Fuck you

An open letter to the fundamentalists in the US:

Let me clear a few things up for you, as your lack of ability to think critically is hanging out of your tightie whities.

You don’t get to claim your ‘rights’ when you would deny women and minorities these same rights.

You don’t get the claim ‘freedom of speech’ while you ban books and refuse to teach evolution and critical race theory in schools.

You don’t get to tout ‘family values’ when you allow children to be shot at school, or people shot buying groceries, because guns are more important than lives.

You don’t get to bemoan the loss of the ‘traditional family’ when it benefits men and requires women to bear the burden of masses of unpaid labour, rape, and servitude.

You don’t get to claim ‘freedom of choice’ when you would deny women choice over thier own anatomy, and indeed criminalise that anatomy, and deny same sex couples choice to marry, and fuck, the consenting adults whom they love, while at the same time allowing children to marry rich old white men in your own country and decrying it when brown people perpetrate this atrocity.

You don’t get to deny welfare to people, when you refuse to pay a living wage to those who do work 40 hour weeks and still live below the poverty line.

You don’t get to tell those people working 40 hour weeks for wages akin to slavery to ‘educate themselves’ to get a better job when higher education is only available to the wealthy or to those willing to be in debt for life.

You don’t get to claim to be ‘pro life’ when you would rather see people die from common illness than provide them with free healthcare, and see the babies you force to be born die of abuse, starvation, disease, neglect and poverty.

And, most importantly, you do not get to govern the morality of other people and make make appalling racist, sexist decisions based on a 2,000 year old fairy story compiled by a Roman emperor centuries after actual ‘events’, which has since been twisted by men to control everyone, you included, using fear — no more so than a 17th century misogynist and ‘law maker’ who thought raping women and burning them at the stake was acceptable.

In your blind hatred of the so-called ‘woke liberals’ you are allowing the US to be dragged back into the dark ages, where theocracy, dogma, and the backwards idea of ‘faith’ is more important than science and the greater good.

Please peddle your science-denying, Fox News repeating, anus tanning, god bothering, vaccine refusing, fake news spouting, nazi-loving, moronic, and hypocritical, utter mendacities elsewhere.

If you actually gave a fuck about preventing abortions you’d be handing out contraception and vasecomies for free, to prevent unwanted pregancy in the first place, thereby making abortion unnecessary except for medical or criminal circumstances. But you don’t give a fuck about babies.

If you gave a fuck about babies you’d ensure those babies once born would have access to free lifelong education and welfare, not to mention free healthcare to keep them healthy. You’d mandate the men responsible for those pregnancies would be financially responsible for those children until they reach adulthood. But you don’t give a fuck about babies or children.

If you gave a fuck about children you’d ensure not every inbred crazy person could get access to, and carry around, a weapon of mass murder, and take it to a school and shoot those children you insisted needed to be born. But you don’t do that either. Children being murdered after they leave the womb apparently doesn’t concern you at all.

If you gave a fuck about children you’d ensure their secular education based in science, not on your magic sky fairy, but you don’t do that as you’d rather continue to keep the lobotomised masses enthusiastically participating in their own oppression.

Perhaps while they were being educated those children might learn about what kind of breathtaking hypocrisy it takes to refuse to wear a mask to protect others from catching a deadly disease because it infringes on your ‘freedom’ while simultaneously deciding what women can do with their uteruses, because their freedom doesn’t matter. But, as we’ve established, you don’t give a fuck about babies or children. You DO, however, give a fuck about keeping women enslaved, unemployed, dependent on men, and in poverty.

I’m sure I speak for all people with empathy, education and a soul when I tell you to go eat a bag of the dicks you so clearly worship, you hillbilly ass wagons. Fuck you.

And fuck all of you who sit on your assess and do nothing to change this by not voting out every single goddamn republican in support of this atrocity. Fuck all of you who sit on your assess like you are helpless and do nothing. You are complicit.

Fuck all of you who voted for Trump. Fuck off you who voted third party because it wasn’t Bernie or you didn’t like Hillary. You all did this. You are culpable.

What do we need to do to stop the murders? Believe women when they make a report.

A little girl was approached by a man who tried to lure her into his car yesterday. Police did not believe her, so the offender remains free.

A woman reported her ex partner threatening violence last week. She was ignored, so the offender remains free to hurt her.

A baby was murdered by his father this week, after his partner’s reports about him were not believed.

Do we think any of this is acceptable?

Apparently, as a society, we do, judging by the total lack of action.

Think about it. A baby was murdered, because despite this man being a reported domestic violence offender, despite his not returning his child at the agreed upon time following visitation (which he was still allowed), law enforcement did very little. They didn’t issue an amber alert for the child because there was ‘no reason to believe there was an imminent threat’…from a domestic violence offender who hadn’t returned his child. Let’s all scream a collective WTF.

He was killed because of a failure of the ‘justice’ system to believe women when they report abuse. A failure being repeated DAILY.

Women are ‘liars’

According to official stats, 69 women were killed by men last year. Five have been killed by men to February 5 this year. This is more than one a week. And before I’m asked, the rate of women killing male partners is less than one a month, which is also unacceptable. But it’s 69 vs. 10. And this doesn’t even include the children being murdered in revenge.

The Australian Government reports 1 in 6 (1.6 million) women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by a cohabiting partner since age 15. And yet, when they report abuse or a potential threat, they are at best palmed off, and at worst, assumed to be lying. Society would rather pretend this is not happening, than admit it’s a problem.

I’ve said it before, but I’m going to repeat it for the cheap seats, given women and children are most likely to suffer death as a result of abuse, they deserve the benefit of the doubt when they finally muster up the courage to report it. Period.

The harm to men after a false report of abuse is a loss of reputation, and perhaps money. Not death. And before you ask that also, the rate of false reporting for domestic abuse runs at less than 7% of ALL reported cases. Not nearly as high as some would have you believe.

The harm to women if nothing is done following a report of abuse or violence is VIOLENT DEATH, for her and/or her children.

Women and children die because they are not taken seriously by law enforcement when they make a report.

Putting aside that women have been treated like duplicitous prostitutes since the advent of male dominated religion, the onus is placed on women to prove they are telling the truth, rather than on the assumption they ARE telling the truth.

Without hard proof, law enforcement won’t do anything. And as we all know, all but the most stupid of domestic offenders are pretty adept at hiding their offending.

Abuse is insidious and doesn’t always involve bruises. It is carried out behind closed doors, and involves control, threats, rape and other sexual coercion, financial control, and escalating psychological and emotional abuse by an often publically charismatic offender. This doesn’t leave convenient marks for proof purposes.

Police fail

Yesterday, a little girl was stopped by a man who tried to lure her into his car. She ran off and told a parent, who took her to police to make a report. The first question the little girl was asked if she knew ‘what a lie was’. The first question! The police went on to find the man (because the description was so good, because guess what, not a lie) and they let him go because he said he didn’t do anything, because offenders apparently don’t lie, but little girls do. So he’s still out there, parents of children, and the next child may not be so lucky.

