The End

Well, that last post got a little bogged down with comments!

If you’re having trouble finding your comments, there is a Load More Comments button you have to search for…

But I will start a new post here, and comments can continue on this one…

I will put a post here soon on my thoughts on my ending.

Sorry for the delay! Here is the post:

Literature, to me, is about character journeys. The people you see in the beginning of the book should be transformed in some way by the end. I don’t think Nia should behave the same way at the end of the book as she does in the beginning. Nia is supposed to do a 180. And yet, Nia’s transformation is circular. It’s a practical 360. If you think my ending is contrived you were probably reading too fast. Read it again with some care. I believe it would have been far more unbelievable if Nia didn’t go back to Geoff. Their reunion isn’t a simple one. I left a lot of the badness unsaid. Purposely so it would appear as a happy ending. I wanted it to feel like that, but think some more on it. There is more to it than there might appear. There is hope in it, yes, and for that I apologize, ha ha.

Listen, Nia had missed that big-dick-pulse-pounding sex but it would be a little shallow to think that’s all she wants from life. In real life girls want more than that. The fling was what worked, that was fun, they even admit through internal discourse that her having sex with Dino and Rocco wasn’t bad, it was the lying and the infidelity from eight years ago. Plus, Nia knows this: macho guys with big dicks are fun for about six months but they come with a whole host of other problems. Nia didn’t get along with them when she was twenty. She’s going to get along with them now? She’d been sexualized at a young age to appreciate rough masculine men. She’s attracted to that. But she also likes her independence. Geoff let her be herself. Rocco wouldn’t let her work. She talked about the problems with being with Dino. Being underneath him, having to serve him, serve his will. Ultimately, Nia did not want those kind of men in her life for more than one thing. She needed Geoff to change too. He was a nice guy with her from start to finish but the Geoff at the end of the book is a different Geoff. One who will control Nia. To sound trite: Nia has been disciplined.

And the blog is supportive, believe me. This is just what you guys see. I get e-mails from fans too, even if I didn’t come to this blog, my inbox is full of hopes and wishes on how the story turns out. They don’t sway me. The characters are the only ones that sway me. There are just as many people who e-mail only as there are who post here. To say that I bent to the will of the blog isn’t unbelievable but I think if you re-read the book you’ll see how things came to pass. This ending was the general direction from the very beginning. Nia has a life history of burning bridges. She didn’t want this bridge with Geoff burned. She wanted (and deserved IMO) reclamation and restoration. She’d burned bridges with Dino already. She lied to him about something terrible. She could never be with him. And Rocco? Nia could never stay with Rocco. I think that was demonstrated in the last book. Geoff was what she needed.

There is absolutely no way I can make everyone happy. It’s too sad, it’s too happy, why didn’t so and so do something, why did this guy blah blah. < I say this with great respect, just trying to be funny! I wrote for the characters. Their tragedies were covered in the black moment. The story doesn’t end with tragedy (yes, I know that means it’s not a tragedy) but this is a long book.

I said I wanted to talk about netorare but couldn’t earlier because it would tip the hat to the ending. This is why. I like netorare, I like the loss, but there is a certain misogynistic taint to it. It’s pure male fantasy. If I create realistic characters like Geoff and Nia it’s crazy to pull off some of the elements to netorare. Plus it would probably get me kicked off amazon. Netorare characters behave in cartoonish ways. The loss is there but there is a subjugation of the woman that you can’t do if she is a real thinking character with a written internal monologue. She is there solely as a device of torment for the male character, her actions senseless in order to provoke feelings in the male. I could perhaps do it if I did a one voice narration, the male only. Then he could witness and we wouldn’t have to understand the female’s point of view. I like to write stories that explore both sides because as I see them they are stories about couples. There is a magic to doing an only male only point of view because it heightens the bewilderment and someday I might do that. So I guess I put out a watery westernized netorare. But you have to know I do it with heart and passion and I don’t take any of this lightly. I can however be heartless too, so if my male character needs to murder his family and then himself I can do it. Tough to keep that sexy though 🙂

107 thoughts on “The End

  1. Here's a question. Does anyone think it's possible Nia subconsciously sensed Geoff's inner Alpha since “really noticing him for the first time” all those years ago?

