VIRTUALLY HERS came out Oct. 2009. Get it at SAMHAIN Publishing. VIRTUALLY ONE coming soon.

I've also made available at Amazon BIG BAD WOLF a COS Commando book, an earlier manuscript about Killian Nicholas Langley. You can sample the first five chapters right here. EBOOK now available for KINDLE, NOOK, and at SMASHWORDS for $4.99.

I appreciate all your emails. If you'd like to buy Virtually His NEW, please contact me. Thank you.


Big Bad Wolf Author's Note/CH. 1

Big Bad Wolf CH. 2

Big Bad Wolf Ch. 3

(more chapters on left side bar below)

To read excerpts of VIRTUALLY HERS, scroll down & click on the links on the right.



VIRTUALLY HERS OUT IN PRINT AUG 2010! Discounted at Amazon!

To read & comment on the poll (left column), click HERE. Thank you for all the wonderful posts there!



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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Amazon vs MacMillan, or Uber Roofer's Roofing 101

The following is solely a rooferauthor's back-and-forth understanding of the situation.

Last night (Friday), Amazon took off the BUY button of all books under the McMillan Publishing umbrella, affecting many of my writing friends who write for, just to name a few, Tor, St. Martin's Press, and Faber & Faber (and don't forget the school books!), making them unavailable for sale. There has been quite an uproar, especially on the Intertubes, among authors, sellers, and readers, all siding one, the other, or none, all castigating one, the other, or both.

Since it is about the book industry and could affect me in the future, I need to process this. There's really nothing I can do because the two giants are negotiating over prices that I can't set. They're doing all the doing and I'm just an author with a small roofing business with which to compare all the finagling going on.

***What is Amazon vs McMillan about?

Well, it depends on who's explaining the Big War. The Amazon side says that they're trying to sell ebooks at $9.99 and mean old MacMillan is telling them in the newest round of negotiations that they can't do that. Amazon is saying that they're all about the readers and MacMillan is not. There is, as far as I know, no official statement.

The MacMillan side says that they're trying to maintain fair competition among all booksellers. In their new negotiations, they're asking Amazon to sell books in a scaled price, i.e. $14.99 to $5.99. From official statement on Publishers' Lunch:

Under the agency model, we will sell the digital editions of our books to consumers through our retailers. Our retailers will act as our agents and will take a 30% commission (the standard split today for many digital media businesses). The price will be set the price for each book individually. Our plan is to price the digital edition of most adult trade books in a price range from $14.99 to $5.99. At first release, concurrent with a hardcover, most titles will be priced between $14.99 and $12.99. E books will almost always appear day on date with the physical edition. Pricing will be dynamic over time.

The agency model would allow Amazon to make more money selling our books, not less. We would make less money in our dealings with Amazon under the new model. Our disagreement is not about short-term profitability but rather about the long-term viability and stability of the digital book market.

I'm interpreting this as MacMillan trying to equate e-books with hardcovers, that if e-customers/e-readers are eager, they can purchase the e-version of books when they first come out at the full price. If they don't want to pay this price, similar to print-readers who choose to wait for the cheaper paperback version, they can wait until the price scales down over time.

Now my interpretation may be wrong but that's how those paragraphs read to me. Here is the link to the entire McMillan formal statement:


Of course, the raging debate narrows down to these facts:

1) e-readers are angry that McMillan wants to raise e-books to $15. Amazon can sell their products at any price they want.

Rooferauthor: I can see their POV. Of course consumers want everything cheap and Amazon is giving them the price they want.

b) Authors are concerned because Amazon took off the BUY buttons for ALL books, meaning, print version of their books can't be bought either. This kind of hardball doesn't make them happy because hey, it's the e-books they're in disagreement with, so why punish the print books too?

Rooferauthor: I also see this POV. But I'm also thinking, readers who want to buy the books can go to Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, Borders, and other sites. All that Internetz Shouting might rub the e-readers/Kindle people the wrong way. Of course, authors should provide information on their sites about what's happening and Other Avenues to order their books, even e-versions of them. This, however, doesn't solve the Amazon/Kindle e-readers' dilemma.

iii) "Everyone is just greedy bastards. Everyone makes too much money. Everyone is out to get them. Everyone ought to..." Ah. There are many versions of this kind of scolding. One can't argue against the bitterness. It's an emotional issue for some e-readers. Got it. Ebooks should be cheaper without DRM. Got it. Ebooks can't be treated like print books. Got it.

Rooferauthor: These topics are a whole 'nother can of worms. Since when have retailers make things the price it should be even if the product is cheaply made? It costs Nike $6 to make their shoes in Indonesian factories, but evidently, some consumers are still happily buying those shoes at $50 a pair.

Roofing analogy:

I've been in the business for over 20 years and I've seen something similar happened to the roofing industry. Over the last two decades, big companies have gobbled up all the mid-sized ones. This can be compared to how all the big publishers buying out or merging with each other until there are now numerous publishers like Tor and St. Martins who are actually part of the giant Daddy, McMillan.

Today, in the roofing business, one can survive two ways. One, be super-huge, the kind that have many, many employees, with big trucks and heavy equipment, able to bid on multi-million commercial jobs as well as whole subdivisions, thus giving savings through their accounts with the suppliers, and bringing in bunches of cheaply-paid employees who can do ten or twenty roofs a day to get that profit in spite of the giant overhead.

By giant overhead, I mean these companies have to deal with insurance (workman's comp, liability and health), accounting departments, salespeople, interest payments on property, bills from owning all those company vehicles and construction equipment, maybe tv/radio advertising (I know the yellow pages cost $$$ for those big ads), etc. This is not even counting the silent partners who don't get involve in anything except their share of the profits.

