Tag Archives: Samantha Storm

New Concepts Publishing refuses to honor contract by Samantha Storm

New Concepts Publishing is in breach of their contract with me. As per their contract they are supposed to send me accumulated statements twice a year whether I have sales or not. They failed to give me statement information for a period of three months last year. I notified them that I was missing this information and requested that they send it to me. The company replied that they would but I never received the missing information. I contacted them numerous times and still the missing information never appeared. The term, per their contract, to cure the breach is sixty days from being notified. That time past at the end of last year.

I have sent them a cease and desist letter notifying them they no longer have the legal right to sell my work. I demanded my work be removed from the NCP website and any affiliated websites immediately. Since I sent in my cease and desist, the management and I have been going back and forth in emails regarding the issue. They refuse to acknowledge the breach. Reason does not seem to be working with them. I thought at this point it’s getting so ridiculous that its time to share some of the things that NCP is capable of. This is not a case of me going to them hat in hand and asking for my rights back. Legally, as per their own contract, they are in breach and no longer have the right to publish this work. New Concepts has made a lot of noise about authors honoring their contracts, yet they refuse to.

Here is an example of their latest attempt to tell me that they are not acknowledging the breach. My responses to their latest email are indented and in red.

“Ms. Brown,
We are in no way in breach and are not going to take your books down. Your books will remain on the page until they are out of contract. I know that we’ve emailed back and forth on this issue. This is not in any way holding anything hostage as some angry authors have suggested. No one forced you to sign the contract. Both parties agreed to it. It is legal and binding. We are both honor bound to it just as you are.”

This is correct. As you have pointed out, both parties are bound by the contract. I have notified you that you have not honored the terms of our contract and requested a cure to this breach. You have not only not cured the breach, you are now refusing to honor your contract.

“We only expect you to uphold your end for a little longer until each book’s contract has expired. Our end of the contract does not even require us to sell the book. If we sell your book, then we are required to pay you, which we have. Procuring statements in a timely manner is only curteous, not part of the contract and not a breach of contract if neglected.”

The contract does in fact require that NCP provide a statement. I will quote it here directly:

“(m) Publisher agrees to provide Author with a statement of Account and to pay Author twice yearly for sales accumulated by Author’s Work during the pay period. Money collected to be paid out first of the year and mid-year. Statement shall be provided to Author regardless of whether any money is due or not.”

According to this clause, you are in clear breach. It is also clear that you do not properly understand your own contract.

“I know that it may not seem to be, but NCP is a small company . . . small. We have thousands of customers and hundreds of authors and very few employees that work long, hard hours tyring to placate customers, bookstores, authors, and the like. This brings many to suggest hiring more help. We do. Constantly. Unfortunately, flame wars and other agitants have scared away many employees in our small town and many other employees that worked from their homes via the computer. “

The best system for avoiding “flame wars and other agitants” is to deal with the public in a businesslike manner. The authors and customers who have voiced problems have had many valid concerns. Dealing with those problems in a businesslike manner would have derailed any public outcry. Your reply here provides another example of excuses and blame rather than concrete solutions. It is this type of response that has damaged your reputation to the point that no one wants to be associated with this company.

“I hope that this letter may help you to understand that our resources are limited. We are not trying to be hateful, spiteful, mean, vindictive or anything of the sort. This is business and as such should be treated professionally and without emotion. “

If this is viewed as pure business situation, without emotion attached, then you are mishandling this badly. The money made from the contracts in question has been small for both of us. The cost of the bad press generated by this kind of public disagreement far outweighs any possible profit. This does not set a precedent for letting other authors out of their contracts, as that is not what I am asking. I merely want you to honor your entire contract, not just those clauses that benefit you. To do anything else is hateful, spiteful, mean, vindictive, or something of the sort.

“You are now a professional author, and we are kindly maintaining that you keep to your contract.”

You are now a professional publisher, and I am kindly maintaining that you keep to your contract.

“I have already contacted distributors to let them know that your contracts are ending and that they should take down your books before contracts end so that we can swiftly revert your rights back to you at the end of the agreement. Thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter.

