My book is finally out in Kindle form, but the paperback had issues since I wanted to use colored because I designed a pretty blue chapter heading, but it didn’t show up on the print one. It’s being reviewed and the minimum price was 40.63…nope too much. As soon as it’s done being reviewed I’m changing it to black and white. Then after it’s reviewed I can order my proof in the meantime here is the Kindle version for $0.99 just for 5 days, and then it will be going up to $2.99.
If you think the customer is always right, you’ve never worked at a place like Kyle’s before.
Angeline has seen it all–crazy, stupid, and even mean. For the last five years, customers have tormented her daily in over five departments at her workplace, Kyle’s General Store. In one chapter, she gives advice on surviving retail and shares her biggest pet peeves in the departments she has worked in. Join Angeline down memory lane as she tells her stories about crazy customers and the downright stupid questions they ask.
I’ve also put it in Kindle Select, and it’s free if you have a kindle unlimited version.
I love using Twitter at this point, and I have fun after work tweeting the hilarious parts of working retail. It’s one of those subjects I love to hate since it’s something a ton of people relate to. I have been tweeting the funny parts of my job, and as a bonus here is some of the tweets and stories of the past few days.
Is this all you have? Is there more somewhere else? No, that’s all we have, and no we don’t have any in the non existent back…
I didn’t know what to expect when I started working retail, but I’m glad I did since it showed me a side that I’ve never seen before.
#DearCustomer your order comes in when we call you if you did not get a call then it hasn’t come in. #retailproblems
Sir, we did not call you yesterday at all, and it’s still in the lab. #retailproblems
Just put away the keys. Can I C this chain? But I told me you were just looking. #retailproblems
Two people till one my kind of day. #retailproblems….
I was sent on the register twice b/c not enough cashiers at the front. #retailproblems…
Sir, I tried to get help for you b/c yes I didn’t know b/c I don’t work in the area. #retailproblems
C: Gee, you look bored.M: No sir, I’m writing down everything you say and do cause I’m an author. #retailproblems
C: Do you have any rings? Me: No, but we have earrings. C: Well I don’t wear earrings b/c of this reason. Okay, Idc…#retailprobz
Yes, we have the item posted in the ad today and we carry all items in said AD… #retailproblems
Yes, I’m going to smile, but don’t think I’m not thinking of ways to tell you off without losing my job. #retailproblems
Everything is my fault just b/c I work there…#retailproblems
Thanks for yelling at me over something that I can’t control for a department I don’t work @#retailproblems
Sir, can you get to the point so I can transfer you…#retailproblems
Sir, I know what you are talking about we don’t carry it and I was trying 2 help you. #retailproblems
#DearCustomer if you are nice to me I’m more likely to go out of my way for you then if you are rude to me.
Yes, since I work for the company I know everything about all the areas in the store. #retailproblems
Yes, this is all we have no we don’t have it in the back. #retailproblems
No you can’t pay on a layaway from a different store. Go 2 the 1 you put it at. #retailproblems
Twitter is a platform that allows you to use 140 characters, so some words are shortened to allow for more room. I used the hashtags #retailproblems to reach a wider audience for my tweets. A lot of people use it to talk about retail problems and stuff only people who work retail understand and I also use the hashtag #DearCustomer when I want to tell them advice, or talk about what they are doing is wrong. It’s a fun little community, and it allowed me to talk to people and follow others with a like mind. Some of the users I love to follow are: @SWilliamBrown33,@ObservingRetail,@The_Retail_Rant, and @cashier_pain. I follow them because they regularly talk about what a pain it can be to work retail at time, and the things customers do to piss people off. I’m also going to create my own book about the stuff I have experienced while working it so far.
Here is a few stories from the past few days:
It’s been 1-9 both days so seven hour shifts which I don’t mind. I love shorter ones since it means I’m less likely to wish people dead. Saturday was fun. Had a customer tell her daughter to grab me since I’m too fast for her. Apparently, she can’t keep up with me. Good, cause I might have told her that if you grabbed me then I would have to hit you. Then another lady bitching, “I’m so sick of this.” When I was polite in saying excuse me when I took an L cart to the back. I should have hit her with it…No zone on the weekends which is a good thing. I hate it. Some idiot asked over the phone if we had gluten free yogurt then hung up on me before I could give him an answer. The registers blew up just as I got on lunch.
