Monthly Archives: April 2018

The Door

Category : Flash Friday , Stories

I’d been working at the lab ten months when the incident occurred.  Every day I’d walked down the long white corridor, ignoring the turn off to the restricted area.  I didn’t have permission to be in the restricted area. I was a lab tech. Occasionally I’d glanced down, and seen the huge industrial steel door, with a handle that looked like the wheel of a ship, so big I always imagined it would take about four people to open it, but I never went down the corridor, never peered through the thick glass window.  It was restricted. Above my paygrade.

“Morning, Lucy,” I smiled as she walked passed me and turned down the corridor.  She was the scientist in charge of this special project. She always insisted I call her Lucy.  All the other coats insisted on formality. They were mostly dicks though, and Lucy was really nice.

“Morning Mike,” she smiled at me. “How’s the weather?” She always asked me how the weather was, I don’t think she left the lab.

“Bit drizzly today,” I informed her. “Nice weather for ducks.”

She laughed a genuine laugh.  “I’m gunna be stuck in the lab most of the day, wanna have takeout with me at lunchtime?”

“Sure, I’ll order it in.  What do you fancy?” I smiled at her. Ten months I’d been there, and not really gotten to know anyone.

“Surprise me,” she smiled. “See you later.”

I watched her walk down the corridor, swipe a key card, tap in a code, press her hand against the panel before turning the big wheel.  Security sure is tight down there, I thought as I plunged my hands into my pockets and began to whistle, heading to my area.

By midday I decided I had had quite enough of cleaning jars, so I brought up the takeout app on my phone.  I decided to go for pizza. Who doesn’t like pizza? Cheese and tomato, sure winner.

“What are you doing here, this area’s restricted?” A tall man in a black suit and dark glasses blocked my way down the corridor like a giant, living cliche.

“I’m having lunch with Doctor Winters,” I said.  “Could you tell her I’ll meet her on the steps outside.  Tell her it’s brightened up.”

The man looked confused, but turned and headed towards the room. Dick, I thought to myself, as I headed up the steps and out to the main entrance to wait for our pizza.

“I think I’m in trouble, Mike,” Lucy’s voice from behind me made me start.

“What?” I spun around.  She had a large bruise on her face and looked very shaken.  “What happened.”

“I knew it was coming,” she said quietly.  “The thing I’ve been working on, they want to move it to the next phase.  It’s not ready, but they… they don’t want me to work on the next project. I think that would have been it for me, if I hadn’t arranged to meet you for lunch.”

“We need to get you out, now then, Lucy,” I said determinedly. “Don’t go back in, it’s dangerous for you.”

“It’s not that easy, Mike,” she looked awkwardly at me. “Where would I go, they’re everywhere!”

“I know.” I said calmly.  I shouldn’t be revealing this.  I was going off mission. But Lucy had all the information in her mind.  I’d get her instead of the files, we could blow the place. “But we can protect you, trust me.”

“We?” She looked at me, a glimmer of hope in her eyes.

“I’m SECTOR, Lucy,” I smiled at her. I know I was taking a risk.  “Trust me, I’ll get you out.”

“My family?” She was looking around nervously.

“We’ll get them too.” I said.

“Are you serious?” Control’s voice came in over my cranial implant. “What are you doing Mike?  This is not the mission!”

“It’s the mission now,” I said firmly, turning away from Lucy slightly as I spoke. “Get her family, and send us an extraction unit, we’re leaving now.”

“BOSS isn’t gunna like this,” Control said awkwardly.

“BOSS can shove it,” I responded. “Ten months in this shit hole and I’ve got nothing.  Now I’ve got something.”

“Alright, give us 30 minutes,” I could almost hear Control role her eyes.

“Mike,” Lucy looked at me. “We need to get him out.”

“Who?”

“Project J5.  If we leave him in the room they’ll weaponise him.  He’s behind the door.”

“OK,” I took a deep breath. “Come on, let’s go…”


The Grumpy Badger Guide to Book Covers

Welcome to another epic collaboration by A. M. Leibowitz and C H Clepitt, the team that brought you “The Grumpy Badger Guide to Dinosaur Erotica“.

 

Foreword (by C H Clepitt).

Those of you who follow me across social media will know that recently one of my book covers was put up on a website and labeled “bad refrigerator art”.  A lot of *coughs* well meaning people commented on what a shame it was that what looked like a good story was marred by such a bad cover. I am not particularly bothered by these *coughs*… er people, because they don’t ‘get’ what I’m trying to achieve with my covers, which is a consistent recognisable brand. You know my covers as soon as you see them, and anyone who is not a *coughs* ‘professional’ (read actual potential customers) thinks they are really fun, which they are.

However, some more well meaning folks suggested that if people don’t like my covers, I should change them, and as I always give in to peer pressure, I thought, what does sell? Answer, torsos.  So, I have teamed up once more with fellow author A.M. Leibowitz to create new, improved covers and blurbs for not only our books, but some classics whose covers are quite frankly, below parr.

Now, let us begin:

I Wore Heels to the Apocalypse: Tyrone Torso Edition

Tyrone takes his shirt off at one point towards the end, the author is capitalising on this.

Step into a sexy post apocalyptic world, where danger leads to bisexuality and sexy kissings of multiple genders. There is also a badger and possibly zombies, but no-one kisses them.

New blurb:

The apocalypse, danger, badgers, but who can you trust? Follow our hapless heroine as she experiments her way through the apocalypse, with sexy, yet terrifying consequences!

To see how much better this is than the original, visit the book’s Amazon page.