Megan, NCP”

You no longer have a right to publish this work under the terms of our contract, and I am all out of patience and understanding in this matter.
Samantha Storm Aka Cat Brown Aka Chaoscat

(Chaos – It’s not just a lifestyle, it’s a state of mind)
Owner/Operator Romance Junkies
http://www.romancejunkies.com
***
writing as Samantha Storm – http://www.samanthastorm.com/
7 Free reads available now @ http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SamanthaStorm/***

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=532401128
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holidays getting near..means time to pull out the recipes ;-)

It’s the time of year that family comes to visit. Which means I have to pull out recipes. I am not much of a cook but I try to cook when the family comes over. So here are some of the tried and true recipes I use during the holidays 😉

 CRANBERRY SALAD

         1     13 oz.  can crushed pineapple                                
        1    6oz. Package lemon jello
        1     7 oz. ginger ale,
        1    1 lb. Canned jellied cranberries
        1     2 oz. Cool whip
        1    8 oz. Philadelphia cream cheese (softened)
        1/2 cup walnuts or pecan (optional)     
 

        1.      Drain pineapple, reserve liquid and add water to make 1 cup.  Heat to boiling, disolve jello in liquid.  Cool.
        2.      Stir in ginger ale and chill till partial set.  Meanwhile blend drained pineapple and jellied cranberry sauce, fold in gently the first mixture.  Put in a 9 x 9 x 2, and chill till firm.
        3.      Mix softened cheese and cool whip and blend well.  Spread over the top.  
        Optional: Toast nuts in 350 oven for 10 minutes with 1 tsp butter, cool, put on the top. (I have never put the nuts in this recipe)
        Note:    I usually serve this on Christmas, with the Turkey.

****

CAT’S PARTY CUPCAKES

 

 

Cupcakes:
Make a white cake mix according to directions, but only 1/2 fill the cupcakes.
 

Frosting:
1 small cool whip(thawed)
1 small pkg. Cream cheese
1 1/4 cup powered sugar
1 tbsp. Milk
 

            Have cream cheese at room temperature, add 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar, 1 tbsp. milk & using
 a mixer, mix well.  Fold in cool whip.  Frost the top of cupcakes then sides. 
            When ready to serve put on plate and then top the frosted cupcakes with approximately 1 tsp of
 fresh strawberries, (with a little sugar added).  Can also use frozen stawberries.
            Note:   Recipe given  to me by mom’s caterer friend who used to feeze them.  To freeze put cupcakes  in tuperware or box put wax paper on top. To Thaw: Remove lid  and wax paper then top with 1 tsp. of strawberries, with a little sugar added.
     ***

Sweet Potato Soufflé
 

For the topping:

 

     ½ cup crushed corn flakes or walnuts

     3 tbs. brown sugar

     2 tsp. butter, at room temperature

 

For the Soufflé:

 

     1 lb. Sweet potatoe, cooked until tender

     3 eggs

     1/3 cup sugar

     3 tbs. all purpose flour

     1 tsp. vanilla

     ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted

     Dash of nutmeg

     Pinch of salt (optional) 

 

1. Preheat oven to 350°

 

   2.For the topping: Combine the crushed corn flakes or walnuts, brown sugar and butter. Set aside.

   3.For the soufflé: Puree the cooked Sweet potatoe and eggs in a blender (do not use a food processor). Add the     sugar, flour, vanilla, butter, nutmeg and salt and blend. Pour into a 1 ½ quart pan or soufflé dish and bake for     40 minutes. Spread the topping over the soufflé and bake 5 to 10 minutes longer, until the topping is lightly     browned.

***

Okay those are three of my favorites 😉

Samantha Storm – http://www.samanthastorm.com/
*Shadow Vision **  On Sale Now!! http://www.newconceptspublishing.com/shadowvision.htm
***
Eye of the Storm – now in print from NCP
My Space – http://www.myspace.com/samanthastormbooks
Blogs- Butterscotch Martini Girls – http://www.butterscotchmartinigirls.com/
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=532401128
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A few more weeks and i will be diving in ;-)

We have been fixing up an older house we bought in a small mining town in arizona. The house is seventy years old and over the years there have been a few additions to it.

Our lastest project is the backyard. We are getting a pool and I can’t wait for it to be all done 😉

Pool in Progress
Tomorrow they start on the fence for around the pool and then in about a week I am told it should be all done and we will be filling the sucker up! 😉

We finally finished the last touches on the entertainment room. It’s todd dream room. He’s hooked up a xbox with a projector so he can project movies and games on a full wall. And the crazy dude even went out and found theater type seating complete with cup holders. The final touch surround sound and we have ourselves a theater like experience every time we watch a movie. Pass over the popcorn 😉
Todd's dream room
watching movies on the wall

So thats how we are spending our summer working away on the house and the backyard. Hopefully by the end of the summer we will have the backyard all set up so we can invite over some friends for a bbq party!