A guy comes in saying he got a call about his order. I don’t remember it so I check the safe and box. It’s not there, and I check the book to see if it’s ready. Still at the lab…No, it’s not there. No, I’m not the one who called it in jackass. Stop being an impatient, lying dick and wait for it to come in. One was a week late because of us having no one. Then idiots wanted me to put in a watch battery, and they ended up saying shit like this person had trouble so the person replaced it. I could not get it on, and it made me glad since she should have shut up to let me do my job. They also had the nerve to ask if there was anyone else that knew how to do it. No, it’s only me so shut up already. Then at the last minute I put the keys away after I asked the guy if he needed help. No, just looking. I put the keys away. Oh, can I see the chain? You asked if I did. I told him I already put the keys away. Oh, never mind then. You should have told me that before…Fuck you dick.
Sunday more people then we did the day before. Spent the first hour on the computer. After that some idiot put an item on the counter, and the bitch on the mobile yelled at me that the person will be back later. Okay, but you didn’t have to be a cunt about it. Then she proceeded to mumble stuff about me as she was in line. The person tossed it on the counter like an asshole what did you expect? The registers were hell, but I was kept off it. Lady on the phone was giving me an attitude on the phone while I was looking up a number. Well, I was making sure you didn’t hang up or get disconnected. That happened the day before actually, a lady said to not hang up on her when she hung up on me first…A lady was a bitch as she asked for a room, and oh so nicely said, “I realize I’m over the limit.” She said with a handful of clothes. I directed her to a room not even wanting to put up a fight. I was done. It was slow after some time, and Wednesday I got yelled at because the guy was having issues transferring money from Western Union, and no one would help him. I told him I would get him a manager so he can be rude to someone else. Those were my days….
If you want to keep up with my Twitter adventures then my username is @jdsamuels25. I hope you enjoyed this little Twitter post.
I work retail and now that the holidays are upon us the people are actually starting to get nastier. I get it you are trying to find the perfect item and we have ran out of stock therefore ruining your Holidays, and it’s all out fault for running out. Then again you could have shopped earlier instead of waiting till the last minute, or called the store before wasting your gas to drive all the way to the store to find out that we are out of it. I also get the fact that you are in a hurry, and have to be somewhere so why are you waiting in a long line when you have places to be. Shop earlier when you are not in a hurry. And stop saying that it’s free every time it does not scan. It’s an old joke and it makes you sound like an asshole. I’ve heard it so many times I hate hearing it.
If we have a small selection then I hear is this all you have? Yes, it is and no we don’t carry it anywhere else in the store. No, we don’t have it in the back at all unless we are over stocked. No, you don’t get a discount especially when you are rude. Not all of us are going to smile all the time. Why? I try to smile at every customer and then I get ignored or given dirty looks like they think they are beneath me because I work there. I even said excuse me the other day and the lady glares at me like I was in her way. Whatever. I also get mad when people give me an attitude because of the fact that I don’t know where everything in the store is especially when I don’t work in that area.
I’ve had a lady the other day look at me like an idiot because I told her the books are in electronics and she made the gesture of opening a book to explain to me you know books? She said like I didn’t read or know what one was. I’m an author I read books and I write books. That’s another thing I’m sick of since not all people who work retail are stupid, high school drop outs like some of the people who don’t work retail think they are. We are humans we have feelings. We don’t control all aspects of the register. If your card gets declined it’s not our fault it can be the banks, but don’t blame us for it when we just scan items and bag it. We don’t control the prices either and we don’t know the prices of every item in stock either. A lady actually accused me of changing the price of the printer ink when I don’t work there, and then had the audacity to say I’m dishonest. Giving me a lecture when I didn’t do shit. No, I don’t know when we will get more of an item in unless I have a barcode to look it up, and even then I don’t know when it will come in since I don’t have control of it. The company send stuff and we put it up. That is it, and I’m sick of the customers getting mad if we don’t have an item that another store carries since different stores carry different products. Well, you had this item a few years ago…We don’t have it now because items changes and some items are discontinued and again something we don’t control the companies do. Well, the other store did this…then go to the other store and let them do it. Also waiting in line for a few minutes is not going to kill you, and stop getting mad when you have to wait for assistance since a lot of workers are cross trained in multiple departments which means we are assisting customers in that area. And stop interrupting other customers if you see us helping another customer it’s rude. And for the love of god don’t be on your phone while we are helping you it’s rude, and you are acting like we are not worth your time. Plus, if you talk on the phone while we are assisting you then you might miss out on something we asked you. Then you get mad about it since you were yapping on your phone instead of paying attention. Also, if the computer makes a mistake then tell us nicely, and we will correct it but don’t be rude about it.
These are just somethings I thought about. Please try to be nice and have patience. It’s busy for all of us, and we are running ragged trying to help everyone. Every person is fighting something you know nothing about. They really don’t need to be treated like dirt so you can get your way. Try to at least act like a decent human being toward the person behind the counter, and prove to them that not all customers are mean and rude.
