A “MasterClass” in Subservience?

Let me say this up front, please pardon the rant to come. As a general rule, it isn’t my style to dig into the business of others but I do feel a protective instinct toward my fellow writers—especially the gifted and less experienced among us.
Here it is, a humble opinion for whatever it’s worth. Something really rubs me the wrong way about this James Patterson “co-author competition” and those of its kind every time they spam my social media page. Yes, “there are a lot of people who have the talent.” Ironically, Mr. Patterson is not one of them. And honestly, given his reputation as a notorious hack who outsources every word he puts his name on, I’m not entirely sure why any legitimate new author would risk attaching their name to his for one phantom shot at glory.
Seriously, $90 for what amounts to a lottery ticket granting the winner the “opportunity” to write his next book for him and put your name under his? Let’s have some dignity, guys. The sob stories and con jobs I see littering the comments on these posts only further the reality that this entire scam is a last-ditch dramatic effort, a plea cast into the void that blind luck will work where hard work has failed.
“Oh, Mr. Patterson, you are such a wonderful man and writer…”
“Oh, Mr. Patterson, I have always idolized you and looked up to you, and named my first three children after you…”
Enough! Let’s be clear about this, I don’t begrudge the man his empire built on the backs of others. There is definite genius in his method. Still, I would like to believe that any true author who has the talent and a vision of their own, however rough the road they’ve traveled, values their ability and place in the world more than this. I support the little guy, however big he may become. He (or, of course, she) is the one who did the work and survived the strafing gunfire to crawl back up out of the trenches. The one who made a name of their own without any interest in having someone else do it for them. Why hitch your rising star to a sinking ship? Why pay through the nose for the illusory hope of leveraging your own future to line another’s pockets?
It is “programs” like these that play on the dreams of so many—the quick strike of riches we seem to believe any brush with celebrity surely brings. They blind us to the glaring reality of their substance with frilly promises of things that never will be. They prey on the allure of wealth without the work—perhaps the only skill their kind are truly qualified to teach. But at the end of the day, who wins and who loses?
It is one thing to throw your money at the chance to learn writing from a man notorious for not writing. I doubt that’s the greatest harm that could come of it. No, perhaps the greatest threat of all would be the prospect of actually winning. Of becoming the next in line to have their dream hollowed out, fed on by the vampires of verbiage and then left behind, forgotten, a husk too broken to refill.
Take your chance if you must. Line up, buy a ticket, and pray to the gods of writing that they deliver you the quick score. Offer yourself up as the sacrifice of the day. It’s undoubtedly easier than waking to continue the good fight tomorrow. I know we live in a reality TV world and there may be no going back from this ledge. But ask yourself this—do you want to be famous, or do you want to be legitimate?
Sure the two can co-exist. When done right, they often do. But you don’t gain respect by achieving fame, especially not of the fifteen minute variety. You earn your fame through the respect you deserve. I’m sure a lot of us writers often ask ourselves, “why do we do it?” It’s a reality check that can’t be checked often enough.
Do you do it out of love for the craft? Out of compulsion that cannot be quelled? If so, then you already have my admiration and that of the industry at large.
Do you do it because it would be cool to be rich and shoot to a mountaintop with no particular view? Well then, I’ve got a class you might be interested in…
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In Just Four Days… MALEDICTION

Book cover for Malediction: Rise of the Crimson Confessions, an erotic romantic suspense novel by author J.D. Lexx

Excerpt.

*****

A smattering of whimpers rose to a wind-like howl around me. Louder. Louder. I struggled again to free my hands, if only to cover my ears. Every shriek pierced deeper as the volume inflicted daggers of pain until suddenly, and for a few blissful seconds, I heard nothing at all.

In the calm that followed, I felt truly alone, perhaps more than ever before. Still, I had no interest in tempting fate by being the first to break the silence. I bit my lip and stuttered long breaths to mirror this new level of quiet, but the deck was stacked against me from the start.

Without a sound, something circled, more inquisitive than malicious. Its provocation tickled like bursts of air, testing every point for intimate weakness with conscious awareness of its advantage. Something, or the vestige of someone, did not play fair. It had no need for breath and could move without a rustle, unburdened by the telltale drag of matter. And yet it prodded my senses in search of the slightest audible sign of humanity, as if such a standoff could possibly last.

