Help Wanted

Help Wanted is now available at Smashwords and at Amazon.

Help Wanted is a story of generosity repaid with abuse. It is a true story, fictionalized to protect the innocent.

As I say before I even get to the text of the story:

This is a work of fiction. Any names or places herein are either fictional or used fictionally. It might have happened this way, but it didn’t. And who are we to judge?

Help Wanted was the hardest thing I’ve ever written, and I won’t write anything like it ever again. But I feel it needed to be done in this case. The true story behind Help Wanted was, in many ways, more horrific than depicted in my writing.

The main character, Amy, represents a good friend of mine. I was a witness to some of the horror, and the rest I heard about first hand, in detail, promptly. I wish I could have helped “Amy” more, but she and I both agree that getting her story out, as a caution to others, is important.

I asked “Amy” if there was an organization she’d like my readers to donate to, and without skipping a beat she said WEAVE. WEAVE Inc., is an organization here in Sacramento that helps victims of abuse, and women and children at risk. Here you can donate to WEAVE  directly.

Season of Giving Special (10% off Help Wanted)

A very bad thing happened to a friend of mine. I saw a lot of it, heard more. She survived to ask that I tell her story, and when I asked her what charity I could donate some of my royalties to – and encourage my readers to donate to – she immediately said “WEAVE!”

WEAVE (Women Escaping a Violent Environment) is an organization that helps women and children who are victims of domestic abuse or at risk for such abuse. They have a fantastic reputation and I’m proud to be donating 50% of my royalties from “Amy”‘s story.

Help Wanted is a story of generosity repaid with abuse.

Amy’s generosity exceeds her means, but when an old friend is down on his luck, she offers her couch. Paul is troubled, but Amy thinks she can help. Little by little, she realizes she’s in over her head. What begins as a simple gesture of kindness becomes a struggle to survive.

“Amy” gets resolution, but in real life too many women don’t. Sometimes they suffer for years because they don’t know what else to do. Sometimes they are killed. It is WEAVE’s mission to make sure that doesn’t happen.

So in the spirit of giving, I am offering a 10% coupon for Help Wanted through Christmas Day. Think of it as an opportunity to buy yourself a present and give to a worthy cause at the same time. Or buy it as a gift, and get twice the feel-goods.

The coupon code is: XG46W and anyone may use it at Smashwords.

Happy Holidays!

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Special Limited Time Offer for Help Wanted!

For the next week Help Wanted will be on sale! 25% off at Smashwords if you use coupon code: UL62N

Please keep in mind that this coupon is for Smashwords, not Amazon. At Smashwords you can download any format you like, including kindle files. Help Wanted is DRM free, for your convenience.

50% of my royalties for Help Wanted go to a great organization called WEAVE (Women Escaping a Violent Environment).

WEAVE is the primary provider of crisis intervention services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Sacramento County.  Through its involvement in the Rescue & Restore Coalition, WEAVE also provides outreach and services for international and domestic victims of human trafficking.

It is WEAVE’s mission to bring an end to domestic violence and sexual assault in partnership with our community. WEAVE’s vision is a community free of violence and abuse. At WEAVE we believe that crisis intervention services are only part of the solution.

Prevention and Education are critical in improving how our community responds to violence. WEAVE is committed to breaking the cycle of violence by educating the community to better understand the issues of domestic violence and sexual assault.      ~~~From the “About” Page on their website.

Readers tell me that Help Wanted is a good read, and I hope that everyone who purchases it enjoys it. But perhaps more important is that by buying  Help Wanted, you are contributing to a great cause.

So, my readers, please take advantage of this temporary reduced price by purchasing Help Wanted at Smashwords. Or, if you’re addicted to Amazon‘s whispernet delivery, you can purchase Help Wanted at full price there.

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Help Wanted is Published!

I’m pleased to announce that Help Wanted is now available for purchase.

For the convenience of whispernet delivery, you can buy it at Amazon.

For download delivery in all e-book formats, Smashwords is the place.

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Help Wanted Update

Hi everyone! I know I told y’all that I expected to have Help Wanted published by the end of October. And here we are in November and you haven’t seen hide nor hair. It’s coming, I promise.

When you publish an e-book, you have to do some very specific formatting, and the requirements are different for different retailers. I knew this going in. But I ran into a weird frustrating problem with formatting Help Wanted for smashwords. I don’t blame them; they offer a great service for self-publishers and they do everything they can to lay out their requirements in excruciating detail. It was just that I had inadvertently applied conflicting styles, and it took forever for me to figure out what went wrong. I almost bought MS Word before I figured it out, for goshsakes!

What that all means is that I’m actually ready to announce the Amazon version, but am still waiting on catalog approval from smashwords. I am hopeful that it will be green-to-go on Monday.

Meanwhile, you can read (or re-read) the excerpts for Help Wanted here:

Stay on the edge of your seats, people, Help Wanted will be here soon!