These are just some of the things I have personally dealt with, and all opinions are my own. I might have more posts on this subject and I hope you enjoyed a look into the life of a retail worker.
I’m working on a few retail related novels because there is so much more to write about on this subject. I work retail too, and it’s not just me talking to people who work it but it’s me experiencing it first hand. I wrote a novella to make fun of it, but after the first one I found more pieces to put in the story. I have a lot of notebooks just full of work notes, and even some of the meaner customer interactions. It is my first job working with the general public, and it was a real eye opener too. It made me see how people treat others on the other side of the counter. Not all of it was good. Some treated you like they are better then you, and some straight up ignored you when you greet them. The hardest part about it though was dealing with people, and solving issues with the registers and customer situations too. Sometimes it can be easy like opening boxes and stocking shelves by the tags, and putting items in the correct spot. It’s great for part time work to help you pay for college, but it’s not for everyone though. It can be stressful, and the people can be so rude that you think about punching them in the face. The customers can get to you since some of them think they are better then you just because you are on the other side. It can be enough to drive someone insane if you let it. I’m trying not to let the mean customers get to me, and it’s hard at times because when they yell at you they yell about things you have no control over. You are their favorite punching bag. No, I don’t control the prices. I don’t control the stock either. We put out stuff that’s it, and we have no idea when a company is getting a certain item in since we CAN’T control it. They don’t tell us when we get stuff in. I’m sorry we don’t have the item you saw last week because people buy stuff. I have notebooks and notebooks filled with customer issues, and mean people situations. I had a customer the other day get mad about the fact that her order was not in when we told her it was 4-5 weeks. Not 1-2 at all it can get there sometimes, but most of the time 4-5 weeks. Once we order it we have no control over it. You see why it’s not for everyone? I get yelled at over things that are not my fault. But you’ll see in the stories to come all the awesome horrible people I’ve had to deal with at my job. I don’t use names though because I don’t want a lawsuit or to get fired. It’s my way of getting things off my chest so to speak. But I’ve learned a lot too. That’s all for now.
I need a job because going to Lavender Fall University is expensive, and it is a good school to go to in the Luxor realm. I’m a witch named Rowan Hawthorne, and I have blood red hair cascading down my back, and catlike green eyes. I’m so pale I look like a ghost, and I move as graceful as a cat does too. A knockout to some of the men in Luxor especially to vampires.
My boyfriend Aries Brennan is a vampire from the BloodFire clan lives with me in an apartment off WolfHaven road. He is a bad ass. Slick black hair with piercing brown eyes, and a look that said I don’t care. He wore a long trench coat with a black shirt under neath, his legs jammed into black jeans and wearing black combat boots. He is a bounty hunter, and hunts down rogue supernatural creatures, and he is good at it too even the King and Queen of Luxor calls for his help.
I have to get a job because I need to make more money then working at FastBlood, and I hate fast food since the pay is shit. I don’t want to work some where that even has a chance of me getting my head ripped off if I serve the blood wrong, or it’s not what they ordered…Too many times I’ve seen someone get their head ripped off due to a wrong order.
Nope, no way.
I need something that pays more, and is less dangerous. It’s the summer so I don’t need to worry about school yet like homework, tests, or quizzes. I’m studying witch journalism, and it’s been a ride so far. I’ve learned a lot of cool stuff too. It’s expensive though since I live in the dorms and have a meal plan. Throw in books and daily living then we are talking a lot just to survive. I saw that it paid 15 an hour part time. Perfect for a college student and especially for a witch. I don’t have any other choice since retail, fast food, restaurants, and strip clubs are all that I’m qualified for till I get a degree. Forget trade school because I know what I want to do.
I stay at the apartment during the summer, and the dorm during school. It’s not far from the university either, and I can stay there if my roommate is being a pain in the ass.
Nightwatch Supernatural Store is the name of the store I want to work at. It has been redone since the original owner Fiona Stagea went crazy, and it burned to the ground right a long with her. Or that’s what the report online said. It was all over the FangPaw News. One of the many news stations in Luxor. I don’t mind dealing with creatures either. I like them, and dealing with them is better then humans. I put in a job application, and fill out a survey online. They use a personality profile to filter out the hires they don’t want. Yes, the customer is always right. (Yuck I hate that phrase, and really people abuse that phrase everyday when they make the person feel like they are stupid. Some of them even treat the sales person like they can do the job better then the person actually trained for it.) I can also use spells to subdue an angry customer. I can talk my way out of everything. I will give the item to the customer if it rang up at a different price to satisfy them if my supervisor said it’s okay…Damn, I might be hating this already if I have to please people who are assholes to me.
