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Thursday, August 15, 2013



Hardworking, devoted wife Jessica races home from her hectic corporate schedule to spend an unexpected take-five the boss gave her with none other than her loving husband Byron. But the gut-wrenching scene she finds on the bedroom floor knocks the wind out of her. Betrayed, angry, wounded, it’s all she can do not to drag Byron to the nearest lawyer and demand divorce. As the evening unfolds Jessica opens her heart to the man she thought she once knew, and takes a chance on love. Can they work through his infidelity? And if so, what will it take for her to forgive him? Time, it is said, can heal all wounds. Can it really . . . heal all wounds?

Beautiful Imposter is an adult contemporary short story with mature language and scenes.

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Praise for Beautiful Imposter

“Genius! . . . Wow!!! What an emotional ride that was.” — Briselda Phoenix Bouquet

“Five Stars for a well played tug on the imagination and fulfillment of emotional fruition.” Chasity Breeze

“Beautiful Imposter is a short and sweet story that gives us a little taste of everything. I enjoyed the book; but I enjoyed it more the second time.” JoeCoolReview

“Incredible . . . WOW! . . . Amazing. I liked the twist.” — Leah Brimhall

“I loved the story.” — Anna Kristell

“The story was captivating it had a hold on me from start to finish . . . Sensational effort!” Marie Obradovic

“I felt the emotions and pain that swamped them throughout.” Indigo Sin

“I found myself feeling for the characters, eyes welling up, anger and in awe.” Amanda Wadsworth Mandigo

“Beautiful Imposter is a short and sweet story. I look forward to reading more of (his) work in the future.” Melvina Davis


I am cursed, or gifted, depending on how you look at it, with Creative Unblock. I never have a shortage or ideas or creative solutions to problems. It may be that I am a descendent of a long line of clothing designers and artisans; it may be that the right side of my brain fires easier than does the left side.

Either way, I attribute the grease of that unblock to my college newspaper days, when, after we (the newspaper staff) got our butts handed to us at a journalism competition, that drive home was life changing. We came back to our newsroom, bruised and beat, and wondering what is it that makes the perennial show winners so great at what they do. It didn’t take us long to realize that what separated us from them one thing. We saw it in each other. The next day, we accepted only excellence from each other.

Well, since that fateful afternoon, way back before we were partying like it was 1999, we tapped into each other’s strengths. We helped each other. We supported each other. We carpooled. For many people high school is the best years of their lives. For me it was my college years.

I have a decent eye for art. It was just untrained for newspaper design. The day I became editor-in-chief I happened to be strolling through the quad, and as fate would have it, I bumped into the director of the graphic arts program. Nice guy. Hard teacher. He made you work. He pushed his students to see what was there and what could be. Much like Michelangelo working with marble. Both saw what needed to be taken away, to free what was inside.

The director said to me, “Your newspaper looks like shit. Take some classes. Learn how to design it properly.” I laughed. It wasn’t a nervous laugh. I had the same thought. Still, if you knew him you knew whenever he said stuff like this it meant, one, he liked you and, two, he was giving honest feedback, plus, three, that ever-so wicked quality that great teachers have when they point to the distant horizon and then give a hungry student a swift kick in the sails. It was great to hear his regular feedback, as brutal as it was.

I remember that day like it was yesterday.

It’s the day my creativity unblocked.

I’d like to say it was those many years ago when I played the piano or played the tuba in my high school marching band, or sang in church choir, but nope, that was the day. He lit a fire under my right brain that to this day has never diminished. I refer to that fire whenever I create, as I write a story or prepare graphics work.

I used to hustle for freelance work, but not so much now. I have a few clients I produce work for throughout the year, but nothing to the scale I was doing years ago. Still, I look forward to those e-mails asking for graphics services or an editor asking me to chase a news story.

I’m semi-retired now. Journalism was my first calling. There are days I miss the newsroom, but as many a journalist has discovered, it’s one thing to follow the story . . . and an entirely different business to follow the newsroom. The journalism job market has changed. To stay in the business you have to move. That’s risky. And, in our situation moving is impractical.

In that time of renewal my wife and I regrouped. Without too much discussion, she went for it. My wife applied to university, got accepted, finished her undergrad, and is now halfway through her Master’s in Counseling Psychology program.

Which, by extension, turned me into domestic dad.

I had no idea how much work goes into being the stay-at-home parent. Blew my mind. Necessity, you may have heard, is the mother of invention . . . the father of it too! Housework really isn’t all that hard to figure out. As I learned over the last few years, the true talent of the stay-at-home parent is in the mastery of the finer details: the cooking (which also means the grocery shopping—for everyone!), the doctor’s appointments, the paperwork, the laundry (because delicates are not washed with jeans!) and the multitasking.

Took me a while but I got a handle on it. Murphy’s Law was my good friend for most of that time. He liked to follow me around the house and peek into every chore and cabinet he could squeeze his damn nose into. But, thankfully, he slipped out and hasn’t returned. Thank the Muses I’ve got some creative time again. I was afraid the right side of my brain was shriveling.