Their pricing of roofs to customers (homeowners) might have to be higher, but they offer an attractive package that some homeowners want--maybe interest-free loans upto 12 months to pay, a job done in a day instead of a week, a "big" name which some of them think = good job (or at least, some sort of guarantee that they could get the company back to fix any problems), etc. etc.

The other model: be super-small, with very few or no employees, with the owners wearing as many hats as they can, including doing the roofing work themselves. With very little overhead, the small company can charge a lot cheaper and make a profit, but they have to work a lot harder because they don't get the same discounts from suppliers. They usually don't have any health insurance (self-employed, plus under five employees) and no big dump trucks or construction insurance beyond the minimum required. They very rarely have the big ads. They don't have to worry about constantly have jobs to sustain the pay and credit; one roof at a time can pay for employees (usually one or two) and expenses, plus a little profit.

If it's like my partner and me, we really only need one roof a week to stay alive. We aren't going to get rich doing that, but it'll pay the bills and we can sustain a so-so standard of living, providing we're careful. We also don't have to worry about huge losses; we don't make any money that job, but at least we're not paying out paychecks in addition to the loss.

On the negative side, we can't compete with the big dudes. There are only two of us; they can do a job much faster than us. They can also, if they decide, eat the loss and bid some jobs lower just to keep their guys working and the company cash flow going. Smaller companies like mine can't do that, so we usually don't take the job or go out of business.

Why am I giving you guys a short course in Roofing Biz 101? And how is that even comparable to Publishing 501?

Well, I can only give you my understand of what is happening. To me, a big company's business model and their profit margin is very different from a smaller one. Besides the extra expenses that smaller companies don't have, they have to take into account that other smaller subcontracting companies may depend on their accounts for their livelihood.

So, back to Amazon. Amazon is one of McMillan's retailers. They also invented the Kindle. To get the e-reading market interested in the Kindle, Amazon lowered their ebook prices, thus taking the loss of what they bought the ebooks for against the profit of selling more Kindles. As I see it, they aren't making any money from the ebooks, but from one of their non-McMillan products. On the way, Amazon is killing the other retailers who can't match that price for the same McMillan ebooks (because they all bought it at, let's say, $15 and not everyone can take a $5 loss).

McMillan would like its other retailers (with their Nooks and their I-Pads) to succeed, so that there is a competitive market for its digital program in the future. It's in their interest not to have an Amazon/Kindle monopoly. They would like all its retailers to have the scale-model it proposed in its new contract (I think Apple has accepted this, but not sure).

Amazon retaliated by pulling all MacMillan books this Friday. Why? Not sure. Maybe to show that they don't need MacMillan as much as MacMillan needs them. I do know that one of their strengths lie in their telling their e-market that it's all about the publishers' greed, thus making quite a number of readers, both e- and print, very angry and vowing one threat or another.

The bone of contention appears to be how much does it take to make an ebook? It's not tangible and there is no overhead of housing them in some storage place. Once it's done, it's just a file waiting to be downloaded. So, an ebook should cost less than $15. For example, Samhain Publishing charges a lot less ($5-8) and they're a thriving company, aren't they? Why can't MacMillan and other big bad publishing companies do the same?

That's just it. They can't. Remember my Roofing 101 above? The big companies have other expenses so they spread the costs of their products around to keep the company going. A small company's smaller overhead, in this case, means less profit to divide, and they're willing to let Amazon play with the price because their ebooks aren't affected. Besides, they're mostly e-books, not mostly print books.

On the other hand, the big guns are mostly print books. The ebook market is growing but not fast enough to sustain their present expenses, with their stable of authors. Losing out to Amazon, one of their retailers, mean that they'd also have to take a loss that perhaps they can't afford to right now (I don't know. I don't want to come off defending them. I really don't know how much it costs for big companies to make ebooks plus their overhead, but I'm thinking closer to double what it takes Samhain). Also, see monopoly concerns above (everyone agrees Amazon is on the way). Lastly, if e-books were to take the place of hard covers in the future, big publishers would like it to have a premium price, just like the hard cover (the logic here is a bit fuzzy).

So, does rooferauthor have a solution?

Heh. Well, one stupid one. Big publisher should form another company under its umbrella that is totally NOT affiliated with the print part. This smaller company should have no employees wearing any other hats but its own. Its overhead would then be similar to that of Samhain and like companies.

Then, after signing their authors and buying the rights to published their books, Big Company can sell the ebook rights to the smaller company, relinquishing all responsibility of production, just the same way it does so when it sells the foreign rights. This agreement can be renewable on a limited basis so authors can renegotiate or whatever other business negotiations that go on in the big business world to make sure they get more money. Thus Big Company now has made its initial "profit."

With the control as well as smaller overhead, smaller company can then produce e-versions of the contracted books at a cheaper cost (no worries about Other Expenses) and sell to Amazon and other retailers at a lower cost and then let the retailers set the price however they want.

Simplistic? Probably, since I haven't really sat down and thought the whole model through. I'm not the one with the problem, you know. I was just thinking, that if a silly small rooferauthor could start trying to come up with a workable solution, these big companies could have done so without playing the billionaire's version of chicken. Right? Just sayin'.

Not that anyone would listen to a rooferauthor.

End Roofing 101. Back to your reading pleasure ;-).

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

I-PAD: Where Did The Idea Come From?

You have to watch this video. No words needed ;-).

Clearly someone was a visionary years ago....