  2. In a way, yes, and Jenny and Krista see it as well I think. But it's a different kind of alpha, if you want to call it that…not dripping in testosterone.Geoff is in many ways what a lot of women would dream as the perfect man. Blond hair, attractive, creative, dresses stylishly…is a loving father and husband. With his added confidence, I see him as the ideal “alpha” for someone like Krista. And a guy like Rocco wouldn't be; the way he's described, I don't think a woman like Krista would be remotely interested in him, even on a primal level. He just happens to be Nia's kind of alpha.

  3. I'm not sure if it's how you asked it PS, how you think, or just how I interpreted the question, but I feel the need to answer this as if it's a philosophical question, like “what is love?” I am by no means an expert so I will barely answer that in any deep way, and at this point my perspective on how love applies in this story has been colored too much by KT's commentary to pretend that my take is all that unique. But whatever, here's my thoughts.Basically, I think there is no question at all that Nia has all the love in the world for Geoff, but I think we learned from the “Temporal” natural of their relationship, that their love's intensity ebbs and flows. Here's the philosophical part, maybe love always will. That makes sense to me, marriages are like this right? I'm not married so I can't pretend to know from personal experience, but that's the word on the street, lol. Does it mean that on the 'ebb' part of the continuum that Nia DOESN'T love Geoff, no, I think she demonstrated throughout that she always will, but I think what's interesting here is we see Nia had a conduit where she could cast her net to others who might fill a void left by Geoff's deficiencies, perceived or otherwise.On the same token (again colored by commentary already stated so I'm don't think I'm saying anything different really), Nia's love for Rocco will wax and wane too if it lasted. Nia entering the 'Nurturing' phase of her life is the catalyst mentioned that changes her perspective, etc. Ultimately, I think there are any number of factors that change how someone truly feels about someone they love in any particular moment, the added sum of which usually still lands on “oh, but I still love ya!”I guess the question I ask myself is, does she love Geoff 'enough' not to be motivated into action at times when she starts to feel those familiar desires again. Nia has had incredible, emotionally intense, completely out of her mind sex in her life, and not with her husband. You don't have that unless you feel really strongly about the experience and it's clear it has to a lot to do with the men in it. That's addicting. Going without it would be almost like getting that Ferrari Rocco said he would get her, you still have to drive the speed limit, babe! My loaming fear is that Nia's preference for Mediterranean meatheads could be a deeper ingrained psychological bias (kind of like what JL alludes to in passing in his last comment).I ascribe to the new and improved Geoff theory being tossed around. I think there's enough from this story to think she's learned her lesson, and may not ever want it again, and maybe even without the improved Geoff.

  4. Here's a weird thought I had yesterday. Is there a Freudian mind allegory going on for Nia's desires represented by the three men in her life in this story?I'm not sure if I'm saying all that right, but basically I'm asking, could Rocco, Dino, and Geoff each represent id, ego, and Superego?I doubt it, but it's kind of interesting how well it fits.Afterall, Rocco is the deep ingrained unconscious desire for rough men, rooted in experiences before it could even be registered as a conscious thought. Her id.On the opposite end, you have Geoff, her light, her moral guide, perfectly reasonable person who follows the rules and is fair. He's her Superego.Then you have Dino. The space in between, the mediator of the two feelings. Still connects with that deep seeded thought knocking around in Nia's head, but makes her feel somewhat human (although as KT reminds us, often made her feel less than in their relationship). On the boat, Dino was the guy that said to Rocco “Hey, knock it off,” when Rocco overstepped his bounds, but he was also the same guy who told Geoff, “you can't leave this girl out of your sight for one minute.” He's her ego.Freudian mind is all bullshit, but it's poetic and fun at times. KT brings up Freud in the story so maybe she has some subtle influences from his philosophy, maybe not in the book but in life, as we all should!

