bartender stepped back from the bar and studied her again. "I gotta call you something."
"Paulina. Paulina Grey." It was not a complete lie, she thought. Paulina was her middle name, and she did just arrive on the greyhound bus.
He wrote her name on his pad, and said, "That wasn't so bad, was it? Hard part's over."
"So, what's your name," Alexis said, convincing herself that he bought her partial lie. "What can I call you?"
"Oh, I'm sorry," the bartender said. "Never properly introduced myself. The name's, Sam."
"Sam? The bartender?" Alexis felt her eyebrows pinch together before she could control her reaction. "How fitting."
"I know, but it's the truth," Sam said. "My name is Samuel Green. I'm a bartender. Probably couldn't be more cliché' unless I played piano."
Alexis stared at Sam for a moment, holding her breath until her eyes welled up, and she could stand it no more. She burst out in laughter at Sam's statement, finally understanding how the bus driver must have felt when she realized she was not in Atlanta. Sam was soon laughing right along with her, slapping at the countertop and holding his gut. With tears streaming down her cheeks, and her stomach sore from laughing, she stopped while Sam lifted a finger to signal he had something more to say.
"And, you know what," he said, snickering and snorting as he spoke. "I actually do play the piano."
At this, they both broke out laughing again, and Alexis thought, maybe Montgomery's not such a bad place to be.
Their laughter died down and silence overtook the room. Alexis suddenly realized she had nowhere to stay.
She asked Sam "Is there a hotel nearby, or someplace I can stay for the night?"
"Nearest hotel is about five miles up the road, but there's a truck stop about two blocks from here."
"Is that it?"
"Well." Sam scratched his chin and looked up, as if recalling some fleeting thought. "I know a guy just about two minutes from here on foot, owns a kind of campground. I think he rents out some old trailers."
"That sounds great," Alexis said. How do I get there?"
"Just turn left out the door and look for the sign says 'Forest Lake RV Park and Campground' then look for his office at the front of the lot."
"Thanks," Alexis said, as she turned and headed for the door.
"Ask for Viron at the campground," Sam yelled as she pushed through the front door. "And, your shift starts at six tonight."
Alexis saw the sign for the RV Park almost as soon as she left the parking lot of the Pink Pony, but before she talked to Viron, she needed to call her Grandfather.
Hope you enjoyed this excerpt. Next week I'll be developing a minor character, Dimitri (Lexi's Grandfather) as she calls to ask his advice. As always, comments and critiques are welcome. By the beginning of next year, I'll be introducing the other major character, Joseph, and things will begin to happen at a little faster pace, as trouble is never far behind Joe.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

WIP Wednesday

In this scene, I switch to the point of view of Leonidas, the future pack alpha, as he begins his search for Alexis. Leo is immature, and a little too secure in his special status as were person and future pack alpha. I'm hoping that, as you read this scene, some of his personality, and his immaturity, begins to surface. It is not my intention to make the reader like Leo, although some may identify with him, rather, I use him to provide a dissenting personality and an element of suspense as he looks for Alexis. Even though I am writing him, I truly don't know what he would (will) do if he actually catches up to Lexi. Would he really kill her? Can he kill her? I'll let you decide that for yourself as the story progresses.


Gravel crunched under the tires of the car as Leonidas pulled up next to the Ellijay, taxi service garage. Two of the company's three cars sat unused inside the garage, so there was a good chance one of the drivers would remember Alexis if she took a taxi anywhere. It did not take much to come to the conclusion she had taken a taxi somewhere. She didn’t own a car and, as far as Leo knew, she’d left the Subdivision on foot. There weren’t many places to go in Ellijay with only one main street along the river. If Alexis did not leave town in a taxi, she would have to be hiding out somewhere in the vast forest of the Rich Mountain Wilderness. He felt a smile stretching across his face as he thought of her out there among the trees, thinking she was safe from him. If she was in the forest, he would have no problem finding her.

"Hello?" Leonidas yelled into the empty garage, his voice echoing back over the two taxis.

A door opened, Leo assumed was the dispatcher's office, and someone leaned back on a swivel chair through the small opening.

"In here," the man in the chair said, and then wheeled back out of view.

Two drivers and the dispatcher were sitting at a round table playing cards. The three men sat there, looking at Leonidas. They looked at him like he had interrupted the final seconds of the Superbowl.
Finally, one of them said, "Slow today."

Leo took that as his queue to ask them about yesterday's fares. That's the good thing about living in such a small town, Leo thought. Only one taxi company, and only four employees. They would remember every fare.

