AHW5 snippet – "The argument"

I thought, as a “WOOHOO TODAY IS AWESOME” celebration, I’d post a short snippet of AHW5 for my readers. Note: this is unedited and, therefore, subject to change, but thought you guys might like a glimpse of a teensy bit of angst and character history. Enjoy!

****

“Don’t blame me for what *you* chose to become,” Georgia spat. 

“*I had no choice,*” Lucas roared. I saw his body trembling as he released his mother’s arm, hands curling into fists. “Everything I was, everything I had, was locked up in this company. That was taken away, then I was accused of stealing thirty million dollars, and I took the only option available to me that didn’t come with jail time.”

“Selling weapons to the highest bidder?” Jeremiah interjected in a wooden voice. “That was your only recourse?”

Lucas blinked at the interruption then stepped away from Georgia. He looked shaken, his eyes hollow as he looked back at his brother. “It didn’t start out that way. I needed to get out of the country and a man I once considered a friend needed a skilled negotiator to broker a deal on some cargo. I didn’t know until I was in the air what that “cargo” consisted of or I swear, I’d have walked into the jail myself.”

Georgia snorted. “And you want to lay your choices at my feet?”

Rage exploded through me. “He’s your son,” I exclaimed, unable to contain myself any more. Every face in the room held varying degrees of disgust and astonishment at the older woman’s behavior and words but nobody would speak. “They’re both your sons! Don’t you care for them at all?”

“Of course I love them,” Georgia snapped, giving me a haughty glare. “Keep your opinion out of matters that don’t concern you.” She rolled her eyes and casually inspected her nails. “The reason doesn’t matter. He is what he made himself – I’m not the one who should live with the shame.”

I wanted to throttle the sanctimonious bitch but at her words Lucas’ face shut down. “You’re right, mother,” he said, chin coming back up. I recognized the moment his familiar mask snapped into place. He gave the woman a tight-lipped smile even as she ignored him. “We each have to live with our own mistakes don’t we?”

Jeremiah stepped forward finally. I looked up in his face and saw emotions at war across his beautiful visage. I laid my hand on his arm and felt him tremble, a sure sign of the deep emotional upheaval he kept locked inside, but his attention was only on Lucas. “Brother…”

“Do you know our mother is shopping around a biography about the Hamilton family dynasty to various publishers?” Lucas said, interrupting his brother. The scarred man’s gaze was riveted on the haughty woman who merely ignored him. The sudden color in her cheeks gave away her anger at having the news made known however. “An insiders look at our family dynamics, from our dear departed father to the current leader of the family business. She, of course, is the beleaguered heroine in this tale of wealth and corporate espionage. Reportedly the bids for the book were up into seven figures before every last editor pulled out.” At Georgia’s shocked look, Lucas waggled his fingers. “You’re not the only one with “industry contacts” willing to help you.”

“You filthy little…”

“AND, she’s also selling access to her billionaire son. If a businessperson can’t gain an audience with the CEO, why, he or she can be an impromptu “guest” at the family home, conveniently timed to run in to the new head of the family. All for the right price, of course.”

The color on Georgia’s cheeks was high as she glared at her eldest son, then turned to Jeremiah. “Tell me you don’t believe this drivel,” she demanded, hands on her hips. 

This time I took a step toward the woman, the intent of bodily harm foremost on my mind, but Jeremiah’s sudden grip on my arm pulled me up short. His gaze was intent on his brother, ignoring his mother completely; Lucas didn’t flinch from the probing look. “You can prove this?” Jeremiah finally asked. 

“I can,” Lucas replied as their mother huffed in outraged affront. 

“You take *his* word over mine.” Georgia gave Jeremiah a disappointed look whose sincerity, given her previous outbursts, rang hollow. 

*Does she even know how she looks to everyone?* I wondered. Judging by the way she ignored the guards and other occupants of the room, I highly doubted it. The woman seemed locked inside her own little world; the opinions of others didn’t matter. *What a horrible way to live your life.*

Jeremiah stepped forward until he was standing in front of his mother. He leaned forward, and while I couldn’t see his face I did see Georgia flinch away. “I swear mother, if what he says is true, I’ll…”

“You’ll what?” she challenged back. “Throw me out? Cut me off? Do you really think you’re the first Hamilton male to make those threats to me?” Georgia snorted. “How do you think I stayed married to your father all these years? Good looks and charm? No, I always had something over him – it was the only security I had.” She met Jeremiah’s glare with one all her own, but the color had drained from her face. “I knew that old bastard wouldn’t leave me a red cent when he croaked, but how was I supposed to know he’d go so soon? You two thought I was no different than your father, and maybe that’s the truth now, but I knew for certain the only person I could rely on was myself.”

