Chose #WipItUp Wednesday

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We’re back with Wip It Up Wednesday, in November no less. We can’t wait to introduce this little tale. It’s still waiting on a firm title and other details but I’ll leave you with the tiniest teaser and a question…Which would you choose?

Three small buildings stood before her. The first was made of steel and dark mirrored glass- sleek, cold and commanding, reminding her much of the office building in which she worked a tedious and mundane job. The second was dark, foreboding and sinister, and guarded by a pair of black gargoyles atop a tall, black wrought iron fence; a haunted house of terror like that she had been teased by her sisters to enter during Halloween as a child.

The third building could only be described as a ‘ginger bread’ house. White with colorful pastels, ornate trim and decorated with carvings of candy ribbons, lollipops and confections, the little building was surrounded by a short white picket fence edged with colorful, blooming flowers. In the little courtyard was a trickling bird bath, a white board swing that hung from ropes off the limb of an old tree and several old, beautifully painted carousel horses with wreaths of English rosed trailing around their necks and up the poles.

She was supposed to chose which building to enter, and was told to do so without thinking.

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Coming November 17th

Denial of Access #WIPitUp

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We’re finally back with Wip It Up Wednesday this week with a brand new book. The controversy plaguing so many of us is finally being revealed. Nothing is held back for names are given, facts are exposed and shared. There will be no more hiding in the shadows, no more lies or bribery, and no more deceit and corruption. You will learn the truth…but no one says that you have to like it.

 

“The intricate patterns woven into the tapestries of time are not always to be understood, but to be accepted as just being. The truth serves to illuminate the enlightened and destroy the deeds of the wicked, and know always that there are those who will silence it. My hope for mankind is to learn from the past to better the future and that people become wise to the power of their lies, and not be fooled as those who were fooled before…”

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Coming Soon!

An Escape #WIPitUp

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We’re finally back with WIP it up Wednesday and we have a brand new book to introduce. If you’ve been waiting for another Western, you’re in luck. We’ll be sure to share more but for now he’s a little teaser. Don’t forget to see what everyone else has been working on over at the Wip It Up Blog.

“Whatever are we gonna do with that child? Jude? Are you listening to me?”

“Yea, I’m listening,” the old man sighed, shaking his head.’

“Put down your carving and talk to me. She skipped out of church again and was seen throwing dice behind the parish with those boys! How are we ever going to get her married off when she behaves so?”

Jude Weston stared at the pile of shavings under his knife. “About that- I got a message from Old Judge Taylor the other day. He said his grandson was back from the city. He sold his law practice so that he could get hitched and move out to Wyoming to begin again. Apparently, he was asking about Wildemina.”

“No! I will not have our granddaughter be thrown to the wolves. Especially that kind of wolf. You can’t trust a lawyer.”

“What other choice do we have? I’m too old to take a switch to her backside, not that it ever did any good. She has the kind of spirit that would do good in the wild regions of the states. The man’s got money and an education, and he is willing to take a bride if she’s got some spunk. The boy remembered her from when they was kids. I’m a guessing her forgot about her looks.”

“If he is a hideous toad, then looks might not matter. I can’t agree to this.”

“She has chased off every suitor in the county with her attitude. If this man is willing to take her on, he might be her only chance of getting away from this place. She hates it here, just like her mama did.”

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Coming Soon!

Daddy Time #WIPitUp Wednesday

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Have you been wondering about our little girl Baylor? Hayden? Jake? Wait no further the sequel to Moving A Little Heart is well underway! With two new additions, I might add. Here is a little snippet of the WIP following the most adorable family. Make sure you visit the #WIPitup Blog to see what everyone else is working on.

Hayden leaned over to kiss her forehead. “You need some Daddy time, Ladybug. Jake and I are off next weekend. Let’s have Terry and Matt watch the kids and the three of us can get away for a long overdue vacation.”

“A whole weekend? I don’t know…”

“Bay, the twins are a year old now and you have not left them for more than a few hours at a time, even for your photography assignments. The guys are the best baby sitters on the planet, and you know it.”