"Any of you pick up a young woman yesterday, early twenties, short dark hair, and dark eyes, just a little heavy-set?"

The three of them looked at each other, then back to Leo. Finally, one of them spoke up.

"You mean, Alexis? Alexis Califan? Naw, we didn't take the fare." The driver turned back to face the other two men around the table as if the conversation had ended.

"You mind telling me, then, how you know her name if you didn't see her?" Leo thought about how easy it would be to rip all of them to shreds. He’d always wondered how his entire pack managed to live amongst these fully human townsfolk without killing them off or converting them.

"We didn't take her, but Joey McGowan did. He's out on a call right now, but that's all he talked about this morning."

"Any chance you know where he took her?" Leo asked.

"Oh yeah, of course," the driver said. "He picked her up at the stand on main street yesterday, early afternoon. I think he drove her all the way to Dalton. Greyhound station, I think. I know he was pretty excited, she gave him a forty dollar tip on a ninety dollar fare."

"Thanks," Leo said, genuinely pleased at himself for sparing their lives. "And tell Joey I said hey. We knew each other in high school."

The three men had already turned in their seats and continued their card game. He got into his car and pointed it West, down main street. Next stop, Dalton, Georgia. With luck, he'd be at the Greyhound station within an hour, and then he would know where Lexi was going, or thought she was going. Wherever she went, he would track her down and bring her back. Whether he was going to bring her back in his car, or a plastic bag, he had not yet decided.
I hope you enjoyed this small excerpt. As always, comments are welcome. Keep in mind that this is a draft and likely to see numerous changes by the last re-write, so, fret not that you will read these little excerpts and have nothing left with this story is complete.

Friday, December 2, 2011

A Story on its Own

My story, The Cusp of Libra has recently left the warm comforts of the Anthology, Fall Into Erotica to venture out on its own, in the cold, cruel world.

For those interested, I'm offering this story FREE for a limited time at the following links:

All Romance eBooks

This story may seem like just another piece of contemporary erotica on the outset, but I'm hoping that you will get the feeling as you read (if not from the cover image) that there is an undercurrent of the occult. The story starts out innocently enough as Shayla drives a winding mountain road on the way to visit her mother. It takes a sexy turn with she wrecks her car, and just when she is sure she'll be stuck to freeze in the elements, a tow truck comes down the road, driven by, not one, but two of the sexiest looking men she's ever seen.

Things turn a little strange when Shayla when the mother of the sexy twins gives her a room at the only lodging in town, and then asks her to participate in an ancient Celtic/Pagan ritual involving oils, massage, an altar ... and the twins.

Against her better judgement, Shayla is strangely attracted to the twins in a way that seems beyond her own sensibilities. Of course, you know this can only lead to mischief, and a whole lot of sexy fun.

Check out the story in it's free state before I am force to add a menial price of $ 0.99 at a later time. Of course, if you're feeling frisky, the story is currently available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble at the above price.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

WIP Wednesday

Introducing the first scene in chapter two of my as-of-yet untitled story. This scene introduces a new plot twist, and major change/obstacle, depending on how you look at it. I'm hoping that this major plot element is so subtle, that you will not recognize it upon first reading. That's okay though, because it will become blindingly clear in later scenes. By the end of Chapter two I hope that I've built upon the suspense in the story.

I introduce a few minor characters in this chapter, but you will have to wait until chapter three before the next major character is introduced, along with another major plot turn, not quite as subtle as this one.

"Miss, we're here. I'm afraid you're gonna have to leave the bus now."

Alexis opened her eyes to see the shadow of a man with his arm extended to her shoulder. She jumped in her seat, nearly shifting on instinct before realizing it was just the bus driver waking her.

"Thank you," she said, as she stood and sidestepped to the aisle. She looked out the windows as she walked toward the front of the bus. Nothing outside looked familiar. She'd been to the Atlanta bus station a few times before, and remembered it being much busier. The metro buses weren't lined up in there usual places. The late morning sun bleached the concrete in a seemingly empty lot, and there was no din of traffic, or dark wall of tall buildings.

"Excuse me, Sir," Alexis tapped on the driver's shoulder. "Are we in Marietta? I'm paid all the way to Atlanta."

The bus driver gave her a serious look, but then a smile crept across his lips until creases formed in his cheeks, consuming gray stubble in folds of dark brown skin. He blurted, "Well then young lady, I guess you've gotten your money's worth."
His eyes welled up and his cheeks expanded until Alexis thought he was choking, and then he let loose with a laugh so rich, it made him bend at the waist, the buttons on his shirt stretched tight over his round belly. His laugh was so infectious; Alexis started laughing with him, but having not understood the joke, could not sustain the mood. The driver got himself under control, his face becoming serious and caring once more.