“So you threw *me* under the bus.” Lucas’ statement wasn’t quite a question, but it was obvious he wanted answers. 

Georgia blanched, mouth moving silently for a moment. “Lucas, I’m…”

The front door opened and a familiar woman’s voice shouted, “Lucas!” Every head turned to see a disheveled Anya Petrovski stumble through the entryway door, flanked by two guards. 

;)

AHW5 snippet – “The argument”

I thought, as a “WOOHOO TODAY IS AWESOME” celebration, I’d post a short snippet of AHW5 for my readers. Note: this is unedited and, therefore, subject to change, but thought you guys might like a glimpse of a teensy bit of angst and character history. Enjoy!

****

“Don’t blame me for what *you* chose to become,” Georgia spat. 

“*I had no choice,*” Lucas roared. I saw his body trembling as he released his mother’s arm, hands curling into fists. “Everything I was, everything I had, was locked up in this company. That was taken away, then I was accused of stealing thirty million dollars, and I took the only option available to me that didn’t come with jail time.”

“Selling weapons to the highest bidder?” Jeremiah interjected in a wooden voice. “That was your only recourse?”

Lucas blinked at the interruption then stepped away from Georgia. He looked shaken, his eyes hollow as he looked back at his brother. “It didn’t start out that way. I needed to get out of the country and a man I once considered a friend needed a skilled negotiator to broker a deal on some cargo. I didn’t know until I was in the air what that “cargo” consisted of or I swear, I’d have walked into the jail myself.”

Georgia snorted. “And you want to lay your choices at my feet?”

Rage exploded through me. “He’s your son,” I exclaimed, unable to contain myself any more. Every face in the room held varying degrees of disgust and astonishment at the older woman’s behavior and words but nobody would speak. “They’re both your sons! Don’t you care for them at all?”

“Of course I love them,” Georgia snapped, giving me a haughty glare. “Keep your opinion out of matters that don’t concern you.” She rolled her eyes and casually inspected her nails. “The reason doesn’t matter. He is what he made himself – I’m not the one who should live with the shame.”

I wanted to throttle the sanctimonious bitch but at her words Lucas’ face shut down. “You’re right, mother,” he said, chin coming back up. I recognized the moment his familiar mask snapped into place. He gave the woman a tight-lipped smile even as she ignored him. “We each have to live with our own mistakes don’t we?”

Jeremiah stepped forward finally. I looked up in his face and saw emotions at war across his beautiful visage. I laid my hand on his arm and felt him tremble, a sure sign of the deep emotional upheaval he kept locked inside, but his attention was only on Lucas. “Brother…”

“Do you know our mother is shopping around a biography about the Hamilton family dynasty to various publishers?” Lucas said, interrupting his brother. The scarred man’s gaze was riveted on the haughty woman who merely ignored him. The sudden color in her cheeks gave away her anger at having the news made known however. “An insiders look at our family dynamics, from our dear departed father to the current leader of the family business. She, of course, is the beleaguered heroine in this tale of wealth and corporate espionage. Reportedly the bids for the book were up into seven figures before every last editor pulled out.” At Georgia’s shocked look, Lucas waggled his fingers. “You’re not the only one with “industry contacts” willing to help you.”

“You filthy little…”

“AND, she’s also selling access to her billionaire son. If a businessperson can’t gain an audience with the CEO, why, he or she can be an impromptu “guest” at the family home, conveniently timed to run in to the new head of the family. All for the right price, of course.”

The color on Georgia’s cheeks was high as she glared at her eldest son, then turned to Jeremiah. “Tell me you don’t believe this drivel,” she demanded, hands on her hips. 

This time I took a step toward the woman, the intent of bodily harm foremost on my mind, but Jeremiah’s sudden grip on my arm pulled me up short. His gaze was intent on his brother, ignoring his mother completely; Lucas didn’t flinch from the probing look. “You can prove this?” Jeremiah finally asked. 

