A Witchy Beginning is Out!!!

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Scarlet book 1 cover

I am happy to say it is available to purchase the first in a 5 book series!

Scarlet Summers was just your ordinary high school student, and never knew her true heritage. Until her junior year which is when two sexy transfers came to her high school and turned her world upside down. She is a vampire witch which is rare in their world, and her best friend Annika her witch guardian will be there to watch her powers grow. 

In the meantime I am working on AngelWitch book 5 Marina!

It is free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription and $2.99 to purchase!

See you next time,

Jessica

 

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Save the Cat Writes a Novel Book review

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The book is written by Jessica Brody. And I was given the book to review for the blog tour. I have the ebook and audiobook of it, and I was given the software as well. So first is the book and it is one of the best books about novel writing out there. It gives an outline with 15 beats. And it also talks about the 3 Act story, and has sections for each. Also, it goes over what is supposed to be where in the story, and even the percentage it is supposed to be in with examples from books. It even shows how the 15 beats are explained with ten worksheets breaking down the parts of the novel. It is easy to understand and makes me think of my own novels. It even tells you step by step of the 15 beats and where it all goes in the book. It also goes over the A story and B story which is something I have never thought of before. A story is external and B is internal, and each story changes the hero in some ways. It talks about themes in the beginning since every story teaches a lesson. That is why I write. It made me think about how I structure my story, and how to make it better. It makes you understand how to structure a story. It even goes through the various elements that make a story good. This is for a writer of any type. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned one this book is something you definitely need to make your novels better.
These 15 beats will make the story believable, and each section talks about what percentage of the story it is supposed to be. I love how in depth it goes and I plan on using Marina as an example while I write it. It helps you outline your novel. There is also novel writing software and it breaks it down into 15 beats to help you outline as well. It goes into depth about it, and I love using the software since it was everything a writer needs. It is very helpful to have an outline like this, and to finally have a good formula for crafting a story.
Every story has a character that has a want, need and problem. Even before writing it you may want to think about who will change the most to make the story based on their personal growth. A Story is the external world. And the B story is what it is really about. The internal story also is based off the ten universal lessons.
They are:
Forgiveness
Love
Acceptance
Faith
Fear
Trust
Survival
Selflessness
Responsibility
Redemption
Every story has one of these.
And now we get to the beat sheet! This is how the outline is broken down and some details about how to use it and a description of it.

ACT 1(Thesis or statue quo world!)

1. OPENING IMAGE (0 TO 1%): A “before” snapshot of your hero and their world. First scene in the book. This would be where we see Marina in my book starting out talking about her world. It is an image and supposed to be visual showing her world. It shows us where the hero begins.

2. THEME STATED (5%): A statement made by a character (typically not the hero) that hints at what the hero’s arc will be (that is, what the hero must learn/discover before the end of the book). Marina is a powerful witch and she is supposed to step up to the plate when she becomes coven leader. Also promised to someone not out of love but out of necessity. She wanted a place to belong instead she doesn’t have one, and she is a rare witch that not only is half-angel and half-witch but she has the power to call dragons.
3. SETUP (1% TO 10%): An exploration of the hero’s status quo life and all its flaws, where we learn what the hero’s life looks like before its epic transformation. After going through all that Angeline contacts her to talk since she was the last AngelWitch to complete the circle. This is also where you meet A story characters. It is also the place where we find out what needs fixing. Also in the beat it is called the stasis=death since it means things need to change.

4. CATALYST (10%): An inciting incident (or life-changing event) that happens to the hero, which will catapult them into a new world or new way of thinking. Things are about to change especially for Marina since she can’t go home after someone tried to attack the coven looking for her and it is where she finds her mate. He is actually half vampire and half dragon.

5. DEBATE (10% TO 20%): A reaction sequence in which the hero debates what they will do next. It’s usually presented in the form of a question (such as “Should I go?”). Marina will have no choice but to go with them and hide and they can even turn to the mate for protection.

ACT 2 (The antithesis which is when Act 1 is turned upside down.) You can also call it fixing things the wrong way! Since everything is wrong before it is right!
6. BREAK INTO 2 (20%): The moment the hero decides to accept the call to action, leave their comfort zone, try something new, or venture into a new world or new way of thinking.
7. B STORY (22%): The introduction of a new character or characters who will ultimately serve to help the hero learn the theme. New characters are introduced, and this is where the vampires and dragons come in.
8. FUN AND GAMES (20% TO 50%): This is where we see the hero in their new world. (Promise of the Premise) Also is where the hero is up and down and it is where the hero gets to shine or flounder in the world.