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Request For Gennita's Funniest Adventures

A new reader emailed me, saying that she's been trying to go through all my blog entries, all the way to the beginning (gulp), because she wanted to read my funny posts like this one:

Gennita's Suspenseful Massage Incident


"I suffer from insomnia and spend most of my nights reading. I just discovered your books and some of them were damn funny. So I decided to google you and it gave me a link to the massage incident you wrote about. It was so funny that I had to check your blog out for more of your humor. Surely you have more than that post to keep me laughing. I really enjoy your sense of humor and was hoping to find more Adventures of Jenn. Can you give me the links to some of your more memorable funny moments so I can have a good time laughing during my sleepless nights? Please?"

Wow. Thank you for buying my books and I'm glad you enjoyed them. I think going back through all my posts (from 2004!!!) would be totally insane. I can imagine all the Sexy Veges keeping you up!

Anyway, I'm not sure whether Jenn's Adventures are that interesting, but hey, maybe the following will jog some of my regular blog visitors' memories and they can laugh along at my silly moments. And of course, a source of amusement for new readers who haven't read them before:

Gennita's Play About The Plagiarised Black-Footed Ferret

Gennita's Identityless Nightmare At Atlanta Airport

Gennita's Head Kissed The Concrete

What A Girl Learns With Her Eyes Closed

Gennita's Guide To Swinging Your Ass Fifty Feet In The Air

Gennita's Annual Adventure With The Bugman

Gennita Says No To Sexy Vagi

Gennita Discovers Porcupine Porn

Gennita's Scary Uber Bunny Story

Gennita And The Uber-Screaming Frog Incident

Gennita Learns About Auras

Hopefully, the ones I've picked are funny to you, Shona. I don't know; most of these stories seemed so traumatic, I'm sure it explains my brain damage ;-).

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Question to Readers

An audio publishing company has approached me to get my works into Itunes, Amazon and

Question: Would you be interested in an MP3 (audio) file of Big Bad Wolf? Or any of the other books if I can get the audio rights back? My NY publishers hadn't put out any audio GLow books, so this seems like an interesting opportunity.

If you're interested and if you're an audio book buyer, do you prefer a male or female narrator?

Alsom I don't know what the pricing is like, so I'm going to have to research further. Any information you can pass on to me is appreciated!

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WTF Children TV Show


Clearly, my weekend has a theme going. Thanks to Katiebabs, I'm scarred for life. Here is a children's TV show in Belgium called Neveneffecten. It's a Teletubby Penis.

Again. Children's TV show???!!

You have to watch this segment and wonder about Belgium TV. I guarantee you're going leave your jaw on the floor.

Ahem, homework?

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

OMG! Prick cushions!

LOL. Do you sew? Well, you might need one of these! Etsy will sell anything:

Home of the Prick Cushion

Here's a CLOSE-UP of the product.

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Today Is National Figure Skating Championships

If my girl, Michelle Kwan, hadn't retired, she would have been debuting this short program (Carina Burana):

She unveiled this in Korea last year and brought the house down. Yeah, I miss her so, so much. I'm watching the championships tonight and nope, still can't get excited about it without her.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

There Be Yummy Cowboys

Legendary author Linda Lael Miller, one of my favorite goddesses, will be continuing her McKettrick saga in a trilogy. She has a behind-the-scene look on how her trailer was made. And if you like to look at men in cowboy hats and jeans, you have to check this out:

Don't you want all three of the McKettrick brothers? :-) Here is the equally delicious end product, the trailer:

Hmmm. Happy Friday! :)

P/S Don't forget to answer the reader (post below) if you're feeling helpful today.

P/P/S For those who share my LURV for puppies, Kika has given birth to another set of beautiful babies and you can get addicted like me by scrolling down to the bottom of my blog and catch a dose of Puppy Heaven. Click on the middle arrow to stay on this site.

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Want To Help This Reader?

Someone posted a question on about Stash McMillan.

Why does she call him Stash?

Would you like to help her? Click on the link and comment here if you know the answer ;-).

Another question, from me, out of curiosity:

Do you care if you ever know what Marlena's real name is? Why?

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Plot Interruptus

Have you seen those people who jump off mountains in a suit that looks like a flying squirrel? They essential imitate the movement of one as they sail off from thousands of feet in the air and then, using air flow/wind, they control their freefall and avoid the sides of cliffs till, at a certain altitude, they pull their chute to land.

I watched this extreme "sport" called Wingsuit Base Jumping on a sixty-minute piece. They looked like flying bullets. It was amazing. Absolutely crazy. And I thought, Alex Diamond would so go for something like that. And wouldn't it be great to have Hell do that too?! So I'm now dreaming up a scene in which he takes Hell to do this as her first time.

I know, I know, you're asking, "But where the hell is Jed?????"

I don't know. I just know it's Alex and Hell in this scene. Sometimes characters are obstinate like that and it's up to the author to try to piece the rest of the story to make sense ;-P. Right now, I have no clue how, where, or why I suddenly saw Alex and Hell wingsuit jumping, or certainly, no idea why Jed isn't with them, or how I'm going to fit this little adventure into Virtually One.

If you clicked on the video above, isn't that freaking out-of-your-mind amazing? Some people have no fear, man.

One of the athletes featured on 60 minutes is J.T. Holmes. Not only fearless. Cute, too ;-).

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Monday, January 18, 2010

I Find These Disturbing

These are stained glass of the Simpsons done for their 20th anniversary on TV. I'm not sure what the religious theme has to do with the celebration.

Somewhat funny, but mostly disturbing. What about you?