  5. Some very interesting views here. I hadn't thought of the Freudian connection, 2B=2H, but it does hold water. Basically, I think Nia was a confused woman where her sexuality was concerned. On a base level, she craved a strong warrior type of man for both physical pleasure and physical safety, the latter of which translated into emotional safety. However, that feeling of security on both counts was built of lath and plaster. Both Dino and Rocco did lay their hands on her in violence at some point in her past. And there were limits to Rocco's tender loving care. In a way, there was a big, shy kid living inside of Rocco, and he encased this vulnerable creature in the armor of great musculature and feigned indifference. Geoff did show some alpha traits in “Universe.” He made the actual break with Nia, and what followed was a major uptick in his fortunes. He even had a girlfriend for a short time. We all want what we can't have, and I don't think Nia was an exception. Few things turn women off more than a needy guy who relies on her love to get up every morning. Sure, a man needs to be loving, but there has to be a powerful undercurrent of an independent spirit and a sense of initiative. Despite his great pain, Geoff displayed both of these qualities in spades. I just hope he can maintain them in our vision of his future with Nia.I still maintain that a James Bond-type of alpha could take Nia away from Geoff, certainly as long as her childhood issues continue to hold sway in her subconscious. Granting her an elevated state of emotional health in the future, however, I will concede that she could resist the temptations of such a man to remain true to her husband and two children. If anyone has seen “The Bridges of Madison County” with Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep, you have exactly the kind of situation I could see in the future for Nia and Geoff. Eastwood's character in this film was a departure from his usual two-dimensional portrayal of an implacable tough guy who always had a one-liner in his pocket. His character in “Bridges…” was still all man, but he was intelligent, sensitive, and not afraid to speak his mind. There was a definite alpha quality to this character that Streep's on-screen husband lacked.

  6. Temporal works just as well as transitory with nearly the same meaning so I don't think your point was lost. And I'm finding it difficult to disagree. Real love endures though, even through the worst of trials.

  7. A real James Bond alpha (Daniel Craig, please) will take Nia away from Geoff. He will take all your women. Some easier than others but he will take them all. I honestly don't argue that. My proclamation is that they don't exist. Or I should say, exist in very small numbers. The alpha males in real life will cheat on you, threaten you, kill your pets… I like stories with fantasy obviously but I like erotica to be real. Women fall for bad men. That's sexy. I like them to be realistic. That's sexy, to me at least.I contend that Geoff has become that Eastwood character by the end of the book.I also contend that Geoff might be the sexiest character I've created. If you're over thirty, divorced with a kid, you would murder another woman to claim Geoff.

  8. @JL23 that's a funny thought!Krista would be disgusted by Rocco. Dino could get in her pants for sure. One night stand only. Not smart enough for more than that.Jenny would be afraid of Rocco. Same for Dino. Dino could get in her pants but at the zero hour Jenny would bail, chicken out, talk herself out of it.Jenny and Krista are members of Geoff's world. Nia isn't.Rocco and Dino are of Nia's world. Geoff isn't. Their pairing is unexpected. That inner alpha claimed Nia somehow and she ruined him. He loves her to bits but he's been damaged by her.Now he's trapped on an island with her, a prisoner of his own love. He'll be happy, but she's left him wounded.Geoff in NYC with Krista is your happy ending. Krista, or one of her ilk, is the woman for Geoff. And he can land them too…

  9. Pippet: Geoff's animal familiar. His wisdom. Got that one blue eye, its knowing eye locked on Nia. Wounded like Geoff. Shot by a hunter. Circles him, protects him…

  10. @PS Sense of humour: so subjective. Haven't you seen some meathead make a girl laugh, every other guy in the room looking at each other thinking WTF? That wasn't funny. A girl will think a guy has a sense of humour but she's just smitten, looking into his dazzling eyes, looking at his muscle, knowing he's the boss of something, or captain of something.Regular guys have to have a sense of humour, alphas magically have one. Things they say are funny even when they're not. their comedic performances are not held to any standard.Rocco was not funny anywhere else in the book. Nia is smitten on the plane. Seeing a sense of humour because she is turned on. He's an asshole, and at this stage she thinks that's funny. Thinks he's being an asshole to amuse her, when he's really just an asshole!

  11. Ooohhh…that's a really interesting thought about Geoff and Krista…I tend to agree with you. They are probably perfect together.Part of the reason I've been finding it interesting to picture a moment they are together in the presence of Nia…maybe at a gallery or when Geoff and Odie publish their book. Nia will definitely pick up that something happened between them, and likely see the same thing we do.And I agree, Dino could definitely land Krista for a night, but they would never make a relationship work.

  12. Thanks for added insight KT…having read everything from the beginning, and knowing how it ends, I personally do see how this was the path that made sense. Nia was always going to choose Geoff at the end, any other ending would not have been true to the characters IMO.

