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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Announcement time

I said I’d make a big announcement today, so here it is. Accept Me may be pushed back. Now, before you go throwing tomatoes, and booing me, let me explain. This…

is Emma. Emma is the daughter of one of my very good friends. She was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) on May 11th 2013 (Mother’s day weekend).
Her mother, Nicole, is a dear friend who I intend on helping in the only way I know how.

I can’t cure cancer, I can’t fast forward to happier times, but I can write a book and give all the proceeds to Emma and Nicole to help them kick Leukemia ass. How does this tie into the Wrecked series you ask? That’s where it’s a win-win for everyone. This novel is a spinoff of the Wrecked series. The MC is Brian/Brianna’s older sister and she has one hell of a story to share. That’s right. More of Damon, Jo, Grams, Brian, Noni, and Hemingway! Accept Me won’t be far behind this one but I will be getting this novel wrapped up first. I am thinking late summer-early fall for the release of Accept Me. I hope that I can count on you all to understand and help spread the word about this. We all love a good read and I can’t think of a better reason to buy a book than the smiling faces in these two pictures. I appreciate you all for helping in this effort. If you would like to follow Team Emma on FB here is the link. XO-Jaimi https://www.facebook.com/teamemma2013/info
Monday, May 13, 2013

Restore Me Blog Tour Hosted by Christine @ Shh Moms Reading

Tour Schedule:
May 12th
Bridger Bitches Book Blog – review and guest post
Reading Delightz – spotlight promo

May 13th
Vilma’s Book Blog – review and interview
Love N. Books – review and excerpt
Sinfully Sexy Books – review and excerpt

May 14th
Kindle Hooked - review
Reviews by Tammy and Kim – review and author interview
Fab, Fun and Tantalizing Reads – review and promo

May 15th
Madison Says - review
The Little Black Book Blog – review and author interview

May 16th
The Book Blog - review
Book Bitches Blog – review and author interview

May 17th
Word – review and author interview
Sarah’s Book Blog – review and promo
The Indie Bookshelf – review and character interview

May 18th
Tyhada’s Bookshelf – excerpt promo post
Lip Smackin’ Good Books – review and author interview
May 19th
Hooked on Books – review and character interview
Up All Night Book Blog – review and character interview

May 20th
Love Between the Sheets – review and character interview
Candy Coated Book Blog – review and excerpt
Butterflies Books and Dreams – review and spotlight

May 21st
Sugar and Spice Book Reviews – review and excerpt
A Bookish Escape – review and guest post

May 22nd
Angie’s Dreamy Reads – review and excerpt
The Boyfriend Bookmark – review and author interview

May 23rd
Book Crush – review and excerpt
The Book Avenue Review – review and excerpt
The Book Enthusiast – review and guest post

May 24th
Seductive Romance Reviews – review and excerpt

May 25th
Ravishing Romance – review

May 26th
Becca the Bibliophile – review and guest post
Shh Moms Reading – review and Book 3 excerpt
Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Cheer up!

I'm giving some stuff away and it's snippet time!
I really hate that so many of you are disappointed about the delay that Restore Me is facing. I'm frustrated too. The delay is not something that I take lightly. I love my readers, so letting anyone down is a major upset for me. I can't say it enough; I am working hard to get Restore Me and Accept Me out there. Many of you may be wondering what is going on? Why is it stalled? I will tell you what I can. The series is being considered by a few publishers at the moment, and at this point I had to hold off on publishing Restore Me in order to handle the business end of everything. It's impossibly tough to make these decisions. Just know that my loyalty is to the many readers who took a chance on a new author by reading my books. I will keep everyone updated on any new developments as they come about. Thank you all for being so supportive and kind these last couple of weeks. That being said... lets give some stuff away and see what Grams is up to!


Restore Me by J.L. Mac

“Good morning, Mrs. Cole.” Holy shit!  I look away from the man that just entered the room and glance to a beaming Grams. No wonder she’s waiting on him. I would too.

