Mistress & Master of Restraint, #11, Integrated: Ezra Holden Zeitler’s story.
I embark on a journey of self-realization, redemption, and forgiving oneself…
I’ve struggled since I was thirteen years old to keep myself even. I lost my innocence when I fractured. The childlike part of me was tainted while the dominant part of me overpowered my mind. I’ve lived in a constant state of tug-of-war.
Some call me Master Ez, Dr. Lunatic, Son, Elder Holden, Dad, or husband. Until I integrated I couldn’t simply be called Ezra.
Everyone struggles throughout life. I would know since I counsel a large majority. Imagine a life filled with financial, familial, and romantic problems, but compound that by fighting one’s own mind. Imagine having two halves dueling for control of your mind as you try to merge them into one, to give yourself peace. Mental illness makes the mundane seem trivial, doesn’t it?
With great wealth comes an ease of freedom of choice but an even larger responsibility. I am responsible for all those around me: their happiness, their safety… their torment and punishment and ruination.
Integrated, I finally recognize all the evil deeds I’ve committed in the name of my alters. I must come to terms with my actions, and for the first time ever, I need to accept the responsibility and the consequences.
I’ve set my path of redemption. I’ve asked for forgiveness, and I cannot demand that my victims pardon me. Out of my control, their thoughts on my character are their own… now, a much more difficult task lies ahead… forgiving oneself.
As if a newborn, raw and exposed, wounded and fragile, I must learn who this integrated person is that I don’t truly recognize. The last time I was whole was twenty years ago. I was a child, and now I am a man.
You must learn to walk before you run… I must ask for forgiveness before I can forgive myself… and hopefully, I can learn who I was meant to be along the way.
Fog, wavering in a fog of self-creation. My mind’s way of protecting oneself from the guilt and shame. I know I’ve done something I will regret this evening as surely as I know I breathe. My body is sexually sated while my mind screams in torment. I realize both halves of the whole betrayed me on a primal level.
Both wanted what I had never planned to give… and the guilt is suffocating. It is a rape, a rape of oneself. When one half, or both halves, take dominion over your body to do as they will, it is the highest violation.
Already sensing something major was happening within my personal life, my mind fractured. One half took care of me while the other half laid in wait. Working in conjunction, they betrayed me- I betrayed myself.
I never planned on going through with my scheme with Daniel and Dalton. It was always a means to an end- an end where the boys lived a happily ever after, far removed from the fear, guilt, shame, and remorse over their sexuality. I simply wanted them to know they were better than they were behaving- to know they were worth more than waffling in self-doubt.
I never planned on being with them- fucking them- being fucked by them.
With a desperation borderlining on madness, I hunger with a desire so fierce that I’m on the edge of starvation- I must see Cortez. I must get to the meeting. No doubt he knows of my nightly activities, and no doubt he will surely leave me now.
While I’m always on the edge of madness, Cortez is always on the edge of flight. More so now than ever. I can feel it roiling in my blood, Cort’s behavior is not his norm- something is driving him away. He freely gives me unlimited access to his body but his emotions are closed off. It has always been the other way around.
I never feared losing Cortez, even when he denied me his body. His emotions were always an open book. Even when screaming I hate you, Cortez’s face was filled with love. Even when professing love, Cortez’s face was filled with hurt. One constant- the love was ever present.
Lately, Cortez has been suppressing the love while reveling in the lust. Fear has me forcing my companions to hurry, unsure what Master Ez said or did that put the tortured expression on Daniel’s handsome face.
This is what I hate. I hate that I have to ask myself what I did as if having a conversation about a separate entity. But it is ME who had upset Daniel. The discombobulating sensation is more than I can bare. If I didn’t have people counting on me, I’d have ended my confused existence by now.
My skin flushes pink, a mix of lust and embarrassment as I enter Misery Castle’s opulence. As if waiting for the perfect opportunity to ruin me, my halves waited until I arrived to the Christmas meeting to show me the hedonism I’d engaged in this evening with Daniel and Dalton. Ezra gleefully flashes sights, sounds, tastes, and scents into my mind. A kaleidoscope of lust-filled passions. This is how it’s always been. Ezra is gloating, bloated, fat and sated over this evening’s events. Ezra loves to be naughty and never tells me what I did until well after Cortez has received the punishment. In this instance, the punishment and the crime fall upon myself, so he, me, shows me what I’ve done.
Rosy pink flesh, striated with lean muscles, glistens with sweat. Pale, translucent skin filled with good health thrusts deep within me. A fingertip trails down a tattoo, its owner proudly professing that one of the Kings decorating the decedent landscape of his side represents me. Green eyes, blue eyes, green eyes, blue eyes flick like images being shot with the rapid flash of a camera shutter- an unearthly color and a color so deep that every sea envies the shade.
The sights put the pink high in my cheeks. But the melodious sounds- a composition of lust played by the greatest orchestras in the world fill my mind, causing my skin to tighten and burn with embarrassed arousal. The keen of two very satisfied young men in their early twenties without a lick of hair on them- boys that were almost untried- innocent- jaded by my knowledge. Ezra, I, had drank them deep, consumed them, and turned them into men.
My alters worked in communion with one another on the pair of young men: Ezra for the pleasure of flesh and Master Ez for the pleasure of the cerebral fuck.
I am not proud that I partook, but proud of the way Daniel and Dalton owned their true nature, reveled in the pleasure of being one’s true self. Never again will they deny their need for one another- they will never take the wrong path and fall off course.
The last thing I remember this evening- I, me, Ez, as I refuse to think of myself as Ezra or Master Ez. The last thing I remember as a whole being, not figments being flashed by a spiteful child or apologetic images being poured into my memories like glacial waters by an ethical tyrant.