“I just feel so guilty. You know that my mother used to leave us alone all the time and I don’t want to do that with our children.”

“Sweetheart, you need some time away to recharge,” he interrupted her. “Jake and I also need some alone time with you. It’s been two months since the three of us have had intimate time together.”

“And that night ended with you two getting up to take care of two little temper tantrums,” she said with a light laugh.

“Yeah, it kind of spoiled the mood,” he laughed back. “Seriously, we need that connection with you. As for leaving the girls with sitters, I swear that this is nothing like what your mother used to do. You aren’t running off to go drinking and smoking dope, nor are you leaving them unsupervised by an adult. T-bear and Matt are part of their family, just like Jake and I am. They would give their lives for these girls and you know it.”

Looking into his brown eyes, she nodded. He was right. “Okay, but only for one night.”

“No, it will be for two nights and three days. You aren’t nursing them anymore, so you can’t use that as an excuse. Right, my mini-mes?” he asked the babies, his mouth again filled with two little hands. They squeaked happily at the nick-name.

“One night and two days.”

“Nope. This is not open for negotiation. What?” He put his ear to Jaycee’s mouth and then to Haylee. “Really? The girls said you’ve been really cranky and that the daddies have some spanking to do.”

“They did not. And no spanking. Just loves.”

**********

Coming Soon!

Make A Wish #WIPitUp Wednesday

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We have a brand new story to share today. It is tentatively named A Little Wish Upon A Star. It’s hopefully going to zoom through the editing process. Here is a little introduction to our little heroine Tabby. We’ll have much more to share in the near future. Don’t forget to see what the other authors are working on over at the WIP It Up Wednesdays Blog.

A Little Wish Upon A Star

Stars

Her hands trembled with hope as she slid the message, written with a purple crayon, into the glass soda bottle that she found outside the steps of the compound. It read:

If there is anybody out there who wants a little girl, please find me and take me home with you. I promise to be good.  Here’s my picture and a piece of my hair to help you know who I am.

Tabby-Cat

Underneath the message, she drew a picture of a cat, whiskers and all.  It was the best one she had drawn and she hoped that someone up there, somewhere in the universe, would find her message and rescue her. She sealed it with a cork that the nice astronaut from NASA gave her and smiled gratefully when he lifted her up to the small pod so that she could put her message inside with her very own, tiny hands.

She smiled at the kind man who squeezed her shoulder with his big hand and together, they watched in silence as the vessel was launched into the star-studded sky.

“If you could touch one of those stars, which one would you chose?” he asked, kneeling by her side.

She pointed to a sparkling violet one in the middle of a dense cluster. “That one. Can you see it?”

“I do. It’s lovely. Why did you chose that one?”

She looked at him with an expression of gravity. “Because it’s purple.  A purple star has to be the very best of all of them.”

“How about you close your eyes and make a wish on it?”

“Let’s both make a wish. I know what mine is gonna be. How about yours?” Tabby asked.

“My wish would be that you will find everything you ever need to make you happy, little one.”

“You could take me home with you,” she suggested eagerly.

He hugged her and sighed. “I wish I could, baby. I truly wish I could. Let’s make our wishes on that star and see what happens, okay?”

Tabby nodded and squeeze her eyes shut, crossing her fingers and sent a wish upon that beautiful purple star with all the hope and power that is found only in the heart of a child…

**********

Coming May 23rd

Needs #WIPitUp Wednesday

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Curious about Dorian, Merry and Fifty? What happened after the festival? Wait no longer, Annie’s story is next in the Graye’s Maid series. Here is a snippet of her story but make sure to check out The Whip Master if you haven’t met the beloved characters yet. There’s so many more stories to share! Don’t forget to see what the other authors are working on over at the WIP It Up Wednesdays Blog.