This will be an experience….I hope. Man, I might want to give this a shot but something tells me I’ll hate it…I’ll find out since I just turned my application in. A few days later I got a call back for an interview. I dress in a nice shirt and black jeans since I want to look like I care about my appearance. I get in my sports car which is a Leopard GTX one of the fastest model sports cars in the realm. I buckle my seat belt, and put the key in the ignition. One turn and I’m off to my interview. I drove by myself since my boyfriend is away on another mission to catch a cheating wife. I hope he enjoys himself. I have the interview at 12, and the store is not too far from where I live. Traffic wont be bad at all because of how close it is, and I applied to work as a sales clerk in the witch department section. I know everything about: spells, charms, potions, incantations, rituals, herbs, crystals, and everything there is to know about being an actively practicing witch. I was born one since both my parents are witches.
I get there in record time. NightWatch Supernatural store is completely redone, and it is way bigger then Fiona’s was. They made it larger, and it looks like a super store that creatures can go to in order to get the items they need to survive. The carts are black with black wheels, and creatures are already shopping and walking back from the store with their carts full of black bagged items to their cars. It’s not as busy as a saturday since it’s a Wednesday. Most of the supernaturals are working at their office jobs, and it wont get busy till later in the day.
I look at their faces, and some smile at their families as they talk and walk with them. Vampires, witches, werewolves and all kinds of creatures shop here. The outside is all black walls and the roof is red. The tittle NightWatch Supernatural store was made with red lettering on a black background. The store is busy once I get through the revolving doors. I see the people checking out, and all the registers are lit up. I hope to God I don’t get a cashier position. I don’t like staying in one spot at all. I don’t want to be the one ringing up people with endless lines at all. Forget thinking about Black Friday. It’s not going to be here for a few months since it’s August. I passed the one and only fast food restaurant here. Fang’s FastBlood. There are hungry vampires standing around to get their hot blood order. Then customer service is busy with people returning things. The jewelry area and accessories are across from it. It’s all very slow in a way. There are not any major holidays coming up yet either. I pass all the various departments and head back to personnel.
I opened the door and a receptionist greeted me. She smiled at me and asked, “How may I help you?”
I smiled back at her, “I have a job interview at 12.”
“No problem, Ivy and Aqua will be with you soon just have a seat.”
I sat down at a seat, and waited for the interview. It’s annoying to wait for something since I have no patience. After a few minutes two women came through the door.
Nymphs by the looks of them Ivy and Aqua since they are wearing a name tag. Two different nymphs too. Ivy is green haired and Aqua is blue. Ivy took out a pen and paper to record my answers to the questions.
Aqua is the one who asked the questions.
“Tell me about yourself.” She asked with a smile on her face.
“I’m a witch, and I’m a college student at Lavender Fall University. I love reading old spell books, learning about rituals and using my knowledge to help my boyfriend Ares hunt down rogue creatures.”
Her eyes widened, “Impressive. He is a powerful vampire too. Next question: Why should we hire you?”
“I love helping other witches find the tools, ingredients, crystals and herbs they are looking for to assist them with their needs. Especially the new ones that are just learning about their crafts. Whether it’s a love spell to attract a mate, or protection from an evil ex. I love helping them it’s something I love to do, and I hope I can do that at Nightwatch.”
She smiled, “Good answer and I love hearing that since the customer is always number 1. They are the ones that pay our pay check after all.”
“They sure do, and that’s why I’d be an excellent asset to your company. I’m also a people person, and I love people.”
I rub it in some more because it’s easy to pretend you care but in reality you couldn’t give two shits.
“Okay, that’s a really good thing. I don’t need to ask you how you feel about people since you love them.”
I smiled, “I sure do.”
“Then you’ll fit right in the Nightwatch family here. We are more like a family now that crazy bitch Fiona is gone.”
“I heard about it, and she changed it some.”
“Yes, and it made Fiona’s more of a family, and a fun place to work at instead of one you dread working at. They come here for more then just a paycheck. You also get paid $15.00 for part time which is more then minimum wage in the Luxor realm.”
“Good, I’ll need the money to get through school.”
“And I would have the interview longer, but I already know you’ll make a good fit working at Nightwatch Supernatural Store. Welcome to the team we’ll let you know when orientation is…”
“Looking forward to it.” then I left after that since I’m now going to be a sales person in the witch department of this store. Maybe working retail might not be so bad?
I’ll see since I’m only just starting and I hope I don’t regret my decision to work in retail….