9. MIDPOINT (50%): Literally the middle of the novel, where the Fun and Games culminates in either a false victory (the hero has thus far been succeeding) or a false defeat (the hero has thus far been floundering). It is also the messy middle and it is awesome to reach that point. Also where a false victory or defeat happens. Both A and B intersect. Stakes are raised in it.

10. BAD GUYS CLOSE IN (50% TO 75%): If the Midpoint was a false victory, this section will be a downward path where things get progressively worse for the hero. A lot of bad things happen, and in one of my novels everything got worse instead of better. The flaws of the hero come out.

11. ALL IS LOST (75%): The lowest point of the novel. Whiff of death also goes here since it is where everything seems hopeless.
12. DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL (75% TO 80%): A reaction beat where the hero takes time to process everything that’s happened thus far. This is where the magic happens at this point. Dark night epiphany and everything falls into place. Return to the familiar since it will be the point Marina gets to see everyone once time is passed.
ACT 3 (Synthesis)
13. BREAK INTO 3 (80%): The “aha!” moment. This is where you fix things the right way.
14. FINALE (80% TO 99%): The hero proves they have truly learned the theme and enacts the plan they came up with in the Break Into 3. This can also be broken up into 5 points and the longest part of the story.
1. Gathering the team which in my case gathering everyone since at some point Marina will be a fierce AngelWitch with her dragon powers. I will at some point show her at the place, and maybe she can even pick up a dragon friend.
2.Executing the plan where she actually gets to put her plan into place. I still haven’t figured out where to go with this yet.
3. The High Tower Surprise which is the twist I am still planning.
4. Dig Deep Down where to go from there. The theme of the story and looking at where she changed. The stuff she is now a part of, and there is no turning back. This is also the Touched by the divine part in the story too.
5. The Execution of the new plan which is the final sub-beat. The new plan that finally works.

15. FINAL IMAGE (99% TO 100%): A mirror to the Opening Image, this is the “after” snapshot of who the hero is after going through this epic and satisfying transformation. This is what happens after the events in the story.

Brody, Jessica. Save the Cat! Writes a Novel (p. 26). Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale. Kindle Edition.

I love how after it explains the outline it goes point by point with examples from other books to explain the breakdown. I have never wanted to take notes from a writing book as much as I want this one. It is easy to put it on a separate sheet to write the outline of the beats for the story. It even has the word counts for genres in it which is helpful going forward. This beat sheet is probably one of the best I have read since it has a thorough outline. And it helped me figure out where to go in the story, and what to do in the novel. In the next chapter they talk about genres and they go more in depth into them. There are only ten genres out there to study in the Save the Cat book.
Whydunit.
Rites of passage.
Institutionalized.
Superhero. (Marina!)
Dude with a problem.
Fool Triumphant.
Buddy Love.
Out of the bottle.
Golden Fleece.
Monster in the House.
It goes in depth about each and how your story has to be different from all the rest. I suggest you pick up this book. It will change how you see a story, and make you wonder why you didn’t pick it up in the first place. I love how the book breaks down all ten of them and even uses the beat sheets as an example. You will finally start to realize how invaluable this book is. It will help you build a better novel and make your story good from start to end! It takes a lot of the successful novels and breaks them down using these 15 beats and each of them fits into these ten different genres some of them will overlap! The Superhero section is what drew me in since I know Marina falls into that, and I will definitely keep that in mind while I write it. I will use this book as a guide to write my story, and if you write books pick this one up and use it too. You will find it is very helpful to use in creating the story you want to show readers, and you might even surprise yourself as you write it and study in the genre by reading the books you want to write. I love how it uses examples of bestsellers and breaks it down into the beat sheets by going into depth it makes me realize why the bestselling book is a best seller. By using this formula you will create a story worth telling. I hope you have enjoyed the review and I even made a video on the software which you can use with the book!
See the software below!
(Insert software video)

WOW! WOMEN ON WRITING TOUR

OF

Save the Cat! Structure Software
&

Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody

Tour Begins April 27th

About Save the Cat!®
Save the Cat! provides writers the resources they need to develop their screenplays and novels based on a series of best-selling books, primarily written by Blake Snyder (1957- 2009). Blake’s method is based on 10 distinctive genres and his 15 story beats (the Blake Snyder Beat Sheet). Our books, workshops, story structure software, apps, and story coaching teach you everything you need to unlock the fundamentals and mechanics of plot and character transformation.
Find out more about Save the Cat! by visiting their webpage at http://www.savethecat.com.
About the Save the Cat Structure Software

Save the Cat! Story Structure Software is adapted from the Save the Cat! methodology to help screenwriters and novelists unlock the fundamentals of plot and character transformation. The Story Structure Software is a virtual writer board with digital index cards to help map out your story against the 15 beats or plot points to your story. The software enables writers to track emotional shifts of characters from scene to scene, develop profiles and edit and version your story with ease.