"Young lady, you're in Montgomery." He said it with a thick southern drawl, extending the first syllable out and saying the last two as one.

"Montgomery? You mean—"

"Yep, that's right. Alabama." The bus driver's look turned serious. "Child. You're in Montgomery, Alabama."

Alexis stepped backward, shocked at the news. She had never been in Alabama. She had never been out of Georgia, even attended college just outside Atlanta.

"I'm sorry," Alexis said. "I must have slept through the Atlanta stop. Can I pay you for the extra mileage?"
The driver, the serious look on his face quickly turning to amusement again said, "You slept through Atlanta, Columbus, and Tuskegee. If I hadn't woken you up here, you might have gone on to Mobile, or even New Orleans, Louisiana."

Alexis asked again, "What do I owe you for the ticket?"

"No need to pay me, young lady. In fact, I'll let the ticket office know to give you free passage back. There's a bus leaves for Atlanta late tonight."

Alexis thanked the driver, and gave him a twenty dollar tip, before stepping off the bus. She was still groggy, and a little upset with herself at her lack of awareness, but the pressure in her bladder and the groaning from her stomach told her the first order of business was to find a bathroom and a place to eat. She walked across the huge broken concrete and gravel parking lot to the edge of a four-lane divided roadway. Fast food, payday check cashing establishments, and pawnshops darted the roadside. Across the roadway and just a couple hundred yards to the left, a big pink neon sign featuring a horse rearing up, caught her attention. Underneath, neon letters in the same color read, "Pink Pony Bar and Grill."

Better than fast food, Alexis thought, as she ran across the four-lane at the first opening.

Hope you enjoyed this little excerpt. Remember, this is merely a draft, so one can expect changes between this and the final product. As always, comments are welcome.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thankgiving Freebies

I know most people are busy and stressing this Thanksgiving week. We have family coming over this Thanksgiving and, believe me, when we all get together, it's like someone left the doors open to the local asylum. That said, I know that Thanksgiving is a day to reflect on what one is thankful for.

I'm thankful for the few readers that follow my work, supporting me as I pursue my dream of writing and expressing in stories, that which would otherwise build in my mind until it burst out of me and faded in the nether. I would like to express my thanks by offering all of my work FREE at All Romance eBooks this week. Here's the link:

Ellison James at ARe

Please feel free to go there and download anything you would like until after Thanksgiving. Also, be sure to tell all your friends.

Now, for the second order of business. I recently started a series called 'Sporty Sex' with plans on producing five fun short erotic stories. I published the first story, Fantasy League more than a month ago. Fantasy League is a short story about a woman frustrated with her husband's obsession with fantasy football, so she devises a sexy plan to coax him to forget about his fantasy game, if just for the night.

I have the second story, Tight End finished, but have not yet published. I would like to hear from any of you out there whether you would like to see it published, or if I should continue to concentrate wholly on my next novel. What say you? Tight End is about a tomboy who is constantly made fun of by her male friends because she likes to play sports. It's not that she's not interested in guys, she just likes many guys as friends. That is, until she meets Billy, a rough sports player who likes to work out. She wants him, and he may be the one man that can "sweeten" her up.

One more thing. I'm pleased to announce the anthology I have a story in is now at number two on the All Romance eBooks bestseller list for anthologies. It's also FREE. Please take the time to download this anthology and enjoy my story, and the stories of four other wonderful authors.

Please enjoy the offer of my work free this week. I enjoy writing stories and continue to be open to suggestions and criticism when warranted.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Poetry and Prose

My lover's eyes
They guide my hands
Telling them
In some secret lustful language
Where to go
And when my lover's eyes close
And words come in moans
Our loving now complete
But desire only grows

This is not a famous poem. I wrote it myself by way of demonstration. My goal here was not to just tell a story, but evoke emotion by use of particular words.

When you read a story, do you look for a rhythm in the words? Do you like to get a sense the author gave some thought to how the words were placed in the story?

I like to incorporate special words in my stories that do more than just provide narrative and dialogue. I like to use words that evoke emotion. I feel words have within them, a color, a smell, a feeling when said out loud or within one's mind.

Next time you read a story, or one of my stories, in particular, see if you can tell where the author used specific words to evoke emotion.

I find word choice extremely important in fantasy and erotica. In fantasy, I pepper my stories with words that I hope give the reader a sense of place and atmosphere. Dark words for those dense forest lands. In erotica, I feel that word choice is the greatest and also the most difficult.