The last thing I remember is Katya.
Our full-to-bursting household had just finished the Misery Castle Christmas dinner from Hell. All of us knowing, but not truly knowing what was to come upon midnight. We were antsy, predatory- anticipatory. A skittish Cortez wanted more time with the children, and the second he was out of earshot, Katya demanded my entire attention- and then it’s blank, save the flashes from my separate halves.
I see Katya at Restraint through a blurry haze from Ezra’s memories. This is the perplexing facet of my being. I focus on what I fail to remember, the dark void of utter blankness, and one or the other always mentally answers my unasked question. They pour difficult truths within my fractured mind. But what they show is never truth- it is filtered by their intentions, their protections- their perceptions.
This is the mind of madness.
As I enter Whittenhower Estate’s Grand Ballroom, my eyes instantly seek and find Cortez. My gaze connecting with my twin gaze. I relax. I blush. I feel guilt. I feel love. I toss Cortez a wary smile and wink. My heart ceases to thud when Cortez blushes and smiles in return.
He’s not mad at me, and he most definitely knows what I’ve done against my will. Pupils dilated, eclipsing the storm raging within his eyes, Cortez heatedly looks at me. A look I welcome. A look that beads my body with sweat and causes my cock to pulse like nothing ever could. I know in an instant that Cortez is not fleeing me because he’s already imagining remarking his territory with his body, with his lust, with his love. And I gladly await the exquisite torture.
I hear commotions around me. Shouts that one of my alters most definitely perpetrated. I take ownership for my unknown actions, but I don’t give it a second thought. It’s not arrogance or lack of empathy that has me not caring that the youngest Daniel and his pregnant female’s lives just smoldered into ash. I feel for the young couple on the deepest of levels. My lack of attention is due to my utter shock.
I’m captured within in their tightly wound familial web. My son and daughter. Brother and sister, eyes nearly the same but not quite. The male version is steely, just as Cort’s and mine, as is my dead aunt’s and my bastardized father’s gaze. The feminine version is softer yet colder, bluer- as with my living aunt, mother, and female cousin. The son carries the tainted Hunter genes, while the daughter, no less or more tainted, carries the Holden genes. My children are like Ezra and Master Ez, halves of my whole. Side-by-side, my child half, the Holden, Ava, sits by my stronger half, the Hunter, Zane.
Zane and Ava, united for the very first time, heal me, change me, unite me.
Cortez pumps the very blood through my veins, for he is my beating heart. Cortez’s life sustains my own. For if he breathes, I refuse to die. But that has never been enough to keep me even, balanced- whole. My children, my halves, they integrate me.
I sit down, noticing nothing but my son and daughter and Cortez’s gaze holding mine. On my left, I reach a hand out until a small, fragile, delicate and pink hand fills mine. I simultaneously do the same on my right with a hand identical to my own, only younger.
I hold my children’s hands and my partner’s eyes, and I am whole.
Heart pumping wildly out of control, breath sawing between my parted lips, eyes bulging in wondrous fear, my world view tilts on its axis, returning me to the state of existence I haven’t experienced in almost twenty years- I am finally myself: Ezra Holden Zeitler.
A gasp rushes out of my filled lungs. A gasp pulled from the mental inundation I undergo- the transformation- the completion. Memories don’t frigidly pour into me. The images aren’t snide snippets of gloating. It’s a lifetime of memories without unwarranted protection, twisted intention, or altered perception.
I just know… everything… in an instant- from one heartbeat to the next, one breath to the next.
There is no Ezra and no Master Ez.
Ezra: the boy who refused to be a Hunter to the point that he broke. Master Ez: the man who held me back from ending that boy’s life- our life. They are no more, because they are more together than apart.
There is only me- a whole entity. Ezra Zeitler.
I find myself in a precarious position. First, I must give you the sequence of my WIPs for you to fully understand my dilemma.
… and possibly Monster- Ava.
One would assume I’d be diligently at work on Silenced, being as it is the next book in my series… believe it or not, Integrated is complete and with the betas, several have returned their edits already. It’s slightly longer than The Hunter, maybe 400 ebook pages. Currently, Silenced is 10,000 words in length with a daunting outline- totally at odds with the light, sexy story I’d originally planned to tell…
The Dilemma: As a writer, you are subject to your creativity- inspiration- the muse. We have a short attention span- yes, that sounds strange coming from creatures that must have intense concentration to build worlds from nothing. But we most certainly have short attention spans. Like a shiny object to a cat, a light will catch our eye and our minds flit… “Oh, shiny- a new story to weave.”
Novelists write in intense bursts of creativity- speaking of my own experience, I can go 70 hours of non-stop writing, 50,000 words in three days… and then pass out. Burn out. After which, I tell myself to slow down, LIVE a little… experience life instead of writing about it. But the siren call is so much stronger… and I’m pulled back in within days.
As a slave to inspiration, you need to determine if your muse is truly leading you astray or towards destiny. Next, you must decide if you are being indulgent with your creativity. Are you allowing yourself to be led to greener but never better pastures, or is it the path you should take.
Here is the issue: I want, no, I need to write Hero. It’s thrumming within me- screaming. A character needs voiced while it’s still fresh in my mind… but does it truly, or am I just scared to dive into the pain that Grant has to show me when Caleb is promising… hope. For Silenced is just the beginning of Grant’s journey while Hero won’t necessarily be an HEA book, it’s pushing into one… Silenced will open up to another much more pain-filled book that I don’t know when I will be emotionally ready to write- if I’ll ever be emotionally able to write.
So here I am… I have a book completed with the one that I should be writing shelved… and then I want to skip yet another book to write the one following it. Here, have a visual,
Silenced, Integrated *completed*, Prince, Hero.
