So, for the past year, I have been sending out query letters and stuff. I got tired of dealing with rejection and decided to publish my book myself!
It went live this morning on Amazon.com for the Kindle version. I also submitted it to CreateSpace to go into their print on demand paperbacks.
I am also working on an audio version. We’ll see how that goes in the future 🙂
Anyway, heres the link, in case you’re interested!
While posting in a conversation on Facebook, Someone made a comment that was directed toward me about my statement that I had been a hooker at one time. She said I was nasty and that she wouldn’t be bragging.
This was my response “People who only see the statement “I was a hooker” assume that whatever degrading words they say will make me feel bad. I don’t. I only smirk and walk away because I know what I went through, I know how strong it made me. The fact that I’m still alive, 20+ years later, a mother of three of the most awesome Denverites in the world, a successful author and teacher, activist for trafficked youths AND still compassionate toward others speaks volumes. Nothing she or anyone else can say will ever change that. I am a better person now because of where I was then.”
This statement actually floored me. The power from that one paragraph brought tears to my eyes. I AM a better person for everything I went through back then and nothing anyone can say will EVER take that away from me.
After a couple of months working with an “agent” I realized he wasn’t actually DOING anything so, I’ve been sending out query letters to many others. My present husband was diagnosed with dementia around Thanksgiving last year and I have been busy taking him to doctors appointments as well as my youngest son who was diagnosed 18 months ago with type 1 diabetes. Life has been rough but I’m almost done with the manuscript and have decided to self publish on Amazon. Seems to me to be the best way to get my book actually out there. Maybe I’ll be lucky like the writer of Fifty Shades of Gray and get someones attention. Here’s hoping.
I plan on having the book on the market by the first of September.
It was my birthday. I languished in bed, warm and safe from the snowstorm outside, drifting in and out of sleep. I opened my eyes and fell in love. A small black and tan fuzzball with a warm pink tongue. Her eyes were barely the size of early peas and the color of black coffee. He placed her on the bed next to me as I slept and I was awakened by a furry snuggler under my chin.
Steve said ” I got her from a guy who was walking down the street with them in a shopping cart. I felt bad about not getting you a present and went out to get one when I saw the puppies. I know how much you love animals so I figured you’d like him” I giggled “um, this is a girl.” He frowned “WHAT?! I told him I wanted a boy” I slipped my arms around the pup and smiled “It’s ok. I’ve always had girl dogs. You did fine” He kissed me and stroked my hair from my eyes lovingly “Good. Now I gotta go get HER some food”
He got on his coat and left while I got up and fixed breakfast. The pup wandered all over the apartment, sniffing and licking everything. “What are we going to call you, little girl?” I asked the dog. She looked at me with those sweet brown eyes and proceeded to pee on the floor. As the urine flowed over the linoleum, I laughed. “Puddles it is then”
When Steve got back home, I informed him of her name. He laughed and shook his head “You gonna have to potty train her then, huh?” I wrinkled my nose and grinned “Yeah, kinda like I did with you huh?” He laughed and hugged me, the dog trying to get between us. I picked her up and hugged her, squirming and whimpering between us.
Three weeks later, on a warm Saturday that was rare for February in the Rockies, I took her for a walk. Scooter, the cat who was twice her size, walked with us. By this time he had decided the dog was his to guard and went everywhere with her. I walked down Colfax toward downtown, work the furthest thing from my mind. We were going to the park to hang out with Steve while he sold dope.
As I waited for the light to change, I saw one of my regulars at the light. He waved at me and motioned for me to come over. I shook my head and yelled over to him “I’m taking the day off!” I crossed the street in front of his car and kept walking.
He pulled into the alley two blocks down and waited for me to get to him. Getting out of his car, I saw him looking pissed. “No, Angel, you NEED to come with me. NOW!” He grabbed my arm and dragged me toward the car, his grip painful and bruising as my pup was dragged behind. She yelped as she was stepped on and fell.
He suddenly screamed and let me go, jumping away on one foot, as he beat at the cat who had attached himself to the mans calf by tooth and nail. I scooped up Puddles and ran down the street toward Steve and the safety of the park. The cat could take care of himself.
I got to the park, breathing hard from the four block run, and quickly spotted Steve. I raced over to him and told him what happened “You left the CAT there? God DAMNIT Angel, what the fuck’s wrong with you? He could kill him!” He yelled, striking me with his fist before he started toward the corner.