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Jack Bauer Is Back! Rooferwriter Excited

Each season, watching Jack Bauer is my crackalicious duty. The over-the-top plots, the crazy characters, the lack of logic--somehow I'm still riveted. Jack Bauer fascinates and amuses me as a character, with his alpha toughness that borders on lunacy (but in a good, protect-the-world way) and his inability to communicate other than with weapons. And of course, there's always the thigh-shooting and the JackSack (TM) that holds all weapons and yet look so innocently empty when he's carrying it. We Jack fans cackle every time a thigh is shot, with much beverage consumed for each mention of "perimeter."

It's great how we get to love certain characters, in books and shows, and stay with them through their journey. We enjoy their ticks and mannerisms; we love them in spite of their faults. How many of us have whole series of books with characters that have become part of our reading family (Eve and Roarke come to mind)? When they do bone-headed things, we yell at them; when they're in danger or in pain, we're totally concerned about their safety and emotional well-being, looking eagerly for the next chapter or book to let us know all is well...for a little while ;-).

That's why I'm enjoying writing my Virtual series. It's an exercise in learning how to write with many eyes. I've discovered that it's like being on an escalator that goes up pass different floors, one that I can choose to stop on the way to the top. Each floor has different "stores," ones that I could explore, if I chose to get off, and the stores give me items that tell yet another layer of my hero's and heroine's stories.

As a writer, knowing that there are readers who are taking an interest in one's characters to commit to a series is humbling, exciting, scary, exhilarating, and so much more. It can also be overwhelming because the challenges can turn into quicksand and cut off one's air.

Like Jack Bauer's plot lines, how much more over-the-top can it get before the fans walk away? For now, I'm still willing to let Jack Bauer save the day. Why? Because the character is iconic: he moves around in a time with the ease of Bionic Man when all of us are mired in a frozen state. He is unbelievable and unbelievably amazing, but then all superheros are supposed to be both.

It's more difficult in a romance with action because the writer has to take care of the romance, have the hero heroic without crossing that gray line of being unredeemable. That Jack Bauer is aware of how far gone he is makes him a challenging romantic hero, if one is inclined to pick up the challenge to give him a romance plot line ;-). I heard that this season, he might meet a heroine dark and damaged enough to actually take him on. Can't wait!

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Having Writer's Drip

Here's a new review of Virtually Hers by the Joyfully Reviewed site and the reviewer is happy. Yay!

Writing has been coming incredibly slow and frustrating. Drip. Drip Drip. And with the deadline noose tightening, it's not a fun feeling at all.

It makes me understand the writers depicted in those old movies in some yucky motel room with lots of booze and cigarettes while they pound away at their story, totally living outside of reality and away from distraction of news. I would love that kind of tunnel vision focus, minus the cigarettes and yucky conditions. You noticed I didn't take away the booze ;-).

But alas, I'm not brave enough to be that into my art. Those movie writers don't care about bills (because they have none, ha) and they, being fictitious, probably don't have mutant poms to feed too (and huuuuuge vet bills!).

They always say that the artist must sacrifice for his art. There are biographical accounts of madness, angst and existential loneliness, and you know, I look at my own little world and go, "uh-huh madness, angst and existential loneliness alrightee then, go over there and wait your turn while I deal with fear, impatience, and daily aches and pain." Yeah, the drama in my life is overwhelming ;-).

Not saying here that there aren't great writers (and artistes) today that aren't normal. I'm sure many of them are well-adjusted human beings. And they probably go through the same empty feeling I get when they're stuck--where is the dRAMa, the rush of creativity, that sort of feeling.

It's good to look hard at one's life and question about one's choices, especially when you're a writer. Because writers are observers by nature and who better to observe than one's own life? And in the end, I have to acknowledge that I don't want THAT MUCH drama. I'm such a coward, I know. //hangs head

That's the hardest part of being a writer, I think. When the creativity goes drip, drip, drip, there is nowhere to turn to because it's all inside the head, and all that despair is meaningless to everyone else but the writer.

Geez, now that I've spread some cheer to your Friday, I'll endeavor to brighten my roofing crew's day with some messy leaks.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

AVATAR: Does The Story Sound Familiar?

This was circulated around the Twitter Chatters. Funny.

Wish Virtually One is coming along this easily ;-).

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Monday, January 11, 2010

It Snowed & It's Freezing Out

It's ridiculously cold. The windchill yesterday made it 20 degrees on the roof in the morning! Argh. We're joking about changing our moniker to the Ice Cube State. It's been ten days of freezing temperatures since New Year, so 2010 hasn't exactly been normal.

I'm on ur roof, freezing my ass.

I did have something that kept me chuckling through the day. I was invited to a potluck party. Apparently, my roofing help have no idea what potluck parties are. Or at least, their idea is definitely not of the legal variety.

The whole day, they were trying to finagle an invitation to this "potluck" party. And of course, I had to keep a straight face through it all, telling them that "it's an invitation-only event, for people who bring special blends" and "No, my crowd isn't your kind of crowd." Bwahaha. Evil, no?

I also realized that I haven't read a book since last year! And there are so many that just came out that I've been looking forward to. What is wrong with me? It's as if my brain has become a lump of ice.

Anyway, what's the first book of the year for you? Did you like it?

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Saturday, January 09, 2010

Having A Bad Labia Day?

I had a WTF moment while looking at this ad at The Frisky and then I laughed and laughed till something in my sides hurt a lot. So, ahem, are you feeling a bit dull in certain private quarters? Are you Other Lips looking a little lacklustre with age? Need to restore some pinkness?

I kid you not.

You can now buy a color restorant (four shades!!!) for $29.95 at and have pretty labia lips again.