But what readers won’t understand until they get their hands on the story within… those books are so interwoven that Silenced & Prince will be written together… and The Hunter, Integrated, and Hero are simply extensions of one other….
So, do I indulge my muse, leaving me with a huge backlist of books to publish once I get their predecessors written… or do I push through and fear ruining the story I weave?
Then there is the fact that it could just be a shiny object being dangled in front of my face, enticing me, seducing me when it’s the wrong path…
My books are complicated to say the least. The beginning books not so much, but as you delve into my series, you see why I must have 5 or more books outlined in order to keep A-Z straight. So one book interconnects with one several books into the reader’s future but they are my present… all of these books encompass the same time frame and cast of characters.
When I find myself hesitant to thoroughly commit to a project, it means there is an issue. I already broke form by writing Integrated before Silenced. When I finished, I completely revamped Silenced outline from being a fluff piece to something rivaling Faithless and the soon-to-be written Master. How Grant ended up with an epic book is beyond my scope. While in awe, I’m a so pissed at my muse I could shriek while yanking my hair out!
Yet again, after enthusiastically reworking Silenced outline, Hero is calling me.
One thing you must understand, when I commit to a story, I write it in its entirety without interruption- without living. I say without living because I become my characters. Don’t get me started on the fact that I wanted to bite faces off while writing Faithless… Syn was a hard girl to have within your mind for 330,000+ words… Ugh! Cort was a breath of fresh air… Ezra, not bad, surprisingly. So when the choice is a sardonic yet playful submissive dealing with an abuse victim, an eighteen year old man-child, or a stern yet compassionate Marine…
yeah, I’m a 35 yo woman… snorts. Yeah, none of them fit the Erica profile- but amazingly so, I write men better than women. I guess I go with my gut… much to the readers’ dismay with having to wait extra months for releases, but will get a bounty of the dang things in a month’s time- like four books dropping one week a part.
And then I say, “Erica, cut yourself some slack. Big-time authors only write one or two books per year, about 200k words, tops… you’re almost writing a million words a year (I just bypassed 800k in less than 9 months, in case you’re curious). Take a fucking nap it’s 5 am and you’ve yet to go to f’n bed! Tomorrow is another day, but it’s already upon you!”
I just feel pressure.
I have pressure mounting me from every direction- it’s why I often fantasize of a world of only my creation, and get mightily pissed when yanked from said world.
I guess, in a nutshell, and it answers my dilemma, other than the pull of creation, Hero isn’t pressuring me- it’s enlivening me.
While I may write it from start-to-finish, or I may write a chunk and return to the one known as coward… who knows. But I just realized the irony that I’m debating the coward vs the hero… *rolls eyes*
This is an odd posting, but in light of The Hunter premise, recent activity on my fan page, and my feelings as I write Integrated, I felt the need to get something off of my chest. I’m sure I will piss some readers off, and perhaps spoil some shit. You can dissect my words for clues on Integrated and so forth. But this is simply in defense of Katya Waters.
As I’ve interacted with readers and read reviews… People HATE Katya’s f’ing guts. It’s an everyday occurrence that I get an ‘I hate Katya’ from someone on my various pages. I’ve had actual death-threat emails over this, I shit you not. Katya is a fictitious character… ya know. I mean, kill her? Yes, death-threats. *smh*
It’s an interesting dynamic for me. I’m not trying to sway your feelings over the character. I actually want to know your view, because it helps me with character development in the future. I’m curious to see where I went wrong, or if it is simply a case of we see ‘this character‘ with ‘this character‘ and will accept nothing less.
It’s a phenomenon in psychology, how we gloss over the huge shit going on but pick on a character that has blended into the background as we hear about her through a tainted lens.
At first, I was waiting for someone, anyone, to stand up for Katya… when readers kept hating on her, I kept making it more obvious… and still… nothing. No one said, “Help Katya. This isn’t right. Why are you doing this?” Since I am a maniacal bitch, I started bashing Katya through the narration of other characters just to see if anyone would say anything.
You are aware that Katya is Ezra’s WIFE, right? No? Because we don’t seem to care that Ezra has NEVER acted like a husband…
My stories have STRONG females. Females who believe in empowerment and are borderline cock haters. A few are huge feminists. The readers love Faith and Regina. LOVE. & this pleases me to no end. I’m proud to make inspiring characters…
BUT, and yes, this is a huge but, it’s okay for said strong females spouting empowerment to bully Katya- both of the favorites do. They bully Katya for actions out of her control. & I had Faith say some nasty shit about a Tonka truck… and ya know what? That wasn’t even about Katya, that was about EZRA & CORTEZ… yes, that’s right. It was the disrespect they showed Katya. But, nope, the readers blamed Kat. And while written with a humorous twist, it was rather gross of Faith to think those thoughts about Katya and not blame the men. Again, no one noticed, or Faith was applauded for being nasty.
For me, it just shows how women think and behave. No matter what, we pit ourselves against one another. We won’t stick up for each other. But we will fight over a cock, even a worthless and faithless cock. Time and time again, I made it to where Regina and Faith could have stepped in and rescued Kat, but I didn’t have them do it to show how women do not stick up for each other…
I wrote the story this way for a reason. It was on design for what is to come. I’m known for cerebral fuckage. But I was astonished by the hate-on the readers had for Katya, how they felt no compassion towards her but felt it for her abusers and bullies.