He stopped and stared toward the stoplight at the corner. He started laughing and I followed his line of sight. Sitting there, at the corner, was the cat. Licking his paws and waiting for the light.
I met up with Sandra while walking down Colfax. It was warm and sunny, a beautiful spring day. She and I talked for a while over McDonalds coffee and a shared Big Breakfast.
“You wanna work together today, Angel?” She asked as we walked out of the restaurant. “Sure, why not.” I agreed with a smile “I could use a little distraction today. Maybe someone will want a little sugar and spice!” I laughed and headed down Colfax.
We had only walked a little ways, talking and laughing, flirting with traffic, when they showed up. Red sports car, two smoking hot guys who lean out the window to call us over. “Hey girls, you wanna party?” Sandra looked at me and grinned “Whatcha think sis, we gon play wit these guys?” I laughed and shrugged “Sure”
The passenger got out to let us into the back of the car and the driver says “Where to, girls?” I looked at Sandra with a raised eyebrow. She winked “My place would be cool, if you don’t mind a little drive” The driver laughed and started following her directions.
I’m looking at the driver, my stomach starting to feel sick. I leaned over and whispered to Sandra “I think they’re cops” Her eyes grow wide and she giggled, nervously “Ya think?” I nod and sit back, my stomach doing it’s warning scream as we get closer to her house.
We enter the apartment building, the guys stand over by the car, near the open trunk and my alarm is in overdrive “Shut the door, Sandra” “Why?” She asks “They’re cops, shut the fucking door!” She laughed and shook her head “They’re coming” My hands are shaking and I’m fighting the feeling that I need to run. My legs are getting weaker by the minute. I know better than to ignore my gut.
We enter the apartment and she takes the dark haired one into the bedroom, closing the door. I, nervously, take the blonde to the couch. “We never did talk about money” he says as he slides his hand over my thigh. I grinned impishly and leaned over to him, kissing his exposed neck “I don’t want your money, dear. I just wanna fuck” I slide my hand over his chest, feeling the bulletproof vest underneath. I purr softly “mmmmm a police man? I wondered why someone as handsome as you would pick up a couple of girls”
His partner comes out and says “You got any condoms, Bro?” My guy shakes his head “No, maybe this one does” I feign surprise “Are you kidding? I never carry those things around. What do you think I am, a prostitute or something?” The dark haired one looks at me with a raised eyebrow and smirks before going back into the room and shutting the door.
I turned back to my guy and purr “Now, where were we?” “Well, I guess you’re under arrest….. Seems you’re an accessory to a crime” I jerked back and gasped “What the fuck are you talking about?” He slipped his badge from his pocket as Sandra is brought out in handcuffs, looking ashen and sick. “What do you mean a crime? All I wanted was a piece of ass!”
The men introduced themselves as officers with the vice department, sex crimes unit. I was handcuffed and we went to the car. They drove us to the police station and booked us into the system. They sat us in the holding cell and Sandra looked at me “You knew they were cops. How?” I sighed “My gut told me there was something wrong with them. They were just acting weird” She shook er head “I shoulda listened to you” I chuckled softly “NOW you get a brain. If we ever do this again, you better listen to me” “Trust me, I will!”
The next morning, we are taken downstairs and put before the judge. I stepped up to the podium and the judge asked me to explain myself. “Your Honor, I am pleading not guilty. The arresting officer and I were in the livingroom where I spoke to him. Never did I say I wanted money. In fact, if you listen to the tape, you’ll hear me saying I DIDN’T want any money, I just wanted a piece of ass”
The audience and other prisoners laughed and the judge frowned “You’re saying you aren’t guilty of the crime of solicitation?” “Yes, your Honor, I am” I nodded with a sweet smile. He nods “Wait right there” He got up and says “court is on hold for five minutes while I listen to the evidence” He leaves and I look over at Sandra who is shooting daggers in my direction. I smile and shrug.
When he returned, he seated himself and folded his fingers before him like he was about to pray. “I heard the tape and read the transcript. Young lady, you need to be more careful of the company you keep and don’t get into any more cars with strange men. You’re released as soon as they get the paperwork upstairs. You also have my apologies for the inconvenience. Next case”
I smile and thank the judge before sitting on the bench with the other prisoners. The others looked at me with a mix of admiration, awe and bewilderment. I grinned at them and shrugged. Sandra looked at me with a raised eyebrow. I winked at her as her name was called to go before the judge.