“I can,” Lucas replied as their mother huffed in outraged affront. 

“You take *his* word over mine.” Georgia gave Jeremiah a disappointed look whose sincerity, given her previous outbursts, rang hollow. 

*Does she even know how she looks to everyone?* I wondered. Judging by the way she ignored the guards and other occupants of the room, I highly doubted it. The woman seemed locked inside her own little world; the opinions of others didn’t matter. *What a horrible way to live your life.*

Jeremiah stepped forward until he was standing in front of his mother. He leaned forward, and while I couldn’t see his face I did see Georgia flinch away. “I swear mother, if what he says is true, I’ll…”

“You’ll what?” she challenged back. “Throw me out? Cut me off? Do you really think you’re the first Hamilton male to make those threats to me?” Georgia snorted. “How do you think I stayed married to your father all these years? Good looks and charm? No, I always had something over him – it was the only security I had.” She met Jeremiah’s glare with one all her own, but the color had drained from her face. “I knew that old bastard wouldn’t leave me a red cent when he croaked, but how was I supposed to know he’d go so soon? You two thought I was no different than your father, and maybe that’s the truth now, but I knew for certain the only person I could rely on was myself.”

“So you threw *me* under the bus.” Lucas’ statement wasn’t quite a question, but it was obvious he wanted answers. 

Georgia blanched, mouth moving silently for a moment. “Lucas, I’m…”

The front door opened and a familiar woman’s voice shouted, “Lucas!” Every head turned to see a disheveled Anya Petrovski stumble through the entryway door, flanked by two guards. 

;)

Official announcement for AHW release (squee!!)

The cat is officially out of the bag and I can FINALLY spill the beans on something too exciting to be kept secret:

St. Martin’s Press will be releasing the compiled/book version of the series “ANYTHING HE WANTS”.

(trying not to bounce too wildly here, but OH it’s hard!)

From the official press release (OMG I HAVE A PRESS RELEASE!):

BESTSELLING EROTIC EBOOK AUTHOR SARA FAWKES INKS FIRST PRINT DEAL WITH ST. MARTIN’S PRESS

St. Martin’s Press announced today that it has secured worldwide print and eBook rights to ANYTHING HE WANTS by Sara Fawkes, an eBook erotica phenomenon and USA Today Bestseller.

Fawkes self-published the first four installments of the serialized eBook between May and July 2012, and in just three months, sold hundreds of thousands of copies and hit the USA Today bestseller list.  Fawkes ignited readers’ imaginations with her unique combination of adrenaline-soaked action and torrid eroticism set in a world of glittering luxury.  ANYTHING HE WANTS is the story of an office temp who is seduced by the billionaire CEO of her company, drawing her into a deadly game of corporate espionage.
 
St. Martins plans to release the fifth and final installment of the e-serial novel in September 2012, with the five volume print book to follow.

:D :D :D :D :D

Fun times (and an achy bum)

Yesterday we went on a motorcycle ride up to Yosemite NP. I had just bought a GoPro Hero2 helmet camera and was eager to get some shots of me riding through the park, cutting and splicing the videos to make one fun montage of the day’s events.

Didn’t quite work that way, as the camera ran out of battery less than 2 hours into the trip. We managed to leave three hours later than planned (mistake #1 and NOT my fault, swear!), get stuck behind every caravaning RV squad possible, turning a 350-mile trip into an 11-hour ordeal. By the time we got into Yosemite Valley, my favorite spot in the park, it was 4pm and we’d been on the road 6 hours with at least another 2 to get back home (took longer than that however).

Despite all that, it was a blast. However, it was the final nail in the coffin for my seat, which left my bum h-u-r-t-i-n-g like nobody’s business!!! Next purchase is definitely going to be something a bit more backside friendly!!

*

I have a lot of people asking for an AHW5 release date and I want to answer but… Dude, there’s a LOT of cool stuff happening in the background that I can’t mention and that SUCKS. I want to blab all my secrets but all in good time. Just know that I’m listening to you guys, focused on the final chapter of AHW, and eager to see what interesting times the future holds. ;)

Weekly recap

Nice upon a time, I used to blog. A lot. If I found something cool, I’d slap it up on my journal to show folks the daily coolness I’d found. And it was good.