It’s interesting. Lends to the blame the victim mentality. By no means should behaviors be forgiven because you were once a victim. But what about those victimizers that are so nonredeemable but we seem to love them anyway…
I just really feel the need to defend my creation. I just don’t see where this anger is coming from- this hypocrisy… and as I continue to write a story that Katya hovers around, I’m left feeling frustrated. Yes, I wrote it this way. It’s the readers’ perceptions that are baffling me…
I mean, it’s not like Kat is a whore, a murderer, a serial rapist, a criminal, a drug lord… that’s all good, right? I mean. we can just forgive that shit, right?
Kat’s only crime is that she wants to be the best at her profession instead of staying at home with the kids.. It’s the only thing Kat has any control over, and even then, it’s only perceived control. I’ve heard the mother complaints from a lot from readers. I’m a huge advocate for stay-at-home moms, I was raised by one. We are all different. Some ppl are not meant to be mommies. Neither is better than the other, it’s just lifestyle choices… choices written in a series about alternative lifestyles, I might add. Ironically, what’s perfectly fine for the beloved women in my series isn’t for Katya. Think on that for a moment… …. …. okay, Regina and Faith have careers. I actually did that to see if anyone would bitch, but they never did. Just about Katya.
Kat has sex. OMG! Yes, why, yes, she does… It’s dark erotica… aren’t they all fucking someone? But Katya isn’t banging husbands behind their wives’ backs… that’s okay for the beloved characters to betray Katya with Ezra, though, right? & the readers don’t even blame Ezra or Regina. That’s perfectly acceptable behavior… if your name isn’t Katya.
But Kat is dog shit because she doesn’t want to be humiliated and disrespected by the very women that spout empowerment and feminism? Everyone is huge Regina and Faith fans. While I love and respect my creations, I love them equally, and I made them equally as flawed as they are good.
This is something I’ve been examining for well over a year, and when I went back to fix Restraint & Unleashed… I was like, “wow. I never noticed that before.” I just want to give Katya a fucking hug.
& yes, this is raw in my mind because I wrote a 6,000 word chapter today on this very subject within Integrated. & I could list the merits of Katya Waters vs her bullies or copy/paste segments of what I’d written. But I won’t because I don’t want to taint your view of the books. I go into great depth with this, and I could now. But if you don’t realize Katya’s motivations right now, I’d rather you just read about it in Integrated.
I hope when you read Integrated that you regain your compassion and actually see things clearly. if not, I tried my damnedest through 6,000 words of my character bleeding out…
Katya is my stalking horse… You guys might not love Kat, but she is my creation… my very first creation… and more than 75% of her personality traits, physical characteristics, and even the town she lived in and the life she had led… was all me. I’ve used her to express how I’ve felt: violated, trapped, confused, lost, alone, trapped, scared, and tortured. Kat has been living how I lived, in a much more fanatical way, obviously. Right now, she is lost and trapped, and stepped on…I’ve been there- we all have. That is what is baffling me- the lack of empathy and compassion as we praise the victimizer and blame the victim… just step back and truly think on this. Your feelings of all the characters and why.
I use Katya as an example of life. We all overlook what the cocks do… and we will take sides with the vaginas, even if it’s the wrong side. But there is always one person that we hate for no fucking reason at all. Think about it… it’s true in all walks of life, every part of the world, and in every age group… and for some fucked up reason, just among the vaginas.
Interesting… as I said, never forget, I write by perception. One person’s lens may be tainted because they aren’t in the other character’s head. And everything I write is for a reason- and most likely, a psychological reason.
Please, feel free to tell me your thoughts. It’s why I wrote this. Join us in the M&M of Restraint Closed group on Facebook or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Hunter: Mistress & Master of Restraint, #10 is Live on Amazon for $4.99. Will be available on B&N shortly. You can add it to your Goodreads shelves as well. Cortez would appreciate it if you could share the links and spread the love around.
Cortez Abernathy, the modern day whipping boy. The orphan always walked alongside the man he was destined to shadow, enjoying the wealth, the indulgences, the influence, and the opportunities of the elite. Ezra Holden Zeitler was coddled, protected because he was the last of his family’s line. The heir would act out, and fearing Ezra’s tantrums and his mental illness, Cortez took the blame… the consequences… the punishments.
From the outside looking in, Cortez is selfish, lazy, and untrustworthy. Cortez tries to scream the truth, but no one ever takes him seriously- never listens. “Ezra did it!” In actuality, Cort is brutally honest while his lips twist into a charming smirk and his eyes glisten with amusement.
This life, this game, Ezra, has taken a toll on Cortez. The whipping boy only had one thing to call his own. It was inborn, a passion for words. The latest punishment rendered Cortez blocked, left to walk an endless abyss of an empty imagination. Without Cort’s ability to delve into his imaginary worlds, he was forced to live in reality.
Lost… confused… Cortez Abernathy struggles to survive.
One simple acknowledgement frees Cortez’s words. “Daddy.” The muse awakens from her long slumber and demands that Cortez go back to the beginning. Cortez Abernathy begins writing a memoir, The Hunter. As he pours his soul onto the pages, he begins to heal.
No longer lost or confused, Cortez realizes he doesn’t have to walk in Ezra’s shadow. Whether beside Ezra or without Ezra, Cortez will survive.
Jaded, Queened, and Checkmate also available in a discounted omnibus edition- QUEEN.
Begin the Playroom series with Good Girl. Playroom #2, Widow, coming soon…
Stay up to date with Erica Chilson by joining her mailing list for The Wicked Newsletter. Two mailings per month, jam-packed with wickedness, and immediate notification of New Releases. -Click Here to add your email-
Silenced, M&M #11, Grant Whittenhower. September.
Integrated, M&M #12, Ezra Zeitler. October
Widow, Playroom #2. September/October
I updated the coming soon tab on this website. I thought I should expand on what I’m up to.