Recently, I have discovered some readers will only buy books if it is in paperback form. Several of my novels only come in ebook form, and I have decided to publish on in paperback for the first time. I used the novella #BeingaVampireinRetailSucks since it’s longer then the rest, and it’s part of a series too. There are still people who prefer paperback over ebooks so that’s a good reason, and I can give copies to people who are doing giveaways too. The next question I will probably get is when are the rest of the books coming out, and I have book 1 done, halfway written book 2, and I know how to write book three since I’ve outlined the shit of out everything. It’s only a matter of time, and when they are popular enough then someone might pick them up to narrate the audio version. Maybe.
The paperback version is way different then the ebook since it has more to it like a spine, and actual cover. I had issues uploading the docx and pdf file since the words are bigger then the size I wanted it. I used 5 x 8 for it, and it’s glossy instead of matte since I’ve heard better results with the glossy version. It was a pain in the ass, but at the same time fun. I first went to creatspace.com and filled out my information. Then comes the tax information to get paid, and you have to create an account so you can keep track of everything. Then comes the book like putting in the title, and then you have to have an ISBN I went with the free Createspace one since I don’t have the money for the custom one. It was $99 for a Bowker one. Not for me yet.
But it’s a learning experience because I have had issues with the formatting mainly, and it sucked ass getting it to work but I still loved the results. In the end since the lettering kept getting cut off in the first one I had to change it again and again. In the end I changed it to 6×9 instead and moved the lettering underneath the name tag. I set it at $9.99. I centered the chapter headings and underlined them, and added page numbers. I should have deleted some of the front like the Smashwords edition stuff, and the ebook information. I left it though since I could spend days just getting it perfect, and in the end I left it as it is. It’s my first paperback after all. Now it’s available through Amazon and Createspace. The whole process was not bad at all, and it was pretty easy. I loved the results in the end. I even stayed with the glossy cover.
Here are the links since it’s live:
I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoy writing this. If you are an author thinking about going with Createspace I highly recommend it since it’s the best option out there and you won’t regret it.
It has been a long road, and this particular project is finally done. I loved how it turned out, and I could not be happier since I have a new cover artist I look forward to working with! I have my school stuff straight, and things are picking up! I did write a post about my inspiration and why I wrote the story in the first place, since there is a story behind it:
Not many people know this, but the idea for the story did not come out of thin air. It came thanks to me coming across a book called Retail Hell: How I sold my soul to the store which is about a screen writer forced to get a job working at The Big Fancy, and I read the whole thing within a matter of days. It was funny, and I loved every minute of it. I loved his take on the different types of customers. I loved the fact that he ends up being the only male selling handbags. The humor in it is laugh out loud funny, and I love his comments regarding the customers he nailed it. I admit I have been working retail for two years I wont say where, but I have seen some of the stuff he talks about in his memoir.
My story is set in a supernatural store called Fiona’s Corner and Café. A retail store in the Luxor realm, and Scarlet who is a vampire has to go under cover to solve the case of the missing werewolf girls from the Moon Wolf pack. It has her put in situations people rarely get to see unless they are on the other side of the counter. I love how it turned out. I even threw in something extra for my readers since it mentions another ebook I’m working on. I will make book 1: Scarlets Beginning. Book 2: Retribution is Mine and Book 3: Redemption is mine.
I am completely done with the Prologue, and Chapter 1 and I wanted to put it up early since it is coming out in March. I have not decided on a date yet, but it will be out next month. It has been a long journey, but I cannot believe it is almost done.
Here it is, and when I publish it I will put down the links after the chapter.
Being a Vampire in Retail Sucks
I killed my ex-boyfriend, but that was because he killed my lover. I also killed Kelsey. She deserved it for going after vampires who were harmless to society, and especially since she killed Dante’s family. Not that I go around ending lives for the hell of it. I worked for the Killer Contract Agency–hired to rid the Crystal Crest realm of society’s slugs. Like rapists, pedophiles, and hunters who go after innocent supernatural creatures. The weapon made me insane, and after an undercover case I decided to be a detective instead of an assassin. My name is Scarlet Summers, and I’ve been through hell.
The Moon Wolf Pack are the werewolves who helped me escape from the evil necromancer, Rick. A mystery is on my hands when some of the girls went missing. Oh, and the girls all had one more thing in common. They worked at Fiona’s Corner and Café, a retail store in the Luxor realm that allows creatures to buy items they need to survive. Here is my story of these events.
A fire is burning in the fire-place and it makes the living room warm to combat the cold air conditioning running through the rest of the house. I use this time off to banish the memories of my last case,and the previous ones when I was with the agency. I finally have a chance to try to get my mind off my past once and for all.