“Oh, Andy! How many times do I have to tell you to call me Bee? My friends call me Bee so you should too.” I gape at grams flirting with the gorgeous muscled up man standing near the door. He has a tool belt hanging from his narrow hips and a tool box gripped in his left hand. Grams winks at him and I can’t help grinning ear to ear watching the scene before me.

“Sorry, Bee. I keep forgetting.” The maintenance man walks further into the room and comes to a stop near the side of Gram’s bed where I’m sitting.

“Andy, this is Josephine. Josephine, this is Andy. The best handy man in town. Not too bad on the eyes either. Is he?” I feel myself blush enough for all of us and make note of her jab with using my full name. An eye for an eye I guess.  

“Hi, Andy. Call me Jo.” Andy’s dark blue eyes land on me as I offer him my hand. He smiles politely and takes my hand. Wow he’s hot!

“Nice to meet you, Jo. I like your name.” I nod and smile politely in return.

“Yeah it’s not bad I guess. It could be worse. I could be named Beatrice or something fucking awful like that.” I smile sardonically at Grams. She sticks her tongue out at me. I glance up at the tall, blue eyed hunk to see his eyes are as wide as dinner plates. It’s good to see I haven’t lost my affect on people. My mouth is still filthy and locked and loaded with plenty of smart ass remarks.

“Uh, I guess I should change that light bulb for you, Mrs. C-Bee.” Andy is caught in the same room with two tenacious snarky women. The poor sucker. I smile wide at Grams and she belts out a witchy cackle. Andy walks over the light fixture on the wall and begins working on removing the shade. His light brown hair catches the light coming through the window and seems to almost glitter. If I were not utterly and completely in love, I’d be giving him my number right now.

“Is this who you were waiting for?” I say in a whisper as I lean in towards Grams. Her wicked smile tells me she is up to no good whatsoever.

“You bet. I think he wants to get fresh with me,” She whispers and nods. I shake my head at the brazen old bat.

“And how do you know this?”

“Edith, my snotty neighbor always calls in work orders to get him to come to her room and most the time someone else goes but when I call, Andy comes. Every time.” I furrow my brows in disbelief.

“I take it you aren’t friends with Edith?” Grams scoffs indignantly.

  “I wouldn’t be caught dead being in cohorts with that floozy! She manages to chase off just about every good looking staff member here. It’s her one crazy eye they can’t stand.”

“What?!” I screech as a fit of laughter rips through me. Both of us cackle unabashed like two gossipy witches.

“She has a funny eye. If she isn’t wearing those thick glasses of hers it tends to wander this direction.” Grams brings one finger up to her face and mimics which direction said lazy eye wanders. It’s fucking ridiculous but a much needed break from my own thoughts.

“It’s a damned soap opera up in here,” I sputter out between gasps for air.

“You got that right honey. Instead of The Young and The Restless we got The Old and The Worthless!” Grams caps off her quip by popping a circus peanut candy in her mouth.

“Want one?” She extends the bag to me and a grab a few. I lean back in my seat and prop my feet on the side of Grams bed. We sit there watching Andy work to change the light bulb.  Definitely needed this little break from reality.

“Bee, you’ve got some scuff marks up here on the wall. I could get some paint and take care of that.” We both glance up to his face instead of his ass as he turns to face us.

“Oh yes, that’s gotta be fixed then. Can you come back tomorrow?” Andy smiles politely and nods.  The old bat really has no shame. I wonder if I’m as bad as her. Andy gathers his things and approaches Grams bed.

“It was nice to meet you, Jo.” He extends his hand and I take it for a friendly shake. As we shake his thumb stokes over the back of my hand. I smile at the handsome forward bastard. Our hands slip apart he turns to leave.
“See you tomorrow,” he tosses over his shoulder as he walks out of the suite. I turn and gape at Grams.

“What the hell was that?”

“Guess my man might have an eye for you, Jo.” Grams shrugs and pops another peanut in her mouth. I narrow my eyes on her. There is no telling what’s going through that head of hers. I focus my eyes on the wall across the room to see the grayish scuffs Andy mentioned.

“How did scuff marks get on your wall at eye level?”

