The female has taken to coping with the male’s disappearance via foods the male doesn’t like. Yesterday, she ordered from the Vietnamese place, which is one of her favorite nomnoms. She really loves this nomnoms, humans. She was so excited to go outside and meet another human to retrieve these nomnoms.
Not pictured are two other of those fried rolls that she so loves. They’re very tasty. Also not pictured is the mango slushie with strawberry she also purchased, as the Vietnamese place wisely has a tea and slushie parlor inside.
The male sometimes goes to this restaurant when the female is unwell and brings home a delicious tasty treat and a new tea for her to try.
The female had tacos for lunch while lamenting that the male is in Texas. She is contemplating the dinner situation.
She will have to be up at 3 AM to make sure the male is headed off to the airport in time. We are looking forward to pouncing, demanding attention, and then giving him the cold shoulder for daring to leave us.
House Lost at Sea
In the meantime, I have performed some acts of theft from the female for your enjoyment. First, the opening scene from The House Lost at Sea. It is available for preorder from Amazon, Kobo, Apple Books, and Barnes & Noble. I am stealing from the non-finalized version, so there may still be a stray typo or whatever for you to peacefully ignore.
We hope you like it. It’s a romp.
From Chapter One…
Instead of accepting my generous offer to get into the water-filled bag and come home with me, the octopus sprayed ink in my face. Leaning over the tank’s wall, I reached for his tentacles, waiting for the moment he cooperated and wrapped them around me. If he didn’t want to go into the bag willingly, I’d carry him around until he stopped fighting me, and then I’d stuff him in anyway.
“You’ll like it better with me,” I promised through clenched teeth, struggling to get a good hold on his slippery, slimy hide. “It’ll be fun. I’ll take you out to sea when you’ve been good, and we’ll have ourselves a great time.”
How many times could an octopus spray ink? More than twice, apparently. Spitting salty, black fluid out of my mouth, I made another grab for the newest love of my life. I expected my admiration for my unwilling companion would last however long it took the octopus to escape my clutches. Such interludes rarely lasted, but I would enjoy it while I could.
I gave it a few days—maybe longer if he accepted I’d transformed my entire dingy living room into a palace for him. Like me, he deserved better than being locked in a small tank and put on display for the world to see.
If anyone found out just how the sea had cursed me, my fellow humans would do exactly that, too. They’d lock me away and study me, and I’d never see the light of day ever again.
“Was my first offer not good enough? How about rations on me? A daily cap o’ rum? How about gold? I can do gold.”
I could, too. If the meager stash I kept hidden in my closet wasn’t enough to satisfy the cephalopod, I’d have to venture out to sea to raid my true hoard. I’d consider it a small price to pay for tolerable company.
Grunting from the effort of keeping a grip on my new friend, I hauled him from his tank and shoved him into the sack, sloshing water all over the floor. Tying shut a bag full of writhing octopus and water took a bit of work, but at least the thick, durable material protected me from another spraying.
We really needed to sit down and have a long talk about his inking habit.
With the main objective of my heist achieved, I needed to haul ass out of the area with my prize without getting caught. For some reason, the marine studies aquarium really didn’t appreciate when I liberated my friends from their prisons. One day, maybe one of them would stick around after their rescue, but until the octopus escaped from me, I’d make the most of the situation. The bronze placard adhered to his tank informed me his name was Maximus.
He seemed more like a Ricardo to me. I’d known a smart, clever Ricardo some hundred or two years ago, and just like Maximus, he had hated getting in the sack, too.
Why couldn’t men and women understand the simplest truths of life? Pirates plundered, and once a pirate, always a pirate. So what if a few hundred years separated me from sailing the seas in search of wealth, glory, fame, and a good fight?
I missed the days when I could take whatever—and whomever—I wanted without it making a single lick of difference in the grand scheme of things.
Damn it, despite the long years, I still missed Ricardo. He’d been the best of my conquests, and I’d left the good parts of my heart with him in a past I couldn’t forget. I tried, at times, to fill in the gaping wounds, but time hadn’t done me any good on that front.
I refused to forget his fire, his flare, his resentment of my capturing of his person, and everything that had made us work so well together. After a few weeks of my company, his resentment had become a reckless passion.
He’d been my sea.
I’d been his stars.
Then fate had bit me in the ass, and he’d been retrieved by his damned crew, dumping me into one hell of a mess. My captain hadn’t been pleased by my dalliances with a rival pirate, but how could she blame me? I’d taken a treasure right out from under a captain’s nose, and I’d kept him for an entire six months while waiting to return to the ocean.
Those had been the best six months of my life, and I wanted them back.
The real reason annoyed me. My captain had fancied women and had seen zero use for my Ricardo. Worse, she’d resented I’d paid someone other than her any attention at all.
Sometimes, there was only one force stronger than my love for my old captain, and that’d been my hatred for her ruining what might have been with Ricardo.
Maximus protested his captivity through ramming the thick bag, reminding me I had more important things to do than grieve what might have been had things just been a little different.
“First they’ll see the ink you sprayed everywhere,” I complained, dragging the unwieldy sack across the slick floors on route to the pier stretching out into the ocean. “Then they’ll call the cops, because heaven forbid someone liberate an octopus from his glass prison. After that? The cops will start sniffing around, causing me trouble again. Why is it they always blame me first? Just because I showed a lot of interest in that other octopus last year doesn’t mean I’m the culprit. It’s not my fault you all are so devilishly smart. Maybe if you weren’t so smart, I wouldn’t have to liberate you from their filthy clutches.”
Without fail, whenever I witnessed someone—or something—do something deviously clever, I got involved. Humans took work to approach, and for some reason, they didn’t appreciate my open advances, especially if they were women, too. They didn’t even care if I just wanted to be their friend. At least animals, especially cephalopods, made delightful companions. One day, I’d find one willing to stick around for more than a few minutes.