You can purchase a subscription to the Save the Cat! Structure Software at Save the Cat’s website.

About Save the Cat! Writes a Novel

An Amazon #1 best seller with over 500 reviews, it’s the first novel-writing guide from the best-selling Save the Cat! story-structure series, reveals the 15 essential plot points needed to make any novel a success.

In this revolutionary novel-writing guide from the best-selling Save the Cat! series, novelist Jessica Brody demystifies each beat, making it simple to learn the complexities of storytelling. The best-seller also reveals the ten universal story genres to help you drill down into what makes your type of story work. Featuring sample “beat sheets” for hits from the likes of J. K. Rowling, Khaled Hosseini, and Stephen King, this practical guide also includes real-world advice on pitching your novel, plus the quirky, original insights (like the eponymous tip to “Save the Cat”) that make this series unique. By the end of this book, your own imaginative beats will combine to create a story that thrills readers from start to finish.

Print Length: 320 Pages
Genre: Writing References
Publisher: Ten Speed Press/Random House Publishing LLC
ASIN: B078VWDNKT
ISBN-10: 0399579745
ISBN-13:978-0399579745

Save the Cat! Writes the Novel is available as a print and e-book at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.

*I received a free copy of the book and software in exchange for my honest opinion!

Mina’s Vampire Mate is out!!

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Mina’s Vampire Mate is available to purchase!

Mina is working at Nikki’s Department store after leaving an abusive relationship. She wanted to take a break from everything until someone breaks into her house disturbing her peace. They are after her since she is half vampire and half witch. And the person to the rescue is Neo her vampire mate. They are both trying to hunt down the person responsible for ruining her peace. https://amzn.to/2Y7TAEQ

 

Excerpt:

Mina drove in her blue Ryder Strike to make her way to Nikki’s department store, and a feeling of dread overcame her. She had been working there for so long she dreaded going in since the customers tormented her on a daily basis with stupid questions, and treating her crappy over paper coupons. It was about 9:30 in the morning, and the blue sky was shining in the distance. Luxor wasn’t too busy roadwise since most of the creatures drove at night. She knew the way pretty well, and passed the drivers going under the speed limit. 

Her eyes were red and puffy from crying herself to sleep, and she definitely thought it would be a three drink night tonight since it was too much. She broke up with her boyfriend, and it was devastating since she was in love with him. She thought she was going to marry him and he called her worthless. Once he pushed her into a wall it was all over since she couldn’t take the abuse. 

Her dark grey eyes scanned the busy road, and creatures of all kinds drove to places. Luxor had a street called Main street. Besides being a no kill or spell zone, it is a place to shop, eat, and even relax. Stores for creatures of every kind. Nikki’s catered to everyone. Her hair was brushed out at least, and she wore her usual perfume to make sure she smelled good, and not like she hasn’t showered for days. She could make the weather rain and thunder if she wanted to, and she just had a container of blood to keep her blood lust in check. 

The customers really tested her limit at times. Then again she was only half vampire, and the other half was a witch. She has the hunger but not as strong as a full vampire and she can feed off the elements, too. She kept 

spare blood in her fridge at home and even had fangs that can retract, too. She dressed in a blue shirt, blue pants, blue sneakers, and she had her dark blue tag pinned to the left side of her shirt with the name Mina. Driving can calm her down at times and she needed to get out of the house or else she would think about everything. 

Her ex left her in a bad spot. He even came to her work and tried to get her back, but to no avail. She remembered the way he looked the next day. He smelled like shit, too like he didn’t shower in weeks. But all the groveling wouldn’t change the fact that he pushed her and would expect her to drop what she was doing and answer his constant texts and calls. He got mad at her since he was drunk and wanted to argue about the fact that she didn’t want to move in yet. He thought it meant period, and physically pushed her when she was on the bed. Her head hit the wall, and it stunned her since it’s bad enough he yelled at her calling her worthless. He even had to belittle her since she just graduated and got a job at Nikki’s which was a waste. After all that it was game over, and she didn’t want anything to do with him. It wasn’t just a fight,  it was the end for the last time and it wasn’t the first time he was physical either.  

His family made it worse since they were acting like him pushing her was no big deal. It was and he even left a note on her car saying it was a minor thing taken to the extreme. Her grip tightened on the steering wheel, and she wanted it all pushed away. Tonight after she got off work she would cry one last time and have a few jack and cokes after work. As a last hurrah. She needed it since lately it sucked. Her heart still hurt her, and she didn’t even think she knew what real love was. She needed to stop thinking about everything. 