“Your plea” The judge said to Sandra. I could see she was shaking as she spoke softly into the microphone “g..guilty, your honor” “Explain yourself, young lady” She looked up at him with surprise. His eyes kindly looked down at her “Explain why someone with no criminal record would go to this end” She swallowed hard and took a deep breath “Your honor, I am about to be kicked out of my apartment and I was desperate. This was the first time I’ve ever done this and I promise I will never do it again!” Tears formed in her eyes and slipped down her cheeks. “I’m so sorry!”
He nodded and smiled kindly “I believe you are truly sorry and, since I listened to the tape at the same time as the last case, I will grant you leniency, this time. You are released as soon as they get the paperwork upstairs. Next case”
Sandra sat beside me, silently crying, till the court got done with the lot of us. When we got to our shared cell, she hugged me and sobbed into my shoulder “Oh my God, I was terrified! How could you stand there so calm and collected?” I chuckled “I was innocent and I knew I’d done nothing wrong. I just projected that feeling to the court and it helped me stay calm. If I’d cried, they would have known I was guilty of something. In your case, the tears helped. They showed you were remorseful” She hit me gently on the chest and growled “you’re evil” I just laughed and kissed her gently on the lips “You have no idea”
She looked at me, her eyes troubled. She sat on the one cot they had in the cell and patted the spot beside her. When I sat by her, she put her arms around my shoulders and put her head against the side of my neck. I held her, silently till they called our names to be released.
We walked out together and stopped just outside the doors, looking at eachother. “you gonna be OK going home hun?” I asked her, reaching for her hand. She smiled and nodded “I’ll be aight. You?” I shrugged “I can walk home from here, truthfully” She laughed and kissed me softly on the lips “Then start walkin, unless ya wanna take me to my bus” I grinned and took her hand “It’s on the way”
I walk out of the jailhouse into the heat of mid morning. The waves of heat already warping the road, making it look like I’m staring onto the ocean as I wait for the gate to open and let me out. I turn and look at the building, the gate grating across the rough gravel, and vow to never again be caught inside. I walk to the bus stop and sit on the bench, holding the bus voucher they gave me on the way out. The sun feels hot on my skin as I wait, wondering where the hell I’m supposed to go. I think of the only place I’d be welcomed with open arms.
I stopped and had lunch with my mom at work. We talked about my plans and the future. She gave me the extra key to her apartment, some money for the bus and I headed off into the sweltering heat of the day. Standing at the stop in front of her workplace, I have a decision to make. Go to her place and get my life together or head back to the streets. The bus comes before I decide so, I climb aboard and pay the fare.
I sat in the back beside a couple of guys I’d never met before and they strike up a conversation with me. By the time we get to my mom’s house, I’m soul kissing them. I get them to come with me to moms place and take them both to her bed where we fuck like rabbits till half an hour before mom was due home. I never saw them again after they left.
My mom’s apartment is in a run down area of town and has a couple of crack dealers in the complex that I know well. That night, I’m at Ice’s place, letting him fuck me so I can get high. I’ve told my mom I was going to be at his house but she doesn’t know he’s a dealer. I think she’d shit if she knew. I snag a few rocks from him for later and go back to moms. She’s asleep so I get myself something to eat in the darkness of the kitchen and slip into my little brothers bedroom. I slip into his bed and snuggle with him before drifting off to sleep.
When I wake up hours later, the house is empty and quiet. I take a long shower and dress in shorts and sleeveless shirt then grab the bus pass mom has bought me and stuff it into my purse. I get my glass crack pipe, put in a good-sized rock and light it up, sucking the heavenly cloud deep into my lungs. Immediately my body is throbbing and my head feels light. I finish the rock, hide the pipe and leave the apartment.
The smell of the traffic tickles my nose as I stretch my legs, pointing my shapely ass toward the street as I’m bending down to touch the hot concrete before me. I hear the squeal of tires and a metallic crunch as I stand up and turn, my eyes catching sight of a grey sedan with a green sports car attached to its back bumper. I let out a gasp and run over to them asking if everyone is OK. The older guy grumbles as he gets out and looks at the damage while the young man in the sports car searches for his insurance information. He turns to get out of the car, sees me and blushes before yelling at me about my damned sexy ass making him have an accident and how it should be illegal. I have to laugh and start walking away when the cops get there. I hear the officer yell at me to come back but I just keep walking, hoping they leave me alone.