Oh, what a great stocking stuffer for Christmas! If your man had gotten you this along with that Pap Smear present as suggested by the CBS ad, would that make him a douchebag? :D


While you're visiting down south, why not do some tightening with the Like A Virgin cream that will shrink your womanly walls up? You know those who bought into these ads definitely needed a shrink.

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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Bad Puppy Says BRRRRRR!

Florida is officially the Icecube State. Even Bad Puppy is feeling the nip. He never ever liked being under blankets before. Ha. Not tonight. Went hiding when I was calling him to go outside to do his bithnez.

"Nope, nopenopeNOPE! You can't make me go outside, mommy! You can't seeee meeee!"

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A Gennita Low Excerpt: Alex and T Meet (Redux)

As promised yesterday, and because of many, many reader requests, I'm re-posting the excerpt in which T and Alex, two popular characters in the GLow World, met for the first time. The proposal to this book is still being shopped around, so no, you won't be reading the story soon and yes, I do have the first version of the manuscript done.


THE FOLLOWING IS THE FIRST CHAPTER OF ALEX AND T's STORY, Copyright 2009@Gennita Low, all rights reserved. No part of the following excerpt can be reproduced without the author's permission.

VIRTUALLY YOURS (you guys know this title is tongue-in-cheek, right)


She knew she had to think fast when they brought him into the room, prodding him roughly with their weapons. She recognized him immediately, even under all that dirty snow and unkempt hair. She had thought him very attractive from the computer files but up close, he was magnificent.

They had pulled off his fur coat and cut away his sweater, and he shivered slightly in the cold room, although his expression remained watchful and calm. The thermal shirt he wore clung to his broad chest, outlining the body she had imagined touching when she’d studied his file. It took her a moment to realize that he was looking directly at her. She took a deep breath and calmly returned his gaze. He didn’t know her, after all.

He hadn’t changed much from the file photos, although they were a few years old. His blond hair was longer and blonder than she’d thought, as if he had been staying out in the sun a lot. His blue eyes still captured hers, and she felt a tingle of awareness as he studied her. A hint of a smile ghosted his full, sensual lips, as if he knew exactly how he affected her. Impossible, she thought. She was not that easy to read.

“Talia, love, he’s eyeing you,” the man beside her said mockingly. “Do you know him?”

She couldn’t take her eyes away from the prisoner. There were so many questions she wanted to ask, like what the hell was he doing here? “No, I don’t think so,” she lied, pretending to study the man closely. “You said he’s American, Sasha?”

“That’s what his ID says,” Sasha answered. He flipped open the wallet in his hand. “Robert Alexander Diamond,” he read aloud in thick, accented English. “D. O. B.?”


“Date of birth,” she told him, also in English, with a softer, gentler accent. She didn’t need him to tell her that the prisoner was thirty-seven years old.

“Ah, da. Date of birth.” Sasha paused again, frowning. He was a good-looking man, with a deep scar marring one side of his face, from the corner of one eye down to almost his throat. The puckered skin added menace to a face too pretty to have been in such a vicious knife fight. His lips pursed as he tried to read the information.

She immediately guessed the problem. “Americans, Sasha,” she gently explained, “reverse the month and the date.”

“Bah,” Sasha succinctly gave his opinion about American ways.

She laughed, as was expected of her, then stepped closer to the Russian man. “Let me see this ID, darling.” Nice fake, she noted, and again wondered what he was doing here, in Siberia. He would be another problem tonight, to add to her current one. She couldn’t decide which was the more difficult task—avoiding the amorous advances of Sasha Barinsky without raising his suspicions or saving the ass of Alexander Diamond, COS Commando currently on the lam.

“Well, anything to tell us whether he is really as he said, a lost photographer?” Sasha growled. “Here, look at these papers on him. His formal Russian is quite good, for a dumb American journalist.”

“Ah, da.” She gave the silent prisoner a hard glance. Why did he use that job description? He was just asking for trouble. “Now he does remind me of someone, Sasha. There is an American photo-journalist named Robert Diamond. That middle name threw me off.”

“What do you think he’s doing here in Siberia?”

“There’s a Robert Diamond who writes adventure articles. He’s famous, in a way. Likes to do what they call ‘extreme wilderness photography.’ You know, camp in dangerous places, take photos. Very American.”

Sasha Barinsky took a step toward the American standing there quietly between his two guards. The prisoner was too calm for his liking. “You are in a dangerous place now, Robert Diamond,” he addressed him, in his halting English, “Why are you here?”


These weren’t Russian militia, like he’d first assumed. Alex looked at the man and woman as they discussed him. The man was obviously the leader, standing stiffly in his shiny boots and wearing expensive jewelry and a Rolex watch. But it was the woman who drew his attention; ever since they’d shoved him into this barely furnished room, with its dim lights and dank air, he had felt drawn to her. It was a strange feeling; he had not been drawn to anything for a long time.

Exotic and glamorous, she didn’t fit these surroundings. She was tall, maybe three or four inches under his own six feet two—it was hard to tell with her in heels—and dressed elegantly in cashmere and fur. She wore fur-lined boots that emphasized the shapely length of her endless legs, and like her companion, her fingers were decked with rings. Her black hair gleamed against the white fur of her scarf and her eyes were equally dark as she studied him. She had the exquisite bone structure of an Astrakhan princess, with high cheekbones and a perfect oval face. She could have been a model in a fashion magazine. He’d have liked to photograph her. He frowned. There was something familiar about her face, but he couldn’t discern what it was.

He understood their fast Russian dialect but didn’t show his comprehension, waiting till they spoke to him in English. When they had first stopped him at the road, he had used stilted formal Russian, like a traveler who knew enough to get by. He was lucky he did. Something told him that these men didn’t want him to understand too much. His life was in danger, what with the twenty-odd guards he had counted outside, plus these two beside him. Wherever he was, it was a heavily armed place.