A few streets and she was in front of the mall parking lot to Nikki’s. It was nearly empty except the cars belonging to the mall employees. She arrived there on time, and 15 minutes before they officially opened. She was happy to have some time before the real torment began. She has no choice but to work retail to get her head on straight. After being controlled, abused, and having someone constantly accuse her of being a cheater she needed air from it all. He was horrible, and for the longest time she stayed with him since she didn’t want to be alone. She hoped her ex was far away tormenting another poor soul. She chased him away with an order, and blocked him on everything. Her smartphone was in her pocket in case she was needed. She even changed her number to get away from him. 

Her dad is a vampire leader and her mom a witch leader. Both their powers combined made her unstoppable. She was the one to unite the witches and vampires to make them see they need each other. It meant she had a mate somewhere out there, and she didn’t know if he was a vampire or witch. It was a lot riding on her shoulders, and her parents’ numbers were on the phone in case she needed to stay with either of them. Maybe there will be a point where vampires and witches can be in peace? Maybe? She didn’t know. And she walked up to the locked doors of Nikki’s and punched in the code to get in after hours. She heard the click that she put in the right code, and she went into the empty, dark store. All the lights were off since the store wasn’t opened yet. They will come on at 10:00 when they officially opened. 

There were parts of the department store where the clothes were folded neatly and it actually was sized by color and clothing sized. Then, there were tables where everything was mixed up and you couldn’t tell which ones were supposed to be there and ones that don’t belong since some asshole messed up the order. There were all kinds of racks there. Some were 50% off, 40%, 30% and even 25% off, and there were the regular priced and everyday values, too which coupons didn’t work on. 

Nikki’s has a store card, and the card has all the coupons a customer needs so there is no need to ask for one! Some of the customers are so lazy everything is mixed in. Nikki’s has everything shirts, pants, skirts, jeans. Everything someone would need to go to events and wear casually. Even fancy dresses for young witches going to ceremonies, vampire formal dresses, and even stuff for werewolf full moon dresses and clothes that can change with you. There were sections for everyone: Vampire, witch, werewolf it didn’t matter. Even clothes for women to attract vampires and werewolf pheromones. Shoes that can fly. Shoes to make someone invisible didn’t matter. They even sold makeup, perfume and accessories to go with the ensembles. 

Mina stood in the Customer Service department, and went to a register to clock in. There were already employees talking about the latest stuff in their lives, and their morning drives. There were vampire employees that carried blood flasks on them in case the hunger strikes. That blood lust is a bitch, and Mina hated it but it was disappointing it didn’t make her bite her ex. She should have bit him, and drained him dry for the horrible person he was. Nikki’s has species of all kinds and different reasons for working retail. There is a certain amount of boredom one can face when you have an eternity looming around. Some are college students,  some retired and some needed something to do out of the house. 

She needed one to get by and take a break from it all. She needed space. Space would be good for her since it was a hard break up. She thought she was in love. He was the wrong person and he wasn’t a vampire but a plain ass witch who tricked her. He threatened her life and got into a fight with his family the day before his birthday and twisted her arm. Horrible. 

And in a few minutes when all the employees came in the bullshit morning meeting happened. She understood why they did it especially when they discussed numbers of the previous day and she tuned it all out like she usually did. She barely paid attention to them anyway. She especially tuned them out when the bitchy manager was speaking. She is very condescending and talks to people as if they were twelve. Mina really hated her badly. She yelled at her a lot and the recent incident was over stupid letters not getting handed out when she has more important stuff on her mind other than her bullshit. She also yelled at her for not getting racks done. Mina was pulled to the side by Kara, and bullied. If she didn’t need the job badly she would have quit sooner. Thankfully, Kara stopped talking and the boring meeting is over. She headed to the register in her department which is in the kids department to count the change before they open. And she got done in record time since it was time to open the doors, and let the sales/coupon zombies in. 

And if they aren’t let in on time then you get rude old people who bitch about them being let in six minutes late, and they will be nasty over it. One lady asked her if she forgot, and she explained what happened. Then the lady bitched over lack of help. Mina apologized, but that was all she could do. She didn’t have control over everything else. Customers love yelling at retail workers over stuff, and what was worse were the ones who go ‘but I am not taking it out on you’…Yes, you the fuck are. They also say they don’t mean to take it out on you when in fact it is all a lie. They all lie. And they love yelling at retail workers if their coupon doesn’t work on an item. 