See, I had a point.

That fire I was talking about doesn’t come with a warning label. It constantly crackles and dances. I have more ideas stirring in my head than I’ll ever have time to write. Not a bad problem really. I’d rather have Creative Unblock than have the other thing.

I was listening to my voice notes on the way to 7-Eleven the other day and realized how much back-story I had created for Beautiful Imposter. As much as 95 percent of it is not in the finished story. This is typical of authors who develop back-story, but what I discovered was how much I had.

About three weeks ago, toward the end of July, I sent out ARCs to a number of interested readers and reviewers. Beautiful Imposter is my first self-published short story. The feedback I got from those readers proved invaluable. And, every one unanimously wanted more. Naturally, I went back to my voice notes. I record notes for every story. It’s easier to say it than to write it, for me at least. I’m a visual person. I see it forming before words can even express it. As a storyteller, I see the story, in full color, the characters, locations, emotions, sounds . . . the details. I record these.

That library of voice notes got me thinking about a follow up. Once I finish the manuscript I’ve pitched to a romance publisher I’ll be diving into the follow up to Beautiful Imposter full steam. I have no title yet. I only have a premise and a road map of all the steps the characters will be taking.

In the meantime, I’m juggling family schedules, the kids, errands, cooking and cleaning, getting in some exercise time to stay fit, and brewing coffee. Oh, and by the way, Lion Kona Coffee is my personal favorite. I like Illy and a few other brands but hands down, Lion Kona is the best. There are a few places in town that sell these delicious grown-in-the-lush-fertile-volcanic-soil-of-Hawaii grounds. And I will walk there if I have to. Brewing a fresh pot of Lion Kona is like opening up my house to the rain and evergreen foliage. There’s nothing quite like those coffee beans. Pares well with a book.

Thanks for stopping by. I’m usually on Facebook chatting away. Pop in for a visit. If you need some topics for conversation, I’m a sci-fi geek. Batman and Superman will never beat each other; they’ll only get in each other’s way. I like Smallville and Merlin. I watch West Wing regularly. I own the DVDs, although I think it’s on Netflix now. And if I have to watch one more Disney movie I think I may just go nuts. Except for Toy Story 3. Watching Buzz Lightyear get reset back to factory is priceless. Hearing him yammer away in Spanish and then get a little loose with Jesse as they move across the floor is a source of endless laughter. Needless to say, my kids love the Gypsy Kings.

All the best,


Beautiful Imposter
Alex Shippe
Copyright 2013 Alex Shippe

Excerpt from Beautiful Imposter
46 steps, she thought, as she closed the door, frowning, wondering where Byron was.
Between the time Constance had issued shore leave and the time Jessica had left the office she tried reaching him. She called five times. And sent five texts, more.
Either her scatterbrain husband had mistakenly left his cell phone on the kitchen counter or he was deliberately ignoring her calls, which didn’t make her feel any better.
To be fair though, Byron wasn’t expecting her for another five hours.
A tantalizing thought came across her mind just then.
What if Byron was out looking for a gift for her? She wouldn’t put it passed him to do that. He knew how hard she’d been working on this project, how much this contract meant to her, the company.
She let her imagination wonder over the possibilities . . . lilacs . . . jewelry . . . a his and her spa treatment.
She let the image sink in. If only he had answered his phone.
36 steps, Jessica huffed. Fine.
But it wasn’t fine.
She couldn’t think of a better way to spend this afternoon gift than with him, together, his soft strong hands around the bell of her waist, his muscular thighs anchored to the floor, propping her up by the thighs, thrusting in and out of her, insisting she reach climax first—holding out until she did—followed by a shower and then yogurt with fruit and granola along with a crisp cold bottle of Moscato.
She felt flush with excitement as she crossed the floor. His loss.
Her loss too, she knew, but not if she had anything to say about it. Time was ticking.
Dropping her keys and purse onto the dining room table that split the eating from lounging areas, she made her way across the great room and to the serving counter, surprised she didn’t find Byron’s forgotten cell phone collecting cob webs.
“That bum! He is screening my calls.”
Irritated, she had a mind to send him a picture text of her topless, along with the message: They miss you.
She missed him terribly.
Fine. So what’ll it be then? Bath bubbles? Bath salts? She couldn’t decide.
She had so many choices.
26 more steps, she thought. Almost there.
Two steps later she heard voices from the bedroom. “Fuck me!”


Smashwords. It has the adult filter on Smashwords, FYI.



  1. Great post! It takes a lot to get a comment like the one from the professor and have it help, not hurt! Glad it lit a fire :)

  2. Whenever I'm in the area I try to stop by to catch up. The day I became a professional designer was a proud day for him. He welcomed me into the industry and wished me luck. We were equals and might be competing for the same jobs. We never have but just the same. It was a great compliment that he considered me at his level of talent and expertise, though he had more years and been part of the changing standards over the last three decades.


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