Hope everyone summer is going well,

Samantha Storm – http://www.samanthastorm.com/
*Shadow Vision ** On Sale Now!! http://www.newconceptspublishing.com/shadowvision.htm
***
Eye of the Storm – now in print from NCP
My Space –

Blogs- Butterscotch Martini Girls – http://www.butterscotchmartinigirls.com

Name the Evil Dude Contest

I just got the cover in Shadow Vision coming out this month from New Concepts Publishing. So for fun I thought I would run a name the evil dude on the cover contest…if that red dude shooting demon fire at our poor hero Van Spencer..had a name..what would the evil bastard’s name be? Go check out the cover and the contest here for a chance to win – http://www.samanthastorm.com/contest.html

Samantha Storm – http://www.samanthastorm.com/
Friday Maxwell spends her days working on computer code, and her nights forever stalking the dark city streets hunting down demons**Shadow Vision ** Coming June ’07 from NCP
***
Eye of the Storm – now in print from NCP
My Space – http://www.myspace.com/samanthastormbooks
Blogs- Butterscotch Martini Girls – http://www.butterscotchmartinigirls.com/

I was tagged..8 things you dont know about me ;-)

Okay I was tagged a while ago..what can I say just coming out of the work cave 😉 So now I am going to post 8 things you don’t know about me.

1. I can crochet. If you knew me well you would be totally astounded at this announcement. I am NOT a domestic diva. I hate to cook and although my husband and I take turns during the domestic stuff during the week, whenever possible, I bribe to take my turn. When I was in my twenties I would wait until I was down to my last clean outfit before I would do laundry. Yes, laundry turned into an all day event, but I didn’t care. Anything to keep the torture of washing and drying clothes out of my life for as long as possible. My idea of cooking is to open a can of soup and make a sandwich. Once in college I lived off nothing but a huge bag of popcorn I got at COSCO for a week– yes folks, that’s popcorn for breakfast, lunch and dinner for seven whole days. So with this background you can imagine how shocked people are when occasionally I make someone an afghan. I hand over the gift and what follows…me swearing on everything including my mother’s life that I made it. What can I say both my mom and my grandmother crochet and they taught me how to do it when I was seven. I often crochet, during the winter while watching TV. If you know me well you are probably freaked out by that image and waiting for the punch line. There isnt’one. I can crochet. Get over it 😉

2. I don’t like zombies, tidal waves or spiders. I know it’s an odd list and it’s not likely that in my daily life I will come in contact with a zombie or a tidal wave, but what can I say, they all freak me out. I am a big movie buff, but I always shy away from anything that has a brain eating freak or a fifty foot wave in it. There are exceptions to the rule. I watched and loved Shaun of the Dead, though every time the walking dead came on screen I would cover my face with my hands and peek at them from between my fingers. The perfect storm and eight legged freaks will never make their way onto my netflicks queue.

3. I don’t believe in umbrellas. I like getting wet during a rainstorm. Which was never a problem until I moved to a state that has monsoons. Reno, Nevada where I grew up only gets about 2% rain a year. That means there are very few rainy days and when it does rain it never last for more than a few minutes. In Arizona during the rainy months, I have seen it rain so fast and hard that in under an hour the street in front of my house became a river. Still, don’t ask me why, probably just because I am stubborn I try to hold fast to my no umbrella rule.

4. I am an Amazon. If you have met me in person this is not a surprise. Okay, I take that back. During RT this year I had an author that sat across from me at a table on no less than a dozen occasions and never realized how tall I was until she got into an elevator and suddenly turned to find her face hitting my elbow. Honestly I think she was so shocked that I was six foot two that she could not get words out and was reduced to pointing at my head and laughing hysterically throughout the whole ride. I like being an Amazon and truly feel sorry for anyone who is under six foot. I can’t imagine not being able to see over a crowd or having to ask for help to reach the high stuff on a kitchen shelf. 😉

5. I can’t read in the car, I get motion sick. You can’t imagine how awful this was for me as a kid since I love to read and spent a lot of time traveling around by automobile.

6. I always sneeze in threes. Don’t ask me why but whenever I sneeze it always happens three times in a row. But there is a bit of a pause between each achoo. Which meant that my teachers always thought I was messing with them trying to cause trouble and interrupt the classroom. I would sneeze, they would stop, then start to talk again and bam here comes another sneeze. A vicious glare my way and they would start to speak again and bam sneeze number three. So whenever I sneeze and people say, “god bless you” I answer back with just wait, there will be two more 😉

7. I played basketball in college on a scholarship until I hurt my back. Once people realize I am an Amazon this is not a shocking announcement. But for people that only know me as a freelance webdesigner and computer geek it seems to really surprise them to find out I played sports most my life.