And after Mina opened the doors a lady needed to pay her bill, and she served her then went to the rack behind her. It was a mess there yet she had to help with purchases, exchanges, returns, bill payments and orders while cleaning up. She checked her three fitting rooms every 30 minutes. And she answered questions about signs in front of her and the dumbass asking the question. It was a hard day. Especially since she was the only one for the first few hours. Someone came in at Noon and she left at 3:45 so that made six hours to get through. And she started going through the rack to organize the items. It was better to focus on organizing the rack by department since she had two. 

 

 

 

Raven is outtt!

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Book 4 is here!

And the Kindle version is live, and now I am waiting on the email for the paperback!

This is the description and link: Raven is an AngelWitch, and she turns to dating apps to ease her loneliness. No one ever warned her about fake profiles, and it leads her on a journey she will never forget. – Is Lucas real or is he a scammer? Is Aiden the one she is looking for all along? Will she find the love that she is looking for?

amzn.to/2xn3pUk

I created this as a way to entertain people and show them what it is like to be a part of a dating scam too. It even has a list of tips to stay safe. Also those scammer texts are real ones, and the events except the ending are real. It was a fun way of getting it out there and the next thing I am working on is Book 5 and Mina’s Vampire Mate when it is done!

See you next time,

Jessica

Things to do When You Are Stuck Inside!

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book

Old open book with magic light on a dark abstract background

By now we are all stuck inside thanks to the epidemic. I hope we are stuck inside at least, and I know there are people like retail workers, first responders, doctors, and essentials are open. But for the non-essentials you are homebound or some work from home to keep away from the public to keep it from spreading. Some people aren’t used to staying inside though especially if people are used to going out. And if you are stuck on what to do then I can make a list since it is something I am used to when I wasn’t going out to work. 

Read

Write

Game

Cook

Binge watch tv shows and movies

Journal

Clean the house 

Get stuff done around the house

Catch up on stuff on Youtube

Board games

Videos on your favorite subjects

Facetime and text friends

Sleep

Eat. 

Above all, get into a normal routine.

I didn’t realize how many books I needed to catch up on till now. Also I have a ton of stuff to play video game wise. A ton of videos to film and even some MREs to review.

There is a lot to do at home. Laundry, chores and if you have children then play with them. 

You can even drink wine sometimes or all the time.

Learn a new skill. 

Write the book you said you wanted to write already. All this time. There are a lot of possibilities. 

Heck I have time to work on projects, research for books, and even write on my blogs more. It will be fun to have time to do whatever. 

This will pass eventually, and it won’t be permanent.

There are more posts coming! 

Stay tuned!

Until next time,

Jessica

 

Why I Self-Publish

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Fountain pen on an antique handwritten letter

This is weird that I haven’t even written about it, but I will do it now since I have at least 11 books under my belt. I also finished Mina’s Vampire mate so it looks like a good time to tell the story. I have been publishing by myself since 2011. I decided to forgo the traditional route and I already tried to do a query letter to get an agent. I even had a query letter but around that time self-publishing took off. Also, after doing research agents get a cut of your royalties. And even if you have an agent it can take time to find a publisher. Of course, even without an agent I got a publisher of a small press. I even went to Ruth Chris to celebrate my first book contract. It was a nice feeling. In 2015 Write More Publications picked up my book The Killer Contract Agency. And in turn I experienced what it was like working with a small press. When it was accepted there were book blitzes and a cover reveal. It was fun. Sadly it closed down in 2017. The rights reverted back to me after they closed. I got a new cover and reuploaded it. I love having control over the process of it. I choose my own editors and cover artists. I get them from Fiverr.com. The royalties are bigger when you self-publish too, and I couldn’t keep track of daily sales unless I publish on my own. I upload and format my own books. I decided what projects to work on. I decide the deadlines. I only pay for cover art and editing. It is fun to be able to do this on my own, and I love the creative control. Of course it can be hard at times not having deadlines. The marketing is something I am trying to figure out. I even got writing books to help with that. It is a learning journey, and there is always more to learn. I am trying to write more than I used to since I have a steady schedule now. I enjoy publishing myself, and I need to build a backlist to take off. Sometimes review sites can help, some don’t. I love finishing projects and even better is holding the books and signing them and giving them to people. Writing is something I have to do in order to function, and in the coming posts I want to write ones on each book and talk about the inspiration behind them. I am also going to write posts about my worlds and the various creatures and stories. 

 

I hope you enjoyed this post. 

I will see you in the next one.

Love Jess

 

Mina’s Department Store is Available to Purchase!