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Help Wanted: Excerpt Chapter Five

This is it! The last excerpt before publishing! I’m being generous, really; the excerpt is quite lengthy.  Help Wanted is due to be published by the end of the month, so you won’t have long to wait to read the rest. 



The next evening, Amy picked up Maggie before going to Karen’s house. She didn’t know how much chatting and small talk would be involved in picking Paul up, and she didn’t want to charge up late fees at the day-care. Amy wasn’t entirely uncomfortable going to Karen’s house. She’d met Karen and Josef a few months ago at a yarly party, and had gone on a double date with them when she was dating SeeNoEvil. They were both very nice and had an earthy sense of humor that delighted her. She rang the doorbell with as much confidence as she could muster. Karen opened the door with a smile and bade her enter, then quickly slipped out of the way, so that Paul and Amy could hug and make “so happy to finally see you” noises. Paul had acquired a duffel-bag at some point, and all his worldly belongings fit in it with ease.

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The Final Stretch!

We’re so close to getting Help Wanted done and published!

I worked on editing all weekend, those final little tweaks. I’m taking a day off from it tomorrow and then I’ll throw it on my kindle and see how it reads there. With any luck there won’t be any errors.

If I need to make further changes, I will do so. In the meantime, I’ll post Chapter Five, the last excerpt before publishing.

Then it will be time to upload it to smashwords and the kindle store! If all goes well, I’ll make the announcement by next weekend. I’m a little nervous, but I’ll be very glad to wrap up this project.

Stay tuned!

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Help Wanted: Excerpt, Chapter Four

Help Wanted will be published by the end of the month. After this there will be one more chapter posted pre-publishing to get you hooked.


Amy didn’t hear from Paul or see him as “online” on Gmail for some time after that. That was a good way to follow through on a self-fulfilling prophecy. Possibly Amy could have done more to help make the visit happen. Maybe she could have found more people with resources to help. But as the time came and then started to pass, she knew it wasn’t going to happen.

Amy didn’t brood on it, though. There’s no way on this earth that you can fix someone else’s problems. You can give them tools that they can use to help them fix themselves, you can sometimes take away burdens that are interfering with their ability to help themselves, but that’s as far as it could go.

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Help Wanted: Excerpt, Chapter Three

I’m starting to feel the pinch! Help Wanted is going to e-press by the end of the month, and I’ll be ready. For your third taste…


Time went on. Maggie did well at school except that she remained shy. Amy’s maternity-leave anxiety about a closing came to pass, but for another hospital. The rule with County was that if you have the job, you keep it, regardless of seniority or qualifications. Amy had the job. She was very qualified, but hadn’t been there as long as many equally qualified people. There were a few rules broken in round-about ways; a firing of a fumble-fingered phlebotomist who was only coincidentally replaced by a nurse with twenty years seniority at the closed hospital, for instance. Amy was very nervous for a while. Then things finally seemed to shake down, and reach a new equilibrium. It had been good fortune that this coincided with Jenny going back to school. Trade one worry for another, rather than carry them both. Amy felt blessed.

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Help Wanted: Excerpt, Chapter 2

Help Wanted is coming soon! Another chapter to make you quiver with anticipation. Or something like that.


Amy didn’t have to wait long for more details. Rita tried several more times to contact Paul and he rebuffed her diversely. He wouldn’t answer her calls or her pings. Her emails got responses full of curses. Finally he blocked her on Gmail and that was pretty much that.

Amy: For someone who wants space to make up her mind, she sure is throwing herself at you. What’s up with that?

Paul Fournier: I know! Head-games. I refuse to play them. I’m done with her.


Then Amy didn’t hear from Paul for a while. She didn’t seek him out because she wasn’t sure she wanted to know how things went down with Rita. She figured that he’d contact her either when he needed her or when things calmed down and he was bored some day. She had better things to do with her time than pester someone for internet chatting. If she wanted online company, there was still Musikland. Amy and Paul had been friends online for years, spent countless hours talking about hopes and dreams, trials and tribulations. But every now and then a few weeks would pass without conversation.

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Help Wanted: Excerpt, Chapter One

Help Wanted  is coming soon! Don’t worry, the published product will look tidier than it does in blog-post  format.



Amy looked away from the television to the laptop on her desk. Her Gmail tab was flashing Paul Fournier. She clicked on the tab and looked at the chat window.

Paul Fournier: * poke *

She considered whether or not she should answer. She had set her status as “busy”, so she had the choice of pretending she was away from her computer. She was tired, but three week old Maggie was sleeping like an angel and could probably be counted on to do so for at least another hour. She decided chatting with Paul was probably going to be more interesting than the re-run of Mythbusters she had on the television.

Amy: * tickle *

Paul Fournier: Hi!

Amy: How’re you today?

There was a pause and gmail’s chat window put up the words “Paul Fournier is typing”

Paul Fournier: Okay

Amy thought that was a lot of “typing” to come up with four letters.

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