  13. @KT Morrison Yes, you have a point there. There was a guy I once knew who looked like the Pillsbury doughboy, but his confidence was so over-the-top that he never had any problem finding female company. It's almost like tricked them into thinking he was a stud through sheer attrition. I heard him crack a few jokes that had these women in stitches, and all I could think about was how lame they were. At the time, I wrote my assessment off to jealousy, but perhaps I was right after all.

  14. @KT Morrison Yes, indeed. Alphas like Daniel Craig are practically an endangered species. It may interest you to know that one of my female friends actually met him. Daniel put his arm around her shoulder and took a selfie to the two of them with her phone. Even years later, she was gushing about it. The selfie even served as her Facebook cover photo. It may still be there. I will admit to bit of subconscious bias against Geoff. When he didn't come to his wife's aid when she was being brutally assaulted, I lost a lot of respect for him. Nia could well have been killed or lost an eye. I'll grant you that I said no one can predict how he or she would behave in an extreme situation. That's the rational part of my mind. Another part condemned Geoff for not protecting his wife. No matter what he did, Odie was going to suffer trauma. His indecisiveness and inaction really turned me off. Geoff had become a better man by the end of the series. Perhaps all the emotional torment he endured made him more formidable. As the old saying goes, 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.'

  15. Thanks KT. To summarize my thoughts on the ending as it relates to your post. I read some of what Nia did in the last book to mean she developed an improved understanding of her love for Geoff, and from the ending, projected that the future was bright. We got to see their first step towards recovery in the relationship. Even after you first mentioned that I reread the ending and I saw the things that demonstrated that Nia and even Geoff's view of their relationship didn't progress as well as it should (the dialogue, the metaphors, the symbols), I still came away optimistic. Sort of thinking, well their love IS eternal, it just needed scrapes, bruises and some testing to remind them. Nobody's perfect. The temptation is there, but the love was always there too, and it's stronger now. They both are too, I thought. Both of them took their hits but came back from it, bloodied, but still fighting. I took that to mean something more than I perhaps should have, for both characters.I guess your explanation has left me wondering if Nia actually learned something enough that her mindset changed. You mention she is more disciplined now, but yet she is also back to square one. Is it sort of that she is back to the point where she knows she did something terrible to Geoff and her relationship and the underlying issue that caused it could still rear it's head?I guess the good news is Geoff is more enlightened, but if she feels those desires again … I guess we don't know. There was a second there at the end where Nia said she wouldn't want to hurt Geoff with the possible bad news about Odie's genetics and she told Odie not to saying anything about almost being hit by a car, so is that her repeating her behavior of hiding things from Geoff because it's too painful for her to admit?I saw what you were saying about the “happiness” of the ending after your requested reread initially. It is too early in the recovery of the relationship, so we don't know yet what Nia's truly learned. Also, she's obviously hurt Geoff before. I thought a clue to her doing it again could be whatever led Nia and Dino's coupling to happen 8 years ago, but maybe it's just the act itself that's all that needs to be said. Incidentally, I never thought she would ever go back to either of them, but a man like them is still a question. Maybe progress in Nia would be she would need more than who those two are to feel those familiar feelings again. Maybe her “freebie” standards have been raised. That's too simplistic but I'm not even that serious. Daniel Craig doesn't count, because everyone would fall for him.I never knew what netorare was until you mentioned it in the blog, and I thought, well if it's at all what KT does then let me check it out. Didn't really enjoy any of what I found, not really into hentai or really any of the free 'Western' stories I found as a result. Good to hear your influences though, but yeah I don't see what you do in that vein.

  16. KT– Read your updated blog, it cleared up some things I had wondered about relative to your perspective, and, or course raised other questions. I accepted long ago that we operate from different paradigms.Not sure about everyone's comments about what an alpha male is, and how he shows his strength (I think most of the above comments are about power, not strength). Being male, I am quite sure my vision of how a true alpha male acts is much different from how some women would perceive him. Many people in this genre seem to perceive alphas as bullies, taking what they want from anyone they consider weaker. It makes a good story, I guess, but when I consider another man an alpha type it is because of his strength and depth of character. From other men's comments above, I seem to have a different opinion from most, and I am okay and even comfortable with that.I have never seen an actual study on what different people would describe as the characteristics of an alpha male. I suspect the distribution of answers would show a high variance. Just the nerd in me, I guess, but I never was good at staying with the crowd.