The police believed him over the girl.

Similarly, two other girlfriends of mine went to the police to report abuse recently and threats of violence by partners, and were met with blank stares by police who put them in the ‘too hard’ basket.

This is an epic fail on many levels and across three different police stations. This is a systemic and chronic discounting of women.

As my friend said; ‘Does he actually have to kill me before I’m taken seriously by police?”

Short answer: yes.

The justice system is set up to protect MEN, not women. It doesn’t give a shit about women, because they are assumed to be lying or making a false report for personal gain.

What if women were believed when they make a report? What if police actually took action in the absence of hard proof? What if police stopped protecting men’s reputation from false reports and actually started protecting women from death? How many murders might be prevented?

Stop the fear-based thinking!

One in 20 Australians believe violence against women may be justified. In 2019!

This belief is not based in fact, this is based in fear.

It’s fear that leads to this kind of victim blaming. Because to admit a woman is being abused, and to admit she did nothing to contribute to the abuse, means it can happen to anyone. And no one wants to feel like it could happen to them. Surely, that woman is lying or did something to cause it all?

Therefore, they victim blame to make themselves feel safe. It’s disgusting and infuriating and needs to be addressed at a societal level. This is basic fear thinking. This is not conscious, intelligent thinking. And men are not the only ones doing this. Women do it to each other.

Blaming the victim allows the blamers, in their own small minds, to have control over their own fates. Because if the victim is lying or deserved it, it’s not going to happen to them, because THEY don’t do anything of those things. It is a useless attempt to control what is essentially the uncontrollable.

We can do better as a society. Violence against women and children, or indeed violence against anyone, is not ever acceptable, and it is never justified and it will only be stopped by all of us stopping the victim blaming or turning a blind eye. Enough already. Do better. Believe women when they make reports. Help a friend who you suspect is experiencing abuse. Call out offenders, and let them know the behaviour is not acceptable. Stand up and be counted to end this violence.

Official stats on DV here: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/domestic-violence/family-domestic-sexual-violence-in-australia-2018/report-editions


A woman’s knowing

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As the Weinstein assaults take on Goliath-ike proportions, indeed it seems there is barely an actress in Hollywood who has not been assaulted in some way by this bathrobe-wearing predator or others like him, it’s time to take the blinders and have a look at the so-called civilised society in which we live.

This is not a Hollywood-specific sickness. This is a society-at-large sickness, a sickness that, at it’s core, is seeded and perpetuated by men in power and is even, in some cases, enabled by our fellow women.

It seems there is barely a woman who hasn’t been sexually harassed at some point in their lives (Franke, 2002).

Think about this—almost every single woman you know has been sexually assaulted in some way, and we’re not talking about a wink or a catcall here and there, like the hysterics would have us believe. We are talking about rape, and rape-adjacent crime. Fuck that, and fuck the greed that enables it. Because if you’re rich, or an athlete, or making other people a lot of money, apparently society’s rules do not apply. In fact, if you’re a predator, and make money doing it, you get rewarded.

To say this is unacceptable in the 21st century is a woeful understatement, but it is still happening, right under our noses as we go about our daily business while patting ourselves on the back that we recycle and don’t park in handicapped spots.

It is time rape and sexual assault be understood for what it is: as a crime that reflects the male dominance and entitlement that still exists in every facet of our society (Franke, 2002).

Assault and rape is not about sex. It is about power, and the misuse of this power to attain, maintain, and retain male dominance.

Now, please understand that most men don’t rape. In fact, 95% of the men I’ve met are lovely, wonderful, supportive, empathetic, sensitive, beautiful creatures who would never dream of doing such a thing.

This is about the 5%. The 5% who think rape’s ok if she was asking for it because she was wearing a short skirt, or she was drunk; the 5% who would rape if they think they’d get away with it; and the 5% who stay silent in the face of rape and sexual assault because ‘mates’ or greed.

There is nearly universal acceptance of rape as a male trait typical of all time periods and cultures (Franke, 2002). But it is not acceptable, and it can no longer be ignored.

But of course they’re trying. Much like the deafening silence and lack of action following every mass shooting, they are desperately trying to ignore—the perpetrators, the complicit, the wilfully ignorant, and even some of the victims. Oh boy, are they trying to ignore.

We have come to a rare moment in time where women are actually being heard. And we want to share our knowing. Our knowing that this is too much to ask of us and we are not going to stay silent any longer; that sexual assault, and assault-enabling via silence, wilful ignorance, or just flat out complicity, is still as much a part of out society as when we were so-called uncivilised Neanderthals, it’s just been brushed under the carpet by the helpful cleaning (woman) we employ every spring.

Our knowing that we have to pay for a taxi rather than walk three blocks at night, because we might get attacked, knowing, as we all do, that the taxi drive itself might not be safe, lest our being drunk or wearing a sexy outfit be taken as an invitation to rape, so then we text the taxi badge number to a friend, knowing they are doing the same.

The knowing that, on those instances we have to walk alone, in the dark, then we must have the handy key knuckledusters at the ready for use against those who think ‘no’ is foreplay, or a woman walking alone is fair game.

Our knowing that we must say no to offered free drinks at pubs and clubs, lest they be spiked, because we all know if we’re too unconscious to say no, that means yes.

The knowing that you have to dress down at work, in case you look too attractive which will simultaneously dent your prospects of promotion while inviting leering from your boss, which of course you have to pretend to like because this sexist fuck is the key to you paying your mortgage.

The knowing that you must be careful how you dress elsewhere, too, because god forbid people think you asked for it. Knowing how to skirt the fine line when declining a dance, because if you’re too rude you might get glassed, and if you’re too polite than it’s not really a no, is it? Same goes for turning down a drink. In those transactions, getting called an uptight, frigid bitch is a win because at least he’s not laying in wait for you by your car for you to find out if those key knuckledusters are effective.

The knowing you must go dutch on a date, lest the guy buying you a coffee thinks that gives him a right to least a kiss, don’t you think? He spent money on you, and like a hooker, your end of the bargain must be upheld.

And, worst of all, knowing that you’ll have to pass these hard-won skills on to your daughters, like when you had to tell your 9-year-old that she shouldn’t wear the short shorts she wanted to wear because predators don’t see a child, they see a sexualised object, and also knowing, in that exact moment, telling her your knowing stole a little bit of her innocence, even though by telling her you are trying to protect the innocence that you know without a doubt will be day be stolen if the cries of ‘me too’ are anything to go by.

In rape cultures, like the one we all live in, dominance and control over women become aspects of achieving and experiencing masculinity, and rape, while not overtly condoned, becomes part of the culture at large (Taschler & West, 2016), insidiously, behind closed doors, so we can all be polite and ignore it.

