Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Two-Cent Tuesday: Second Chance

Last month I talked about the Chances Are series, which begins with Chance of A Lifetime. Incidentally, you can download that book for FREE in any format on Smashwords right now--no coupon code needed!  (The idea being if you like it you'll actually pay money for the other two, though I tend to believe people will download the first one and not read it for a year or two and then probably not buy the other two.  Prove me wrong!)  Now here's book 2:  Second Chance!

Whereas Chance of a Lifetime was perhaps more action-oriented, especially at the beginning and end, Second Chance is more drama-oriented.  It takes place a year after the first one.  Stacey is still a young woman and finding it difficult to make a real life for herself.  This is emphasized when she goes on a date with a guy and just about everything goes wrong.  She speaks with Dr. Palmer, the doctor who's trying to find a way to make Stacey back into Steve, who recommends Stacey go see a therapist she knows named Dr. Robert MacIntosh.

Later Stacey goes out with her friends Madison--also Steve's estranged daughter--and Grace, whom Stacey had a brief affair with.  They go to a karaoke bar and there Stacey discovers that her female body has a real talent for singing.  She even gets a gig at the bar for a few days later.

But during the gig Stacey starts to develop stage fright and flees in the middle of it.  Madison eventually tracks her down.  But then Stacey and Madison are both abducted!  They're drugged and taken to an old warehouse.

There Stacey finds out the one who kidnapped her is named Dr. Ling.  A year ago Ling's father died while trying to buy the formula for the drug that was used on Stacey.  His son has been trying to make his own version of it and so has captured Stacey to analyze the drug still in her system.  Maddy is just a nice bonus for him.

Eventually Ling gets his version ready to test, first on Maddy and then on Stacey.  The end result is that they both become little Chinese kids--Maddy becomes 5 and Stacey becomes 10.  Ling plans to take Stacey and Maddy back to China so he can show them off and then eventually dissect them for science.  But a kindly nurse helps Stacey and Maddy escape.

Stacey and Maddy find Jake Madigan--Steve's old partner, in whose house Stacey had been living.  Jake convinces his wife to take the little kids in and then they begin to look for a way to change Stacey and Maddy back to normal.

Since this promises to take a long time, Stacey and Maddy try to live like normal kids.  With some help from Dr. MacIntosh they get enrolled at a snooty boarding school, where Stacey makes a new friend and develops a crush on a boy in her class.

The gist is that Stacey gets to have a childhood of her own.  This helps her to sort out some of the issues she'd been dealing with as an adult.  Plus it brings her closer than ever to Madison.

But all good things must come to an end...

You can buy it here in all ebook formats from Amazon, B&N, or Smashwords--it's up to you!

Here are a couple of Fun Facts.  When I was thinking up the story I knew I wanted Stacey to discover some gift from her sex change.  It seemed pretty obvious that going from a man to a woman couldn't make you a better painter or sculptor or writer (I assume).  But music seemed like a viable option, especially singing since Stacey would have a different voice than Steve, not only because Steve is a guy but also because Steve smoked like a chimney for 35 years so his voice would be like a bucket of gravel falling down a flight of stairs.  As far as what Stacey sings, she ends up singing a lot of old Cole Porter songs.  Why?  Why not?  Really, I have no idea.  I hadn't hardly listened to any of them ahead of time; it was just one of those things I picked almost randomly and then created a bunch of stuff to make it fit.  Stacey's singing career takes center stage (punny!) in the third book.  Both this one and the third book feature a verse from an original song, which was just enough to make me realize I shouldn't try to write songs.  Josh Joplin I am not.


  1. This should be a popular series as I know "The Sex Gates" from my publisher seemed to sell well a few years ago.

    1. You'd think that but so far no one seems to want to actually pay for the books. Download it free on Smashwords? Sure. Buy it and then refund it right away on Amazon? Sure. Pay and keep it? A pox on thee!

      I added the Sex Gates to my wish list. Maybe I'll go buy it and refund it right away. Amazon apparently has no problem with people doing that.

  2. If people knew about all of the time and hard work that goes into writing a novel and seeing it published, maybe they wouldn't be so inclined to steal. I know; I'm being naive.

  3. That plot reminds me of Hobgoblin for some reason Pat. Anyway that would seem to be a natural gift. Good job not just going for the obvious.

  4. Buying and getting a refund is genius. I remember when it was popular to do that with video games. Sucks you're getting such weirdness. Still, it sound's pretty good.

  5. A weird premise. I'll have to think on it.


  6. Honestly, I keep forgetting about these books. I'm still working through the Scarlet Knight. But they sound really good. Seriously. I like the way you're expanding the premise out from the more action-y first one.

    As for writing songs into books, I think that always goes badly. The book I remember most often is one called "Little Heroes" by Norman Spinrad, where they create a sort of rock-star/drug pusher, and his songs are supposed to be phenomenal, but they just come off as sort of stupid poems.

    And Anne Rice, I think, tried to write songs into "The Vampire Lestat," where Lestat was a rock star. I don't think that worked as well, either.

    The Cole Porter thing is a nice touch.



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