“Why are you here?” the man called Sasha asked him.

“I tried to explain to your men,” Alex replied in a slow drawl. “I have permission, as you can see from my papers, to cross-country ski to get photographs for my next magazine article about this beautiful remote area in Siberia. I must have made a wrong turn because this sure isn’t Slabinja, is it?”

“Slabinja is south of here. You’re fifteen kilometers off,” the woman—Talia, wasn’t it?—told him. He liked her voice, low and lilting, the accent making her English softly attractive.

“Then, if you’ll kindly release me and give me back my equipment, I’ll be on my way,” Alex said. And he would be. He had no interest in finding out what these people were up to. He had an inkling, but he didn’t want to know. Those days were over.

Sasha laughed, a short unpleasant sound. “Robert, it is unfortunate for you but you will have to stay. I cannot trust you not to report to the authorities. I don’t even know that you are not a spy.”

“A spy, darling?” Talia questioned lightly, a mocking smile forming. “You’ve been watching American movies again.”

Her grasp of the English language was very good, Alex noted, as he listened to them.

Sasha nodded. “That’s the only good thing out of that place.” He turned to the guards and reverted back to the native dialect. “Search him for hidden weapons, then lock him up. I will make him talk later.” Then, in that heavy English, he said to Alex, “You will be detained, Robert Diamond, till my business is done, then I’ll free you tomorrow.”

Alex didn’t let them know that he had understood every threatening words Sasha had said to his guards. He only slanted a long look at Talia, whose dark eyes seemed to hold a thousand secrets. He wondered whether she was as cold-hearted as she appeared, accepting the death of an unfortunate stranger without any emotion.

“Let me search him,” she suddenly said, still in that Russian dialect, and the smile she gave him was maddeningly mocking. “It’s his last few hours. He should have a woman’s touch.”

“Ah, Talia, always after...”

“Tsk, Sasha, don’t insult me, please. After all, I got you your firepower very cheaply, no?”

Alex blinked, but didn’t move a muscle. Firepower. That could mean only one thing in this part of the world. These people were dealing with illegal weapons, and right now, the hottest illegal Russian firepower was dismantled nuclear-capable weaponry. Damn. He was knee-deep in trouble. They didn’t intend to have any witnesses. And he wondered whether this Talia knew that he would understand their dialect, if she was deliberately giving him a warning.

Sasha curled an arm across Talia’s shoulders, drawing her close to him. His hand caressed her dark tresses possessively. “Later, my sweet,” he promised her, the leer in his voice obvious, “I shall pay you well.”

Talia made a moue. “Later. Now, I want to search this American.”

Sasha sighed indulgently. “All right, but I’m not going to stay here and watch. I’ll be in my quarters waiting after my meeting with my men. You will come up soon?”

“Of course, darling.”

Sasha nodded at his men. “The cell,” he reminded them, “after Talia Fyodorevna is through with the American.”

“Da,” the two guards said in unison, their faces impassive. Sasha Barinsky left the room.


Alex watched as Talia slowly circled him once. Twice. Her boots clicked on the bare cement floor. He was getting colder by the minute, and knew that the woman had stopped the search by the guards as a favor to him. They would have stripped him and he would probably freeze to death in the hellhole they were planning to throw him. Not that he wouldn’t be dead at the hands of the unpleasant Sasha when he deigned to extricate himself from the delectable Talia’s charms. Again, he wondered what this exotic creature was up to, subtly coming to his rescue twice already.

She was an impressive-looking woman, exuding elegance and enough confidence that told him that she wasn’t what she appeared to be. Her eyes were unrevealingly dark, only the small smile on her shapely lips betrayed her amusement. Her steps around him had insolent pauses, as if she were admiring something about him. She liked to play games, this one.

She finally stopped in front of him again, standing so close her perfume tantalized the air. Her head tilted to one side slightly, as if she was considering how to amuse herself.

“You’ll have to bear my hands on you, darling,” she drawled in that marvelous accent again, and fluttered elegant fingers suggestively a few inches from his chest, “or these guards will report that I didn’t touch you.”

“Rather you, dushka, than their paws,” Alex assured her mildly, still unsure of her motives.

Talia smiled at the endearment, then came forward and ran her hands over the taut, masculine body, pretending to search for hidden weapons. She knew where he would hide them, if he had any. She knew what his specialty was, exactly how he could escape, given the right chance, but she didn’t think he would be able to tonight without her intervention.

Her eyes held Alex’s as her hands moved over him with deliberate insolence. Wide shoulders. Impressive pectorals. He had kept his physical prowess while he’d been gone. That told her a lot. And she went lower still, touching his chest and stomach, then smoothed her hands around his waist to explore his lower back. Her hands moved back to the front, lightly resting above his snow-dampened pants.

“Part your legs, darling,” she murmured, keeping her voice amused. “You know the procedure.”

Alex obliged, standing with his feet apart. Her hands were impersonal, but not exactly leaving him unaffected. She explored him more like someone memorizing his body than a person doing a body search, but she concealed it well. Only he could feel the curious tenderness of her hands as she glided them intimately over his chest, under his arms, down his stomach.

There was something very erotic in the way she went down on her knees in front of him as she continued her sensual search. He refused to let go of her mocking gaze, looking down into the dark depths of those beautiful eyes—searching for that familiar thing that had caught him by surprise—even as her wicked hands traveled up his thighs, her thumbs teasing the inseam of his underpants with delicate pressure, bringing his senses to a keening awareness that had nothing to do with the frigid air. He may only be wearing his thermal clothes, but Alex was suddenly no longer cold. He concentrated on not revealing the effect of her hands on him.