Already the entitled men are crying out in a chorus and ‘witch hunt’, because the anti-rape movement is a threat to the male right of sexual dominance (Taschler & West, 2016), which is why, when women come forward with their stories, the first reaction is disbelief, the next being, once the rape is actually established, to victim blame and slut shame. She asked for it, she was dressed inappropriately, she was walking alone late at night. She consented, even though I held all the power and if she said no, we both know she would have been fired. And it’s important to note that it is not only men in positions of judgeship and authority making these claims. Women often join in the hateful chorus, so indoctrinated are they in the patriarchy and the right for men to assert their dominance with sexual deviance.

Feminism has somehow become a dirty word, synonymous with man hating. Misandry, they cry. Don’t fight for equal pay, or equality of any kind, less you be labelled a ‘feminazi’. But feminism is more important that ever, as the current climate of sexual assault makes obvious. Because as far as we’ve come in a generation, and much overt sexism has been stamped out, it is the covert or benevolent sexism that is still doing our society harm. This benevolent sexism enables rape and rape culture, not to mention the rape of little boys and adolescents by men in power, as Corey Feldman so bravely pointed out this week.

Benevolent sexism is characterised by sexist attitudes that limit women to stereotypical roles, and this sexism has been linked to a variety of negative outcomes, including rape myth acceptance, because it maintains a male-dominated power structure (Taschler & West, 2016).

This covert sexism is the men who refuse to see women as equal and relegate them to the menial, mostly unpaid roles in a society whose economy is reliant on those very unpaid roles, but which are undervalued or just flat out ignored due to her genitals being different to their genitals. It is the men who expect women to give up their careers to become domestic unpaid workers while simultaneously deriding them and telling them they ‘don’t contribute’ while they do so. It is the last, power hungry men who desperately clutch at their self-awarded supremacy by subverting the rights of everyone they consider lesser to them, while they cling to the last vestiges of their tenuous manhood with their sharpened talons as they sit atop their self-regulated thrones of power and consider all they get to be their god-given ‘right’. It is the cowards who hide behind their careers and their NDAs and think that if they get away with it, it makes it okay, never once actually showing any true contrition, while those who haven’t been caught yet in their crimes send up cries of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ as they hide like the festering, gaping wounds they are behind their high-priced lawyers and the legal system paid for and administered by men who are equally as guilty as they are and therefore have a vested interest in victim blaming, all the while fully aware their victims have neither the resources or the connections to ever see a day in court.

Sexual assault is a physical manifestation of the sexist prejudice we see every single day. It is justified, and its seriousness denied, through insistence of ‘rape myths’, which are used to shift the burden of responsibility for rape from the perpetrator onto the victim (Taschler & West, 2016).

Although men are more frequently perpetrators of rape and other sexual violence, not only men ascribe to sexism. Women, like all members of devalued groups, can absorb and internalise negative messages about themselves, tailoring their expectations to hold sexist beliefs against their fellow women. How many times has one woman called another a slut or a whore because she owned her own goddamned sexuality? How many times has a woman victim- blamed when they hear about rape on the TV? She asked for it, look what she was wearing. Women may use rape myths to deny their own vulnerability; if a woman believes that only women who dress provocatively or behave promiscuously get raped, she can feel protected from the possibility of being raped by avoiding these behaviours (Taschler & West, 2016). This is a fallacy, of course, for no rape victim every asked for or deserved a rape.

Rape and sexual assault is not a given. It can be stamped out. “Rape-free” societies do exist. First, “rape-free” societies are characterised by sexual equality and the notion that the sexes are complementary.” Second, “the key to understanding the relative absence of rape…is the importance… attached to the contribution women make to social continuity” (Franke, 2002).

As women rise up and raise our voices, we will no longer be silenced. We will no longer tolerate male domination and entitlement. We are not here for your pleasure, we do not exist for you to assault, or to exert your domination over, and we are not here to raise your kids and to be resoundingly economically slapped down for our troubles.

The society of equality is a fallacy; where male domination exists, covertly or overtly, rape and sexual assault will continue and women will continue to be disbelieved by the very system that claims to protect them. Equality, true equality, is the only solution to this insidious problem. Until women are seen as just as valuable as men, economically or otherwise, this will not end.

What will this take? For women to speak up, and continue to speak up, loudly and with conviction, until their chorus is so loud they can no longer be ignored. It will require the victim blaming and slut shaming to STOP, by both men and women. But most of all, it will take men, the good men of which there are many, to hold other men to account. Do not keep quiet and laugh at those rape jokes your mates tell, stand up and say enough is enough. Do not accept daughters, nieces, granddaughters, and wives being raised in a culture of male domination where rape and assault is considered a right of manhood, and the role of women is seen as menial, undervalued, and even derided.

Manhood achieved by the subjugation of women is a false manhood, and never really existed at all.

Dear Media: Stop Calling Domestic Murderers ‘Good Blokes’

Domestic violence is a significant problem in Australia. And yet, when you open a newspaper to read about these murders of women or children by men, the perpetrators are almost always described as being a ‘good bloke’ or a ‘friendly guy’ by the media. Enough is enough. Media assertions of murderers being ‘good blokes’ is not only inaccurate, it is also damaging, because the media is not holding perpetrators responsible for their actions, and is blaming the violence on the victim (Gillespie, Richards, Givens & Smith, 2013).

There is a murder of a woman by a partner at a rate of nearly two a week, according to the National Foundation for Australia Women (NFAW). Van Krieken et al., (2016) say there is a clear pattern when it comes to domestic violence in Australia—men are the perpetrators and women overwhelmingly the victims (p. 112). According to NFAW, 80 women were murdered by their domestic partner in 2015, 71 in 2016, and 20 lives have been taken in 2017 so far, with 80 per cent the result of domestic violence. The story is similar globally. According to Ben-Zeev (2014), about 40 per cent of all female murder victims die at the hands of a former or present spouse or lover globally.

The stats are there, and the pattern is clear. Yet almost every time the Australian media reports on the tragic consequences of domestic violence, the murderer is described as being some derivative of a ‘good bloke’. As Wozniak and McCloskey noted in 2010, by portraying the perpetrator this way, the media leads the public to believe the victim was complicit, or caused her own victimisation, and this reduces the perpetrator’s responsibility (p. 936). Various US studies undertaken into media reporting of domestic violence found almost half the articles excused perpetrator behaviour, 17 per cent included victim-blaming language, and 20 per cent used positive perpetrator descriptors, such as ‘nice’ or ‘well-liked’ (Wozniak and McCloskey, 2010, p. 936). Click on a news story in Australia, and the problem is worse. Almost without exception, perpetrators of violent domestic murders are described using positive language.

The ABC, when reporting on a father who drove himself and his two children off a wharf in 2016, described the murderer as “a top bloke and someone who was always ready to help others.” In the same report, the perpetrator was also described as “respected and well-liked and had been heavily involved in the football community” and “You couldn’t have asked for a better bloke”.

Msn, when reporting on the murder of a woman and her mother, described the perpetrator–and one victim’s partner–in the opening paragraph of the article as a “good guy”. They went on to report he was “just a good guy” who seemed like a “normal everyday person”.