Look again at the poem above. I know it may not be the most professional piece of work, but I wrote it using specific words to evoke emotion. I even used alliteration and loose, or non-rhyming words on purpose to make the reader stumble, forcing them to think back to the previous phrase or sentence.

My challenge to you as a reader is to look for these patterns in the stories you read. It is, after all, the choice of words, and the emotions they provide, that give a story that little extra magic that makes a reader think "that's a great story" even if they cannot pinpoint why they feel that way.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

WIP Wednesday

Presented today is the last scene in the first chapter of my, as of yet, untitled work in progress. Alexis is leaving Ellijay, wondering, for the first time in her life, if she'll ever return. She loves the town. She loves her family. It is Leonidas, she cannot take.

Leo, along with her own family, still hold to old-fashioned beliefs that she sees as gender-biased, and unfair. After all, she's been to college. She knows how the current society functions, and she firmly believes she could safely live among regular humans. Who knows, she might even be able to carve out a normal life.

Alexis looked out the window of the taxi, more to hide her face then look at scenery. She wondered if Leo had left a mark on her throat, and tried to look at her reflection in the glass. She only saw the North Georgia Medical Center as the taxi sped along Main Street. She turned to look out the left window as they drove past the Gilmer County fairgrounds, her anger and hurt still making her cheeks burn, as she remembered the first time Leo had shown his true nature. She was just eight years old and at the county fair with her parents. She remembered it as a time when everything was true and innocent, a time when she still enjoyed her secret identity, and felt like she was a kind of superhero, hiding her powers from the normal, unassuming humans. That was, until Leo found her waiting in a line at the fairgrounds, threw her to the ground, and took the money her parents gave her for ice cream. He beat her up on many more occasions as they grew up, and there were rumors he did much worse to some of the other girls in the pack.
Alexis finally began to relax as the taxi crossed the bridge over the Coosawattee river, where Main Street turned into state road five, and the little town of Ellijay gave way to the great expanse of farmland and wilderness. The sun hovered low in the sky, harsh light coming through the front windshield forcing the taxi driver to flip his visor down, and Alexis to look blindly out her window into the blur of trees and fields. She wasn't sure where she was going to go, or when, if ever, she would return to Ellijay, but just getting away was good enough for now.
By the time Alexis saw the sign announcing she had reached the Resaca city limit, the sun had disappeared below the horizon. The meter attached to the dash of the taxi was already above ninety dollars as the taxi driver made a right turn onto Dixie road, leaving Resaca behind for more fields and wilderness.
"Looks like you're in luck," the taxi driver said as he turned the car left into the parking lot of a Pilot Travel Center truck stop, seemingly grown out of nowhere. He pointed in the general direction of a large McDonald's parking lot. A few cars stood silent in the parking lot, along with a big Greyhound bus.
"Is that the bus to Atlanta?" Alexis said.
"Gotta be," the driver said. "It’s the only bus leaves out of here. It only runs twice a week, from here to Atlanta."
Alexis shoved her credit card forward before the taxi even made a complete stop; worried the bus might pull away any second. She didn’t care how much the ride cost. At this point, she was willing to max out her parent's credit card to get away from the oppression of Ellijay, her pack, and Leo. She looked over at the bus and saw a line of passengers forming by the door. She snatched the card out of the driver's hand, tossed a twenty-dollar bill to the front with a quick thank you, and was on her way to the bus by the time the doors opened, allowing the customers to board. The driver was standing outside the doors checking passengers for tickets. She pushed through the twelve or so passengers to ask the driver where she could buy a ticket.
"Go to that big building behind the McDonald's," he said, as he pointed to a building that looked like a garage in the middle of the huge dirt parking lot.
"Thanks," Alexis said, as she turned on her heel and ran toward the building. She was careful not to run too fast. The last thing she needed was some stranger taking notice of someone running at an unnatural speed, and making a stink about it.
"Hurry up, though. I can't hold the bus very long," the driver yelled to her, as she ran toward the building, waving her credit card at the man in the window.
Alexis made it onto the bus and showed her ticket to the driver with a weak smile. She found a seat near the back of the bus and looked out the window into the darkness as the bus pulled onto the road, and almost immediately onto the on ramp of interstate seventy-five. She smiled to herself as the bus merged into traffic, and felt a weight slipping off her shoulders as she mentally left her old life behind. She had no idea what the future would bring, but it had to be better than the past. The darkness and the movement of the bus relaxed her, and she felt suddenly tired. She scooted down in her seat and let the swaying motion sooth her, until her eyes closed, and she drifted into sleep.