The books are listed in the order I am writing them, not the order of release. I write out of order and 3 to 4 books at a time. I will list the release order at the bottom of this posting.
The Hunter is in the final stages, and I should be pressing publish on Sunday Nite. It will be in Amazon & B&N’s hands after that. I am pushing for an August 20th release. The Hunter is the 100,000 word first part of a two part story that ends in the Grand Ballroom at Whittenhower Estates. The cover reveal, blurb, and the first three chapters are available on this website.
I am currently writing Integrated, Ezra’s story. I guesstimate that it will be around 100,000 word as well. Maybe slightly shorter. It is the second half of The Hunter, but it is not to be read immediately after. A generous release date of early October. I believe it will be earlier than that, but that depends on other factors. No more than two months will pass between the release of The Hunter-Silenced-Integrated.
Note: The Hunter & Integrated are not a twisted ride of WTF! It’s an emotional journey. The Hunter is written half in the past and half in the weeks before the explosive Christmas Meeting. Integrated is a push into the future, starting with the meeting. Combined they are the resolution for Ezra and Cortez- they’ve earned it since I’ve toyed with these two characters for 12 books. Warning: do not expect the usual. I’m just saying this because I don’t want emails and reviews and comments wanting to know where the kink is or the game playing. These books are about the characters and absolutely nothing else.
Widow: is currently 87,000 words (expected length 120-140k), read thru 4 times, and has the last of the scenes heavily outlined. M&M kept dominating my time from this story. Some if it is because I’m on the fence over a part of the storyline- omit it or evolve it- does it lend to the story or just twist it. This is the nexus novel of the series. It’s the ties that bind the next 5 books. This is pure romance. You start the book knowing how the end of the book will play out. Completely different from anything I’ve written before. But it’s necessary to glue the rest of the books together. That storyline thread is a twisted one. I fear my fans will find my detour boring if I don’t kink it up. But that isn’t what this series is about. This is real life versus M&M’s twisted insanity. I’m marinating on this while I finish Integrated and as I reread Widow from the beginning… again.
Silenced. Grant Whittenhower’s novella. It’s about his naughty exploits within the game to get a woman’s attentions. This book is a palate cleanser between The Hunter and Integrated. The blurb is currently available on this website. I will NOT be posting the first chapter of this novella- it would spoil way too much from the past books as well as the entire premise of the novella.
Prince: Niel’s book is time sensitive. It’s no secret that he has a big secret about to enter the world in less than 5 months. Niel will be the first of Generation Next to have a novel. He will be sharing it with one other character. I am debating on going against the series’ norm and writing it as a dual perspective with the mother-to-be. I won’t know until I get there.
Hero: Caleb Green, our war hero comes home to a life he hasn’t led since his eighteenth birthday. Haunted by the past, he sees something within a woman that intrigues him- pain and the eyes of a survivor, a fighter- when he looks at her he sees a mirror into himself.
Master: Marcus Zeitler, the fallen Master of the Universe. This will be a 20 year epic journey that will take me a very long time to outline, write in a piece meal fashion, and I will have to go back to the series as a whole to make sure that every detail is accurate.
After Hero’s completion, I am investing my sole focus on Master & the Playroom series. Master will be that difficult to write. Faithless took a lot out of me, and I believe this will be far worse. I will write scenes of Master while completing the Playroom series.
The Playroom series isn’t infinite as M&M is… 7 books are outlined, and only 7 books will be written. The main cast are the only ones who have a voice, with each book having 2-3 narrators.
After Master, it isn’t the end of the M&M series. I am offering resolution to the well-loved and most known characters to open up the ability to expand on the members of Generation Next (the kids) and the side characters. They are clamoring to tell their stories.
I have several projects outlined that I cannot get to since I will not write more than 2 series at once. Completing the Playroom will allow me to explore other avenues.
Very Tentative release dates:
The Hunter: August 20th
Silenced: Late September/early October
Integrated: Early October
Master: Late 2014/Early 2015
(working titles) (Narrators do not denote couples)
Wayward (Augustus, Isis, Robin)
Waver (Willow, Kieren, Devon)
Warped (?,?) <- narrators would ruin the surprise.
Wicked (Raven, Violet)
Wanted (Seth, Weston)
My brain is bleeding… seriously, that’s how it feels sometimes. But I wouldn’t change it for anything. Happy Wicked Reading, and thank you to all that interact with me on a daily basis, share my books with friends, and just make me laugh!
I’m off to enter the mind of madness known as Dr. Lunatic!
Warning: This posting will be a mishmash of a billion little bits of information… and extremely long-winded. I’ll put headers so that you may skip potions you don’t give a damn about. *wink wink* I’m riding through Ohio, destination New York (Groceries, fruit & vegetables :P) & Pennsylvania (Home) So I have a few hours of heading eastbound while glaring into the rising sun to formulate a long blog posting. Oh, and rocking out to my father’s love of Creedence Clearwater Revival, but thank goodness he’s no longer listening to his favorites on Sirius radio. I was about ready to jump from the moving car during Fox News & that eighties rock station. The wickedly bright, and always in my eyes no matter how hard I try to avoid it, sun and I are about to have words. I lost a screw in my glasses & I’m missing my transitions lenses something fierce. DANG, this freakin’ sucks!