In April this year, The Courier Mail described a man who murdered his wife as “a regular, decent bloke” and “just your average bloke”. Cue The Border Mail, also in April this year, giving a character reference to another domestic murderer: “To say this was out of character for him is an understatement”. The Sydney Morning Herald, in October last year, described a man who had just murdered his wife as “friendly to everyone”.

By describing these murderers as ‘good blokes’, the media is actively condoning domestic murder. And it gets worse. Not only is the media condoning domestic violence, it is also, through use of certain language, implicating women as complicit in their own deaths. Because what else would drive a ‘good guy’ to murder, other than a woman who asked for it? In a shocking display of murder justification, The Daily Telegraph, when reporting on yet another domestic murder this year, ran as its lead paragraph: “A man accused of stabbing his wife of five years to death had just found out she was having an affair.”

What the media says matters. Van Krieken at al. (2016) state what is perceived as criminal behaviour is not set by authorities. Rather, it is socially constructed and dependent on the values and norms of the society we live in (p. 362.). The media plays a large role in how people understand societal problems, especially crime (Wozniak & McCloskey, 2010, p. 937), and in modern society, the media is a primary source of information about crime and violence, and shapes societal views of morality (p. 938.). Keller (2002) agrees the media provides material for modelling thought and behaviour (p. 1). If crime is dependent on a community’s notions of right and wrong, and the media plays a central role in what is seen as acceptable (Van Krieken et al., 2016, p. 363), then Australia has a problem. As Gillespie et al. (2013) assert, issues are acknowledged when they are framed as being a larger social problem, and the media plays a vital role in constructing such problems.

The continual use of positive language by Australian media to describe domestic murderers is, at best, normalising domestic violence and, at worse, condoning it and blaming the victims. It is time the media took responsibility for their language. As Gillespie et al. (2013) point out, the media drastically influences public opinion, and how the media chooses to frame domestic violence has important ramifications and influences how society perceives violence. Carlyle, Scarduzio and Slater (2014) agree when they say an important component of designing prevention programs is how media portrayals of issues influence public opinion (p. 2394). It is therefore crucial for journalists to portray domestic murders in an unbiased and accurate manner so the community understands the severity of the problem (Wozniak & McCloskey, 2010, p. 937).


Enough is enough.

Four children and two women have been killed by men this last week. Count them…FOUR children and TWO women, killed by the men who are supposed to love them, in 7 days. And yet again we arise to read comments and media reports that excuse murder.

Cue comments about ‘family guys’ who ’work hard’ and ‘stressful situations’ and ‘depression’ and ‘lack of services’. FUCK. OFF. The passive-aggressive suggestion, of course, being that their terrible wives must have driven them to murder their kids, because, you know, bitchez be nagging.

Well, it’s the bitchez or the governments. One of those, it’s unclear. Certainly the men who do the murdering can’t and shouldn’t be blamed.

I’m so tired of this shit. Let’s call this what it is, domestic abuse and murder; calculated hate crimes conducted by narcissistic, entitled men against innocent children and women.

‘Nice guys’ don’t kill their entire families, ever.

You know who do, though? Domestic abusers who view their families as property, rather than the treasures they are. Men who want to punish and hurt their wives in the worst way possible, men who want to control and teach their possessions a ‘lesson’.

Men who are pissed when something doesn’t go their way.

Depression is not an excuse for murder. Having disabled kids is not an excuse for murder, as these children have a right to love and life just like all of us. Having a ‘demanding’ wife, or going through a divorce or whatever fucking bullshit society makes up to excuse these men of murder, is a fucking unbelievable joke.

Having a mental illness is not an excuse for murder, and not being a responsible human and getting help for your issues, and instead picking up and gun or a knife of whatever weapon is fucking available and killing your entire family, including the freaking dog, can never, ever be pardoned or explained away.

Call it what it is, MURDER–calculated, evil, malevolent murder, perpetrated by thugs.

Phoenix: Sneak Peek!


Chapter One

“Okay.” Mr. Arden, my social studies teacher, stands at the front of the worn out temporary classroom, which is at least twenty years past its expiration date. “So…who can give me some examples of common figures in human mythology?”

He’d have better luck asking a family of chimpanzees.

As usual, my fellow classmates are totally ignoring him, gossiping, and checking cell phones to see if any new texts have popped up in the six seconds since they last looked.

“Anyone?” With a remarkable look of patience, given the circumstances, he adjusts the round hipster glasses perched on his nose. His too long, graying-brown hair hangs limp, the uneven ends drooping over his ears as if he’s wilting like a dying plant under the harsh flickering fluorescent lights.

I hesitate, but no one’s talking to me anyway, so…I raise my hand. “Hathor, Isis, and Horus from ancient Egypt?”

“Great, Alex.”

Mr. Arden’s smile is so kind it almost distracts from the dark hollows under his brownish-green eyes, and the general air of exhaustion so many teachers in my small, underfunded school wear like a shroud.

A sneezing fit, obviously triggered by some kind of spontaneous, bully-infused pollen and filled with words like loser, dork, and nerd girl, spreads around the room. The few students not faking allergies splutter and shoot hate-filled glares my way. Compared to the usual, the insults are almost compliments and barely sting my battle-hardened surface.

Mr. Arden raises an eyebrow and glances around. “Anyone else?” A threadbare tan sports coat, scuffed shoes, and jeans that look about two sizes too large for his skinny frame spoil his attempt at intimidation as no one answers the poor man. “Someone other than Alex needs to answer me, or you’ll all be staying in this classroom for lunch.”

Yeah, now you got their attention.

They straighten in their graffiti-covered desks and glance at each other until another student, Lisa, raises her hand.

“Um…Hercules and Thor and those, like, total hotties in those, like, totally awesome movies?” she asks in her fake Valley-girl trill.

Actual Valley girls are about two thousand miles east of this part of Chicago, and Lisa’s a hormone-fueled ditz.

Everyone explodes with chatter—the guys agreeing those movies are, indeed, awesome, and the girls commenting on Chris Hemsworth’s general sexiness.

I roll my eyes and notice no one heckles her for answering correctly.

“Fantastic example. Any others?”

The hope in Mr. Arden’s voice prompts me to raise my hand again, and everyone groans.

He ignores them and nods. “Alex.”

“The Celtic mythology of the Tuatha De Danann and King Nuadha?”

A wide grin breaks his solemn expression, and I notice he’s quite cute—for a teacher.

“Ah, my favorite mythology of all! Old King Silver Arm and the origin of the fairies,” he says. “Nice work.”

I smile. The Irish mythology is my favorite too and reminds me of the bedtime stories my mother told when I was little.

“Nice work, Jolly Red Giant,” Matt Koch, school tyrant and general all-around dick, says just loud enough to carry across the whole room.

Everyone giggles.

A spark of fire lights Mr. Arden’s exhausted expression. “Detention, Mr. Koch, for the rest of the week. I will not tolerate bullying!”

Matt groans and shoots me a glare.

Like his nonstop mouth is somehow my fault.