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Description: The customer is not always right! If you have ever worked retail then this is the book for you, department store style. The customers are crazy and the situations are hilarious. It will provide you with tips on how to make a retail worker happy with you. And show you what a day is like in a department store as well as show you stories of rude, crazy and even the stupid things customers say to retail workers. Some will make you laugh and some will make you want a drink. Get ready and let’s dive into the wacky world of department store stories.

Link: https://amzn.to/2R0TPwf

jdsamuels25_f.jpgExcerpt:

“Do you work here?” a customer asked me while I was putting away clothes off a rack. I was also wearing my Nikki’s name badge with the name Mina.

“Yes,” I look at my name badge so they can see how stupid it is to ask me that.

She laughed oblivious to my joke. “Can you check me out since I can’t find anyone to help me check out?”

I look over at the few registers in the kids and intimate area. She was right. There was no one around. Of course my coworkers could be in the bathroom or putting away other clothes in different departments. This is why I hate taking returns in different areas. The register even had someone else panicking while waiting at the registers.

“Yes, someone is here.” the customer in front of the register waiting at the counter said. And then she glared when she spotted me since it’s my fault I kept her waiting. “Where have you been? I have been waiting here for ten minutes and haven’t been able to find anyone!”

“Cleaning the area. We don’t just stand behind the register the whole day.” I said. No need to be bitchy to me either since it’s not my fault.

“Well, maybe you should since I can’t find you anyway. Nikki’s has only gotten worse over the years, they hire idiots, and most of you can’t do your jobs.” She said. Whatever. Impatient bitches happen all the time.

“Okay, let me ring you up and let you be on your way so you can abuse someone else.” I said. She was speechless. And I quickly rang her up and the other older lady. And they are why I drink.

I don’t care if you complain to me about stuff I can’t control. I work retail at a department store where they don’t pay me enough to put up with bullshit. I am not a dumbass retail worker since I have my degree. My field is so competitive that I am stuck here until I find something else. I hope I do soon I graduated with my degree so I thought it would be easy to find something else instead it wasn’t. I have been working here for one year and seven months. I have spent countless nights questioning my life choices and wondering where it all went wrong. I have alcohol stocked up after work since after dealing with dumbasses all day I will need it to take the edge off. Something to dull the fact that I am a miserable retail worker who just graduated college and ended up in a mound of debt. I feel like a failure. Period. Stuck behind a register to be mocked at and laughed at by customers since they don’t think it is a real job. I was done with my pathetic life, and customers who treat me like I can’t read when they need help with their cards. The happiest day of my life is when I turned in my two week’s notice. The last day I worked and clocked out was the best feeling in the world and that is what this book is about. Me looking back on my time in retail, free of it and moving on. I kept track of all the mean customers, angry ones, and even have a few fun chapters, too.

I work in a department store and it has crazy customers, long lines, and endless returns. Nikki’s is for people to afford nice shoes, clothes, and even stuff for their homes. I love the employees working here since they are close to one another. There is also a music track that doesn’t include freaking holiday songs instead it’s songs I can actually sing to and some I get sick of. But they do play holiday music in November, and having to endure music like that totally sucks. 

There are actually interesting stories since a department store closes and opens. And special holiday hours, too. And then there are times when listening to the Christmas music will drive you crazy, and all the register lines are out the door. You don’t just sit behind a register all day either like people think we do. We have to clean up fitting rooms full of clothes no one wants, put up items from racks that people stuff clothes on, and make sure the entire floor is clean while answering the many questions we get throughout the day. Questions like where is the bathroom, if the coupon works with the item, and where stuff is on mannequins. A lot of stuff is going on and we have to deal with people complaining we aren’t there when we are right in front of them.

Retail is not for everyone either, and you have to actually like people to work in this field. Bonus points for patience since some of the transactions can get complicated due to miscommunication, and people trying to make it more complicated than it actually is. Customers will also talk down to you as if they are better then you just because you have a job in retail. I get looked down on just because I work. And it’s so easy I can practically be drunk while ringing up people. I get comments like, “Let me make this easy for you.” And ones like, “I feel sorry for you if this is what you have to do,” a customer said while looking at the enormous pile of shit someone left me to clean up. I mean I get hassled a lot by customers to the point where I zone out. Sorry if I don’t care about your sarcasm or humor when I was yelled at for the eighth time over a coupon not working for an old lady on an item.

Some days during the week can be slow like Monday-Wednesday depending on if it’s a normal day, and some days are so busy with constant register lines, full fitting rooms, and people who ask you nonstop questions will make you wish you had vodka to chug after the shift. Don’t even get me started on holidays since it will be crazy to be there during Christmas and Black Friday. Especially some days before on a good day I wouldn’t touch that with a ten foot pole. Those days will make you wish you stocked up on alcohol.