Mastering Annie

A life with Greg Carmichael could be the ‘happily ever after’ of which 22 year old Annie Graye has always dreamed. Albeit an unorthodox way to begin a relationship, Annie’s contract has been purchased by the handsome and wealthy restaurateur. In the brief time they’d spent together, Annie had felt an undeniable attraction and connection to his quietly commanding presence, especially after feeling his belt against her bare backside.

At the age of nineteen, Annie had arrived at Graye Manor a scared, insecure, homeless girl. Three years later she departs to begin a life of her own, now a confident young woman after her time spent under the training, mentorship, and care of Head Master Dorian Graye and his wife. With them, she’d found a family and a home, as well as receiving the training to become a Graye’s Maid – specially trained women skilled not only in the traditional skills of domestic help, but also the BDSM lifestyle.

For Greg, it’s neither Annie’s domestic skills, nor the terms of her contract for which he has purchased her – he seeks a submissive to call his own, not because of a piece of paper, but to be his – in heart, mind and soul. From the time he first met Annie, he believed she could be his ‘one.’ Of great importance to Greg is his family, especially his little sister – Mel.

Almost immediately, Annie and the younger girl strike up a friendship, and in her Annie recognizes the heart of another true submissive. Soon she finds herself taking the young woman under her wing, helping to mentor her and provide a positive influence and example, as Greg steps in to provide his troubled young sister with the accountability and direction she desperately needs, as well as a very sore bottom!

As her feelings for Greg deepen, Annie strives to please and be of service to him, but fearing she cannot be everything he wants. Greg has dark passions and desires, and Annie questions her ability to trust and surrender to a man she is falling in love with. With every passing day she finds herself striving to be better, not only as a submissive for Greg, and example for Mel, but for herself. The examination of what it means to be a true submissive, and of service to others, specifically this one incredible man, will lead Annie to face her fears on a journey of self-discovery, and hopefully to her own ‘happily ever after.’

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“What would you like him to do?” Annie asked. The question was loaded. She knew the answer, but would Mel admit to it herself?

“Nothing.”

“Okay, let me rephrase this. What do you need him to do?”

“I don’t know,” Mel shrugged.

“Be honest. This conversation is not going anywhere. I promise.”

Mel sighed. “I guess I need structure and boundaries, and more severe consequences if I mess up.”

“Why can’t you say what you really want?”

“Because grown women don’t come out and just say stuff like that.”

“Fine, then I’ll say it. You want to be punished for your transgressions. By the way you were talking to Greg, my guess is that you want to be taken in hand and spanked. Am I right?”

“I can’t believe you just said that out loud.”

“Why shouldn’t I? It’s true, and there is nothing wrong with that need. You acted like a brat to get a reaction. The only proper reaction would be a spanking and then have your nose set right into a corner. Act like a child and be treated like a child. That is what you want, and like I said, there is nothing wrong with it.”

“There isn’t?”

“Not at all. Even I have my moments when I feel that way. Especially when I’m scared and insecure. I want a man who I respect to put me in my place and reassure me that things will get better.”

“Then why did you hook up with Greg?”

“There is much, much more to Greg than meets the eye. I would never even think of crossing his path if he is displeased about something. Talk to him. I will bet you anything that he understands.”

**********

Coming Soon!

The Start of Something #WIPitUp Wednesday

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Curious about Dorian, Merry and Fifty? What happened after the festival? Wait no longer, Annie’s story is next in the Graye’s Maids series. Here is a snippet of her story but make sure to check out The Whip Master if you haven’t met the beloved characters yet. There’s so many more stories to share! Don’t forget to see what the other authors are working on over at the WIP It Up Wednesdays Blog.

Mastering Annie

A life with Greg Carmichael could be the ‘happily ever after’ of which 22 year old Annie Graye has always dreamed. Albeit an unorthodox way to begin a relationship, Annie’s contract has been purchased by the handsome and wealthy restaurateur. In the brief time they’d spent together, Annie had felt an undeniable attraction and connection to his quietly commanding presence, especially after feeling his belt against her bare backside.