  17. ToBe- on Nia not wanting Odie to tell Geoff about the near accident…I remember a KT post from last week where she explained Nia didn't want her daughter to tell him in that moment because she wanted Geoff to be calm for when she revealed the DNA tests. I don't think she wanted Odie to hide that from him forever, just for the day. I'd tell you where it is, but I have no idea…it was pretty early on after the story.Guhrka – I think everyone's definition of an “alpha male” is probably different. A lot think of it at that base, primal level of a guy who just takes what he wants. But I think there's also room to intepret it like you do…I would personally subscribe to the view there are many different types.

  18. JL – I remember what she said, she never said anything about when she would tell Geoff about Odie's near accident. Here's that part of the post, it didn't take me too long to find thankfully:”Her desire at that point is to put that [DNA test results] gift in his hand. She wants a nice moment, in the hope that he might forgive her. She feels like talking about the almost accident would get blood pressures high, his voice high and tense. She wants a nice calm Geoff, undistracted. Her thought at that moment are that she will in a moment change his life for the better…”Obviously there's a matter of the book ending that would cause that problem, but just listen to what you're saying, “she wanted Geoff to be calm” I'm obviously extrapolating here, but it sounds like another example of Nia trying to avoid hurting Geoff with the truth. It's not as extreme of hurt and maybe she tells Geoff the next day, but it's an example that things haven't changed.If that example doesn't please you then what about the thought I mention about her not wanting to tell Geoff if the results came back that their DNA didn't match? This is what Nia says about it “If Odele was Dino's she would swallow it. Keep it deep inside.” Or more to the point, “Greatest gift she could give Geoff was the truth. If it was good. She'd never tell him if it was bad.”This cements the proof to me that Nia is still at square one, the ending is less ambiguous on where Nia is as a character with KT's blog post. I know Edwin kind of agrees or agreed with that take on Nia.

  19. I always take alpha to mean… how to put this… the alpha, male or female, has a force of personality, a conviction, a will, a confidence that gives them the strength to dominate those with a lower will or confidence. It isn't necessarily power, though they can radiate a sense of it. It isn't about strength, though alphas among wild animals tend to be stronger. When I talk about Geoff's inner alpha I'm referring to his confidence and sense of being, along with his personality. KT pointed out his fantastic bod, which of course you think would help, but it was never something that helped or hurt Geoff's confidence, at least I don't recall reading such. Rocco's alpha is a different beast entirely. He's dominant. He's powerful. He's also shallow. Once you get past his bluster, like Dino does, he breaks or flees. As such his infatuations are childlike and primitive, in my mind.That's how I interpret it anyway…

  20. I do, for the most part. But I get why Nia doesn't want to freak Geoff out with that particular news.It should be noted, this aware one is different from the first… All of Nia's cards, indescretions, flaws, everything Geoff didn't know, all of it is on the table. Geoff is going in hurt, yes, but not as blind as he was before.

  21. When Nia asks Odie not to tell Geoff, she says to “tell him tomorrow.” That's where I get the sense its not something she's looking to hide from him forever. It's just in that moment she wants him calm.Personally, I don't read too much into her not telling him about the accident right away. His knowledge of that is not something that will fundamentally alter his life; its just a scary thing that he can pretty quickly move on from relieved they're OK. Its not the same as keeping a secret like maybe Odie isn't his. That secret upended all their lives, perhaps forever.

  22. In regards to the DNA, Geoff told her on the boat he couldn't handle knowing for sure that Odie isn't his. He may now be in a position where he can handle that, but Nia wouldn't know for sure. I can see how she wouldn't want to tell him and add to his pain, and I'm guessing she probably doesn't try to get back together with him if the news turned out bad.

  23. While I realize the Daniel Craig comments are all in fun, I would comment, also in fun, that it is difficult to steal someone's wife with a .45 caliber hole in your head. Not everyone out here is a weak cuckold type, some are even a bit mean and can surprise a supposed alpha…. Sometimes there are equalizers in the real world.