There are days when I love working at Nikki’s, and there are days I would love to just walk out since everything that can go wrong will go wrong. Hell, that one dipshit manager made me want to walk out and not finish my shift at all. It is not easy by any means and the comments from the customers just suck since some aren’t exactly nice.   

Also, I have seen a lot of stuff here, too and it’s not easy either since it can be like walking into a flaming car.  I could quite literally see people setting themselves on fire since the coupons didn’t work. People also can’t read signs either.  And if you loved Tales From Behind the Counter you will love this book since it has stories from a department store this time, and not a discount store. Welcome to high end retail where there are expensive brand named clothes, no alcohol is sold, and the customer base has more money to blow then bachelors in a strip club. My name is Mina, and I have been working in a department store for a while. 

This book will have stories, pet peeves, and some of the angriest and mean customers I have dealt with working in customer service and even working in the bra and kids area. I have also worked all over the store in different departments since when you work retail then you work everywhere. You also have to be pretty flexible if you want to work retail, and if there is a call out at the store they could call you to come in to work, which means there goes your only day off. And department stores are so short staffed they sometimes give away hours because they need all the help they can get. I have worked all over Nikki’s from Customer Service, Young Adults. Everywhere, and in that time I have accumulated tips, stories, and even some funny angry customer experiences to go with it. If you think the customer is always right then this isn’t the book for you. This book will show you they are anything but right, and some of these stories will have you go to your nearest bar ordering sympathy drinks. In fact, during the making of this while reading all these stories I have even drank in response to remember everything and all the shitty customers that stuck out. There are good points like someone giving me a card when I was going through family issues, and the managers who I liked were actually supportive when I went through a difficult time.  So, sit down and grab your drinks since these stories and tips will have you happy that you haven’t worked retail, and if you have, then you know the pain of having to walk a customer who can’t read a sign properly. There are some good to it like working at a department store means having some very close friends, and even some of the customers are friendly, too. Not all are bad, and it’s the angry, stupid ones that make these stories entertaining. I wish this was all I had to inconvenience my day. Not some of these customers; and some of them think it’s the end of the world since their item doesn’t work with a coupon. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy my stories of pain. And in the end, I left retail, and I am now in a happier place. Retail is also a thankless job, and something in between. It had moments where I was dreading to go in, and I wasn’t happy, so I got out of it and had something better lined up. It will also cause a drinking problem since conditions can suck due to understaffing, horrible customers, and the pay sucks, too. Retail jobs are minimum wage jobs, and it’s not enough to live off even full time.   

 

Cut out Bits 

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Some stuff never made it to the book, and here is all the cut scenes since some were too repetitive or didn’t belong in the final stuff:  

A guy was giving me shit over the online return being at another register, and said, “This is customer service isn’t it?” Yes, but it has to be returned at the fragrance counter since it’s a special item. Customer service doesn’t mean we return everything here. There is also a few customers that try to return fragrances at other departments since some of them buy the item to sell it online or ones they have tampered with.  

Then another bitched about the coupon not working. Again, since it’s my fault they don’t read the exclusions on the back. All my fault.  

I was told twice I could use the customer return label, and said I should know how to do my job, and she said I should keep an eye on my area. What the fuck ever you stupid idiot.   

So get this bitch I told her that she will have to go to shoes for her return. And that we can’t take it there and tell her yes they can ring up the stuff she has since she has a dress. And I tell her have a nice day she said you didn’t have to drag it out since I replied back I will. How is me replying back I will have a nice day dragging it out? It’s not my fault you wanted to argue with me because you didn’t want to walk your lazy ass to shoes. Keep walking bitch, and take your stupid shoes with you! 

.One lady demanded she get the items for $8.95 even though they rang up for $9.99. Whatever, I’ll give you it to shut you up. Whatever will make you stop arguing with me like an idiot. Since you are so right just because it came in the old packaging that you are entitled to it.  

Already have a lady bitch over panties since it rang up wrong. Apparently it is all my fault since I make the prices. 

A guy was being an asshole about his last act items not working with a coupon. He thought that because it said clearance it meant last act applied and it didn’t. And then dipshit comes back after leaving his crap with me reading the coupon to me like I can’t read and don’t work here every day. I grabbed the coupon from him, and told him there are exclusions, and it’s on the back of the coupon. Quit arguing with me when it said it excludes you aren’t always right just because you argue with me. In fact I’m treating you like a dumbass because you obviously can’t fucking read. We cannot magically make a coupon work on a last act item at all. We don’t have that power at all no matter how much you bitch at me about it.  

