Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Schmublishers and Bad Vibe Cooties

I wish I could tell all of you I've been doing great things during this absence. The truth is, I've been trying not to let me emotions drift over to y'all. I have shut out friends, family, and my book nerd family. Why? I will try and keep this as light as possible, but things are about to get a little dark.

After my husband's return home from Afghanistan, the mental and emotional toll his transition took on both of us was not a good time.  This was not our first, second, third, or fourth time apart, but the transition back to "normal" was the worst. I began working 16 hour days and the only thing I did at home was sleep.  This was intentional. For a while I dug myself into a pretty deep depression that I hid from everyone . . . including my husband.  I won't go into detail, but just know that everything is good on the homefront now. I just needed a few mental slaps to the back of the head to wake up. That, and one of my very best friends announcing she was bringing another tiny human into the world. I can't be Emo Auntie Maria. There are books and weird things I have to introduce to the aforementioned tiny human and I can't do that while crying in my depression hidey hole.

Most of you know I work in the mental health field, mainly with our military. Sometimes the job takes its toll on me. Sometimes my patients remind me that I'm doing something good, something worthwhile. Most of them unknowingly sent me a life preserver when I was drowning in eyeball-deep self-pity. Not to mention I have amazing co-workers that remind me there is life outside of work. There is someone who will never read this that made a huge impact on my attitude and my outlook. You are missed every single day, C. I wish you would have known just how valuable your life was to those who knew you even a short time.

Then there's what I like to call "The Book Thing". Yep, the whole ordeal with the schmublisher (thank you T.A. Brock for introducing me to this word) really made me want to Hulk Smash a Buick and cry about it over . What I've decided to do is continue with self-publishing. Yep, that means grammatical errors and all.  I don't have an official release date for Lowlife now. I'm re-editing since the schmublisher put their bad vibe cooties all over it. Who knows? Maybe I'll just publish the entire thing here in segments. Meh. Probably not. Maybe. Regardless, Lowlife is coming soon. I just don't have a date yet.

Monday, February 17, 2014

A Little Update Action

First, thank you all so much for the amazing feedback. Y'all have had me in tears with your kind words and constructive criticism. I know I say it to everybody, but it really does mean the world to me that someone who has taken the time to read my book will also take the time to leave me feedback on it, as well. My feels are on overload and I love it! 

Second, those of you who follow me on Twitter know that I recently lost six chapters to Lowlife. How? I don't know. I wrote them, I saved them, I plugged my flash drive in a different computer than I normally use and they were gone. 

I was crushed. Crushed, I say! But I re-wrote the chapters and they came out better than the ones that were deleted. Crisis averted. 

Some of you know that I've been steady querying publishing companies directly (the few companies who allow direct querying, anyway) and I've had a few interested and one definitely wants to sign me. Exciting, right?!?!? Yes! Oh my sweet goodness, I can't even deal with this much excitement! 

However, they have asked that, for now, I put off the release of the sequel until I sign the contract. My mindset is still, and will always be, very much "Independent Author" so I will not put off the release too long. That was one of my stipulations to which they have agreed. So now it will be March 24th instead of Feb 25th. 

Don't hate me. Don't riot. I'm going to give y'all a couple of sneak peek chapters this week. I promise. I will also be doing some flash giveaways starting this week on Facebook, Goodreads, and Instagram. But only if y'all forgive me for having to put the release off for another month.  

Friday, January 10, 2014

Excerpt from the sequel to Bottom Feeder!