Talia dared not linger, but made sure that the guards saw her thorough search before she left a micro device on his inner thigh. Now she would know exactly where they put him.

“There, painless.” She straightened, still smiling. “And my compliments on such a beautiful body.”

She had been tempted to explore a little more, but some fantasies were best left unfulfilled. And her fantasies of Number One had always been...interesting.

“I’ll return the favor sometime.”

Amused, she tilted her head to acknowledge the unspoken challenge. Even in danger, a COS Commando was cocky as ever. Training was deeply ingrained in all of them, even the reluctant ones. “If you’re freed tomorrow,” she said softly, leaving the rest of the sentence unfinished.

“I’ll certainly work on it,” Alex promised.

“You’re going to need friends,” Talia came back. There, she had given him enough hints. “As they say in the States, darling. Later, alligator.” She stepped back and nodded to the two guards. They started to lead Alex out of the room, shoving him towards the door. He gave her a backward glance. She winked at him, looking absurdly majestic in that danky, badly lit room.


There was a time in his life when he would have been prepared for moments like this, but that was almost two years ago. Twenty two months nineteen days, to be exact. And certainly not in this lifetime.

Alex stared at the ceiling above him, ignoring the growing numbness around his wrists. He was tied spread eagle on some sort of wooden bed and the cold was slowly robbing him of his strength. Soon he would be too weak to even attempt an escape.

Not that he would be successful. He was unprepared for this and his skills were rusty from lack of practice. So if he died, it would be his own fault.

But he didn’t mind dying. He had felt dead inside for a long time now, since....He tried to let his own past sorrow drown out his will to live, but it wasn’t easy when he had been a man driven to enjoy life at the edge. Old habits died hard, and his own mental strength, the very core of him that was indomitable, refused to obey his own demands to let go. To give up.

Robert Alexander Diamond, damn his soul, was still COS Command’s Number One of the VIRUS Unit, no matter how far he ran away from reality. The man with the many accents, who could move like a shadow in and out of any predicament. The one who divert attention from the others—that was his specialty. No matter what, he was still one of the members of the elite team from which he had walked away.

So he lay there, torn between letting fate take its course or to take charge of his own destiny, as he had always done before he had disappeared, before fate took Emma from him.

He exhaled slowly, cursing that he was willing his body to fight the cold.

It was difficult to give up. He could at least have the decency to stop wanting to try, but his punishment was to face the guilt of wanting to live. Even when he really felt dead inside, his will wanted to live. Damn his will. Damn his love of life.

A sound from the only window in his cell broke through his reverie. The cracked and dirty opening was high on the wall across the bed and leaked in the cold, wintry blast like a sieve. Right now, someone was doing something against it, a gentle humming sound that merged with the Siberian wind outside. Imperceptible except to his trained ears, because he’d heard that particular hum before.

His sight had always been excellent in the dark, and he could see the distinctive shape of a hand against one of the square panes. He counted the seconds, knowing exactly how long it would take before a slight push of that hand would loosen the glass. He had done the same thing many times before, in another lifetime. Whoever it was must be freezing because the hand was ungloved. He continued watching calmly, intrigued at the sight of the lone pale hand that slipped in and expertly unlatched the window. It opened without protest, and the room became decidedly chillier by the second. He supposed his captors didn’t care if he would attempt to escape through that opening, considering that he was unlikely to survive long outside in his thermal underclothes.

A duffle bag dropped on the floor with a soft thud. A lean, lithe figure followed, dropping down on all fours like a cat. Turning around with the grace of a dancer, the newcomer closed the window and stuffed something into the hole that had been created a few minutes ago.

The invader was noiseless, efficient, picking up the duffle bag on the floor before advancing towards the bed. The rich midnight hair had disappeared into the inky color of the furry hood, and the pearly paleness of the face emphasized those glittering black eyes.

So what if he was spread-eagled? He had always been polite to visitors. Alex gave the approaching figure a small smile, willing his teeth to stop chattering.

“Welcome to my parlor, dushka,” he murmured.

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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Numbers & Intentions

It never fails to amuse me. All I have to do is post sexy vege pictures and a Gerard Butler video and my site numbers spike up by hundreds. Many people from all over the world (Indonesia, I'm looking at you) are in love with Gerard Butler. I'm not sure what people have in mind when they google for sexy veges, LOL.

I know writers don't share sales numbers because of...I don't know...because of some unspoken professional rule, but since Big Bad Wolf was a self-pubbed experiment, I'll do so on my blog for those who are interested in whether this option is viable for you.

At the end of 2009, one year after BIG BAD WOLF came out, I've sold 700 copies, mostly through Amazon. Those that I sold from Createspace are mainly orders from overseas, especially from wonderful Australian booksellers who keep my Aussie readers Glow-happy and to whom I'm eternally grateful.

Overseas sales are about 100 copies, ordered by readers from Australia, Malaysia (yo, homies!), Singapore, Thailand, England, and France. I'm sure I missed a few international readers, especially Canadians, who ordered through Amazon, which I must seriously thank because I know the shipping charges got to be painful to the wallet.

When I started this project, my research said I could expect about 250 sales at most because, other than family and friends, self-published books aren't going to catch much attention. So that was my target. I figure I could possibly get 250 sales at 12 or 13 books a month.