The instant I opened his bag, he’d be long gone, probably chasing down some octopus hussy so they could make lots of little babies together.
I sighed and dragged Maximus outside to the pier. It’d taken me at least twenty minutes longer than I liked to bust him out of the joint; the sirens of approaching police cars warned me of trouble headed my way. Too bad for them, I’d come prepared. Maybe one day the aquarium would learn to install a security system worth writing home about. Until then, I’d walk in and out of the place like I owned it.
Working my foot under the sloshing bag, I shoved it into the ocean. The waxed, waterproofed material caught on a nail, and before I could do more than sigh my resignation over my cursed luck, the sack tore open just enough to dump my squirming, tentacled bounty into the sea. “Well, shit.”
At least I didn’t end up with another stream of ink in my face, although the moonlit water darkened, evidence of Maximus’s displeasure. “Ungrateful wretch!”
Maximus didn’t stick around, leaving me to fend for myself and make my own escape. The sirens drew closer, and I heaved a sigh before jumping into the ink-stained sea.
Did you like it, human? If so, it’s coming out in roughly two weeks, and you can preorder it from Amazon, Kobo, Apple Books, and Barnes & Noble.
Onto your next treat.
Dawn of Dae
Second is the opening scene from Dawn of Dae. This has been somewhat edited, but it has not been to the actual editor yet. It has only had treatment from the female. Enjoy. You can preorder at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, and Kobo.
From Chapter One…
My first real memory of my parents was also my last.
It was the refrigerator’s fault I remembered. I should’ve known better than to expect new appliances in my new apartment; I was lucky to have appliances at all. I sure as hell couldn’t afford to buy used ones.
The refrigerator, however, was a problem. Every time I looked at it, I remembered—and my first memory of my parents was how I, Alexa Zoe Daegberht, had killed them with a wish.
The wish had been a stupid, childish one. That haunted me more than anything else. I hadn’t even wished for anything important. I’d just been a stupid, angry child.
Not much had changed beyond my age. I still considered myself stupid, and anger kept me close company. I had changed one thing. I kept my anger and stupidity to myself as often as possible.
The refrigerator would test me. It was the same damned one, right down to its smoke-stained, pebbled surface and its loose handle. The years hadn’t done it any favors, and I wondered if the door would fall off its hinges when I opened it. Then again, they had built things better when I had been a child.
It was too bad I hadn’t been built a bit better. A lot of things would’ve been different. If I’d been built just a bit better, I wouldn’t have made that stupid, hateful wish. It hadn’t been my father’s fault no one could touch me without irritating my sensitive skin. It wasn’t his fault he hadn’t been able to kiss my cheek like other fathers could with their daughters.
It had been his fault he’d forgotten; if he hadn’t, my face wouldn’t have been itching and burning. If he hadn’t forgotten, I wouldn’t have run to the fridge, using it as a shield against his touch. If he hadn’t forgotten, I wouldn’t have parroted what he too often said while fighting with my mother:
If you walk out that door, don’t you ever come back.
Because I had believed it, had wanted it, and had prayed for it, wishing on a shooting star that night, I had gotten exactly what I’d asked for. My parents had walked out the door and left me behind, never to return.
The ocean didn’t like giving up its dead, and planes smacking into the water didn’t leave a whole lot to salvage.
I dropped my bags on the kitchen floor, spat curses, and kicked the refrigerator.
It won. Beneath the plastic was metal, and it refused to bend. All I did was crunch my toes, and howling, I hopped around on one foot. Through tear-blurred eyes, I glared at the offensive appliance.
“I’ll end you,” I swore.
Maybe I could spray paint the damned thing pink. It’d be at least four years before I earned my degree and rank as a Bach, and until then, I was stuck with it. Once I became a Bach, I’d be elevated to a better caste—a caste with a future, and a bright one at that. Once I was a Bach, I could afford to buy my own appliances, and I’d never have to see that make or model of refrigerator ever again. If I scored well enough on the exit exams, I had the slim chance of being accepted for Master training.
Once I became a Bach, maybe I wouldn’t think of myself as being a stupid, angry child anymore. I’d still be angry, but I’d have value.
I had my entire life ahead of me, and it would be a good one. Having an education and receiving my degree would be the beginning of my new life. There was no way I’d let a stupid refrigerator take that from me.
I kept telling myself that, but I didn’t believe it. Not yet. Not until it happened.
Until then, I would work hard. Hopes, prayers, and wishes were for those who didn’t truly believe in the power of their words. I did.
Never again would I make another wish or pray for something I hadn’t earned.
As the refrigerator refused to acknowledge defeat and leave, I gave up and went for my last ditch resort. If macaroni and cheese couldn’t make things better, nothing could.
To spare you from scrolling up, in case you liked that and wanted to preorder… it’s available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, and Kobo.
Since you have survived this far, there is a Bookbub centric giveaway going on right now for a big gift card. If you like Bookbub, slide on over. If you’ve never used bookbub before, it’s a newsletter service where you get a daily deal of your favorite genres sent to your email. It’s how the female often finds new authors to try or to fill out her collection of expensive traditionally published books. (You can get $15 books for $0.99, $1.99, or $2.99 sometimes. You can also get the female’s books for $0.99, too. Witch & Wolf is scheduled in for a deal in the next few days.)
Now, the female is insisting she needs to get to work, as she’s accomplished virtually nothing so far today. Yeah, you should get on that, female.
Zazzle, you are evil. You made me preorder more books. Just for that I shall ask the female to hug you. We know you’re not going to like that. Then I want more jelly bean pictures of those cute little toes of yours.