I don’t know if you need this chapter. You talked about coupons in two other chapters. Nothing pisses a department store worker off then coupons. People don’t read the fine print either since some coupons have exclusions. Exclusions means the coupons won’t work like specials. Then no coupons will work no matter how many times you ask the selling person they will still say no. Nothing will work and asking if another coupon won’t fucking work at all. Bitching about it to them doesn’t make them magically able to make it work.  

Then an old couple was being an idiot over specials not working with the coupons and couldn’t understand it was a no.  

And we can definitely read I even have some idiot ask me if I can read. I hate these things since they can give you so much trouble especially with the exclusions since I am pretty much blamed for it not working. All I do is ring shit up.  

Also don’t be rude to us either if we can’t do something that goes against the policy. We don’t make the policies dumbass.  

A lady wanted me to show her the jeans, and have me hold it for her and display it like I’m her personal shopper. I’m not.  

An old lady even brought in underwear she wanted to return and a list of reasons of what was wrong with them.  

I hate to say it – you’ve said a lot of this in other chapters: I can’t believe I even get to write this chapter, and it’s awesome to finally leave retail for good. There are some things I will miss like the employees and some of the nice customers. Also the hours weren’t too bad, and I loved the short shifts. But there are some things I will never miss! Such as: 

Angry customers 

Answering stupid questions. 

Bitchy customers 

Entitled people 

Ringing since I hate it 

Long ass lines that don’t seem to end 

Cleaning up after people who should know better 

Coupons with exclusions. Customers yell at us about it all the time.  

Blamed for everything even stuff I can’t control. 

Not going to miss being yelled at. Period.  

Hearing about people bitching at how understaffed we are that isn’t even my fault.  

People saying they feel sorry for me since God forbid I have a job! 

This is new stuff: 

I will never missed being bitched at since there is no one to ring them up.  

Repetitious Closings and opening sucked. 

Or blame me when the floor is messy yet it’s their fault since they don’t clean up after themselves. Idiots.  

And they blame me since they have coupons and the item they want isn’t eligible for it. Not my fault they can’t read.  

Crazy schedule especially during the holidays 

Nasty attitudes for any reason 

People blaming me for the signs coming up wrong 

People blaming me for the small selection 

People blaming me for the messy floor 

People blaming me for their card not working 

People blaming me since we can’t order their stupid order online.  

Repititious And I will never miss people arguing with me over the price since they act like I made it when I didn’t. I also didn’t make the signs or what the website did. They treat me like I can’t use my brain over stuff I don’t control.  

I get blamed for a lot of stuff I don’t control.  

And that is something I will never miss about retail. It seems like everything is the employees fault, and the customers treat it like it is. It’s not and I will never miss any of it.  

I will never miss giving up holidays to work 

They wanted to know why it wasn’t free, and it was only free with the rebates that they had to mail in. 

Your retail worker doesn’t care about some complaints, especially if they can’t control it. I love getting off early knowing I have the rest of the day to myself.  I also don’t get paid enough to be bitched at over everything. I can’t control your coupon not working, and I am not going to give you a discount for being rude. I get shit on daily by assholes who don’t have common decency. I also get gawked at, made fun of, and treated like an idiot just because I work a retail job.  

We aren’t personal shoppers either besides a register we actually clean stuff up and put it away.

I hope you enjoyed some behind the scenes and I will post when the links are live!

Jessica❤

Happy Holidays!

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As we get into the new years I want to wish everyone a happy holidays and may them be fun and filled with awesome memories. I also have good new Mina’s Tales is done rough draft wise and all that is left is the editor and cover art. Then I can publish it. That means I will have 9 books after that and many more to come! There is a lot of awesome things in store and I am getting used to my new job. So time will be spent writing after work and the weekends and holidays!

Leaving Retail for Good!

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So I am happy at this point since this Saturday is my last day in retail, and then Monday I start a new job non-retail related. After 8 years in retail it was time to move on. After 5 books including Mina’s Tales I am fully done with the subject. However, it means I can use this blog to talk about other subjects like book reading, tv shows, and movies. I will now get a regular schedule with weekends off, and I will finally be able to publish more since I will have the money for it. I failed Nanowrimo due to depression, and that is a subject I have been dealing with a lot since a lot of my time has been spend watching countless YouTube videos. I did start on a few new projects, and one of them is about a girl who is out of a shitty relationship and ends up coming in contact with a crazy fan. It will be interesting to write that, and the next Scarlet book feels like a reverse harem thing only with two guys so I will see how that goes!

Once I have more information for the next books I will let you know!

Jessica