“What? Oh, yes. My cane.” Her response is as blasé as it could possibly be.

“What?” She has me confused now.

“I may or may not have whacked the wall with my cane a few times so that Mister Tight Buns would have to come see me.” She shrugs and flips open the magazine in her lap while mowing down another peanut. She really does eat a ton of those damn things. It’s a fucking miracle she’s not gargantuan.

“Wow, grams. Seriously?” She winks at me and swipes her finger across the magazine to turn another page.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Friday, March 15, 2013

Grab some swag!

I'm excited to share this giveaway and announce that the autographed ereader/tablet sleeves are going to be for sale soon. You can have your favorite authors autograph the sleeve when you go to signings. They come in multiple designs and prints. The Wreck Me shirts will also be available. I will announce when and where these items can be found as soon as things get up and running. Enter the giveaway! Good luck to you all! xoxo-J.L. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The music that moves me

I have been asked by many people about my playlists and I love sharing the music that moves me, so that's exactly what I'm doing. I hope you all enjoy my playlist. This is the music that has helped inspire the story of Josephine Geroux and Damon Cole. I hope these songs speak to you like they speak to me. I adore you all. Thank you for reading. Thank you for your support. Thank you for loving my characters just as much as I do. Thank you for reminding me that what I do is a dream come true. xo-J.L. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

It's a 50-50 thing!

*** Giveaway Alert! ***

I asked for it and you wonderful readers made it happen. Thank you for those first fifty reviews! As promised I will be gifting an ARC of RESTORE ME. So enter and share the giveaway. Please keep those reviews coming. You all are fantastic. The enthusiasm and support from you all has been a gift beyond measure. I am indebted. xoxo-J.L. Mac 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Saturday, February 2, 2013

Want an ARC of Wreck Me?

***Give Me those names!***

Okay, girls, part of my giveaway of an ARC of Wreck Me was for you ladies to post a comment on my blog telling me which celebrity has you all giddy. I want to know which one has you daydreaming on the job! So lets hear who he is. I will tell you a little secret...my celebrity crush has got to be Gerard Butler! He is some kind of hot. The accent is a huge perk too. 
Thursday, January 3, 2013

24 Days until the release of Seven Years of Bad Luck! OH MY!

So in 24 short days SYBL will be in the hot little hands of the public! I am very excited and I want you all to be excited too sooo...it's teaser time lovies! *Note. The second teaser is edited to be teaser friendly*

“Kathleen.” I stopped and turned to face him. 


“Join me for dinner?” 

Yes! I squealed inwardly. “What did you have planned?” Inside I was excited to spend private time with Ben but I managed to pull off a cool exterior. Ben's lips turned up into a grin. 

“Dinner. I will pick you up in, say…an hour.” 

“Okay Ben.” I smiled shyly and strutted out of his office then all but skipped like a school girl to my car. I was thoroughly enjoying my new job, more specifically, my new boss and lover. Ben arrived at my house on time as always. The moment I opened the apartment door to him he waltzed right past me. “Uh, come on in Ben, please.” I said with as much petulance as I could muster. 

“Which room is yours?” His pointed question was his only response to my sarcasm. 

“My room?” I asked as I sashayed past him heading towards my private space. Ben followed without answering my rhetorical question. Once he crossed the threshold of my bedroom he surveyed my space quickly and immediately went to my closet. “Hey!” I cried out standing by my bed. “What in the world are you doing?” 

“Packing your bag.” His voice was flat and his eyes never came to mine. He was so handsome walking with authority in the clothes he wore to work. Navy blue suit that fit him flawlessly. Crisp white shirt with a deep red tie that he had since rid himself of. A few of the top buttons of his shirt were undone showing a bit of skin that I instantly wanted to put my mouth on. 


He kept moving through my room, throwing clothes and other random things into a small bag he found in my closet. “You’re staying the night with me.” 

“I am not! You didn’t even bother asking me.” I crossed my arms over my chest indignantly and scowled.