It started when Nathan killed Zion, my lover, since he was an abusive and jealous jerk. My grief led to me wanting retribution so fiercely I was hired by The Killer Contract Agency. I then went on a killing frenzy eliminating Nicole, Megan, Kelsey, Kyle, and Nathan. I got my revenge, but not without a price. My final step was to swallow Nathan’s soul. However it caused me to go crazy, and I ended up gunning down innocents. I was changed into a vampire to stop the rage from consuming me. Once I turned, the rage stopped and I became sane again. Then I got captured by a crazy necromancer, and he tried to turn humans into creatures by performing horrible experiments on them. I stopped Rick with help of the Moon Wolf pack. All the old case files go into the fireplace, and the bracelet I still have as a reminder of what I have been through. I turn away from the fire and the past.
I look around the house I love. We moved into after I became a vampire and we transferred to the Luxor realm. It is a big place with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and office, kitchen, and even a library piled high with books. The walls in the living room are charcoal black and the carpeting is the color of warm blood with a gothic theme throughout the house: cobweb wall papers with candelabras, and magical statues of wolves and dragons placed in the house to guard it from intruders.
Sitting down on the black leather sofa, I let the warm fire relax me. There is incense burning and the smell of apples and cinnamon take me to a place of comfort. The necromancer situation still haunts me, since I was tortured horribly. I don’t want to go into details, but I hate them. The asylum case was just as horrid. Especially seeing all those supernatural creatures hurt when they did not deserve it. I exhale and let it all go.I am on my vacation after all.
Dante, my lover, is rustling around papers in the office we share. Since I have nothing better to do I go see what he was doing in the office. And maybe play around a bit on the computer.
“Come in.” he replies after I knock on the door since he loves to keep the door closed to concentrate.
“What are you working on?” I ask as I walk into the room and stand behind him, peering at his screen. I know he hates it when I do that but I just can’t help but rile him a bit .He sighs and stretches, making me stare at the muscles flexing underneath his shirt.
“Shit loads thanks to the damn necromancer-werewolf-agency issues. I dislike Rick, and his bullshit about falsely helping people without powers. He just had to work in the Crystal Crest realm with the psychics to experiment on innocent creatures. At least the asylum is a black crater in the ground now. And all their data on us is destroyed. “
“Fun, I love paperwork. But at least we no longer have to worry about the Crystal Crest realm becoming like ours.”
He laughs and it lights up his entire face, making his soft silky black hair undulate around his handsome face. I stare at his muscles as they ripple with the simple gesture of him sweeping his hair out of his eyes. He turns his attention back to the screen in front of him and I sit down in a plush chair in the corner and watch him work.
I don’t pay attention to the time until I feel a gentle hand brush my long red hair behind my ear. My green eyes come back into focus after staring at nothing but remembering the experiments.
“Brooding again?” He asks concern in his brown eyes. He knows I dwell too much on the past, especially since it was a shock to my system.
“Yes,” I reply sheepishly, “I was just thinking about our latest mission. All of the things the necromancer said he would do to my friend’s dead body still haunt me.” I shudder, trying not to think about it, and try to block out the images that are flooding my mind.
“Thinking of it only makes it worse. He is dead. The Asylum is a graveyard. You are going to drive yourself bonkers if you keep thinking about it. I agree with how horrible the whole situation was, and I wish I could pass on my extra abilities on to you. then you would never have to fear. Do you think I like seeing you like this?” He asks.
“No, and I know it was hard on you as well. I’m sorry I still get lost in the past. At least the werewolves were able to save me.” I say with a smile trying to focus on the good side of my experiences.
“They did but it also means you owe them a favor. Werewolves always collect their favors and sometimes it is dangerous. I know I owed them once, and payback nearly made me tied to a member of their pack.”I sigh, not wanting to think about what they will want in return for saving my life.
“I want to check my email.” and I hop behind the desk across from Dante’s. My mind jumps to more essential everyday things like work and coupon shopping. I need some new clothes from Gothic Gear and Witch Cauldron and I hope that there are some money off coupons in my inbox.
I quickly get comfortable in the leather chair since it fits the shape of my body perfectly. I turn on my high-powered desktop and log into my personal email. I am disappointed when my inbox has nothing but Spam. No, I don’t want another vampire groupie, not after the last one died. Nope, I don’t want to meet single vampires in my area. Absolutely no to getting the biggest erection of my vampire life. All junk and no fun coupons for me. Frustrated, I decide to check my work email. Even though I am on vacation there might be something interesting is going on to take my attention.
“Hey, look at this,” I tell Dante and he moves behind my chair. He looks over my shoulders to read what is on my computer screen.
“Why does he want to see you? I thought you were on vacation. I was looking forward to relaxing with you.” He sighs, “Do you want me to go with you to the office?”