Edited Versions of my titles
I’ve been contacted a few times in the past few hours on how to tell which version is which and if it is necessary to reread or what the changes were. Restraint, Good Girl, and Unleashed were edited and uploaded the first week of July. On the title page of these editions it will say their date of publication and their revised editions of November 2012/July 2013 (Restraint & Unleashed) & July 2013 (Good Girl) If you do not have these editions, please go to my account on Amazon, manage Kindle devices, and click to ‘turn on’ automatic updates. The newest edition should upload the next time you sync your device. Or follow the steps above until manage Kindle devices, on the library click the drop down next to the title you wish to update, and click update. You can also access this from the purchase page on Amazon (website only) you may also remove the title from device or archive, and redownload the edition. If all else fails, and it has for a select handful of ppl, please contact Amazon via telephone, and have them ‘reset’ your copy to the newest version. Most copies update, but it is out of my control and totally in Amazon’s hands. I don’t know why some update while others don’t.
The changes per title:
Restraint was lengthened from 70k to 100k. Restraint went through a lot of sentence restructure, formatting, and proofreading. I’ve grown within my craft & I want to make my work the best it can be. Restraint was polished, the scenes were expanded with description, and the storyline was fixed for issues in flow and storyline conflict. The overall premise did not change. If you think you need to reread for other than the enjoyment of beginning the series anew, no fear, there is no need. I realize that a lot of readers hate rereading, while some are like me, finding comfort in a reread. I will not change the storyline of my works unless there is a major conflict that I didn’t anticipate.
Unleashed & Good Girl were slightly lengthened by a few thousand words. I didn’t find as many errors, conflicts, or need to restructure the sentences. They basically received a thorough going over and polish.
As I write new titles, I will be going back to past titles, Dexter is next on my list… and yes, I will be going back to the beginning with Restraint & Good Girl when I finish all of my titles. I foresee me doing this until I find the titles flawless. (which is an impossibility) This also help to refresh the little things in my mind as I write new books within these series. Good Girl was a refresher for Widow, & Dexter will be a refresher before I begin The Hunter, and so on.
Thoughts on reviews:
I thank those who have taken the time to review my works, albeit positive or negative. Either way, obviously my work struck a chord within the reader enough for them to think about the story and take time from their busy lives to write a few sentences or a long review. So thank you.
I do not read reviews on principle. Any review, good or bad, is an emotional drain for me. While positive may fill me with inspiration, negative will undoubtedly demotivate my ass… and I never know if it’s positive or negative. Even a positive 5 star review can be riddled with unintentional landmines.
It’s a vicious cycle to engage in, an addiction. “This person loves me. “This person loathes me.” “OMG, I fucked that up!” By the time I read two or three reviews, I’m hunting up a razor blade (I jest. I’m not a cutter, but you get the point… and in all seriousness, I’ve thought about it before. But through the force of my massive willpower, I’ve abstained)
I have to take a step back from all of the closet backseat drivers (editors) and the people who think they can write my stories better than I can. Word of advice, you can’t. Why do I have the arrogance to say you can’t write my story better than I can? Simple, because it’s MY STORY, and I am the creator of its universe. As far as my grammar Nazis… I’ve grown a lot, and I will continue to grow within all the facets of my craft. Making fun of me when you make similar mistakes in the bashing review is kind of… interesting.
Final words: I am a human being. Just because I put my work out for public consumption does not mean you have the liberty to speak to me in any manner you wish. You do realize what I write, correct? I abhor DISRESPECT! Writer and authors alike are regular people with regular lives. We are all walking in similar directions down different paths. While I love interacting with my readers (I truly do) it is unnerving when some make demands (write it like this, you should have done this differently…) everything within my work is up to my discretion because it’s MY work. I thank you for the input. But no, I will not change who I am to meet whatever expectations you have of me. & yes, this is coming from a location of stress that I feel every time I receive this type of message or email. It’s completely inconceivable why people believe I will kotow to them for any reason, no matter how big or small.
In retrospect, the people in the digital land of the internet are just people, strangers. I liken the criticism and demands to a complete stranger walking up to me on a crowded street and making demands of me. Who wouldn’t be pissed? I have no idea who you are, as you have no idea of who I am. That’s not entirely true. I am an open book: my real name, age, location, and my words bleed upon the page. My point is that until you and I have multiple interactions over a long spans of time, like any relationship, you have no rights to me until you’ve earned it. I’m a very guarded person, I even take great offence when my nearest and dearest place pressure on me. Quickest way to clam me up, make a demand of me.
Note to everyone: It could be anyone on the other side of that user name with a stolen pic as a profile picture. Unless you are a public figure, you have no idea who is on the other side of the computer screen. So yes, the negatives wound me, but then I realize it could be anyone. This isn’t coming from a position of arrogance. Why should I heed words from someone who doesn’t know me, and may be ten years old giving me writing, editing, plotting, and storyline advice? I do not go to your place of employment or your home and follow you around telling you how to do this or that on a subject I know jack-shit about, so don’t come into my home and office through my laptop screen giving me advice about my occupation that you may or may not have any experience with. As bitchy as that last statement is, it’s all about mutual respect.
I will take all advice with a grain of salt, even from my betas and fellow writers. Because, ultimately, I am the one who has to live with my work. After all, it has my real name attached to it, not yours.
Really, think on this… Catfish was not a fictitious story!!! Scary, that!
I love hearing from readers, whether good or bad (not the readers 😉 The comments) Please be respectful, though. I don’t need you walking on eggshell or any shit like that. My self-confidence isn’t make of spun glass, but I am prone to bouts of extreme frustration. I have the ability to look in my mirror and acknowledge my faults. So you can’t say anything to me that I didn’t already know. With this said, go ahead and write me in any media you wish (email, msg, and comments on the website or Facebook pages. Friend my ass, and I’ll accept. Hell, you can write me letters if you wish)
I’ve had a lot of positive interactions with readers, and it’s been a cause of inspiration. M&M of Restraint is Dark and contains very dark themes. I’ve had a lot of abuse survivors contact me, saying I’ve helped them come to terms with their violation. You have no idea how this makes me feel. I want my readers to feel empowered by my work. While I may not write traditional HEA, my characters always end up with a feeling of completion within themselves. Do not give power to your victimizer by dwelling in the past. You are stronger than that!