I punch the steering wheel and roll out a string of profanities that would make the Hells Angels blush. 
I watched her call person after person, knowing that most people are either working or at Summerfest tonight. I was certain to be somewhere on the contact list. I did not even merit a last resort because she called Beraz. I tighten my fists on the steering wheel at the knowledge I drove her back to him.
Every day my life is a boring repeat of the day before: PT, work, barracks. When Maddy is around, none of the repetition matters. I’ll take any day, any situation, as long as she’s involved. I cannot get her out of my head. And I screwed up again.
I am an idiot.
I start the car. Before I put it in drive someone opens the passenger door and slides in. First instinct: Punch the bastard in his face and kick him out of the car. I draw my fist back and begin memorizing his face in case he gets away. When I focus on the beady eyes, I realize who is sitting beside me.
“Howyadoin, son?” Cordell smiles.
“Cordell,” I greet through clenched teeth. 
“Didn’t your mama teach you it’s not nice to avoid phone calls, boy?” he laughs. He tilts his chin to Maddy’s vacated seat outside the cafĂ©. “I see you two have become pretty good friends.”
What are the signs of a nervous breakdown? Are symptoms involved or does one just snap when they reach a breaking point?
“Cordell,” I say slowly, patiently. “I’ve had a shitty night. If you could just get down to whatever you are here for, that would be great.”
“That’s what I like about you, boy. You cut through the crap and get down to the bottom line.” 
Just as he says this, a black Cadillac pulls into the parking space to my left, so closely that I would not be able to open my door if needed. Another pulls in on the right, but not too close. A third and fourth car pull in front and behind the Barracuda. Larry Duvall is in the car closest to Cordell. The bastard gives me a mock salute when I look at him.
“Maddy has . . .” Cordell pauses. “She has caused a lot of problems for me this past year and, frankly, she’s got to go.”
“What’s that got to do with me?” I try to stay calm. Every instinct screams at me to kill this man with my bare hands. 
“You are going to be the one to do it,” he says matter-of-factly. 
“It’s your life or hers, son. You choose. Either way, hers is ending.” He shifts in his seat and continues. “Once you commit to a deal with Cordell Carrington, you’re in until I decide you’re out. You will do this, son, and you will do it when, where, and how I tell you. I don’t make idle threats.”
Somewhere in the middle of pissed off and panic, my training to keep a straight face in the middle of stress kicks in while I pick which route to take.
“Didn’t you tell me the day we made our deal that if you have to kill someone you’ll do it yourself? What happened to that?” Sarcastic smartass route. “Or what about one of your flunkies? Better yet, you can get old Larry over there to beat the hell out of her and rape her again before he kills her—you know, for old time’s sake. Or maybe just as a little addition to your fucking show of who’s the biggest asshole.” 
Cordell’s fist slams against my nose. I wipe the blood on my shirt but my gaze never leaves his face.
He furrows his brow in confusion as my words sink in. “Why did you say that? About Larry?”
I scan the parking lot and map the quickest escape route. Cordell is probably packing heat in his waistband but I don’t care at this point. My plan is to ram the car in front of me and peel out of here. If I can get far enough ahead of them, I should be able to crash into an empty building near one of the police stations. If I make a large enough scene, Cordell will be placed under a spotlight. This will give me time to warn Maddy.
While the wheels are turning in my head, I say, “Don’t play stupid. You know Larry abused her. You know what he did to her all those years, beginning at the ripe old age of ten and ending when she started to mature and he wasn’t turned on by her anymore. You fucking know he beat the hell out of her every chance he got. You were in the house during some of those beatings, so don’t to tell me you didn’t know.”
“He ra—” Cordell’s face turns ghost-pale, the tough act deflating from his body. He shakes his head and says almost inaudibly, “I didn’t know that.”
“Well you do now,” I say, gripping the steering wheel and readying myself to screech out of this parking lot before Flunky One and Flunky Two know what’s happening. Myrtle can outrun a Cadillac any day of the week.
Cordell lifts his head and glances at Larry Duvall, who waves and smirks. “She never said anything,” Cordell says. He doesn’t seem to be talking to me at all. “I loved Maddy once. I knew she would find out one day, but I never thought someone would send her . . . evidence.” 
I want to tell him that his current wife sent Maddy those disks. Not that I care so much about CC since she is the one responsible for putting Maddy in this situation, but I know she wants to keep CC out of Cordell’s path of destruction. I keep my mouth shut. For now.
“I’ll be seeing your real soon, boy.”  Cordell opens the car door.
Just for good asshole measure, I add, “He’s probably moved on to your real daughter now.”

I wait less than two minutes before leaving the parking lot.  Dialing Maddy’s number, I say a quick prayer to whoever’s listening and make my way back to Fort Bragg.  

Copyright © 2014 by Maria G. Cope

All rights reserved.  No part of this book may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, distributed, stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, without express permission of the author, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages for review purposes.

This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to any person, living or dead, or any events or occurrences, is purely coincidental.  The characters and story lines are created from the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.