Then Twitter came around, the perfect place for my short attention span, and that took me over. It isn’t that one is better than the other but one IS easier to use (I’m looking at you, Retweet feature) when you want to spread news or links or cool videos of kittens. However, I think it’s a disservice to bloggers to focus on one and not the other so I’m going to try my darnedest (is that a word?) to make time for all media, including this blog and Facebook.

So, that said, here are a list of nifty things I found this week.

- Quitting The Paint Factory by Mark Slouka : an old essay but, despite it’s wordiness, it struck home

- Interesting iReaderReview article : so true, but does this have to be a bad thing?

- Great post/series about Alpha males

- bestselling traditional author Sue Grafton trashes indie authors, calling us “lazy” to go this route, then later apologizes (sort of)

- interesting NYT article on font choice and “believability” of the text – I use Calibri and Garamond, if anyone is curious ;)

- fell in love with fellow indie author Hugh Howey‘s “Molly Fyde” series : I’ve been told that “Wool” is better but seriously, I can’t stop fangirling over this series; I’ve always loved space opera and YA, and this is seriously the perfect mix of both

- Worst. First lines. EVAR. Still have me rolling in amusement!

*

A quick note regarding AHW5: there’s a lot going right now in the background but I promise you I’m working on it and WILL be releasing it. I wish I had a release date set but as soon as I get that figured out I will let you all know. Promise!!!

Now, back to writing. I’m at this really nifty part where Lucy, Jeremiah and co are being shot at by… Well, it’s pretty cool. ;) (too much teasing?)

Beat 'em til their bloody

I love to read. That probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise to most folks as they assume all writers like reading, but books have always been an important part of my life. Christmas and birthday gifts were almost always books I wanted or gift cards to bookstores, which were always used immediately to restock my TBR pile. My favorite place (and my parents’ – free books for a voracious reader!) was the library, both public and at school. I read any and everything I could get my hands on; my nose was constantly in a book. Adulthood has lessened that to a large extent, sadly enough, but I do have brief bouts of manic reading.

What does this have to do with my subject line? Well, I learned early on that I most enjoyed reading about suffering characters. The more dire the situation, the more I relished the read. Cliffhangers were awesome, provided the next book was immediately available, but I’d eagerly await the next part to see how it all turned out. I didn’t like stories with unhappy endings (still refuse to read or warch “The Road”) but I enjoyed watching characters grow even as they suffered.

Where am I going with this? Well, for the last week I’ve been on a reading frenzy (and yes, my writing has suffered to my dismay) of a scifi YA “Molly Fyde” series by Hugh Howey. It has everything a girl could want: action, adventure, kick-ass heroine, angst, love, betrayal, genocide, politicking…

*looks back at that list* Okay, so this girl doesn’t want everything on that list, but it makes a compelling read. I love smart series like this, the kind that give characters impossible situations and, when they choose, they have to live with the ramifications of their actions. When they make a mistake and it comes back to haunt them. Reading books like this make me realize how much I as a writer still have to learn – its HARD to beat up your characters, even if it’s for their own good or the good of the story.

But boy, does it make for one heck of a ride.

Beat ‘em til their bloody

I love to read. That probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise to most folks as they assume all writers like reading, but books have always been an important part of my life. Christmas and birthday gifts were almost always books I wanted or gift cards to bookstores, which were always used immediately to restock my TBR pile. My favorite place (and my parents’ – free books for a voracious reader!) was the library, both public and at school. I read any and everything I could get my hands on; my nose was constantly in a book. Adulthood has lessened that to a large extent, sadly enough, but I do have brief bouts of manic reading.

What does this have to do with my subject line? Well, I learned early on that I most enjoyed reading about suffering characters. The more dire the situation, the more I relished the read. Cliffhangers were awesome, provided the next book was immediately available, but I’d eagerly await the next part to see how it all turned out. I didn’t like stories with unhappy endings (still refuse to read or warch “The Road”) but I enjoyed watching characters grow even as they suffered.

Where am I going with this? Well, for the last week I’ve been on a reading frenzy (and yes, my writing has suffered to my dismay) of a scifi YA “Molly Fyde” series by Hugh Howey. It has everything a girl could want: action, adventure, kick-ass heroine, angst, love, betrayal, genocide, politicking…

*looks back at that list* Okay, so this girl doesn’t want everything on that list, but it makes a compelling read. I love smart series like this, the kind that give characters impossible situations and, when they choose, they have to live with the ramifications of their actions. When they make a mistake and it comes back to haunt them. Reading books like this make me realize how much I as a writer still have to learn – its HARD to beat up your characters, even if it’s for their own good or the good of the story.