  24. You're going to get the drop on James Bond? Have you seen a James Bond movie? :)Plus the point still stands—he already took her. You're just talking revenge. You shoot him preemptively, someone else like him is going to make a move while you're in prison!And this is all theoretical…

  25. Yes! Just feeling a little treadmilled. There is a new book coming very soon. A new couple. It will be a standalone but open for many possible sequels…

  26. Maybe an alpha with more than a few more flaws, but certainly more Nia's speed. Let's say Vito Corleone started a legit business in Toronto, is he a threat to new Geoff?Bad ass, influential, cares about his family (to an extent that can set a bar of expected behavior), and smart. Assume for the sake of argument he shows signs of a decent roll in the hay, is Nia smitten?I think since Nia really hasn't changed that much, yeah it doesn't take much to obfuscate another boss/employee relationship in that case.

  27. KT– What, me shoot someone preemptively? No, if one chooses to do that, it has to be covert. Good thing about how Craig plays the Bond character, he is too much of an alpha to stoop so low as steal another man's wife, unless she is being abused in some way.So, not to worry, although your books would still be available to those of us in Solitary confinement, maybe at a slight discount?Still looking for an tougher guy who's somehow fallen into a cuckold situation. Could be some real angst there before working things out.

  28. Going A Little Too Far has a cuckold who is a real handful. Former D1 college super-athlete, just cream of the crop when it comes to fighting. He likes to be cuckolded which his wife doesn't mind, loves it actually, but in trade her own kink develops. She likes to have sex with another man, a rising orgasm building while she waits to have her husband pretend to 'catch' her in the act. She is incredibly aroused watching her husband manhandle other men. It's kind of a black comedy but boy did I have good fun with that book. It was at a bad time and it really made me laugh. The couple is really hot to me. They're Christian do-gooders too so I loved their turmoil over what they do…

  29. KT– Yeah I remember liking that when I read it a while back. I think that the general idea of an alpha type guy with a past that he needs to work through, and a wife that he tells to go out with another man. The angst he/they would go thru, could really make a good story. Having a really strong, but damaged alpha character that works out his issues, and comes back as a true “real” alpha (Guhrka definition given earlier) could make a great story, kind of a crossover between the hotwife genre and a Romance novel. You are so good creating the edginess, this would be a homerun for you.

  30. @KT Morrison Thank you for the clarification, KT. I did reread “Universe” and am willing to admit that my remarks were hyperbolic. 'Contrived' is not a fair representation of the ending, and Nia didn't do an about-face. At the time, my perception was that she turned in a direction that was not in keeping with her character. At the back of my mind was the suspicion that she had endured some kind of childhood trauma that needed to be resolved before her character could possess the ability to engage in adult love. (This dovetails with 2B=2H's remarks about 'square one.') But that was my misapprehension. The ending didn't unfurl like I expected it to, but this series had much more than a readership of one. I was giving my two cents, but perhaps I threw it when I should have just slid it across the counter.There are a couple of things I'd like to clarify. My vision of a “true” alpha male is not Rocco; not even Dino in his present incarnation. I won't repeat what I've already explained, but Clint Eastwood's character in “Bridges of Madison County” is the kind of alpha male that makes the best partner. As for the netorare genre, perhaps I should have qualified my use of that term. I was not referring to the hard-core, nihilistic variety that was spawned in Japan, though it was on me to make that clear since “netorare” is a Japanese word. The type I'm attracted to is in no way misogynistic. It's about two terribly flawed people who love each other and lose what could have been. It's worth repeating that I felt Nia had a right to at least take a break from Geoff after he failed to protect her from Maria's attack. In LHW-1, I said more than once that Pete didn't deserve to get Jess back. Of course, when the chips were down, he stepped up. Tyler's behavior was cowardly and irresponsible.One of life's most lamentable tragedies is “It might have been.” There are many of us who have learned critical life lessons when it's too late. Of course, there are reams of advice, sayings, and practical examples that teach us not to live in the past. But sometimes, there's a hole in your life large enough that the wound remains open, if not septic. Fiction that unpacks those feelings and experiences is valuable and does not get the exposure that it should, IMHO. I'm glad I read LHW-2. It was an emotional journey of pleasure, pain, growth, and redemption. I imagine it was quite a trial to write, not only due to the labor of creating but also because these characters had become all but flesh and blood. Thank you for sharing them with us.