8. I am a change dropper. Nope I didn’t say name dropper, you read that right, I said change dropper. Apparently I leave change all over surfaces in the house and quite often dump the change by accident on the floor. I had no idea I was a change dropper until my RT roommate commented on the fact she was making serious money picking up quarters and dimes everywhere. I asked her where the money was coming from. She pointed in my direction. It baffled me. I never see any change at home, so I called my husband who confirmed that he picks up changes constantly and has cans full of it in the closet. Thinking on it I realized I hate to carry change in my pockets or purse so whenever I come home I always take out the change and put it in whatever location happens to be handy – the coffee table, book shelf, my desk. Now you might be wondering about the change on the floor. Apparently it’s in my pockets and whenever I change my clothes somehow I must turn my pants upside down in the process, the changes falls to the floor and apparently I never notice. Though I think it has more to do with the fact I have bad knees and probably notice but think, man I am so not bending down to pick that up because if I do I may not get back up off the floor. 😉 So there you go come room with me sometime and you can make yourself a small fortune following me around and swiping all my change 😉

Samantha Storm – http://www.samanthastorm.com/
Friday Maxwell spends her days working on computer code, and her nights forever stalking the dark city streets hunting down demons**Shadow Vision ** Coming June ’07 from NCP
***
Eye of the Storm – now in print from NCP
My Space – http://www.myspace.com/samanthastormbooks
Blogs- Butterscotch Martini Girls – http://www.butterscotchmartinigirls.com/

it was a hot day at the renaissance fair ;-)

Kayce will tell you all about the weekend, can’t wait to read about the dog humping story. It was a blast! I had a great time. I know its not my day to blog, but I figured I would share a story about what happened to me at the renaissance fair.
The renaissance fair was a blast..but it was a hot day. Which was fine. I was okay with the heat because its not even summer temp yet. I was okay..that is until I made the mistake of going into the port-a-potty. I am not joking it must have been a thousand degrees in there. Okay, maybe I am exaggerating a tad, but it was damn hot. And by the time I got done doing my business, which consisted of making sure myself, my purse nor my hat fell into the hole from hell, I was so hot I was thinking shit I am going to get heat exhaustion if I keep this up. Now I am quite familiar with the sensation of heat exhaustion since in another life about five years ago I helped run the family landscaping biz which meant I spend a good portion of the time out in the middle of the desert.
Did I mention that I live in Arizona and in the summer the temps can reach 120. Normally when we worked out in the desert we got up at 4:00 am and then stopped working at noon, mainly because it would be so hot the machinery such as dozers and loaders would stop working. Be amazed at this point that I know how to drive a loader 😉
Sorry I digress, yeah its true I am taking a break from working to sit here and bullshit while I wait for my coffee to heat back up so I can get that zoom zoom feeling pumping thru my veins again and I can get back to work.
Anyway one occasion years ago when I was a desert chick we were out staking claims, which means I was out with a backpack of wooden sticks walking up and down mountains with the rest of my family stopping ever mile or so to line up some funky measuring machine so we measure 1500 by 600 feet – you make a big square and put a stake at each corner of the square. Four stakes for each claim. Yes, it is just as exciting as it sounds. But if you get good at it you can do 25 claims in a day– the family record.
Okay back to the story…this day we were staking claims – Todd, myself, my dad and my mom — it was hotter than usual. In the Arizona summer heat the one thing you don’t ever want is humidity. You can stand 110 degree heat if its dry. Add any humidity onto that and its gets kind of hard to breathe and function. We had taken with us from the truck the normal amount of water we would take for such an occasion, but since it was humid none of realized we were drinking more and more often and the water was getting less and less. The rule when working in the Arizona desert is you drink every half hour whether you are thirsty or not. On this occasion we all run out of water at the same time and we realized with horror that we were about a 2 miles from the truck. Now I have had alot of odd adventurous out in the boondocks since my father is a geologist and we would spend a good deal of our off time out there with him messing about. I have had more than a few scary moments, but none of them have been life threatening (okay I take that back, maybe a few were, like the time my dad decided to jump the pick up truck across a dry river bed). Mostly they end up with a funny story that we can all laugh about later. But on this occasion I have to tell you I was really freaked out. My dad was starting to look as though he was getting heat exhaustion. I was getting a heat headache and we were out of water. Cell phones don’t work out there and it was a long walk back to the truck (in which could be found two five gallon jugs of the precious liquid.).
We put our heads down and walked. Over and up the hills, across the dry river bends, amongst the cacti we went, trying not to panic. By the time we got the truck dad was in bad shape and the rest of us were not far behind. We took salt tablets, guzzled down luke warm water and thanked our lucky stars we made it all in one piece. We were all sick for about three to four days after. Heat exhaustion the next day feels like a combo of the worst hangover you ever had and the high temp feeling you get with the flu. If you get too hot you can go into heat stroke (which can lead to you keeling over dead). If you get heat exhaustion really bad you can have a bad reaction to heat for months. You can ever get it so bad you can’t work out in the sun again. I have met a few people who had to move out of the state because they got heat exhaustion so bad it ruined them for ever working in the Arizona sun again.
Now with that story in mind, its understandable that I may have over reacted a bit when I ventured out from the porter-a-pot feeling hot, tired and with a monster headache. In hindsight I realize my headache was probably due to allergies, the exhaustion due to a sugar crash after consuming way too many hand made, hand dipped chocolate thingies. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but it seldom stops you from looking like an idiot. Because when I started to feel too hot and exhausted and the pounding headache came on I admit I panicked a bit. I thought, “oh no, I have heat exhaustion.”
I made my way to the nearest none port-potty restroom, one with a sink, and I proceeded–to the horror of the four woman standing nearby– stick my head under the faucet and soak my head. The looks on their face when I emerged from under the faucet, hair dripping wet down my shirt, was priceless. My response of course was to burst out laughing, which only made the bystanders more uncomfortable because now you could tell by their expressions they were worried I was between medication 😉
So there is my renaissance rambling story. The coffee is heated and I must get back to work. 😉
Samantha Storm – http://www.samanthastorm.com/
Eye of the Storm – now in print! – http://www.newconceptspublishing.com:80/eyeofthestorm.htm
Feet of Clay – Coming soon from – http://www.loveyoudivine.com/
Shadow Vision – Coming soon from NCP
Murder, Mayhem & Mistletoe – Buy it today! http://www.newconceptspublishing.com/murdermayhemandmistletoe.htm