“Why bother asking? You would surely refuse even though I know you want to be in my bed as bad I want you there. So, I went around the problem. I’m taking you home with me. My home.”

Oh my. “Damn you Ben! You can’t just…just do… that!” I flung my hand outward towards the whole of him. He stopped and his heated eyes landed on me lighting my body on fire. My stomach stirred down low and my breathing stuttered. He dropped the bag in his hand and stalked toward me. He gripped my hips, turned my body and pushed me flush against the wall. His lips were millimeters from mine. He gathered my hands in his, pulled them above my head and pinned my wrists against the wall. His solid body held mine firm.

“I have to look at your sweet ass all day at work knowing exactly what’s under those clothes. Hours of teasing. Every time you walk in or out of my office you tease me. Your perfume teases me. All of you teases me. Having you all night is the only way to survive not having you all day. You’re coming home with me.” He growled seductively. My stomach flipped. “I take what’s mine. I do what I want with what’s mine and this…” He grasped my wrists with one of his large hands freeing up the other. His free hand went between my thighs and cupped my already aroused center. “…is mine. You said it yourself, Kathleen. Don’t you remember? Or perhaps you need to be reminded.” 

“I...I…was under duress. That’s not fair.” I whispered breathlessly while his hand began making slow enticing movements between my thighs. 

“I would hardly call multiple orgasms during exquisite sex, duress, Kathleen.” He smirked arrogantly. 

“You want me in your bed? Bad?” I asked. Bens only response was a subtle chuckle and a slight shake of his head. Then he released me. My arms fell to my side and my legs wobbled slightly. Damn he is good! I had to admit, if what he did to me was in fact, duress, I didn’t mind being under duress. All. The. Time. 

“You already have things at my house and if you need anything else, I will buy it. Let’s go.” His hand swept mine from my side and tugged my pliant body forward, towards the door. Just like that, I was off to Ben’s house, again.