I didn’t need eyes to see its head cocked aside in quizzical interest, kissing the pulse of my neck and studying the symmetry of each heaving breast. Even in death, it seems the fascination remains. But I wouldn’t break, not yet. I let it play across my skin, ignoring the urge to move which so often accompanies the realization that one cannot. Methodic in its mischief, it traveled down both sides to the taper of my hips—seeking my sound, like my scent, on the air. Waiting…

Before I could call it back, a sigh escaped my lips and echoed beyond my reach. The dinner bell. In vicious unison, every nail dug deep and every fang nipped at my flesh. My body trapped in one prolonged vibration, I felt my assailant release its smoky plume, flooding my lungs before vanishing from the vise of my lips.

“Oh my God, yes!”

Finally, in the haze of an ethereal afterglow, Luc landed the mercy blow. His tongue penetrated my weakened defenses to take his first unchallenged taste of my excitement. The table electrified beneath me as he teased and flicked between my thighs. Softly, cruelly, he licked with masterful control to the edge of a rising bank. But this dam couldn’t hold forever.

“Please?” I whimpered.

Before my plea could fade, the room spun upside down and his delicate feasting turned frenzied, sending me into electrified convulsions as he hit his mark with expert pressure, releasing rolling waves of pleasure I could neither control nor stop. My body ran wild without regard to my wishes, clawing at the restraints and whipping side to side like a woman possessed—a fitting comparison in the moment. I thrashed and trembled against his touch but every token resistance only heightened the intensity further. Writhing in the dark, this new sensation consumed me, raining chaos and renouncement until his tongue drained me of every last orgasmic impulse.

*****


MALEDICTION: Rise of the Crimson Confessions.

Coming March 20.

Five Days and Counting… MALEDICTION

countdown graphic to launch of Malediction: Rise of the Crimson Confessions, an erotic romantic suspense novel by author J.D. Lexx

Excerpt.

*****

As soon as I penetrated the sweltering heat between her lips, I sprung to life across her tongue, engorging with the very blood that fled my extremities until her mouth strained to contain me. First, my eyes rolled back in sheer bliss at the all-consuming warmth, and then at the skill with which she applied it. With each stifled moan that vibrated through her throat and into my flesh, she not only enhanced her raw sexual value but left me increasingly curious about the kind of bad decisions that lead a woman like this here, of all places.

Pulled free from a descending haze of my own, I looked down to marvel at her enthusiasm, only to find those eyes still locked on mine. Damn, the girl learned quickly. Flashing a glint of bravado that endeared her all the more, she pulled me briefly from her pursed lips and asked again, just as earlier in the day, “You like, yes?”

As if empowered by my approval, she immediately doubled her efforts, tightening her grip and flicking her tongue in playfully erratic lashes. With the slightest shift, she adjusted her angle and drove down with even greater force, burying my entire length and swallowing deeply to engage muscles that sent me reeling.

Only once I opened my eyes again did I notice the burning attention cast down from our host and his illustrious, voyeuristic gathering—a handful of whom wore outfits virtually identical to those ladies on the floor. It seemed that even a few fellow guests had opted to stay behind and ogle, having long since cast their own conquests aside.

While it has never been my style to put on a public exhibition, it’s not like I could drag her to a more secluded location. As much as I cringed at the barbaric notion, she was not mine to take. I had to respect the reality that, in such a strictly supervised environment, she was borrowed property to be enjoyed at the watchful discretion of the master.

With the reasoning centers of my brain already thoroughly frozen and my inhibition drunken at best, our audience could have ordered pizza and called over friends for all I cared. I had a hotter, tighter, and infinitely more gripping engagement ready to drop in my lap.

“Get off that cold floor,” I urged, coaxing myself free of her insatiable grip and ordering her upright—vulnerable, exposed, and simpering at my whim. “Turn around.” Of all the commands so far laid down, I found it fascinating that only this one prompted a distinct moment of hesitation.

“Yes, sir.” She spoke to the ground as she turned away, tightening every muscle as if preparing for an unseen but inevitable assault.
Leaning forward, I rested one outstretched hand over the small of her back. Feeling the raised lash marks for the first time only triggered further anger toward any beast that would so irreparably desecrate such a treasure. My other hand dug firmly into her hip as I pushed forward, forcing her over at the waist and then lifting the tattered dress to expose her entirely.

With her legs spread slightly, she struggled to maintain balance against the pressure of my palm, sparking the more wicked recesses of my imagination even as I battled to differentiate myself from the men behind those marks. Try as I might, I simply couldn’t help myself. Did that make me a monster as well?