“Who can tell me why human mythology was important to the ancients?”

Everyone is completely focused now that detentions are being handed out, but no one answers, not even me.

It’s not worth it. Don’t poke the bear, as they say.

With nothing but blanks stares and shrugs facing him, Mr. Arden sighs and the tired shroud lowers over his shoulders once again. “Mythology was important because it provided our ancestors with some answers to the human condition.”

A couple of people ooh and nod, but I can tell the lights still aren’t on.

“Imagine how unpredictable and unfair life must have seemed during ancient times, before science was known or accepted. Thunderstorms, earthquakes, tidal waves, not to mention atrocities committed by humans on other humans, were regular occurrences. Entire communities were wiped out in a single day with no warning, which is what they say happened to the fabled city of Atlantis. It gave a sense of order and control to create mythology around these events and explain them away as the acts of angry gods. These myths provided answers to basic questions we’ve always had about things like human existence, where we come from, and why we’re here. They explained the unexplainable.”

The bell rings, and even Mr. Arden looks relieved.

“That’s all for this period. Dismissed!”

No one feels the need to wait for an official dismissal. In fact, they don’t hear a word he says as they’re already shoving each other through the narrow door in their haste to be free.

I linger, collecting my books and waiting for all the others to clear out. If I’m lucky, they’ll forget about me in their eagerness to eat lunch, and I’ll be able to walk the halls unmolested.

“You know about the Irish legends of the Tuatha De Danann?” Mr. Arden cocks his head to one side.

I shrug. “My mother used to tell me all about them when I was little. I was born in Ireland, so I guess she wanted me to learn the local legends, even though I haven’t been there since I was a baby. We moved to Chicago when I was only a few months old.”

He nods and smiles. “They’re good stories. Although, some might say they’re not stories at all, but fact.”

The single bark of laughter sounds bitter, even to me. “Oh, please. I wish fairies were real, but I’ve never seen a single one at the bottom of my garden sprinkling glitter dust. And believe me, I’ve looked.” My very own wish-granting fairy would be nice about now.

Mr. Arden stares at me for a long moment before gathering his books and heading toward the door. “I know you’re having a hard time. But be careful what you wish for, Alex.”

I sigh as I watch him, throwing my backpack over my shoulder then poking my head into the hallway and check both ends. All clear.

I trot toward my locker and stuff my books inside as fast as I can get it open.


I whirl around only to find Matt standing behind me with a scowl carved so deep in his face he resembles a stone gargoyle.

“I got detention because of you.”

Even though I’m at least six inches taller than him—hell, I’m taller than everyone at school, including most of the teachers—I back into my locker, clutching my old book bag to my chest as if the ragged canvas has the slightest chance of protecting me.

Matt stalks forward, all glares and cracking knuckles. “You’re going to pay for that, Jolly Red Giant.”

“I…I…d-didn’t do a-anything. You’re the one who—”

“Why do you have to be such a loser?” he asks, his muscles bulging.

I might be taller, but he’s wider and stronger. As the local football star, he could probably snap me in two if he wanted. I can’t help wondering if he takes steroids and maybe that’s why he’s been extra mad at me lately. This twitching mass of excessive hormones can’t be normal for a seventeen-year-old kid.

“You and your red hair and your stupid, weird ears, and your dirty hands…”

“They’re not dirty. It’s eczema. I can’t hel—”

“Shut up!” He slams his fist into the locker door near my head, leaving a large dent in the metal.

I flinch.

“You get me detention again, and that locker will be your ugly face, you fire-crotch loser.”

A rush of pressure throbs behind my eyes, the same pressure that typically precedes the all-too-familiar tears of my pathetic existence, and my eczema-spotted palms itch like crazy, but I resist the urge to scratch and draw his attention. The force inside my head builds, like a boiling kettle, until it feels as if the top of my skull might pop right off.

He sticks his face in mine, and it smells as though we stepped in the middle of a pine forest as his cologne wafts around us.

A wave of nausea washes over me, and I desperately glance around the deserted hall for help I know isn’t coming. Even if there were any other kids wandering around, none of them would dare cross Matt.

The tension in my head increases until I want to scream.

Then, out of nowhere, it stops.

The locker door Matt dented with his meaty fist flies open and smashes his face with a loud clang.

He stumbles back, clutching his now-bloody nose, and looks around with wide eyes.

Sadly, no one else is around to witness the lovely karmic payback.

Figuring now is as good a time as any, I make a break for it and leave Matt standing, dumfounded, in the middle of the hall as though his feet are glued to the dull linoleum floor.

I know entering the crowded cafeteria during the peak of lunch is asking for trouble, but it’s full of unsuspecting eyewitnesses and I need to eat. I can’t afford to skip any more meals in this place. In a school filled with olive-skinned curvy, beautiful Hispanic girls, I stick out like a—well, a skinny redheaded giant.

I grab a tray and walk the line to see what’s left. Of course, all the tater tots are gone—they are always the first to go—as are all the fries, burgers, and anything tasty.

I end up with a rather soggy-looking egg salad sandwich and a half-rotten fruit cup before slinking to my lonely seat at the end of the nerds’ table. Not that they like me either, but as long as I keep a two-seat minimum separation distance between us, they tolerate my presence. It may as well be the leper table.

I eat my awful sandwich and scratch at my palms between bites. The eczema itch is getting worse. My skin is split and bleeding.

Mom has taken me to every doctor and skin specialist she can find, but nothing they prescribe works. I don’t even bother putting the creams on anymore. They just seem to make the wounds angrier.

With some odd sense of hope and attempt at normalcy, I check my cell—like some friend actually sent me a message, which is impossible seeing as I have no friends. The only texts are from my mom.

I open Words with Friends and absentmindedly tuck my long hair behind one ear while waiting for my first anonymous opponent. The second the stale lunchroom air tickles my lobes I tug the strands down again. Ear exposure is a big problem and simply can’t happen. Being slightly pointed, rather than the nice rounded shape of everyone else’s, my ears are easy targets.

I sneak a look around as I hunch down and hope no one notices the brief lapse.

So far, so good.

I almost smile. Even with the episode in the hall, this is the least teased I’ve been for weeks.

I notice Matt, King Dick himself, still hasn’t joined the other popular kids at his usual table. Hopefully, his busted nose keeps him away for the rest of the period.

With a sinking heart, I realize my palms are an oozing mess. There’s no avoiding a visit to the nurse unless I want to smear blood all over my math book next period.

I hide my hands in my hoodie pockets and attempt to slink out of the cafeteria unnoticed. I should have known better. No one my size can slink.

“What’s up, JRG?” one guy yells.

Lazy idiot can’t even be bothered to use the full nickname he and his crew gave me.

“Been touching yourself too much again? That why you got sores all over your hands?”

Everyone laughs.

“Wash your hands!” he screams.

I scurry out to the chanting chorus of Wash your hands! Wash your hands! Wash your hands! from the entire cafeteria.

How did this become my life?