At the age of nineteen, Annie had arrived at Graye Manor a scared, insecure, homeless girl. Three years later she departs to begin a life of her own, now a confident young woman after her time spent under the training, mentorship, and care of Head Master Dorian Graye and his wife. With them, she’d found a family and a home, as well as receiving the training to become a Graye’s Maid – specially trained women skilled not only in the traditional skills of domestic help, but also the BDSM lifestyle.

For Greg, it’s neither Annie’s domestic skills, nor the terms of her contract for which he has purchased her – he seeks a submissive to call his own, not because of a piece of paper, but to be his – in heart, mind and soul. From the time he first met Annie, he believed she could be his ‘one.’ Of great importance to Greg is his family, especially his little sister – Mel.

Almost immediately, Annie and the younger girl strike up a friendship, and in her Annie recognizes the heart of another true submissive. Soon she finds herself taking the young woman under her wing, helping to mentor her and provide a positive influence and example, as Greg steps in to provide his troubled young sister with the accountability and direction she desperately needs, as well as a very sore bottom!

As her feelings for Greg deepen, Annie strives to please and be of service to him, but fearing she cannot be everything he wants. Greg has dark passions and desires, and Annie questions her ability to trust and surrender to a man she is falling in love with. With every passing day she finds herself striving to be better, not only as a submissive for Greg, and example for Mel, but for herself. The examination of what it means to be a true submissive, and of service to others, specifically this one incredible man, will lead Annie to face her fears on a journey of self-discovery, and hopefully to her own ‘happily ever after.’

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It had started first with the caning from Master Graye for her temper tantrum, then the spanking from Mr. Carmichael for yelling out the word ‘fuck’. That had been followed by an unusually severe, and erotically sensual strapping that had sent her reeling into subspace.

That situation had thrown her. What had been different with how Greg had spanked her as compared to Dorian? The intensity had been the same, perhaps even greater. Was is that Dorian tended to stagger the strokes while Greg maintained an even, rhythmic pace? Or maybe it was the warm palm that stayed on her back, keeping contact with her body while he swung his belt across her bottom. It had been reassuringly firm and oddly soothing- the gentle caress between the biting lashes. He seemed to instinctively know that she would love the feel of leather even more once her resistance had been broken down.

She had felt the fullness of his belt- every delicious inch of its length, the thickness of the hide, and even the tooled images that left an odd array of swirled marks upon her flesh. Leather was always her ticket to bliss, but the place that Greg had transported her was ethereal. Courage did not come easy for her, but his touch had given her the fortitude to accept his offer of a contract.

She dug her fingers into the leather armrests of the seat as the jet raced down the runway. Looking out the window, she watched her world disappear beneath the clouds. The tears threatened to spill again, but seeing Greg with red eyes and a puffy nose would do nothing to impress him. She was a Graye Maid, and she would present herself with dignity, pride and respect.

**********

Coming Soon!

 

Mastering Annie #WIPitUp Wednesdays

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Curious about Dorian, Merry and Fifty? What happened after the festival? Wait no longer, Annie’s story is next in the Graye’s Maids series. Here is a snippet of her story but make sure to check out The Whip Master if you haven’t met the beloved characters yet. There’s so many more stories to share! Don’t forget to see what the other authors are working on over at the WIP It Up Wednesdays Blog.

Mastering Annie

A life with Greg Carmichael could be the ‘happily ever after’ of which 22 year old Annie Graye has always dreamed. Albeit an unorthodox way to begin a relationship, Annie’s contract has been purchased by the handsome and wealthy restaurateur. In the brief time they’d spent together, Annie had felt an undeniable attraction and connection to his quietly commanding presence, especially after feeling his belt against her bare backside.

At the age of nineteen, Annie had arrived at Graye Manor a scared, insecure, homeless girl. Three years later she departs to begin a life of her own, now a confident young woman after her time spent under the training, mentorship, and care of Head Master Dorian Graye and his wife. With them, she’d found a family and a home, as well as receiving the training to become a Graye’s Maid – specially trained women skilled not only in the traditional skills of domestic help, but also the BDSM lifestyle.