Within the Playroom series, I dive into substance addiction, and it will be a thread within the series. It is something that has directly affected my life in several way, and I wish to address it. I’ve had a few readers contact me in thanks over writing about something that is usually pushed underneath the rug or dramatized as being fun and carefree. I’m a firm believer in tough love and totally against enabling the abuser. I hope this helps to push readers to change aspects of their lives that aren’t fulfilling them, negative people within their lives included.
Current works in progress:
Widow: a dual narrated storyline between the Widow & the Widower. Clover Webster and Malcolm Mason alternate chapters. Odd chapters for the Widower, & even chapters for the Widow. I’ve read a lot of multiple POV books, and it always confused me when the point of view would shift within a chapter with no real indication, and sometime within the same paragraph. I’ve had to read several paragraphs to gauge who the hell was narrating. Believe it or not, big time authors make this mistake within their books, especially those who have more than 2 narrators. My all-time favorite author is a HUGE offender. She also uses an upwards of 19 narrators (I think that was the final tally on her last published work) within this chaotic mess.
Using my idols are a model on what not to do, I decided that I would ease the transition by giving each narrator their own chapter with headings, so you never need to determine who is speaking/thinking because I told you before you began. Since this is my first foray into the land of multiple POV, I decided to simplify it with only 2 narrators.
Widow is a HEA storyline. One of the strongest romances I’ve written. While not saccharine in the least, with some very strong dark themes, it is pure romance. The Playroom series is my venture to get away from the darkness of The M&M series. There are no billionaires, fanatical storylines, or outlandish lifestyles. The Playroom is real people who have very real issues and kinks. They suffer through daily struggles with rent/mortgages, occupations, families, and children.
Good Girl was the introduction to the cast of characters. I needed it to highlight the playful naïveté of a teenager. It did not end with a cliffhanger or any real resolution because Willow Prynne is a still a child in my eyes. Willow has to grow up before she gets the life she deserves. Willow’s resolution will be within the pages of book 4 of the series. But you will continue to see Willow grow throughout book 2 and 3.
Widow was the perfect nexus for the series. The union of Malcolm and Clover gives us a glimpse of the cast of characters. Yes, I just said the union. There is no secret that they are going to hook up. In the format of romance, the format that I usually hate, mind you, you know from page one how the book will end. It’s why I’m not a fan of romance. I like a mystery. I don’t like knowing that the main protagonists are destined to be together no matter what. But in Widow’s case, it needed to be written as romance. It’s the progression of the characters as they solidify their family that sets up the rest of the series.
Widow is a sensual book. It shows the softer, gentler side of BDSM. In Good Girl, I broke down the barriers of BDSM by showing the playfulness of the lifestyle. I want readers to realize the lifestyle is NOT about abuse, force, or pain. There should always be a choice based on trust. Recently fiction has portrayed the lifestyle with an abusive filter, desensitizing readers to what is really right or wrong. Abuse is not sexy, it’s abuse, and it’s illegal. A personal violation is not romantic, no matter what light you shine on it. It’s assault. You should never allow someone to infringe upon your rights as a human being. I cannot stress this strongly enough!
Yes, I’ve written force and non-consent, but I’ve made sure you see the after-effects of such an event. I’ve shown these events to empower the victim when they survive because life is not pretty. Force is not romance, and it’s not sexy or hot. It may be some people’s kink. But there is a fine line between it being a mutual choice and assault. It’s a choice, both parties always have a choice. Don’t fall into a trap by allowing yourself to see it through a tainted filter. *lecture complete*
Back to Widow… our Widower, Malcolm Mason is the ultimate alpha male who wants to take care of his family. He isn’t abusive because he struggles with his own past. He suffers from skin hunger, and readers will experience the softer, sensual side of the lifestyle through Malcolm.
Widow sets up Wayward. Wayward will be narrated by Augustus Kline, Robin Prynne, and Isis Mason. I want to stress that the narrators do not indicate unions. While the three lifelong friends may find HEA together, you’ll have to read to find out. I’ve grouped my narrators by age and connection. Similar to book 4 with Willow Prynne and Kieren and Devon Mason. It would be disjointed to have narrators of differing ages. To read as a teen/young adult, and then be thrust in the mind of an adult would be discombobulating, especially for me as I write it.
Widow is slated for release on the final week of August. It may be sooner rather than later. Only the muse knows. Currently the book is 75k words in length, and about 3/4th completed. I have no true length on my books. I end them when the story deems it should be ended. However, I do price my books according to length.
I’ve never written a work under 50k, but if I do, here is the pricing guide I always follow.
10-25,000 words: 99 cents
26-40,000 words: $1.99
41-60,000 words: $2.99
61-100,000 words: $3.99
All first in a series will be listed at $3.99, regardless of length. (If shorter than 100k, will be priced less. It’s why Restraint was just raised to $3.99 from its original $2.99. The revision pushed it over 100k) First in a series are also subject to .99 cent sales and free promotions.
101,000+ words: $4.99
Over 150,000 words: $5.99
Omnibus editions & epic length novels over 300,000 words: $9.99.
Only paper editions will ever be over $9.99. Yes, I do plan on paper editions in the near future.
These prices are well under the guidelines that major publishers and independent and self-published authors use. I will never rip off my readers. I know more than anyone how horrible the economy is currently. I’d rather have my loyal fans read my books for next to nothing than go without. My code is to give the reader a lot of content and story for as little price as possible. But a girl has to eat… even if she’s on a diet.