Until I turned fourteen, I was almost popular. Boys flirted with me, and girls even complimented me on my long red hair and green eyes. Then…hormones kicked in, and it all changed overnight. I grew a full twelve inches in a single month—no exaggeration—my ears went weird, and I got chronic eczema. Of course, the high school bloodhounds sniffed out my flaws, and the brutal teasing commenced. Now, I’m so universally despised, even the eyes of boys who once asked me out skitter away as if they’re ashamed. Most days end with me in tears.

Mom even started looking for a new school in the hopes that I might finish my last six months of mandatory education in relative peace. It’s sweet, but I know it won’t help. No matter where I go, I’m different—a member of a herd made up of the weak, the unusual, and the sick who are weeded out and killed by the ruling pack in this great institution we call high school.

Mom and I discussed trying out for some scholarships at local colleges, but I can’t face four more years of education. Besides, there’s nothing I’m interested in studying anyway. I’m not good at anything. Sports, math, English, science—nothing stands out.

Maybe I’ll get her to teach me the family business instead.

I knock on the clinic door and Karen, one of the regular nurses, opens it and smiles.

“Alex, come in. I’ll get you some bandages.”

I love how she doesn’t even ask what’s wrong anymore. And when I say love, I mean I’m mortified. Nevertheless, it’s nice not having to explain.

Every now and then, when Karen’s out, I have to go through the whole ordeal again and assure the fill-in nurse that, yes, I have been to the doctor, and yes, I have tried all the creams, and no, nothing is helping, and yes, my mom does know about the problem.

I walk inside and my heart sinks.

Matt is sitting in one of the scuffed pleather recliners holding an ice pack to his nose.

Karen walks into the other room, and Matt takes the ice off long enough to growl a few “friendly” words my way.

“You’re going to pay for this.” He glances toward the door Karen went through before glaring at me and flopping his head back down.

His nose is bulbous and still bleeding, and I feel a great sense of satisfaction. I know I shouldn’t, but whatever. I’m human, too.

Karen comes back with a handful of supplies and gestures toward one of the sheet-covered cots.

She gently cleans the eczema with some moist alcohol swabs, but I still wince.

“There you are,” she says, sticking the last of the bandages over my seeping wounds. “Do you want some latex gloves?”

I shake my head. God, no! I might get away with the flesh colored bandages, but there’s no way the gloves will be overlooked.

I feel the tears gathering when I see pity in Karen’s eyes.

“I think you should spend the next period or two here,” she says as she pats my shoulder. “Just so I can keep an eye on you, of course.” She winks.

I nod and give her a grateful smile.

“I’ll go inform the office.”

“No! Wait, I—”

But the door closes and she’s gone.

Oh, shit. She left me…alone…with Matt—the same Matt who hasn’t stopped glaring since I walked in. Maybe I can pick up a shard of his practically tangible hot anger and stab myself in the heart just to save him the trouble.

As soon as the door clicks shut, Matt throws aside the ice pack and stalks toward me, clenching and unclenching his fists with every step.

I jump off the cot and almost trip over my own feet in my rush to scramble backward.

The muscles in his jaw clench and the veins in his temples bulge as he speaks. “I don’t know how you did it, but I know you did it!”

He backs me into a corner by the small kitchenette sink, and I realize with a terrified jolt that he actually wants to hurt me. Words are one thing, but physical violence? That’s new.

I feel the familiar pressure in my head, and my palms itch worse than ever. As I stand there, speechless, in the face of his fury, I can actually feel the bandaged skin splitting apart and the blood seeping from fresh wounds and pat, pat, patting on the floor near my feet.

“Let’s see how you like a broken nose.”

I watch Matt’s meaty fist move toward my face in a kind of strange slow motion, like I’m viewing a sports channel replay.

He’s going to hit me. Even though there’s no way he’ll get away with it, and he’ll be expelled, he’s actually going to do it. I never thought he’d resort to this. I mean, Matt’s the star of the football team and hoping to get scouted for a college scholarship. He is also one of the guys who asked me out all those years ago, so I always thought his teasing was just that. Yes, it’s gotten more vicious over the years, but I never guessed there was so much anger behind it. I never thought he’d be so reckless to put his future on the line just to hurt me.

No, not just anger—this is outright fury.

With a sneer on his lips and twist of his brow, the familiar face I’ve been staring at for the last six years is almost unrecognizable, and I smell his strange, overpowering pint-scented cologne again. It’s like he just bathed in it.

All the details register in the fraction of a second it takes for his fist to close the gap between his shoulder and my face.

Move, my brain screams.

With a gracefulness I’ve always wished for but never had until now, I sidestep the blow.

Time speeds up again, and Matt’s punch lands with a loud crunch in the drywall where my head just was.

Clutching his hand, he howls and asks, “How did you…” His massive left fist is already swinging before he even finishes the question.

Somehow, I catch his hand in mine, stopping it like a concrete wall rather than a bloody palm. Then my wrist twists in some complicated maneuver, and my leg snakes out and sweeps his feet out from under him.

Matt lands on the floor, gaping up at me. The anger on his face replaced by fear, and there’s no doubt we are both thinking the same thing: What the hell just happened?

Grasping my bleeding palms together, I flee.


Want more? Get it here.



You can’t fight intolerance with more intolerance.

Okay, enough is enough. As Waleed Aly said last night, it’s time to stop the cycle of outrage.

People are so fast to get ‘offended’ and tear down anything they don’t agree with or don’t understand, thanks, in part to the internet age where we can sledge from behind the safety of our computer screens, and also thanks to the modern ‘media’ who pounce on anything click bait in their desperation to avoid reporting on any actual news.

I’m not saying that recent comments reported in the media are right or I agree with them, but the simple fact is, fighting intolerance with more intolerance is never, ever going to work.

If someone says something we don’t agree with, the majority now spare no time in name-calling and tearing ‘lessers’ down from our moral pedestals. We call them stupid, or ignorant, or racist, or liars, or uneducated. I have also been guilty of this. We all have been, because this is the most basic of human behaviour. We react from a place of anger and call people names without really thinking about what it is we’re trying to achieve – a constructive dialogue. A dialogue in which opinions and ideas can actually be exchanged, explored, and maybe even –gasp- changed.

The world needs a hell of a lot more dialogue and a fuckload less judging.

To facilitate a fluid exchange of ideas, free speech is a must. No matter how distasteful what some people are saying might be, you cannot stop people from having ideas and opinions. You cannot simply shut down the conversation. The second we do that, we are no longer a free society. The second we stop people from being able to express their ideas, we cease to be a democracy and we become a dictatorship. We send people and their maligned beliefs and opinions underground, where nothing ever changes. We cannot control what people do; we can only control our reactions to it.

When you decide to be offended (and it is a choice to be offended) and call people names because you don’t agree with whatever they are saying, you are, in that moment, ending the dialogue. There is no way a constructive conversation can start from a place of name-calling and derision. All that is achieved is a further entrenching into separate belief systems.

Haven’t we outgrown this basic reaction by now? Haven’t we figured out that personal attacks get us nowhere as a species?