My main worry was the price. Amazon takes a big chunk of the $11.55 price I put on the book, almost 80 percent. I needed to make back some money to:

1) prove that it's a business venture that can bring in profit
2) pay a bit of taxes (I didn't have a contract with Samhain when I started so I needed to show income for my GLow entity)
3) pay for the odds and ends, like the cover art and shipping charges

Most trade paperbacks are $14 and above. Most self-published books are set at incredibly self-delusional prices (some at US$40). I really tried to get it as close to $10 as I could, but couldn't do it at that time. I think, at this point, after a year, I can lower the price to $10.55.

My only problem was that I didn't know how to set my .pdf file into Amazon's .css requirement. Someone mentioned that Word would automatically do this but maybe it's a newer Word since my version (2003) doesn't seem to have this function. I just didn't have the time to sit down to learn. I'd love to be able to get on Kindle and sell it for $4 or whatever it was the wise and funny J.A. Konrath was teaching at his blog. Maybe that would be my 2010 goal...learn Kindle-ese.

Okay, that's my self-pub numbers in a few paragraphs. I'm not an expert. I mostly muddled through the process and did very little publicity except blog about it. The numbers stand on their own, with no big stores selling the book, no big push from anyone, a couple of wonderful reviews from Mrs. Giggles and Riley Merrick (sadly, I'm heartbroken, I couldn't get Harriet Klausner to give me five stars, heh), and no advertisement. All I had were my readers and I'm eternally grateful to everyone who ordered the book because you trusted my writing enough to know that I'd try my best to give you a worthy book. Thank you.

I think I'd try another self-pub book this year, so that I can LOWER Big Bad Wolf's price. Just to see whether Amazon would do a 2-for-1 sale or something like that. I'm curious at how they recommend their Createspace books. Besides, the income from those 700 books was enough to pay for most of my health insurance. So, yay. That was much, much more than my original 2 bks a month expectations, yes?


Last year I also went epubbed for the first time. My New Year's resolution was to sell Virtually Hers by-hook-or-by-crook and I accomplished that in May, when the wonderful Angela James, then Samhain editor, bought my book.

Virtually Hers has been out three months and has done okay. Again, with a two-year lapse between Book 1 and Book 2, I wasn't expecting much, so was pleasantly surprised at the first month's sales number (in the hundreds). I'm looking forward to the print version of Virtually Hers coming out this August because I know many of my readers are waiting for the print format to read Jed's and Hell's continuing story.

Many readers are still not familiar with the e-book world. Or they don't hear much news about it. I get a number of emails a month asking where they could find Virtually Hers, after they googled the item and found that it was out in 2007. That's OLD news, of course, and I have to explain that THAT book never came out, and that it is now available through Samhain. Two out of three would then re-email me, confused about how to order the print book from Samhain, even though I've earlier explained that VHers was an electronic book first.

So, as an e-author, I've to learn how to communicate clearer about book formats and how the e-book world works (first e-format, then months later, print format). Most of my readers are looking for the print format and although some are willing to download the e-book, many opted to wait. I adore their patience. I adore their wonderful steadfastness. I adore that they keep looking for Gennita Low's books.

Many of my emails often ask about Alex's and T's story. I cannot tell you how popular these two are to readers and how many times I've to explain to them that although my agent is shopping their story around (with my proposal), she hasn't been able to sell it. And you know I love Alex and T as much as you do. I wrote their story in series-contemporary format years ago and even then they were special. I posted their original meeting a while back as a Christmas gift and I still get readers asking for a repeat after I've taken it off. I'll probably have to do it again.

So, anyway, I guess I should be bold and announce that my 2010 resolution is to get Alex's and T's story published by-hook-and-by-crook, eh? But I do have two projects that I need to get to:

1) For my agent, a new proposal about treasure hunters, with a spec. ops. flavor

2) For the self-pub, the Viking Dude urban-fantasy/alternative first POV story. It's not doing too well as a proposal, so I'm going to get it done (because I love my story) and put the first five chapters out for you to read free to see whether you'd like to continue. If there are enough thumbs-up, I'll self-publish it on Amazon.

Enough about boring numbers and intentions. Thought I'd share with you my 2010 writing plans after Virtually One (Samhain, hopefully late Spring 2010). I should be doing my first e-book signing at Romantic Times Booklovers Convention! Another first, and not sure what that entails. And yes, I'll be giving away free copies of Big Bad Wolf ;-).

For those who have requested, I'll put up the first chapter of T's and Alex's story again this afternoontomorrow (sorry, had to take off to measure a roof. In the cold, argh! And after that, I was so frozen, I was tempted into putting liqueur in my hot chocolate....) some time and put the link here. Stay tune.

Now, if only I could put a Gerard Butler original video in my ebook, you know I'm going to get some fantastic sales numbers :-).

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Sunday, January 03, 2010

My Gerard Butler To Start The Year

It looks like a good "light" romantic suspense romp ;-).

I hope it does better than the last romantic comedy he did, the one with the Grey's Anatomy actress.

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Saturday, January 02, 2010

Which Camp Do You Belong To?

It's the topic of contention at water coolers. Even the old folks at Shit and Grits are having philosophical snarling over it.

So, tell me, which camp do you belong to?

Do you belong to the side that is celebrating a new decade starting with 2010?

Or, are you the firm believer that 2010 is the END of the decade and that the first day of the next decade doesn't come till 2011?

Now, try arguing this with friends and loved ones after a few glasses of your favorite alcoholic beverage. Hilarity ensues when you see everyone holding up their fingers and counting, "One...twooooo...two to threeeeeee.......ten!"


"zero to one, and...."


"There's no zero year!"


"Oh yeah, well, then the double zeroes don't exist then, you *&%$head!"


"Eleven...twelve...must I count to 2010?"


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Send My Publisher A Nudge