  31. Talking about the ending of the book has given me my own revelation. So I thank you for the honest opinions. I don’t think you’re wrong. I realized, through discourse here, that I may have missed the better ending. Maybe I was afraid to do something. I like that I’ve been challenged.In talking in the comments here on the blog I’ve been able to explore my own themes a bit more. I write in a bubble. I don’t share with anyone, I don’t look for opinions, I don’t use beta-readers, proofers, nor editors. But coming here has enlightened my own viewpoint on the book.I’ve been bummed and quiet for a few days because I realize I missed the ending that demonstrated better all the things I’ve iterated here in the comments.Now, it seems like you might be apologizing for something here, I hope you’re not. You didn’t like the ending and you kindly and politely told me. I don’t mind that at all. I think you can imagine after writing an emotional 300,000 word book that in the few days following I might be a little emotional myself, and defensive. But I took no offense from anything you posted. It was another poster who called it haphazard and poorly-plotted and, two days after I wrote it, I found it hurtful. I hate to over-state this but I really poured a lot into what amounts to a dumb erotica book. Like, life-ruining effort, neglect everything else effort, make yourself cry effort. I’m way deep these days into the next series and my new characters are taking life. Geoff and Nia and Odele are becoming less familiar. <<Gosh, it hurts to say that! But it’s true. Now I’m in a more receptive mind. I see I might have been swayed by my love for the characters and missed something. I’m not sure, but I might have…Alpha males: Everyone has their own opinion. It’s a hard thing to define. On a biological level I would equate it to testosterone levels. Higher testosterone males can physically lower other males testosterone with their presence. Or so I’ve read. I feel like someone you consider an alpha male in one situation would not be when they are in the presence of a male in a higher order. Like in reality, a National Geographic photographer, while confident and masculine in the kitchen of a housewife in Madison County, would genuflect before a six-five three-fifty pound animal like Rocco. Masculinity and alpha-ness are situational to me.Netorare: Yes, I believe much more in your interpretation of the word. It is about loss and the potential of loss. It’s such a beautiful sounding word. It sounds romantic. And sometimes love and romance are about loss too.

  32. KT- I think its a natural thing to think about “the road not taken” after you've had some time and step away from the book. Also, its a way to keep those characters fresh in your mind, and that's not a bad thing either.But I wouldn't spend all that much time beating yourself up over it. Like I said, I think its a natural thought; who's to say if you wrote a different ending that you wouldn't be having those same thoughts. Also, I think sometimes constructive criticism, like the sort PS gave, probably sticks with us and makes us think more than universally positive comments (or the name calling type negative comments). It challenges you to think from their perspective and see if you agree with them. That's a good thing, so I'm glad we have this forum to civilly throw ideas out without any name calling.

  33. PS – I hope you didn't take offense by my critique of your opinion either. I think we understand each other's wants out of these stories, but I may have been a little over eager to say something in reply. I didn't want to validate the thought that you were painting a target on yourself with your post, but I've been on here for a while, invested a lot of my time scouring all our thoughts enough to provide some views on it, I think. I reposted my reply here at the top because it was (I believe) the last one in your thread before the new blog, I see more came in though. Looking back immediately at it though makes it look like I was calling you out.To your point about Nia's relationship instability. I have been hoping for some more commentary from KT, because I feel like it makes a lot of sense, given her ability to throw herself into the affections of other men so completely. Is Nia independent or not? I see her having dependency issues based on how she acts in the last two books and, throughout (in part). It makes that thought of her independence questionable.I could be convinced (as I had been up to this point) that her ability to feel so strongly with each of these men is because this situation was so incredibly unique. Geoff is the unconditional lover, great man, passionate and decent enough in bed, Dino is the old flame who showed great passion for her as well and was a dynamo in the sack, former love of her life, and then Rocco, who is her personal fantasy incarnate. How does anyone react in this situation with three dream men (albeit different dreams)? Can the human mind even comprehend how it should behave in this moment? One might just end up looking erratic and crazy in this situation.One thing to JL and Edwin- I couldn't believe how many times it took me to reread the paragraph about “Nia rolling those bones for a natural” regarding her second baby's parentage for me to finally realize that Nia didn't get the courage to find out about her current baby's father, until after she knew Odie was Geoff's daughter. Have I been reading that wrong this whole time?That is a critical piece. I had been operating under the assumption that Nia planned (I thought consciously, but JL and KT had me realizing it was unconscious) to have Geoff's baby again, not because she wanted to coerce him into coming back to her, but because she just wanted to be with him so bad that she wanted to have another child with him. That made me think, there is no way she doesn't try to go back to Geoff, even if she finds out that Odie wasn't his. What you said makes sense though given how it played out. Does she have the confidence to put her fears aside and try to make things right with Geoff if she finds out Odie isn't Geoff's and thus ignores the second child's DNA test? I still think she does find the courage, but given this new interpretation of that paragraph, it has me thinking on it.It's almost like Nia got away with feeling like the hero in the DNA situation, but it was (essentially) a stroke of good luck that led her to plunge back into trying to get Geoff's good graces back. An artificial confidence, that may have made her too eager to try to make things right with Geoff before she was truly ready.Geoff is of course at fault for wanting her back so easily, she was content on leaving after giving him the good news.My thoughts on netorare – I liked the definition too which is why I looked for the different stories I mentioned, but when I kept seeing the stuff that kept popping up as the best stories on it, I thought it didn't work. What PS describes, if they are at all like KT's stories, I can get behind!