After a lunch of burgers and fries, I sit just off the street, watching the undercover cops working Beverly over. She’s so old I swear she’s my mom’s age! I know she’s been on the streets a long time. According to her, she’s been arrested thirty-five times! I think she should settle down and leave the guys to us but, she’s not going anywhere.
The officers leave and she comes over to bum a smoke. We talk for a bit, she warns me the cops are heavy tonight and heads off toward her house. She’s taking the night off it would seem.That’s good. Means more money for me.
I look at the small, lighted dial on my wrist. Almost three AM and the traffic has gotten lighter. No tricks for half an hour and I’m sitting at Colfax and Yosemite, feet dangling off the wall. I’m bored and thinking of taking off for home. Tonight, I’m staying at the Lazy C motel. They know I’m a hooker and they don’t care, as long as I don’t bring the cops. I’ve managed to bring them a lot of business over the years and make no problems for them so they are happy. I never work out of that motel. It’s where I sleep.
He pulls up to the curb and calls my name. I look around and grin, seeing no cops around. I grab my small purse and trot over to the car, open the door and jump in. “hey Tom, how’s it hangin?” He chuckles “It’s not, now. You always make him stand up and pay attention” I laugh at this as he hands me twenty bucks. We drive up to the park and I make him feel less tense then he looks at me, breathlessly, for a bit before shaking his head. “Damn, if my wife was half that good…” “I’d be out a hundred dollars a week” I finished for him with a grin.
“You got that right! Hey, I’ve been wondering. How much to fuck you?” I grinned and squirmed “mmmm for you… thirty. I know you’re good for fifty but I also know that I’d love to feel you between my legs” He laughed and looks around “We’d have to get out of the car, no way we could do it over the stick shift!” I open the door and step out into the cool darkness, looking around “no ones around, we could go down by the creek and….” I walk around the front of the car as he gets out, pulling out his wallet.
He hands me thirty dollars and we head down the path to the creek. We find a spot and lay by the water, stroking and kissing like long-lost lovers. He is passionate and attentive, bringing my body to its peek and crashing over several times before finally filling me full. Afterward, we lay atop the blanket he’d brought, sweat drying off our skin, catching our breath.
He looked at me and chuckled “damn, Angel, I thought hookers hated sex!” I laughed hard and shook my head “not me, Tom. I love my job!” “no shit!” he exclaimed as he rolled over to me and kissed me tenderly. “you know, Angel, you don’t have to do this. I’d pay your rent for you if that’s why you do this….. I never asked why before but I’m curious. Why DO you do this?”
I sighed and looked up at the starry sky, my heart aching as my eyes teared up. “I can’t help it, Tom. It’s like a drug for me. I HAVE to. I’ve tried to stop, I’ve even gone to other states but I always find the street again” I take a deep breath and look at him It doesn’t matter how big the town is, either. Once I was in a podunk little town in Idaho and a guy in a bar asked me how much. Before I knew it, I was in his truck, getting a train pulled on me with the guys each giving me twenty bucks!”
He smiled at me and wiped a tear from my cheek “It’s not your fault, Angel. You OOZE sexuality. I think it’s because you are always so… confident. You’re sexy and you know it and that turns men on. You’re so beautiful and young and already you’re so sure of yourself..Trust me, that’s one reason I keep looking for you when I’m on Colfax”
I lift up on my elbows and look at him “So, you’re saying, that if I stopped being so confident, men will leave me alone?” He looked at me a moment and frowned “no… you know, I don’t think you can help it. You know how some people are naturally smart or natural leaders…. I think you’re just naturally sexy. It’s like your putting out pheromones that make men crazy around you.”
“Genetically predisposed to be a slut…. hmmm… you might be on to something there, Einstein. How about we test that theory?” I reach over and take his sticky flesh in my hand and grin, a soft purr from my lips “He seems to be paying attention again”
My childhood was far from ideal. Most times I think of little girls having baby dolls and pigtails, pretty pink rooms and strawberries on their bed sheets. I had the strawberries and pigtails. My room was a pretty soft pink after we moved into the house when I was eight. From the outside, I looked like a happy child and I was. For a little while.