But boy, does it make for one heck of a ride.

Happiness is…

…traveling. ;) The Dude and I are gearing up for a multi-week motorcycle roadtrip in either September or October and I’m stoked!! Last week we finally found a bike for the Dude: a 2000 BMW police bike that the previous owner had fixed up and repainted (working bikes like this get thrashed) and we got it for a song since it has higher miles. He’s over the moon about it – the bike hadn’t been his original choice but this thing looks so cherry (and has some of the original blue lights!) that after a test ride he caved. He says he’s going to have fun messing with peoples’ heads, and seeing all the brake lights on the freeway when people saw the old police bike in their rear view mirrors did make for some amusement.

I’ve always loved to travel. When I was little my folks packed us up and moved the family near Frankfurt, Germany. In the four years I was there (2nd – 6th grades), we went all over the place and saw many things I didn’t appreciate at the time but long now to see again. I remember driving down the roads in Germany and every single town we passed had a castle – most were up on a local hill and naught but ruins, and I find that incredibly romantic now. So many things I took for granted – all the trips to East Germany through Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin, climbing the Eiffel Tower leaning tower of Pisa, living in the German countryside, being in Europe at the end of the Cold War, seeing the Eagle’s Nest (without really understanding its significance)…

I’ve spent my adult life dreaming about travelling through Europe but have been quite content with the US. Giant sequoia pine trees, the lava formations at Zion National Park, Utah’s arches, spring break and several Mardi Gras in New Orleans, driving down highway 90 in south Mississippi immediately after Katrina and seeing the devastation to the majestic homes along the coastline. My goodness, there’s so much world to see, so many people to meet even if only for a moment.

Traveling expands the mind. Even if you never make it to see the pyramids – perhaps the farthest you go is the next state/province over – its an incredible way to appreciate where you’re from. I’ll always be a California girl – living everywhere from Mississippi to Idaho has taught me that – but oh, how I love seeing new places, new things. That’s one of the thing I love about writing, the way I can take readers to places they’ve always dreamed of going. The Greek coastline, a pub in Dublin, the moors of Scotland, the man-made islands of Dubai, the glaciers of Alaska. I read about these places and dreamed of visiting them myself someday, and maybe someday I’ll be able to go. In the meantime however, I’ll dream and imagine and write, and visit the wondrous joys of North America.

OMG. I can’t freaking wait!!!!!

(and yes, silly goose, I’ll still be writing on the road.)

August goals

Good morning everyone!! I’ve been getting a lot of the same question – When is AHW5 coming out? – so I thought I’d address it in a blog post all it’s own, as well as touch on a couple things happening behind the scenes.

First however, a promise: Anything He Wants 5 will be out in August. Do I have a date in mind? Yes. But one of the things I’ve always disliked is setting a date that I’m not yet sure I’ll make – its not fair to readers. There’s a lot going on in the background that I’m trying to sort through as well, and the business side of being your own boss takes up a lot of time.

Which leads me into my next Big Thing: I mentioned I acquired an (awesome, glorious, fantastic) literary agent and he’s been doing a lot to help determine what direction AHW (and it’s subsequent parts – yes, it does continue) will go in the future. I spoke with several NY editors (!!!) at the RWA conference who seemed interested in my stories/series. Have they made any offers? Not yet. Everything is too new and shiny to make any long term predictions, so I’m trying to do the only thing I can: get out AHW5. The future will take care of itself.

*

In other news, the search for The Dude’s Perfect Bike continues. Yesterday saw me driving out to Timbuktu looking at one possibility that was ultimately a no-go. Pooh. I’m probably the most un-girl-like creature in the world: I hate shopping, or shopping around for best price/quality/etc. I prefer to walk in, see The Perfect Thing on the very first display, and buy it promptly at the nearby cashier. Barring that, buy online. ;) Of course, there I can spend hours or days hunting for things because, hey, it’s the interwebz – it’s actually FUN. We’re gearing up for the fall motorcycle roadtrip – cant wait to try my hand at writing on the road!! I love visiting oddball places, gets the creative juices flowing.

And just ‘cuz, here’s a picture of a bunny with a pumpkin on its head.