 

Lower Education: Phin Torso Edition

A.M. Leibowitz and I have worked together on several projects, so they have accepted this constructive criticism of their current cover as clearly having too many clothes in it.  Please keep in mind that if you don’t know the author, your negative thoughts are probably best kept to yourself…

Now, the main point when thinking about adding a torso to your cover is, does your book contain a man? You don’t want to deceive your reader. Fortunately, a quick look at the blurb tells me that there are a number of men in this story, so we’re golden.  Next we have to draw our torso loving reading in with a good blurb. The current one is frankly, too wordy.

New blurb:

Phin is boring and he knows it. One last job, then he’ll get a life, maybe, but will this job lead to the man of his dreams? Read this steamy story to find out!

To see how much better this is than the original, visit the book’s Amazon page.

 

Pride and Prejudice: Darcy Torso Edition

Jane Austen knew it, that’s why she told Colin Firth to dive into that lake, then step… out….

There are so many men in this book, torso is surely the next logical step in its cover arc.  It will open it up to a whole new generation of readers who have yet to see the BBC version…

New Blurb:

Lizzie is a modern girl in a world that’s failing to catch up.  She must get married or die a spinster with a ‘tude. She has all but given up hope when not one, but two sexy beaus enter her life, but how will she choose between the down on his luck soldier and the proud, incredibly rich Lord of the Manor? Er… they managed to flesh this out for how many words?!

See how much better this is than others by visiting the book’s Amazon page…

 

The Book of Abisan: Torius Torso Edition

Torius gets changed at one point, revealing that he has a tattooed torso, and we think this is the money spinner for the entire book.

This book is mostly about kick ass women, fighting the patriarchy, but where you have patriarchy you have torsos, so don’t be disappointed. There is also a hairy soldier who takes his shirt off at one point, but no actual kissing in this one, maybe next time, folks.

New Blurb:

Enter a world where women are tough and men are super manly, occasionally hairy, and there’s swords, lots of swords. Not as much nudity as Game of Thrones, but as you can see from the cover, we have torsos…

See how much better this is than the original by visiting the book’s Amazon page.

Pink in the Mirror: Random Torso Edition

OK, so, this one is more tough. It’s lesbians, so torsos are more hard to come by.  Still, there is a polite young man, and as most young men know, it’s only polite to remove one’s shirt when asked, so let’s go with that…

This seems to be mainly about girls and cars, so the torso is fairly tenuous, but we have a torso cover, so we still need to draw in our torso loving reader with a good blurb!

New blurb:

Girls, grease and cars, what more could a polite young man want? But when it turns out your girlfriend prefers girls, can your torso save the day? Spoiler… no.

See how much better this was than the original by visiting the book’s Amazon page.

Moby Dick: Torso Edition

They’re on a boat, right? They’re gunna get wet, so shirts will have to come off.  Let’s breathe some life into the old sea dog.

So, sure, it’s about some bloke who goes nuts whilst hunting a whale, but who doesn’t love a whale hunt, made all the sexier by this torso on the cover?  And check out the size of his harpoon! If you were on the fence about buying this one, the torso edition has sealed the deal.

New, improved blurb:

Size matters when it comes to Whales, and Ahab has a point to prove.  The one that got away is the one that will make or break him. He’s on a mission, but will Moby Dick be his downfall?

See how much better this is than the original by visiting the book’s Amazon page.

Life Begins at 48: Tim Torso Edition

Tim never actually removes his clothes in this cozy romance series of shorts, but working under the assumption that he must wash occasionally before leaving the house, we’ve taken some creative license with these covers.

A series of 3 short stories about a woman who has to take care of her mother after a stroke, and meets a very nice vicar. The vicar is a man, and where there are men there are bound to be torsos…

New Blurb:

Getting sacked leads to love for Linda, who proves getting old doesn’t mean you can’t still get it on, in this sensual series of shorts.*

See how much of an improvement this is by visiting the book’s Amazon page.

*Disclaimer in tiny print: There is no actually sex in this story.

Anthem: Trevor Torso Edition

And we’re back to men and easy access torsos.  We have definite MM one night stand going on here, so we could even have two torsos, but we don’t want to overdo things.

The main problem with the current blurb is that it’s just too angsty to draw in your average torso fan.  No-one cares about personal demons or finding yourself, or they might, but they don’t think they do, and won’t buy a book based on that, so, we need to reblurb immediately.

New blurb:

Trevor thinks his steamy one night stand with a musician is just that, until a song gets written about the experience.  Now Trevor needs to decide if he wants to fight for the man of his dreams, or share him with his girlfriend. From the co-author of “Can’t Help Lovin’ the Lizard” comes this latest sexy story.

See how much better this is than the original by visiting the book’s Amazon page.

Of Mice and Men: Torso Edition

If Steinbeck knew then, what we know now, he’d have put a torso on it too.

This book contains many men. And mice. Farm hands get hot, so they take their shirts off, thus, torsos. It’s not even tenuous here.  So, we have two torsos, (Lenny and George, obvs), a bale of hay (because, farm) and a mouse. Not a dead mouse, because that’s just sad, and let’s face it, if people knew what actually happened they wouldn’t read this one.

New Blurb:

Drifters George and Lenny find work on a farm, where the men are men and the women are sexy and no-one at all is killed.*

See how much better this is than the original by visiting the book’s Amazon page.

*Disclaimer in really small print: Almost everyone is killed…

Do you need a torso edition?

Is your book a bit blah? Have sales been a bit slow? Submit it to us in the comments and we’ll sort it out with a sexy torso cover and new blurb.  Seeing your sexy new torso cover on our blogs may increase your sales, you never know…