Samantha Storm News & New Contest ;-)

I just signed two contracts this week one for an erotic interlude called Feet of Clay coming soon from Love You Divine and a contract for Shadow Vision coming soon from New Concepts Publishing.
On top of that Eye of the Storm is now out in print! 😉 http://www.newconceptspublishing.com/eyeofthestorm.htm

and Murder, Mayhem & Misletoe,Eye of the Storm and Portrait of Death
I am really excited about these two new stories and over the moon about my first print book being out…. so in celebration I figured I should run a contest 😉
Read the excerpts from my excerpt page
Murder, Mayhem and Mistletoe – http://www.samanthastorm.com/excerpts.html#mayhem
Send me an email telling me: which excerpt you liked best and why.
Send answer to sam @ samantha storm .com with SS contest in subject line
What can you win?
How about my new favorite CD – Regina Spektor – Begin Hope
One of my favorite movies – Playing by the Heart- DVD
and some Chai tea (double spiced also my fav)
I will be picking winners March 29th 😉

Heart’s Paradise..free read continued

She watched the blood pooling on the sand. She closed her eyes and shook her head in denial. This could not be happening. But it was and she needed to get her act together and go get help, but as she started to get up a strong hand clamped down on her mouth, muffling any cry for help.

She was roughly lifted to her feet. “I watched you two. Like animals rutting in water. I am so disappointed in you Amanda. I was willing to forget everything and take you back. But now how can I knowing you allowed that pig to touch you.”

Allen dragged her across the sand away from Devon. She struggled, using her elbows, nails trying to get away. Devon was bleeding on the sand she had to get back to him, had to help him. If she didn’t hemight die.

She bite down hard on the hand covering her mouth and was rewarded with a loud curse. Her mouth was free. She took a deep breath and let the scream rip through her, but before it could leave her lips, something crashed down hard on the side of her head and everything around her went black.

* * * *

Allen had lost his mind. Amanda could hear him pacing back and forth above her. She could even see his movements between the floor boards. As far as she had been able to figure out she was in some kind of crawl space beneath the floor. She spent most her time on her side hogged tied with duct tape across her mouth. Twice a day Allen opened the trap door and pulled her from her prison. She didn’t know what was worse, having her legs and arms fall asleep as the rope cut off circulating, or the utter torture she felt when he loosed her binds so she could eat. It was true agony as the blood pumped back into her hands. Tears streamed down her face as she forced her fingers open and shut.

She knew better than to talk to him during mealtime. The first couple days she begged and pleaded with him to let her go. Every time she spoke up he slapped her hard across the face. She had learned quickly to only answer when talked to.

Every day it was the same meal – a ham sandwich and a tall class of lemonade. He would watched her from the corner a gun pointed at her head. When she was done eating, he would wave the gun and motion for her to tie her legs and then he would walk over and tie her hands and tape her mouth shut ignoring her struggling and protests.

The first time he had hogged tied her, she tried to make the ropes around her legs loose, thinking when she was back in her cubby hold she could wiggle her feet free. But he had checked the ropes before he lowered her and had given her a smack on the head with the butt of the gun for her misbehaving. That’s what he called it misbehaving. Even in his madness he resorted to civil behavior, talking to her most times as though she was an invited guest instead of a hostage. But then there were those other times, when he would start calling her names, things like slut and whore and during the times Amanda was most afraid. His eyes held a look she couldn’t put into words. Something resembling an unbalanced animal.

She watched him now from across the room as she ate. There was almost nothing resembling the man she had known for so long in his expression or mannerisms. His eyes darted around the room at every creak in the old house. Old it was more like abandoned. On the walls cracked white paint and spider webs hang from most of the surfaces. The only two windows in the room were boarded up, but between the boards she could see slivers of daylight.