I nodded, “Special assignment sounds fun, but it also sounds like a handful. I just hope a necromancer isn’t involved in this one. I hate those guys.” I shudder again and push away the images from my past. Necromancers are notorious for getting zombies to do their dirty work. It is helpful to send one after someone you want dead because they are hard to kill. The only way to stop them is to cut off their head. “Let’s change, then we hit the road.”
A little bit later we slide into Dante’s Strider X, the fastest type of car in the realm. We quickly get to the store since Derrick is impatient. The sun is a horrid ball of heat frying everything in its path. The soft tank top I am wearing allows the cool leather from my seat to relieve my skin from the inferno. I don’t like the heat. I would rather it be an in-between temperature, not too hot or too cold.
Roger’s Video store is a front for the detective agency in the Luxor realm. King Alexander and Queen Diana Battle don’t want anyone to know about either Derrick’s Detective Agency or its partner the Killer Contract Agency. They work together to help solve crime and catch criminals for the crown.
Dante looks up at the sun. “At least the sun here is not toxic to us. I was a surfer before I changed into a vampire you know. I like still being able to surf, it is more fun with powers. And the donors and blood bags definitely make life easier. What about you Scarlet, do you love it?”
I consider my transition to being a vampire, “I love it, it is so much better being sane. Thank you for turning me. And I love still having my magical powers and guardian.
“Of course I remained after you changed. You need me to guide you and help in combat.” Nightshade speaks in her melodious voice in my head.
“I am happy to still have you too. You have saved my ass plenty of times. I always will be.” I commune back.
Nightshade has watched over me ever since I came into my power as a witch. I have been her charge to guide even before I received the bracelet. She became my permanent guardian when I put on the bracelet, and when I kept my powers during the transition she decided to stay with me. She is a spirit that stays by my left ear and is visible when she desires.
“It is amazing that you still remember when we first met,” She comments knowing I am brooding on the past again.
“I always will because you saved my ass more times than I can count.”
“I think we need to go into his office now,” Dante interrupts and I notice we have reached our destination. He knows about Nightshade and doesn’t mind when we talk, he talks to his guardians too. The hell hounds: Cloud and Enforcer. But Derrick is an impatient man and we both want to see what he wants.
“Sorry.” I reply sheepishly. “Nightshade was talking to me. ” Dante is standing over me holding the door to the car for me to get out. He is such a gentleman! He takes my hand and squeezed it gently, then smiles warmly.
“Would you like it if I was in your mind more, not just when you are in danger?” Because Dante is my sire we can talk telepathically. It comes in handy during battle or undercover cases when we need to speak privately. It also makes the romance between us so much better. I nod in response to his questions and we walk to the store to see what the boss wants.
Roger’s Videos store is a bright beige building with a black and white sign denoting the name on the front of the building. The bell tinkles as we go through the door. I look around the room with brightly lit shelves and neatly placed videos. We might need to rent one if the news sucks. Syron waves to us from behind the counter as we make our way to the back of the store. Past the public restrooms we go into the office to find out what the boss wants.
Derrick Sanders, the owner and head of the detective agency, sits at his desk wearing his favorite camouflage clothes. His constant self-imposed distractions tell me he has seen more horrors than he will admit to. I do not want to interrupt him so I wait until he stops typing and looks up at me before I speak.
“You wanted to see me sir?”
“Yup Scarlet,” he replied in his former army tone. He leans back in his chair and continues in the voice he used when he sent troops out for battle. “There is an issue that has come up involving Fiona’s corner and Café, the retail establishment. Some of the women from the Moon Wolf Pack have gone missing and all of them worked for Fiona’s. ”
My eyes widen, “The ones who helped me escape from the asylum?”
He nods, “Afraid so. The last place they were seen was their work place. Here are the files on the girls who are missing.” He hands me the files, and I take them with caution wondering who the unlucky girls are, and if I know them. Shania Wolfson, Sonya Simone, and Merica Laker. Phew, I never knew them personally. They are all very beautiful, and belong to Rex’s pack. Since they are part of the pack that rescued me from the necromancer the least I can do is try to find them. All three girls disappeared a few weeks after starting to work at the store.
Terrific, a retail store gone rancid, why am I not surprised? Honestly, it is not surprising to hear, especially since the boss is a 1,000 year old vampire who use to use the store as a front for hurting creatures through horrific experiments. Luckily it had stopped thanks to Derrick’s Detective Agency. Or at least I thought it had.
“Is this another find the missing women case or an undercover one?” I ask dreading the answer. I have a bad feeling I knew where this was going when his face changed to a look of sympathy.