Hope you enjoyed this little excerpt. In the next chapter (posted here throughout the next several weeks) several new characters will be introduced, and more trouble will begin. As always, please feel free to post your comments, suggestions, bitches, or complaints. For your reading pleasure-enjoy.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

WIP Wednesday

Post this week is the third scene in chapter one of my WiP with Joe and Lexi. In this scene, I introduce Leonidas's father, the ailing pack alpha. I also provide more insight into Leo's personality. I must state a warning here. Many readers will not like Leo. He is who he is, and make no excuses for him. Keep this in mind as the story progresses and Leo stays true to his personality.

Leonidas burst through the door of his father's bedroom. He did not bother to knock first, yelling as he walked, about the self-righteous brat, Alexis, but his father, sick, and in bed, barely moved.

"That Califan girl is an indignant prude." Leo flailed his arms as if attempting flight. "I just reminded her of our arranged mating and she nearly choked me to death, and ran off."

His father slowly raised his hand in an attempt to stop the rant. "My guess is that you were doing more than just reminding her of the arrangement." His father stopped to catch his breath before continuing. "If you cannot grow up, learn some humility, you will never be alpha in this pack."

"I'm grown up plenty. And, have I not proven my strength to you?"

"A strong will does not make a good leader, Leonidas. You must have some compassion for those you rule over." His father, exhausted, slumped back into his bed, but shook his head at Leo.
Leo couldn’t believe his father, on his deathbed, still spoke of humility. Leo feared a challenger to his rightful position more than he feared hatred by the peons in the pack.

"Compassion and humility are too easily mistaken for weakness," Leo said, as he turned to leave.

"Leonidas!" his father's voice, while weak and hoarse, still resounded off the walls of the room. "If you cannot learn that a leader's strength is shown through compassion, I cannot, in good conscience, have you succeed me."

Leo stopped dead in his tracks and turned around, ready to remind his father that he had only one son, but his father raised a finger and continued.

"All through your life I waited, hoping you would grow up and become the leader this pack needs." His father stopped to catch his breath. "But it simply did not happen. I'm afraid I will have to renounce the succession and let the pack choose a leader through challenge."

Leo cringed at the thought. His succession was all he had. He knew there were stronger men in the pack than him, and worst of all, many of them were feral—bastardized versions of Weres, not born into the life, but made by others through careless contact, or failed kills. He couldn't let that happen, He would simply have to appease his father until he became the rightful pack alpha. He turned to his father and put on the most humble face he could muster.

"What would you have me do, Father? How can I prove my growth to you? How can I show compassion and humility?" Leo looked at the floor as he spoke, afraid that looking his father directly in his eyes might reveal his true lack of compassion.

"What you should do is go find Alexis Califan, apologize profusely to her for your childish, self-centered actions, and beg her to come back."

"Will you bless our mating upon her return?"

"No! You've done enough damage in the Califan family." His father's short outburst caused him to go into a coughing and wheezing fit.

Even as the words left his father's mouth in weak sputters and abbreviated stops, Leo's mind burned with the thought that even his own father did not approve of his position as alpha. Before he could think of a proper response to the harsh words, his father broke in again.

"You will not be mated to Alexis. I've arranged a mating with a female Were-shifter from the pack in Montana. She's a natural, her family has good standing among our kind, and she's obedient."

"But, I don't want to be mated to some stranger," Leo said. "I want Alexis as a mate—
"Well, you can't have her," his father interrupted. "She doesn't want you, and she will defy your dominance, and your leadership." Leo's father sat up in the bed, his face red, and sweat beading on his forehead. "You will leave immediately to find Alexis. You will beg her to return, and you will accept the mate I've chosen. If you cannot muster the intestinal fortitude to do this, I will denounce your succession to alpha."

"Yes, father." Leo turned and stomped out of the room before his heated face and watery eyes defied the strong demeanor he was trying to present to his father. Truth was, he loved and respected his father, but found him oppressive and overbearing at the same time. He would do as his father told him, and find Alexis, but, if she just happened to find her demise before he could bring her back, the blame would not be on him. In his opinion, finding her was going to be easy. Still though, it was something best begun after a good night's sleep.
As always, feel free to comment and/or offer suggestions. I must announce now, that there will be scenes I do not post in the future. After all, I don't want to post my entire draft online and ruin it for all those (really 'both those') readers out there.

Enjoy, and please, comment if you feel so inclined.