My chest feels heavy. Very heavy. I’m heaving in and out trying to catch my breath. Who’s there? I can hear voices but I can’t see anything. I beg my eyes to open and they do but there must be cloth over my eyes because I still can’t see a thing. The cloth is scratchy across my eyes like burlap and I realize that the same type of cloth is stuffed into my mouth. I can’t only breathe through my nose and the fact that I can’t catch my breath with just the use of my nose is scaring me. I’m covered in a cold sweat. My heart is pounding hard against my breastbone. I can feel that my wrists are bound but my hands still shake viciously. A fear induced whimper escapes my lips.  I’m so scared. Calm down, Kat. Breathe in. Breathe out. I must be having a panic attack. I am so frightened I feel like I might be sick but I push the nausea down, deep. My mouth is stuffed with cloth that tastes like dust so getting sick is not an option. I strain to hear the faint voices around me. I hear men. Three maybe four different male voices. I hear footsteps approaching me and I let out a muffled blood curdling scream from behind the dusty cloth shoved in my mouth. A hard thud rings through my ears and vibrates through my skull. Despite my hindered vision I see brightly colored spots that remind me of highlighter pens. Something warm is on my face. My hands instinctively fight against the bonds that hold them so that I can touch the assaulted area. The warmth is spreading downward. Down to my cheek. Now my jaw. Now my neck. My face feels like it has a heartbeat. I’m bleeding. The warm feeling is blood. There must be a lot of it. I can feel it rolling down the right side of my face and down my neck. I’m crying now. I’m sobbing hard. I can barely breathe. Please, God. I don’t want to die!  I hear the male voices come nearer. I begin hyperventilating. What are they doing? I am trembling. The adrenaline coursing through my veins urges me to fight, to run if given the chance. I know that’s what I’ll do. I will run if I can. I let out another scream from behind the dusty cloth gag. I’m asking for help but the cloth makes me plea indiscernible. Another thud but I don’t feel anything except more warmth running down my face. I’m thankful for the adrenaline racing through my veins. Its pushing me forward. It’s the only thing keeping me going right now. A gravelly voice fills my throbbing left ear and all at once I can smell cigarettes,  liquor and generally foul breath. It smells awful. I want to vomit again but I remind myself to choke the nausea down. No getting sick with a gag crammed in my mouth. The man tells me to quit trying to scream or it’s going to hurt worse. This makes me cry more desperately. Please. Please. Please don’t hurt me. I am begging them from behind the dusty cloth. Please, let me go. He warns me against screaming again and I nod. He tells me that he is going to remove my blind fold and I force myself to calm down. I have to figure out where I am and how to get away. The foul breathed man jerks the cloth from my eyes and I blink rapidly to clear my vision. Blood has seeped into my right eye causing my vision to stay blurry but my left eye has cleared. I can see. I am in a dark space that has an echo and a bright light beams down on just me. Must be a large room. A garage maybe. I quickly scan the room but can’t see beyond the light that is beaming down on me like a spot light. I look down a my feet. It’s a smooth concrete floor that my feet limply rest against. The large man that I can now see steps off to the side and darkness envelopes him. All of the male voices whisper as they stand just beyond the light that would make them visible to me. They are all cloaked. Cowards. I’m getting angry more than scared now. It’s the adrenaline, I’m sure but I don’t care. I don’t think I am going to get out of here. They are going to kill me. I can feel it. Yet the cowards won’t show their faces. They are hiding beyond the shadows that conceal them so well. Cowards! I scream from behind my dusty gag. They laugh at me. Laughing! Sick, disgusting, cowards! I hear the clicking of what must be dress shoes. One set. Wait, two sets of clicking dress shoes against the concrete slab floor.  I see the shape of a tall man come into focus. He walks toward me and I can see his face clearly now. I want to scream, cry, gasp and get sick all at once but can’t. I have stopped breathing and the only thing that jars me from my shocked gaze is the pain squeezing my lungs, demanding oxygen. Breathe! I draw in air through flared nostrils.......    
....... I scream at him but he says nothing to me. His lips turn up into a grin and I am sure that he is enjoying seeing me bound and bleeding. He wants me dead. The scenario in front of me makes my blood run cold. The other set of dress shoes peeping out into the circle of light around me walk forward to stand beside him. I blink rapidly again. I can’t believe my eyes...  
... I scream at him but he does little more than stair at me with a narcissistic expression on his face.  ...I am sobbing so hard. I can’t breathe. 
...His voice sounds so cold and evil. Please, I’m sorry! I’m screaming. I can’t breathe at all now. I am choking. I feel something clawing at my chest. I feel close to the end. Everything has gone black.

*gasp* ;) -J.L.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

As promised...the cover of Wreck Me and a HUGE teaser !

Life can be cruel. People can be ruthless and evil. The world can be cold and uninviting. No one knows these things better than Josephine Geroux. By her own definition, she is a twenty-five year old “nobody with nothing,” and she is content to stay that way. Growing up an orphan has made her tough and indifferent to the people around her until she meets a strangely familiar man with a face that haunts her for reasons she can’t understand.

Despite the pain that will inevitably ensue, she makes it her mission to discover what parts of her tragic puzzle she is missing. On her journey to discovering why the she feels an alarming connection to an absolute stranger, her greatest fear is reawakening the demons and darkness from the past that will surely overtake her if she lets her guard down. 

Little does Josephine know that the past should be the least of her worries. She is toying with a man who has already broken her heart once. She just doesn’t realize it.
Although she makes it a point to avoid interactions with others, Josephine’s life becomes entangled with the enigmatic stranger. Before she realizes it, she has given herself over to the one person who is close enough to wreck her.

Alright ladies. Here is the COMPLETE prologue and a hefty chunk from chapter one. Enjoy and keep in mind that content is subject to change (sometimes A LOT!) prior to publication but you all know this ;)            -J.L. Mac

Wreck Me

Saturday, June 8th, 1996.