How long had she been here? It had been four days since she found herself awake, tied and imprisoned. But how long had she been unconscious. The last thing she remembered was being dragged from the beach. Devon. Was he dead or alive? She forced the image of him bleeding from her mind. He was alive. She refused to believe anything else. She was barely hanging on as it was. She had to believe that Devon was out there somewhere looking for her.

If you missed any of the story you can find it here – http://www.samanthastorm.com/freereads.html
Samantha Storm – http://www.samanthastorm.com/
Murder, Mayhem & Mistletoe – Buy it today! http://www.newconceptspublishing.com/murdermayhemandmistletoe.htm
Eye of the Storm – Available Now! http://www.newconceptspublishing.com/eyeofthestorm.htm

Heart’s Paradise Continued…

Amanda took her time getting ready. She stood in front the closet for 15 minutes trying to decide what to wear to dinner. Her final choice was a dark blue miniskirt dress. It clung to her every curve. She took careful care with her makeup and studied the overall effect in the mirror. Satisfied, she headed out into the living room. Devin had changed into dark jeans and a blue long sleeved collared shirt. He was sipping on a glass of wine as he stared out the window.

“I’m ready.” Amanda announced.

Devin turned and looked at her, his blue eyes roaming up and down the length of her. He took another sip of his wine and walked slowly across the room. He stopped two feet from her. She felt suddenly nervous and she tried to fight the urge to fidget with the skirt of her dress.

Devin looked at her and a slow grin spread across his face. He made a slight move forward and she startled, expecting him to grab her or pull her into his arms, instead he reached over and picked up his car keys off the coffee table. Amanda felt ridiculous for feeling so nervous and jittery. It was not like she was a young schoolgirl, with her first crush. She was an adult women, and quite capable of handling the likes of Devin. She smiled at him as he stood back up.

Devin looked at her as if he was trying to gauge what she was thinking. “Let’s get going.” He turned and started heading towards the door.

“Aren’t you going to say anything about how I look?” Amanda couldn’t quite keep the disappointment out of her voice.

Devin didn’t bother turning around as he answered her over his shoulder. “No.”

“No?” Amanda caught up with him outside on the stairs. “What do you mean no?”

He stopped but didn’t turn around. “I gave it some thought and decided you are probably right.”

“Right about what?”

“About the two of us. We don’t make a good match. You were dead on. I work for your father, the last thing we should be doing is muddling up the waters.”

“Muddling up the waters? What the hell does that mean?”

Devin turned. His face was inches from hers. “I mean if we have a love affair. It wouldn’t work out.”

“And why not?” She asked. Her heart was pounding so loudly she was afraid he could hear it.

“Because we are too different.” He glanced up at her hair and for just for a moment she thought she saw a spark of passion flash across his eyes. But then it was gone and in its place she saw friendly indifference.

She crossed her arms and glared at him. “Too different? So yesterday you wanted to get me into bed, but now you don’t?”

“That’s right,” he said as he continued down the stairs.

“But what about the hallway. What about…”

“What about it? It was just a kiss Amanda. Nothing really happened. It was one or two kisses that’s all. We are both adults. I don’t think we have to loose our heads over it.”
Amanda didn’t know what to think. This was the last thing she expected.

“Come on, I asked around and there’s supposed to be a good Chinese food restaurant down the street. Tonight we will go out and eat. Tomorrow we will be beach bums. Don’t worry Amanda it will fly by and we will be back in the office before you know it.”

* * *
The Chinese food restaurant located on the main drag, the place was packed full of locals. Decorated in gold and red, paper lanterns were strung across the ceiling and pictures of dragons where hung on the wall. The food was incredible. Amanda tried to teach Devin how to eat with chopsticks, because she wasn’t much of a cook, she ordered a lot of take out. He had laughed when she told him she had the number of her favorite Chinese restaurant at home, the one that delivered up until midnight, on speed dial.

Amanda was surprised how easily the conversation flowed. Conversations with Devin were so different then the ones she was use to with Allen.

Allen always expected everything that came out of Amanda’s mouth to be intellectual and meaningful. Not that he every listened to what she was saying, for the last couple of years Allen would monopolize the conversation talking about his work. Allen had landed a very important job after college at a local Community College as part of their course development team. He would spend hours telling Amanda about the intimate details of his work day, always talking about the academic world he was part of with a hushed reverence, Amanda could never share.

Allen never could loosen up and just have fun; he was always so serious. It was nice going out with someone she could just talk to without monitoring everything she said. Amanda found herself telling Devin all the stupid jokes that were being emailed around the office, stories about her family and silly stories about her cat; it was liberating to just say exactly what she was thinking.

After dinner they drove back to the condo. Devin got out of the car first and walked over to the driver’s side, opening the door for her. It was bad enough the guy was attractive and sexy, did he have to also be a gentleman. Amanda had never been treated so well, he opened doors for her, and when they went out at night he was constantly scanning around. She had never felt so protected, so female before.