For Greg, it’s neither Annie’s domestic skills, nor the terms of her contract for which he has purchased her – he seeks a submissive to call his own, not because of a piece of paper, but to be his – in heart, mind and soul. From the time he first met Annie, he believed she could be his ‘one.’ Of great importance to Greg is his family, especially his little sister – Mel.

Almost immediately, Annie and the younger girl strike up a friendship, and in her Annie recognizes the heart of another true submissive. Soon she finds herself taking the young woman under her wing, helping to mentor her and provide a positive influence and example, as Greg steps in to provide his troubled young sister with the accountability and direction she desperately needs, as well as a very sore bottom!

As her feelings for Greg deepen, Annie strives to please and be of service to him, but fearing she cannot be everything he wants. Greg has dark passions and desires, and Annie questions her ability to trust and surrender to a man she is falling in love with. With every passing day she finds herself striving to be better, not only as a submissive for Greg, and example for Mel, but for herself. The examination of what it means to be a true submissive, and of service to others, specifically this one incredible man, will lead Annie to face her fears on a journey of self-discovery, and hopefully to her own ‘happily ever after.’

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“I still can’t get over how beautiful you are,” Dorian Graye said to the blushing young woman. “Meredith! When did she grow up to be so pretty?”

“If you break into singing ‘Sunrise, Sunset,’ I promise that I will puke,” Elias grumbled. “Turn around and show them the dress Merry got for you.”

Fifty wrinkled her nose, lifting her hand the soft golden-brown curls over her shoulder. The mousy brown hair had been highlighted, bringing out the healthy glow of her complexion, and her body had been completely waxed, oiled, scrubbed and buffed. She turned slowly, revealing the deep plunge of the back of the form-fitting red dress, and then stood quietly in wait of comments.

“Lovely,” Dorian choked out. “I am so proud of you. Come here.” He pulled her to sit on his lap and wrapped his arms around her. “Be happy, baby girl. I’m going to miss you.”

“And there go the waterworks,” Elias sighed, handing his best friend a tissue. “We’re all going to miss her. You were unorganized and out of control before she took over your life, and now we are stuck trying to fill her shoes.”

“Elias, lay off. I know damn well that as soon as her plane leaves the runway, you are going to be bawling like a baby,” Merry scolded.

“In your dreams, little sister,” Elias snipped, running his hand across his eyes.

**********

Coming Soon!

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The Whip Master #WIPitUp Wednesday

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We’re finally back on the Wip It Up bandwagon and perfect timing too. This week I am finishing edits and hopefully handing in The Whip Master which will be the first book in the Fifty Maids of Graye series.
The Whip Master
The time of the annual Festival had arrived and Graye Manor bustled with a frenzy of activity.  Its rolling, manicured grounds echoed with the sharp sounds of a whip striking human flesh and a shrill cry filled with both pain and pleasure followed, bringing excited smiles and eager anticipation to the faces and hearts of the listeners. The theme this year was Cirque de Sade and, with it, the magnificent display of skills, beauty, and selfless service that would end at the auction block.  Guests would be arriving from all over the globe to be served, and entertained, by the staff of this unique establishment.
The outside world knew nothing about its purpose, or the real history behind the cold stone walls, and Dorian Graye intended it to remain that way.  Things happened in the Manor- things that the real world would never embrace.
Pride, Integrity, Loyalty and Love, the acronym of PILL, was a hard one for many to swallow in the eyes in today’s society. In honor of his mentor’s vision for a rich alternative to the old world ideas of domestic service, Graye Manor was founded. Select applicants, known as Graye’s Maids, were trained in the classic skills of a domestic- with one major difference. Each was drawn to the darker side of service and flourished under the command of a hard palm upon a bare backside or even, in more hardcore cases, the slash of a whip.
Dorian Graye was a master of the Florentine long tail whip, and had made an art form of throwing the braided snakes to paint a human canvas. Like his namesake, he played hard, but he loved even harder. Under the slightly sadistic exterior was a man whose greatest desire was for each of his beloved maids to find happiness. He allowed nothing to stand in the way and was willing to sacrifice anything to grant them their hearts desire. Even if the journey to that desire meant suffering as the door to previously unspoken taboos were opened and explored.
 