I went to school like every other child. My mother packed my lunch because of allergies. I played softball and went to gymnastics, tried out for the tennis team and cheer squad. I remember having to take that stupid fitness test and running around the football field for a grueling half hour and almost passing out. Late spring in Texas is NOT the time to be running like that!
We would go to the beach frequently. Watching the ships floating serenely down the ship channel was my favorite part. They were going somewhere exciting. Somewhere away from where I was in my misery. I desperately wanted to go with them. I went to the docks often and would talk to the sailors about places they would go or sit and watch the ships.
Before we moved near the ship channel, we lived in Baytown, Texas. We lived in a mobile home near the back of the park, by the woods. I remember spending hours on end in those woods. We chased the “fog truck” that would come by spraying pesticides to kill the relentless mosquitoes. I wonder how many of my health issues now can be traced back to then.
I remember the first time I was molested. The washing machine was olive green and it matched the rest of the bathroom. I’d gotten sick all over my favorite dress and he’d taken me in to wash me up. He got my dress off and put it in the washing machine. After starting it, he lifted me up and sat me on the machine. I thought it was a little weird but it was ok because he was my daddy and he did weird things all the time. They were fun and, at 6, everyone loves fun. I remember the feel of the cool washrag, it was hot outside so it felt nice. I remember giggling when he touched me through my underpants because I didn’t get barf in my panties and when I said so, he told me he wanted to make sure I was all clean. The smell of detergent was strong and I felt suddenly sick. Not like bad sick, scared sick. He didn’t go further than touching that first time but I remember him showing me his peepee and how big it looked. I said something about him being bigger than my brothers (we took showers and baths together all the time) and he laughed, telling me that was why he wouldn’t do anything to me with it yet.
Not long after that, my father became “born again” and we started going to church. We went ALL the time and I had to wear long sleeved dresses, past my knees and neckline higher than my collarbone. I was a good girl, I sang in the choir, went to girl scout meetings at the church, helped the ladies clean the sanctuary and oil the pews. I even went to church camp and sang solo parts in a play the church hosted. Life was perfect… for a time.
One day my dad came home from church where he’d been to see the pastor. He felt he’d had a calling to be a missionary. The pastor didn’t think he was ready or something and told him he wouldn’t back him. We never went back to that church again, hat I can remember, and we moved shortly afterward to the first real house we’d ever lived in. Up till then, all I’d known was mobile homes or military housing. I was soon going to a school nearby and had friends. My grandmother lived a block from us and we spent many Christmases at her house with her.
From the time we moved into the house till after I left home, my father molested me. I was 9 when he started making weekly trips into my room to “tuck me in” He told me many times that if I told anyone, he’d kill my mother and my little brother. To prove to me that he could, he dismembered my kitten in front of me. I was 11 when he did that and I still remember the mewling of my kitten 30 years afterward.
When I was 12 my father came to me one night and asked me if I really wanted to get some extra money for something I wanted to buy. I was excited at the prospect so I said yes. He kissed me and smiled then walked to the light switch and turned it off. I heard the familiar sound of his belt buckle hitting the floor and my body went numb. I knew what was going to happen next so I “left”. I went to the corner of my room, looking at the people on the bed, and waited till he was done. For a year, at least, I’d been disappearing into myself when he’s visit me. When he tucked the covers over my shoulders, he turned to leave and drew his wallet from his pocket. Pulling a 20 from his billfold, he chuckled and placed it on the dresser by the door before leaving.
This went on till I was 15. My older brothers best friend and I ran away together. He was 20 and had a car so, one day I wrote my mother a note and left it on my nightstand when I left for school. I had packed my clothes in my backpack and went to the bus. I had made plans the night before, with my boyfriend, to run away. He knew that my father was hitting me, he had seen it with his own eyes that night when my father beat me because I hadn’t done the dishes.
We left town around noon. I had skipped out after third period gym and met him at the pool. We went back to his place and packed the trunk with his stuff then headed out. I remember crying because I was afraid for my mother and, about halfway to Amarillo, I remembered it was my fathers graduation night. We got a motel in Raton and slept that first night. I was exhausted and sore from the beating the night before. Johnny was so gentle and sweet. He tucked me into bed and held me protectively, kissing my eyebrow and telling me I was safe. I fell asleep to his voice telling me I’d be safe forever.