As she got out of the car, Devin suddenly grabbed her into his arms and pulled them both into the shadows. Now this is more like it, she thought as she rested her chin on his chest.
“I knew it was too good to be true.”

“Hmmm,” Amanda snuggled closer into him.

“I can’t believe he is waiting to ambush us.”

For the first time Amanda realized that Devin’s attention was not on her. “What are you talking about?”

“Shhhh,” he whispered softly into her ear, “he will hear you.”

“Who?” she stood up on tiptoe and peered over his shoulder.

“Allen.”

“No! You got to be kidding me, where is he?”

“Over on the side of the condo, by the stairs.”

Amanda could just make out a human outline in the shadows. “How do you know it’s him?”
“Call it a lucky guess.” Devin grabbed Amanda and pulled her along with him towards the beach.

“We should go talk to him.”

“Nay, I tried that once and look where it got me. I’m lucky he didn’t press assault charges.”

“What are we going to do?” Amanda tried to carefully pick her way along the rocky path down to the beach. Her black high heels were not the sort of footwear meant for this type of activity. Devin seeing her wobbling precariously between two stones picked her up and carried her the rest of the way to the beach.

“Thanks,” she said as her set her down on the sand. Her breathlessness had more to do with being held in his arms then physical exertion. “So what’s the plan of action, are we hiding out at the beach all night?”

Devin took off his jacket and laid it across the sand. “We know how it will end up if I go talk to the guy.”

“I get you point, that would be bad.” Amanda took the arm he offered to steady her as she lowered herself done onto his jacket. “Besides, I don’t know if I have enough in travelers checks to bail you out of jail.”

“Sure, laugh it up.” He chuckled and then his voice became serious. “What is up with this guy, Amanda? Has he been bothering you like this back home?”

When she didn’t answer, he leaned over and took her chin in his hands. He raised her face up so he could make out her expression in the moonlight. “He is the reason you left town.”

“I didn’t leave just because of him. I hadn’t taken a vacation in years.” She said defensively. She had felt extremely foolish fleeing town in the middle of the night. It seemed like such a cowardly thing to do.

Devin, realizing by her tone that this was a sensitive area of conversation, let go of her and made his tone casual. “What else has he been doing?”

“I think he has been following me to and from work.”

“You got to be kidding me!”

“I been getting crazy notes and phone calls, but I can’t prove it’s him.”

“Why didn’t you tell anyone?”

“I didn’t think it was anyone’s business. I don’t know, how do you announce to everyone you are being stalked. Honestly, I figured he was just upset about the breakup. I was sure he would come to his senses and the harassment would stop any day.”

“And what about almost being run over?”

Amanda was suddenly still. “Who told you about that?”

“You did when you were drunk.”

“It must have been my imagination. I mean who would want to run me over. And I wasn’t drunk, I was slightly tipsy.”

“Pardon me, I meant tipsy.” She could hear the laughter in his voice. “Humor me and tell me the story anyway.”

“I came out of the office. I wasn’t really paying attention to my surroundings. I’m working on a new project. Anyway I was crossing the street, I heard a car. It sort of came out of nowhere. It was the driver probably didn’t see me. I had to jump out of the way.”

“Could it have been Allen?”

“I can’t imagine him doing something like that.”

“But you were worried enough you skipped town.”

“I was tired of dealing with the situation.” She had been so caught up in her thoughts she didn’t realize at first that it was raining.

“Earth to Amanda. Hello, anybody in there. It’s raining.”

A warm sprinkle covered her arm. “Should we go in?”

“Nay, it doesn’t seem to be raining that hard.” As soon as the words were out of his mouth the skies opened up. Water poured down in buckets.

Amanda laughed and got up, she was soaked. “You were saying?”

He sat on the ground, rain pouring down his face and grinned. “I’m occasionally wrong.”
Her hair was plastered against her face. She tried to push it out of her eyes.

“Occasionally? Ok, Sherlock what do we do now?”

He got up and peeled off his shirt. “Since we are already wet, why don’t we go for a midnight swim in the ocean.”

“Are you crazy it’s raining.”

“Yeah, but there is still a full moon out, and it’s bright enough even with the clouds.”

It was bright out and she could clearly see him in the dark. She couldn’t keep her eyes off his muscular chest and as he moved and flexed her heart started pounding fast in her chest. Man he had great biceps. He started to unbuckle his belt and she forced herself to turn away. She heard a loud splash.

“Come on in the water is fine.” He shouted to her from the water.

“Turn around.”

“Amanda I am ten feet away, and it’s dark. I think it’s a safe bet I can’t see anything from here.”