The Whip Master is a story about power, surrender, difficult choices and sacrifice during the decadent Cirque de Sade where anything is possible, and everything is probable.
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Yes, Graye Manor was an entity of fulfillment unto itself and had expanded to proportions that Dorian offered training and placement to forty-nine qualified women whom he affectionately referred to as ‘his little maids’.

Cup of mint tea in hand, Dorian ventured from his private wing and into the quarters to silently observe the excited preparations of the graduates. It had been a difficult journey for most of them, even under the supervision of a kind, but strict and demanding master. Each greeted him with a loving smile and a hug, for he did not demand protocol be practiced when he entered their world. Many dipped before him out of both habit and respect, and several eyes misted at the realization that their time with their beloved Grand Master was coming to a close.

“Fifty?” He beckoned to a short, curvy brunette. “How is your foot feeling?”

“Much better, Mr. Dorian. See? No more swelling.” She happily displayed her ankle to him. He chuckled at the title that only Fifty dared apply to him. He had allowed it because of her special circumstance.

“And your bottom?”

That question always demanded action, no matter where it was asked. The young woman blushed and turned her back to him. She lowered herself to her knees, lifted her dress to her waist to reveal her bare hindquarters, and placed her forehead on the ground. Several faded welts remained from the strapping she had received several days prior after she had taken too many sips of the rarely permitted wine.

He patted the tender flesh and affectionately ran his hand over the smooth mounds. With a sharp smack, he dismissed her and continued down the hall.

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Emma’s Corner #WIPitUp Wednesday

Happy New Year’s Eve! We’re so happy to be apart of the WIP It Up Blog Hop again this week after a quick holiday break. Over at the WIP It Up Wednesday Blog, myself and the other authors get to share with you bits and pieces of their works in progress.  We can’t wait to see what everyone has been writing as I know I’ve been busy writing.

Emma’s Corner: The Darkness Series, Book 2

Tick tock… tick tock… the droning of the ticking clock that sat on the top of the bookshelf echoed through the room.  Emma swallowed, watching as the hands moved to a straight line like a soldier standing at attention. It was six o’clock and time for Penance. Her stomach turned as the sound of her tormentor’s heavy footsteps approached. He was, if anything, unfailingly and depressingly punctual. He was also terribly predictable. As another day of misery crept upon her, Emma squeezed her eyes in anticipation of the long, upcoming hours of unrelenting mortification and anguish. She had nobody to blame but herself. She could have had a different life, but pride got in the way.

If only she had known the course of her journey six months earlier…

 

Captive in a world without a future, girls like Emma Thompson do whatever is necessary to survive. The laws are harsh, intolerance rampant, and the only means of survival is either conforming to an impossible system, or rebelling against it.

Emma has been given a choice- homelessness (and eventual incarceration) or move to the Appalcian forests to be a domestic worker for an acquaintance of her vindictive aunt.  She choses the latter- after all, nothing could be worse than being on the streets and losing what little freedom you have to begin with, right?

Wrong. After Emma arrives to the isolated cabin home of Professor Jack Robbins, she discovers the truth of a living nightmare. Never knowing what horrors wait for her with each passing day, she struggles to maintain what little power she has- the power of her mind.

She becomes his plaything, subjected to any whim that crosses his thoughts. She tries to hate the feelings he stirs within her, yet is powerless to stop them. He is creative in his discipline, almost as much as his love-making, and suspends her in a world of confusion, desire, fear, and overwhelming need.

The discovery that Jack is the creator of the C-spill, the biochemical weapon responsible for ending the war, introduces Emma to a window of opportunity.  She bravely asks for him to teach her all that he knows, appealing to his arrogant pride- even knowing that to be anything other than the perfect student would result in discipline like she had never known…

It is a risk she is willing to take if it means her escape. But then, he throws a wrench into her plans and makes it impossible for her to return to a society that bends to judgment for personal appearance. She faces two choices—continue to live in the nightmare or take the chance that people are more accepting than she believed.