I love this car. It smells so good. Papa just got it for us and Maman won’t let me eat or drink anything in it like I did in the other one. Maman says it’s cause’ it’s our first nouvelle voiture. She always tells me that it’s our first new car in French and she makes her words sound all fancy. I think she does it to make me laugh. I like it when Maman uses French instead of English because she always uses her fancy voice. Papa scolds her when she does that. He says “Collette, you hinder our darling girl only speaking French. English, mon amour. English.” He only pretends to fuss at Maman. I know this because after he scolds her he always does this winky thing with his eyes and Maman smiles at him. I can hardly wait for the carnival. It’s only here for two days and my best friend, Michelle is going. Her mommy and daddy are taking her today too. I hope I will get to see her there. “How much longer, Maman?” I know I asked only a minute ago but I am too excited to wait much longer. ‘Josephine, de quelques minutes.” I know I should not whine. Papa says I am too old now to whine like a little kid. He says a nine year old girl has no business acting like a baby. But I can’t help it. I want to be there already. The rides have long lines and it will take forever to take a turn on all of them. “Maman, how many minutes is a few?” Papa is looking at me in the mirror and I know he is telling me to stop whining. I smile at him. It always makes him happy when I smile. He does the winky thing with his eyes and I know I am not in any trouble. Papa is talking to Maman about grown up stuff. I am not listening. It’s too boring. Papa said a swear word and I know something is wrong.
“Papa!” He isn’t answering me. Ouch! I hurt all over. “Maman!” I’m crying now. This hurts so bad and I’m scared. Maman and Papa aren’t saying anything. Are they hurt? “Help! Someone help us!” I hope someone hears me screaming. I am stuck in the backseat. I am trying to get free but my leg hurts so bad I am scared to move it again. “Help!” I still don’t hear anything from Maman and Papa in the front seat. I feel something warm on my leg. I look down. “Please!” I am really scared now. There is blood all over the car. I just looked up and there is blood coming from Maman’s head. Papa is slumped in front of me and I still can’t see him. I am stuck behind his seat. Our new car is ruined. It is all crumpled like one of the empty soda cans I always smash. I hear something. I try to stop crying so I can hear better. “Oh God. Oh God. I’m so sorry. Oh, God.” It’s a man. No he is a boy. Maybe he is just a big boy. High school. Yeah, definitely a high school boy. “Please, help me!” I cry to him. I hope he gets me out of here without hurting me too much. Maman needs help. Her head is bleeding a lot. I don’t think it’s okay for her to bleed that much. “I’ve got you. C’mon. Dad get them out of the front. GO!” This boy is crazy. He just screamed at his dad. I would never talk to my mom and dad like that. I’d be grounded for a month. Ouch!! The big boy tugged open my door and dragged me out of the back seat. It stinks in the street. It smells like something burning and gas. Gross. “This is my fault. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I’ll make sure you are okay.” I am confused by the big boy. I don’t know what to say. It’s just a car. Maman and Papa will get another one. I just look at him. Michelle would make fun of me if she saw me staring. This boy has pretty eyes. The ambulance people are messing with me. They have me laying on one of those rolling bed things. “What about my mom and dad? Where are they?” I sit up to look around for Papa and Maman but I don’t see them. The man in a uniform that is taping wires to me won’t answer me. I look over and see four people with matching uniforms on. They are not cops or the firemen. They have rolling bed thingies like what I am on. Here they come. They are bringing Maman and Papa. I don’t feel so scared when I see the rolling beds go over to our crumpled car. There are two men to each bed and I know they are getting Maman and Papa out of the wrecked car. Wait. That isn’t right. “Wait!” Why are they taking those beds on wheels to another car. Why can’t I see them? My maman and papa are not moving or saying anything and I can’t see their faces. I’m really scared. Something isn’t right. “Maman! Papa! Come back!” I am so scared. I want my maman. I need to run to them but the men that are helping me aren’t letting me go. They have put these straps over me. I can’t budge. I feel something warm inside my arm where they put that needle thing. My arm feels warm and now I’m really sleepy. I feel like I am moving and I want to ask where we are going but my mouth won’t work. I need to sleep. I close my eyes. I can ask questions later.

Chapter 1
No apologies

Friday, June 8th, 2012. Sixteen years later. 