  34. ToBe – “One thing to JL and Edwin- I couldn't believe how many times it took me to reread the paragraph about “Nia rolling those bones for a natural” regarding her second baby's parentage for me to finally realize that Nia didn't get the courage to find out about her current baby's father, until after she knew Odie was Geoff's daughter. Have I been reading that wrong this whole time?”At first I wasn't sure. I had to reread the section to make sure I read it right. For me it meant that she didn't dare to hope until she read the Odie results. But then after KTs remarks and rereading the scene with Nia and Rocco in the apartment it turned from hope to validation. Not for Nia but for Geoff. It did nothing to alleviate some of my concerns for Nia, but it proved to me that she was… I don't know…rooting for him? Something like that. But yeah I'd always read it like you say. That she didn't dare believe it was possible until she was certain of Odie.

  35. ToBe – I agree that I think the knowledge of Geoff being Odie's biological father is what gives Nia the strength to make the leap to win Geoff back. But I think it was something she always wanted, she was just afraid it was something she could never fix. I don't think that news is what made her eager to want to be with Geoff, I think she was always eager for that. As to what she does if it turns out to be bad news, I think its open to interpretation as I can see cases to be made either way. Maybe she still has the strength to push on in her fight for Geoff, or maybe it crushes her to the point she thinks its hopeless and best to let him go.

  36. Also, as to Nia's motivations on that fateful day at the old house, I go back and forth a lot. I still don't think she consciously did all that to get pregnant. I still think it was a subconscious thing, kind of how KT described it; her body realizing the opportunity would be there.But I also think Jenny hits on something, though I think she gets Nia's motivations wrong. I do think Nia's actions were impacted by the knowledge she got from her daughter that Geoff had moved in with Jenny. I do wonder if a part of her goes to that house determined to be with Geoff because she knows it will ruin his new relationship. I don't think she does it consciously either, or because she hates Geoff and wants him to be miserable. Maybe she sees her chance slipping by, that Geoff may be finally moving on from her, and she needs to do something to bring him back to her. I do think some of that was in play as well.

  37. Thank you, KT, for clearing the air. I was offering an apology, though it did not entail the reversal of my position. My contrition was based upon my poor choice of words; to wit, “contrived.” I think the old saying, “Stick and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is nonsense. Words can be weapons of mass destruction, and we should never underestimate the potential power of what we say to other people.2B=2H, thanks for weighing in as well. I took no offense at any of your remarks. In fact, I find your thorough analyses and willingness to be frank rather refreshing. It's not a quality I encounter in other people very often.At the end of the day, this was an emotionally-loaded experience for everyone, though KT bore the brunt of it. It's hard not to bring one's own fears, insecurities, and regrets into the reading of a good story. I want to emphasize, KT, that you do not write 'dumb erotica books.' If there were no substance in what you wrote, then you wouldn't have enough fan comments by now to fill a shelf in a public library. What you do matters, perhaps more than you know. Please hang in there.

  38. So I see the update bar is back and a new story is almost here. “Sharing Maggie” sounds like a potential LHW type story, but we'll see. Can't wait to find out.

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