When we feel attacked, whether that be through terrorism, or gun violence, or immigration, vaccination, religion, name calling or whatever it is that pushes your buttons, we all sink into the most basic of our emotions, fear. This primitive fight or flight fear response causes people to lash out. It’s very simple human behaviour. Isn’t it time to change this? Basic human reactions can be changed through understanding and communication. It’s actually pretty easy to rise above the low and engage on a more logical, tolerant and loving level, if effort is made to do so.

The fact is, if someone says something ill considered or inappropriate, and you react by calling them names and derision, then you are guilty of the same behaviour as they are. It’s the same intolerance in a different party dress.

The only way to fight intolerance, is with tolerance. The only way to fight hate is with love. The only way to fight violence is with peace. Think about it.

“You needn’t be calling for the incarceration of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, to act destructively. While it feels good to choose destruction, right now I think we need to try construction. I’m not saying you should be silent in the face of bigotry. But when you do engage with someone you disagree with, I’m talking about assuming the best in people, showing others radical generosity in the face of their hostility. Which is the much harder choice because it demands much more restraint, patience, and strength.” -Waleed Aly.

Abuse, misogyny & ‘lying bitches’

So I try to stay out of celebrity gossip, mainly because I have a life. But I have felt compelled to write about the Depp/Heard allegations on several websites’ comment sections, after reading some of the nasty shit being levelled at a woman who was courageous enough to come forward and speak about abuse at the hands of a beloved hollywood star.

I wrote this on one such board:

‘Imagine a utopian world where women feel safe enough and strong enough to report abuse because they are automatically believed by the society in which they live. Rare false claims would soon enough be proven false, but imagine how many more battered and abused women would come forward because there would be no victim blaming or shaming, no questioning of their motives or bank accounts, but instead an acknowledgement of the courage and and strength it requires to come forward and say ‘I was abused by the man I chose to love and it’s not my fault.’ How lucky would we be to live in a society that doesn’t automatically look to blame the woman for the abuse, or just flat out disbelieve her because we don’t want to admit this happens in our oh-so-civilised society and if it does happen it makes us feel better to believe she somehow did something to deserve it. Imagine that crazy world, hey?’

Of course this attracted the usual trolls claiming that every bitch who ever dared make a complaint about a man, particularly a rich, powerful man, is a lying, money grabbing whore bucket. Because we all believe, deep down in our tiny little hearts, that the movie star/director/boss/friend we love wouldn’t possibly ever do such a thing, and therefore we shall rationalise any icky thoughts away and the fastest way to do that is to blame the victim.

So let me make myself clear. I have no idea what transpired between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard and likely never will. But I won’t give up my wish that, one day (perhaps when the world is less populated by assholes) women and children will be automatically believed when they report abuse, instead of being viewed with suspicion and downright hostility as is the current sad-as-fuck situation.

Yes, some people may make false accusations. But such false accusations are a minuscule drop in the whopping great big bucket of actual domestic abuse that goes on in the world today right under our ignorant noses.

But false accusations ruin men’s reputations! come the cries from fuckwits everywhere.

Guess what? Making abuse allegations hardly enhances a woman’s reputation does it? All the money in the world does not make up for the victim blaming, character assassination, the shaming, and the calling into question of your mental health. And all this awesomeness is after you’ve managed to muster the courage to report the abuse in the first place and finally break free of what is a terribly damaging situation both physically and emotionally. Just ask Mia Farrow how well that went for her. While Woody Allen enjoys his continuing legendary status in Hollywood, she is painted as a lying mad woman who was bitter he left her for another woman, so she made up allegations of child abuse and brainwashed her children into believing them (amazing what the right publicist will do for you, hey?). Meanwhile he’s married to his own stepdaughter for fucks sake I mean HOW MUCH MORE EVIDENCE DO YOU PEOPLE NEED? And why all of this victim blaming? Simply so we can enjoy his movies guilt-free.

If women were automatically believed when they made abuse allegations, not only would more victims come forward, but the men involved would also be able to get the mental health assistance they need. Because you don’t abuse women and children without being a pretty fucked up individual in need of masses of help.

So instead of looking for reasons why this woman is lying, how about we as a society support her, and the other brave souls out there, who have stood up in the face of a shitstorm of abuse and cried out that this behaviour is wrong and cannot continue.

But that won’t happen, because, you guessed it, false claims and men’s reputations.

Therefore, it comes down to this: we live in a society that is more concerned about protecting men’s reputations than it is about protecting women from abuse. And that, my friends, is misogyny.

Last Day of Xmas Giveaways!

My family has always been a little … off.
So, our Christmas traditions were off as well. For us, Christmas Eve was the
big day. In the evening, we would go to the children’s service at church. I am
the middle of three girls so one of us was usually singing in the choir for the
service. Afterward, our parents would drive us around looking at Christmas
lights. By the time we got home, my mother’s parents and my father’s mother
were there enjoying some adult eggnog and talking about their encounter with
Santa. Before opening presents, we’d give my Papa Charlie our undivided attention as he went over point by point his conversation with Santa. It was the highlight of the year. We lost our Papa Charlie when I was 14. But every Christmas Eve, I think about all the
stories he told and how much we all loved them. It is a memory I will always

Daniel Digby is cursed by his good looks. After years of sexual
harassment, he’s convinced wearing a wedding ring is the answer to fending off
unwanted attention.
CiCi Newport is cursed by her family’s money. When men look her
way, all they see are dollar signs. After two years, her “no dating” rule is
still in place. 
After a chance meeting, they’re entwined for the holidays. What starts as attraction might just be the holiday cure they’re looking for.
Two broken hearts embarked on a holiday season in a way they
never had before. Divorced.
Mitch had been badly burned by love, but was willing to take a
chance . . . with the right woman.
Hannah had lived everyday with the grief love had brought her
and followed her everywhere.

Can two hearts find love and heal each other during the most difficult season of
the year?
Who knew the girl who spent most of her Saturday nights watching
Doctor Who marathons with her best friend would end up becoming a reality
television star? Not Emma MacLean.
Emma tried to leave the nerdy girl behind as the Vice President
of Operations for billionaire venture capitalist, Terrance Hunt, on the hit
show Hunt for Life. When double tragedies occur on the same day, Emma is out of
a job, but the cameras and a nation of fans continue to follow her.
Rob “Bobby” Breyer lived and breathed the professional
wrestling circuit for five years. Rob happens to be a devoted Hunt for Life fan
due to a chance meeting with Emma while in high school. When he reaches out to
Emma in her time of crisis, he never imagines how much it will change his life.

After twelve years, their attraction still sizzles and this time, Rob’s not letting
Emma get away. As the cameras roll, Emma’s new career and Rob’s quest for glory
are in the spotlight. When the heat is on, they’ll need all the support they can get from the Nerdy Girl Nation.