*****

MALEDICTION: Rise of the Crimson Confessions.

Coming March 20.

In Just Six Days… MALEDICTION

Book cover for Malediction: Rise of the Crimson Confessions, an erotic romantic suspense novel by author J.D. Lexx

Excerpt

*****

     With every step I took, her thighs parted instinctively wider, until my feet stood frozen at the walkway’s edge. Perhaps sensing the trepidation, and most likely feeding off it, she urged me inside the sphere of light with a flirtatious curl of her finger. Her other hand dangled a pair of strappy shoes between her legs, hiding my prize until I finally caved and took it by force.
“How badly do you want me?” She teased without mercy, looking up with innocent eyes as I stood directly above her. I’m sure she planned to nurture the game for at least a while longer, but I was too far gone. Lost in the unapologetic lunacy of our surroundings, I slapped her wandering hand from the bulge in my jeans and pinned her wrist hard against the cold marble overhead.
Emboldened by the one gasp, I treated myself to another as I ripped the shoes from her grasp and pulled her second wrist up to meet the first.
Offering a token struggle against my power play, she writhed and thrashed, working herself into an incoherent frenzy before whispering the words, “My purse.”
I reached for her small bag and emptied its contents across the stonework, immediately catching sight of a short length of rope. This dirty girl came prepared. And I was all too happy to oblige.
“Don’t move,” I ordered as I retrieved the rope and wrapped it around the obelisk, fastening her hands in a rough knot. With her upper body secured, I stood no chance. I simply couldn’t help myself. I gripped her dress at both shoulders and ripped the fabric down her body, sinking my teeth into each exposed nipple. Her nails clawed helplessly at the stone above, which only encouraged me to dig deeper until she unleashed her first primal scream of the night.
Perhaps a bit premature in my victory, I stepped back to allow my prey a single, unhindered breath. As her lungs filled with a second, however, I tugged her lower half to the second stone landing, shaking loose the oxygen on impact and placing her arched body entirely at my whim. At that point, I couldn’t have cared less who might stumble across us. In this one impossible moment, I had her right where she wanted me. And I would take my fill.
Dropping to my knees on the wet grass before her, I flashed a mischievous smile of my own and spread her legs wider. She writhed violently as my tongue hit the warm flesh of her inner thigh, growing more feral as I traced a lazy trail to within breathing distance of her dripping heat.
Oh good, so I’m not the only one suffering.
All the same, I had no intention of making it that easy. Oh sure, I teased with the promise of a finishing strike, blowing gently across the dampness to ensure her absolute attention. But as I pulled my lips away and rested my tongue just inside her other knee, I could feel those thoughts of revenge toward another melting away, rolling down her skin in tangible droplets of need. Indeed, the more ruthlessly I tormented her sensations, the more I became the one deserving of punishment.
As I traced my way back up her thigh, I paused just short of my target to playfully inquire, “And how badly do you want me?”
She stopped her moaning just long enough to stare me down with a growl that I placed somewhere between sensual and animal. This time, I took the hint, burying my face between her legs once more, exploring every delicate fold until that growl grew into a scream more primal and orgasmic than anything I’ve heard since.

*****

MALEDICTION: Rise of the Crimson Confessions.

Coming March 20.

***MALEDICTION COVER REVEAL***

There are markers along the road to any great destination, reminders in retrospect of the distance one has traveled and of those who have helped along the way. For me, today ranks high on that list, in part because I get to share it with all of you.

Today, I get to unveil another facet of a project so long in the making that I’d begun to doubt it would ever happen at all.

Today, I finally get to make a proper introduction.

At long last, meet the face that launched a thousand sins, and the start of a new novel series. Staying faithful to the story within, I needed a cover that leaps across genre lines and blurs the boundaries between worlds—one that whispers of mystery while screaming passionate intrigue. I hope I’ve accomplished some of that here.

For now, let’s call her ‘V’—an allusion some readers will instantly recognize. I’d love nothing more than to tell you her story, and how it came to drive my own, but that’s going to have to wait…at least a few days longer. In the meantime, feel free to get acquainted. And be sure to pre-order your copy of Malediction between now and March 20th for a special discounted price.

PRE-ORDER: http://goo.gl/Dko6Jc

 

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So what do you think? I’d love to hear from you.