I lead a decent life. I work. I pay my taxes. My bills are on time. What little credit I do have is good credit. I may not have the most desirable job and I absolutely loathe my apartment but all in all, my life is comfortable. God knows I have endured far worse. Now, I am not trying to wear it around like some badge of honor or anything. I am simply stating facts. I don't brag about my hardships like some do. In fact, no one knows my story. I keep it like that purely for convenience. I don’t expect pity from others nor do I want a hand out. I’ve had enough pity and condolences to last me two lifetimes. I work hard to keep things organized and simple. My life has not always been so agreeable though. I am not proud of my past but I can say with complete confidence that I did what I had to do out of necessity. I may have stolen a bottle of water or food from a gas station a time or two but I make no apologies for that. Did I pay for those items? No. I couldn’t. I rarely had two pennies to rub together. I stole those things out of basic, fundamental human need to survive. The alternative was to starve and what human chooses morals and values over life? No one. That’s who. Morals and values won’t fill my stomach and hydrate my body but stolen food and drink certainly will. I used the resources available to me on most days but homeless kids are treated similarly to criminals. If I went to a shelter or a homeless kitchen for food or a bed for the night I was usually tricked into staying put long enough so some lousy volunteer could call social services. Those schmucks would show up and I’d get crammed into the back of some government car and hauled off to a homeless kid prison. That’s what I called it anyway. The orphanage was usually far better than foster care. Well, in my experience, that was the case. The folks at the orphanage were simply doing a job. They were earning their pay. They didn’t care about us one way or another. If they didn’t care enough to be kind and compassionate to us they damn sure didn’t care enough to waste time and energy on abusing or raping us unfortunate kiddies. I preferred the people at the orphanage to all others. They did their job. They left us alone minus what they had to do and that was that. The orphanage was a short lived home though. They shuffled kids in and out of those doors just as quickly as they could. After the orphanage you were placed with some foster family who, usually, could care less. All of this is done out of charity. It’s done out of obligation to do ‘the right thing’. Is it really that damn difficult for people to see some kid on the street? Even if that kid is better off fending for themselves on the street than in the crap place they came from? I suppose it messes with people's heads and makes them all uncomfortable so they’d rather those kids be placed somewhere out of sight and out of mind. How convenient for those good Samaritans. That makes things easier for everyone right? Wrong. Back then I preferred being on the streets than to be in one of the many foster homes I went through fighting off sexual abuse and neglect. I wish people would stop being so goddamned charitable. What these volunteers don’t get is that their damn charity causes more damage than people like me could afford to bare. All for what? So that Suzy-Q the once a month soup kitchen volunteer can sleep better at night because she dished out crappy free soup to people like me who’s sentiments are that they would rather be dead than trudging through our shit lives every day? The least people like Suzy-Q can do is be honest about things. Don’t stand in front of some kid who is exactly like I was with pity written on your face and tell them life will work out. That things will start to look up for them. That one day their luck will change. That kind of bullshit does nothing but give false hope. If my twenty-five year old self had met the sixteen year old me back then, I would have looked me in the face with not one ounce of sadness and said “Look girl, you have a choice, you can stay like this and hope for all that bogus crap that people tell you about or you can work your butt off and turn things around for yourself. No one is going to fix things for you. So get to it.” 
I refused to be a victim ever again so I made my way through my teen years on the streets. Kids like me don’t usually last long. We end up as junkies, prostitutes, behind bars, or dead. A few of us luck out and make it but for the most part life simply is not that damn wonderful. Maybe I get my determination and perseverance from my parents. They came to this country essentially with nothing. My dad was a French chef and he and my mom managed to move here from Paris. They came here to Las Vegas while my mom was still pregnant with me. My dad was a fantastic chef and he got a job at one of the five star restaurants in town. I was only nine when they died so I have limited memories but I do remember that they were pretty driven people. I like to think that my ability to push forward with my life comes from them not from the years I spent avoiding being raped on the streets, or having to locate food so I wouldn’t die. I like to think that I come by my ambition honestly. In truth, no one will know for sure. They are dead and my limited memories fade more with each passing day.