Lindsey Gray typed her first complete novel at the age of twelve and dreamed of making her writing into a career. When her eighth grade class wrote a twenty year reunion story, casting her as a mystery novelist, she wasn’t sure she could make it a reality. After years of writing off and on, she decided to make a go of it. In December of 2010 she finally made her dream come
true with her first published novel, Lies Inside. Five years and thousands of written words later, Lindsey released her seventh published work, Nerdy Girl
Nation, in October 2015.
When Lindsey takes a break from writing, she spends time with her husband of thirteen years and their two children, reading all kinds of romance novels, and hosting her own weekly radio show, Gray Matters, on TMV Cafe Internet Radio.

In honor of the release of Episode VII and the importance the series has to the main characters in Lindsey Gray’s Nerdy Girl Nation, she is offering a grand prize
pack. Answer each question with the correct character name to be entered
to win. All the ballots with the correct answers will be entered into a random
drawing to pick the winner. Contest ends December 19th, 2015 at 12:01 am CST.
Lindsey Gray will contact the winner on December 19th, 2015. Winner must
provide valid mailing address to receive prize. Prize includes Star Wars themed
toys, socks, and more, plus a paperback copy of Nerdy Girl Nation. Good luck! May the force be with you.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Day 11 part II!

Senator Maxwell Joseph has it all—money, power and
good looks—the trifecta when it comes to attracting the ladies. He even has women willing to be tied up, spanked and fucked all while calling him Daddy,
fulfilling his secret fantasy. On the night of his thirty-fifth birthday he finds a goddess waiting for him in his hotel room. She is beautiful, sexy and very willing, yet the fruit she offers is very forbidden. Not only at nineteen is she barely legal, but she is the daughter of his best friend and political advisor.
Mackenzie Wade has had a crush on the senator for
years, and when an overheard phone call affords her the opportunity she needs to make her fantasies a reality, she jumps on the chance offering herself as a birthday gift.
Throwing caution to the wind, Max gives in to temptation and gives them both what they have been yearning for—a night filled with ropes, floggers and toe-curling sex. Although satiated, one night of passion wasn’t enough for either of them, and they began a clandestine affair.

The solid ground on which he’d built his career now began to shift as his wants and dreams for the future began to change. In what he can only describe as a landslide, Max hold on tight to the only thing that he can, Kenzie, and goes on the ride of his life, knowing all along that in the end, he may have to make a choice between the woman of his fantasies and his career.
Rebecca Summers enjoys pleasing herself with the curtains open. When a mysterious stranger calls to tell her that he is watching, fantasy becomes reality as she begins to perform for him. Following his instructions
over the phone while he watches from afar, she finds herself craving more.
Oliver Durant has always been drawn to humans to
exert the dominance and control his kind needs to feel alive. While secretly observing her and calling nightly, he can’t seem to get enough of Rebecca, whom
he refers to as butterfly. His urges with her are stronger than the need to dominate, as he is driven to possess her in every way.

Both of their worlds are turned upside down when they finally meet and she agrees to enter into a Dominant/submissive relationship with her Midnight Caller.
Oliver Durant finally feels complete. With his
butterfly now wearing his collar, he begins to introduce her to his world, taking her to his BDSM club and introducing her to his family. Things progress
rapidly and she feels safe and welcome with them and his species. The longer they are together, the more she starts to become like his kind, offering him hope that he will be able to be with his mate for the rest of his life.
While Rebecca Summers is new to the BDSM lifestyle,
she adapts quickly and serves her Master well, giving him everything he asks for. She loves pleasing him and spending time with his family, who has given her the sense of belonging she’s yearned for since her parents’ tragic deaths.
She can’t imagine denying Oliver anything, and even asks to undergo the genetic transformation to become one of his species. Days before the event, they are
given some news that changes everything.
Can these two find their happily ever after? Or does fate have other plans?
Calla Moretti married her college sweetheart, Bill.
Married life was great at first, but as his career had her dropping out of college and moving away from her family and friends, Calla struggled with her
role as a wife and homemaker. Stress, due to infertility and Bill’s affairs, had the marriage on the brink of failure.
When she drives home in the middle of a
thunderstorm and spots first a broken down motorcycle, then the sexy rider, she decides to take a chance and offer him assistance. Realizing fate brought her together with a man who could give her the one thing her husband couldn’t—a baby—Calla decides to take a chance.

One romantic night, one big lie, will it save her marriage or fill her heart with more emptiness? Will this be the answer to her prayers? In life, are there truly second chances?
Em Grayson had everything she wanted: the perfect
life, the perfect job, nothing to hold her back. Or so she thought until she attended a BDSM convention in Las Vegas that turned her world upside down and
had her questioning everything. Approached by an old friend about a business opportunity in Reno, she’s forced to look at her current situation and make
life-altering decisions.
Violet Jennings is a quiet submissive who longs for
acceptance in her life. She begins to find an inner peace while working as a receptionist in a BDSM club. When she meets the mysterious M, she’s driven by a
need to serve more than ever before.

Together, will these two be able to find the happiness that has eluded them? Will the need to dominate and serve be enough? Or will they find more than they were looking for?
Mary Jennings hit rock bottom. A stripper and brand
new mother in New York City, she’s offered a reprieve by her sister to move to Reno for a fresh start. Deciding to go for it, her life takes a drastic turn
when she offers to help out a friend.
After a car accident leaves Colton bed ridden, a
surprising offer of assistance turns into so much more. Driven by his need to dominate, sparks fly in the most unexpected way.

A natural submissive and a professional Dominant—what happens when they spend every waking minute together? Will she be able to resist? Or will she give in to the urge and submit to him completely? Find out in this
page turning sequel to Yes, Mistress.

Zachary Russells is one of the hottest, sexiest
male celebrities of all time, and he is only twenty-one. In an alternate world where humans are property, Zachary finds himself wanting a companion, and a
human pet seems the perfect choice. Much to his surprise, the day Zachary walked into a pet shop to buy his new human pet, he didn’t expect rebellion and
independence coming from his purchase. In a hot, steamy, sexy, story where dominance is favored in public, submission is a given, and punishment is handed
out, can his new pet, Megan, adapt to her new owners wants and needs?
Warning: Intense bondage, aggressive sex, human
Bonus: Serving Mistress Quinn by NJ Cole
NJ Cole shows her support for this new author by giving readers a bonus short story. Serving Mistress Quinn is a 6,500 word one shot. Mistress Quinn has been living the life of a vampire for centuries. When she happens upon an older Native American, she plans to torture him, and then have him for lunch. Much to her surprise and pleasure, she learns that he enjoys the pain and the two of them embark on a new journey in which she finds
herself having a very willing pet.

Serving Mistress Quinn does contain BDSM and sexual situations, but all relations are consensual.
N.J. Cole

NJ Cole is a witty, mid-western girl with a kinky side. She works by day and writes by night, all while being a mother to her wonderful boys and serving her Sir. Unlike many of today’s authors, she chooses to write in first person, allowing the readers to experience life through the eyes of the unique characters that live in her head. Her love of those characters and respect for their stories come through loud and clear in her writing.


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