First person present tense:
If you haven’t figured out yet, I’m just writing whatever pops into my mind as it pops into my mind. (Dude, both times I typed pops, POOPS flowed from my fingertips! *snickers) Currently, I see the sign promising Erie Pennsylvania in 40 miles, and my bladder is about to freakin’ burst. Dang you, Venti Caramel Iced Coffee from the Ohio Toll road Starbucks that litter the plazas… But alas, we’ve run out of plazas since we’ve abandoned that road for Ohio’s I-90, which seems very short on rest areas. GONNA PISS MY PANTS! A coffee piss is worse than a beer piss.
So anyhoo… case in point about first person present tense (dude, Fox news just took over CCR L) I write in this tense because it causes the reader to experience the story as it’s happening, like my current pissy pants issue. You’re reading about my predicament as I experience the bulging pressure of a full to bursting bladder.
I can’t write in past tense. I just can’t do it. I hate it when I do a flashback sequence. I also can’t write a 3rd person perspective, either. It also takes me a long time to get into a book that is written that way. I think in the here and now. So the entire time I’m reading about the “saids” and “dids” I’m like, but your dialogue is in present tense. WTF? Yeah, it confuses me and pulls me from the story. I know the norm is past tense. But… yeah, my story, my freakin’ rules! Yes, I’m a dominant personality. You should know this by now.
Plus, that third person makes me feel like a patient at an insane asylum when it’s not written properly. I’m not Ezra Zeitler of the multiple personality persuasion. Like, I’m talking about myself in third person or some shit. You don’t think, ‘she walked into the room,’ when thinking about your own actions. I’m like, “bitch, I sashayed into the room, and everyone was looking at me.”
In case you are wondering… yeah, reviews from first person perspective haters led me to this strange train of thought. *shrugs* You ain’t making me write any differently than I already do. I’ll perfect my craft, but I’m not catering to everyone’s likes. It’s an impossibility. Plus, I really do love reading first person present, so that’s what I write.
WELCOME TO PENNSYLVIANIA. My home state better cough up a freakin bathroom before I wet this leather seat with my coffee piss! OMG! A Rest Area! Thank you baby Jesus! I love you Pennsylvania for the short while before we dip back into New York, my other ridge-running state.
AH! I feel five pounds lighter! Pure bliss! & you wouldn’t enjoy my discomfort and subsequent relief if it wasn’t for the first person present tense writing J
My muse has a mind of her own. After Widow, I may or may not write The Hunter or Wayward. Sometimes as I’m writing a series and I finish one book, the next manifests immediately. Other times I’m able to go between the series with little issue. It’s why I only write 2 series at a time. Any more than that and I would go insane.
I can give you some info on The Hunter, though. I will do my damnedest to get The Hunter released before Thanksgiving. I have some events, sales and such for that time frame, and again at Christmas/New Years because of all the new devices being purchased as gifts. Yeah, it’s a long ways off, but I have to keep a schedule. I want Widow, Wayward, and The Hunter published before then. And it all depends on length. Like with Faithless, which I thought would be a short book. I never know what the book’s length will be until it tells me… so it all depends. We will see!
The Hunter: Cortez Abernathy is experiencing writer’s block, as you learned in several books and the why of it during chapter 105 of Faithless. I want to get away from a parallel storyline, flashback, dream sequences… but I want to give Cort’s perspective of past events without rehashing them to death. Cort’s story is the time frame of after they moved to Misery Castle (KING- ending chapters of Faithless) The reader will be in the present as Cort and company deal with events, but will experience the past through Cort’s newest book, The Hunter. The Hunter is an autobiographical Cortez Abernathy memoir.
Cortez’s book will be more romancy, emotional, and life-changing. It’s not a coming of age story, more of a finding one’s true path kind of story. Cortez is lost. I’ve been strongly toying with an idea, and I’m on the fence. After Widow, for the first time ever, I’m seeking the advice from my betas. What I may or may not do is irreversible, and I don’t want to fuck up my series by acting in haste. No, I’m not offing any major characters (I promise). But it will have far reaching consequences, and I do believe I’m going to do it. Sometimes I amaze myself. *snickers* Yes, you should be very worried!
Warning aside, The Hunter will be very sweet, very emotional, and as gut-wrenching as it is playful and charming. Basically, Cort’s book will be just like his personality!
Silenced: I believe will be a short book, and not because Grant doesn’t have a lot to say… it’s just that his book ties into a more complex book. But I felt it was the right time to set up what Grant has going on. His swagger and naughtiness will be a good palate cleanser between Cortez and Ezra’s emotional torture roller coaster ride from Hell. Grant has some ‘play’ he’s working on to get attention from an unlikely source. Wil kept hinting at this during Faithless. “One step closer, congrats!” kind of dialogue. Plus, Grant is mighty pissed his bedroom romp with Faith was interrupted.
Next up is Integrated (Ezra Holden Zeitler’s book). After that, it’s either Niel or Katya’s book. Yeah, that gives you a hint about what I’m toying with…
What I have planned for this evening: I have a few winners to choose for the rafflecopter giveaway. I also have to send out copies of my books to a prize winner from another giveaway I was a part of. I’m doing laundry out the ass! I have to create a report for the sales for the promo weekend, and I think I will post the first two chapters of Widow (a chapter from both narrators)…
As usual, after a Kindle free promotion weekend: It wasn’t good enough that I gave out thousands of FREE books, ppl must read the rest of the books for FREE as well. Unleashed had a return this morning, now there is a return for Dexter, and I’m positive there will be one for Dalton next… and so on. Now I just checked, and there are two Unleashed returns. Man, it’s amazing how people accidently one-click my books in series order, and manage to return them after reading…. Amazing… absolutely amazing…