“I want you to go undercover to find the missing girls. You will need to pose as an employee at the store. It is the best approach to get information on both the girls and the company. The werewolves have asked for you specifically, as payment for your debt.”
“I can’t wait to see you in an adorable little uniform!” Nightshade teases, he voice filled with mirth.
“Great,” I comment with feigned enthusiasm, “Just what I always wanted to do; work retail!” I sigh, and he gives me the rest of the paperwork that I need to go undercover. I have my new identity as a vampire named Lily Stone, as well as all of the legal documents to support the story.
Dante laughs, “At least there are no necromancers this time. This should be way easier than that was, and you don’t have to deal with crazy people.” His mirth is not concealed as he grins from ear to ear, “And it could be worse, you could be at Fang’s Fast Blood and have to deal with hungry vampires. Fast food would definitely be worse.”
“True.” I laugh, “I have been to one, and the vampires are way too picky about it what they want.”
Derrick joins our laughter, “No necromancers at all, unless they are customers buying their items. The only creatures you will have to deal with are a few vampires, witches and werewolves. There is also the sorceress owner and her vampire lover Ren.” He smiles at me and his next words change the mood in the room, “I am really happy to see you all in one piece. I know the last case was not easy for you. After this assignment, I want you to take a long far away vacation.” He pauses, “then you have to come back for another case.”
“No worries, I will come back to work,” I grin at him, “Honestly, I think a trip to the islands is in order. I want to learn to surf.” I look at Dante and he smiles.
Dante and I leave, walking side by side on our way to the car. I am hoping that the case is straightforward, but my history has taught me otherwise. I browse through the files Derrick gave me as Dante drives back to our home. Derrick’s note point to his suspicions he has about Fiona Stagea and my main purpose to spy on her. Werewolves never do well at her store, they either quit quickly or disappear. Ren, her lover, was the last person that was seen with Shania. The two had been seen fighting a week before and no one had seen her since.
As I think about what going undercover in retail means I begin to get angry. I won’t have weekends off anymore, not that I ever shop on weekends. I don’t like crowds so I tend to stay away from stores when they are crowded. I will have to deal with customers and I have seen how nasty some people are to retail workers. Many people take out their own problems on the employees, use them as verbal punching bags, which is not right and now I will have to deal with it. I used to work retail, and I hated it. I had to deal with all of the problems while I was trying to pay my way through witch school. I think about the amount of time it usually takes me to solve a case. The asylum took a few months, and that was after Nightshade woke me up from the drugs they were making me take.
“Thanks for that by the way,” I intone to Nightshade and I hear her laughter ringing through my head. At least I am never alone. I go back to my brooding and think about my time frame. There are only four months until Christmas, and even less before the shopping season ramps up. So I don’t lose my sanity again I decide I have to solve the case before then.
Many of the creatures in the Luxor realm used to live in the Crystal Crest realm, like me, and we tend to keep up the habits of our human lives. We celebrate the same holidays because it helps remind us of our humanity. The other downside to working the busiest season of the year in retail means that I will probably slip and bite someone. Blood bags and donors have helped me conquer the urge but when my temper is high I have been known to lose control.
Dante and I spend a magical weekend together before my new nightmare begins.
It has been a month since I wrote a blog post. I have been busy since school started back up, and it is more work than last semester. No big deal since I am used to the work load by now. As for the novella news I am getting the last of my edits in, and then I will be ready in a few weeks to publish again. This time I can tell it will turn out better since I have a good team with me, and I hope you all enjoy it. I do have the outline for the next two Scarlet books. They will take place in college instead of high school. I am happy to say I only have two more stories to edit before I can publish a paperback! Yay! I will have more time to work on everything during the summer, so I am definitely looking forward to it.
I have not worked on the edits for the killer short which might turn into a novella at this point or the retail one since I am waiting for my critique partner to give me his feedback. After I get it back then work on the edits I will send it to an editor to go over a few times then get the cover, and publish it still it is not a short process at all. Not by a long shot in fact it can be downright a waiting game, but it will pay off in the long run. With the writing process you learn to be patient when it comes to waiting like things get in the way like for me work and school can make writing be temporarily put on the back burner thanks to it being my last semester there is even more pressure to make sure school work is done before I even think about writing. I am still set on a Summer release for the paperback, and the re-edited killer and Retail story. It just takes time to produce a good book, and I am working on the second killer novel too while doing research for the Fang and Fur of Love book. Writing the world I am doing takes time, and I am self-publishing my ebooks and paperback which means I do all the work by myself. I really love being able to control it by myself to an extent which is why I did it by myself. I will write on more topics in the future since I plan on reading several Indie books about writing a novel, and how to survive in the world.