She pulled her dress up over her head. It was hard getting it off, it was wet and stuck to her skin. She finally managed to get free of the dress and she stood in her white lace bra and patties. She couldn’t help herself she covered her arm across her chest. Even though she was in her underwear she felt naked and exposed.

‘Don’t be a prude,’ she told herself, it’s not like he was seeing her naked, her underwear was no different then wearing a bikini. She made her way down towards the waters edge. She slowly walked into the ocean, the water was chilly. She swam out until she could no longer touch and looked around for Devin. She couldn’t see him anywhere. Where was he? She began to panic. Maybe swimming in the ocean at night wasn’t a smart idea, what if he was forced under by a wave and hurt himself?

“Devin.” She called out, treading water as she turned her head back and forth scanning the waves for him. He didn’t answer and she couldn’t see him. Now she was really worried. “Devin!”

“Right here.” She heard from behind her as he dunked her.

She surfaced and yelled at him, “I can’t believe you did that!”

“Maybe you will believe this.” He laughed as he dunked her again.

She came up sputtering water. “Stop trying to drown me.”

“Sorry couldn’t help myself.” He was only inches from her. He suddenly reached out and pulled her into him. “Are you ok?”

“I’m fine.” His body felt warm against hers.

“Cold?” he asked as he felt her shiver against him.

It was not the cold that was making her shiver it was the electric shocks that were going off in her body. Every where their skin met she felt a tiny tingling sensation.

“You can let go of me now.”

“Sure,” he said his voice low, but he didn’t let her go.

“Devin I think it has stopped raining.”

“Has it?”

“Maybe swimming in the dark isn’t such a hot idea. We should probably head back to the condo. Allen has to be gone by now.”

“Is that what you want to do?” He asked. She could feel the heat of his breath caressing her neck.

She took a deep breath and tried to concentrate on anything but his body. “Yes, it would be the smart thing to do.”

“Ok, whatever you say.” He pushed away from her and swam back to shore.

She followed him out of the water. She reached down to pick up her dress when she heard the noise. It was like loud. Before she could ask him what it was, he had moved too fast for her to follow, narrowing the distance between them. She heard another loud noise as he grabbed her and rolled them both onto the ground.

The breath was knocked out of her by the fall. She sat gasping for air, Devin lying across the top of her.

“Devin what was that?” she asked when she finally found her voice. He didn’t answer. “Devin?” She shook his shoulder, but her hand made contact with something sticky. Alarms went off in her head. She tried to push him off, but he was heavy. “Devin!” She cried out, using all the strength she had to shove him off of her. He hit the round next to her but didn’t move. She turned him over and looked down in horror at the blooding pouring his head. It ran down in a sheet across his face. She sat stunned unable to move, frozen in horror.

****

If you missed any of the Free read you can find it here: http://www.samanthastorm.com/excerpts.html

Samantha Storm – http://www.samanthastorm.com/
Murder, Mayhem & Mistletoe – Buy it today! http://www.newconceptspublishing.com/murdermayhemandmistletoe.htm
Eye of the Storm – Available Now!  http://www.newconceptspublishing.com/eyeofthestorm.htm

Murder, Mayhem and Mistletoe is out ;-)

going to try this again 😉 last time I tried to get all fancy I messed up the blog. I have been busy promoting my newest release Murder, Mayhem and Mistletoe.

MMMMurder, Mayhem and Mistletoe

Available now!

New Concepts Publishing

LENGTH: Novella
SENSUALITY: Carnal

What do you get when you think you’re going to party down… but every guy you know has left you with Murder, Mayhem and Mistletoe?

Join Teddy’s hilarious sexy romp and find out who ‘did it’, or who’s doing who!

If you think you know Samantha Storm’s writing, well… guess again! You haven’t seen anything like this before! Murder, Mayhem and Mistletoe is rated Carnal, so buyer beware!

Now to celebrate the release how would you like to win a Samantha Storm coffee cup and some Kona coffee straight from Hawaii? 😉 All you have to do is read the excerpt http://www.samanthastorm.com/excerpts.html and answer the question “What did Paula try to give Teddy to help her escape the handcuffs?” Send your answer to sam@samanthastorm.com and I will randomly pick a winner end of January. I also have another contest on my site you can enter – http://www.samanthastorm.com/contest.html

So thats my spiel for this lazy sunday afternoon. It’s overcast up in Superior and looks like any moment we are going to get rain. Hope this weekend finds you well. If you are home hanging out and having a lazy sunday and you are looking for something to do why not check out MMM. It’s a fun, short read and only 3.50. 😉

Murder, Mayhem & Mistletoe – Buy it today! http://www.newconceptspublishing.com/murdermayhemandmistletoe.htm
Samantha Storm – http://www.samanthastorm.com/
Eye of the Storm – Available Now!  http://www.newconceptspublishing.com/eyeofthestorm.htm