Warning- this book is a continuation of the Darkness Series. It is NOT a romance, involves dubious consent and extremely graphic, and disturbing, imagery. DO NOT READ if this type of material disturbs you.

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Instead of reporting Emma to the authorities for engaging in sexual acts without a license, Barbara cut her off from all expense accounts and gave the girl one month to find work, save some money and then leave her home. It was an impossible task. Emma found herself laboring endlessly in minimum wage jobs just to pay for the ridiculous rent declared on her room, preventing her from saving more than a handful of dollars. There was no question in her mind that her rancorous aunt would abandon her to the streets even after Emma begged for a second chance with promises to excel in her studies and isolate herself from all of Barbara’s male visitors. Barbara responded with the statement that Emma could not be trusted in a world where a ‘functioning’ man of breeding and intelligence was so scarce. However, the surly woman did offer a proposal that would benefit both of them.

She referred Emma to an old, personal acquaintance who was seeking domestic help in the form of cleaning and cooking. His name was Jack Robbins, an allegedly well-to-do and self-confessed mountain man, who lived on private property in the back woods of the Appalachians. According to her aunt, Jack had some minor ‘issues’ that she, a wealthy woman, found distasteful and made him ineligible for marriage. She did not expound on the problems, but then, manners of society forbade the discussion as to why a man was declared one of the ‘Rejected’.

Emma did not care. She needed ‘out’ of the wretched environment where her every movement was controlled by a bitter, hateful old woman. All she needed at the moment was decent employment and a roof over her head (not a husband) so she agreed to contact the man. Barbara informed her that Jack’s rural location prevented him from obtaining a phone and ordered the girl to write a letter, requesting his assistance.

“Be humble and optimistic,” Barbara sneered over her cigarette, “he does not care for insipid, whiney or impertinent children. He doesn’t go for whores, either.”

“I am none of those, Aunt Barbara,” Emma spoke back, narrowing her eyes with hatred equal to that of her aunt. “Nor do I spread my legs for every man that comes through my door.”

“Watch out, girl. You are playing with fire and are about to get burned. Make certain that you emphasize that you are coming on your own volition and that no one is forcing you. He likes his privacy.”

“Trust me, it is my own volition. As for getting burned, I’m sure that is what your lovers say about your cunt,” Emma snapped back hatefully. She carefully composed a letter, emphasizing that she desired to do housework and cook in return for room and board, and that she was willing to completely comply and adhere to any house rules he desired out of respect for his hospitality. Not wanting to lead him on in the belief that she might be interested in exploring a ‘romantic’ relationship, Emma emphasized in this introductory correspondence that her intent to impose upon him would be limited to the time needed for her to save the necessary expenses so that she could return to school, rent a place of her own, and explore her independence.

Jack’s return letter arrived in a matter of days. She was surprised to find the correspondence articulate, open and pleasant; clearly written by someone who had been educated and raised in an environment that demanded some sort of etiquette. His response to her predicament also appeared to be welcoming and understanding. He commented that he would be very glad to have the company, and would welcome any amount of cleaning or cooking she might want to do, but particularly desired human companionship. He asked her to consider her options before making a decision, explaining that he lived a very isolated existence and had few visitors, and feared she might find the lifestyle lonely- especially with the oncoming winter season. He also stated that he was very particular about certain things, and wanted her to be certain she consented to following the rules he had enacted to ensure his privacy, safety and security.

The comment that he would respect whatever decision she made was a relief. He emphasized that if she decided to join him, he would provide a room and bathroom for her comfort, and he was also open to discuss approaching her education online to save her both time and money. The letter ended with the description of how beautiful she would find the forest, especially after being in the city all of her life- with air was so clear that she would even see the sun shine and feel it’s warmth on her face- a rare experience in a post-apocalyptic world!

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