New Story and Sequel to Redemption: The Absolution.

No sooner than you guys talked me into doing a sequel, I kind of had the story in my head, and began typing. So, thought I’d go ahead and put up the first chapter, and give you a taste. However, as I was typing, I just could not jump into weaving a happy ever after for Stephanie. Why? Because at this point I didn’t think she deserved it. A friend who read part of the first chapter, mentioned that in hearing both their voices, they seemed to be thinking totally opposite. Yes, and it will be a while before they are trusting and thinking together on the same wave length.

The revelation in the doctor’s office at the end of Redemption was only the beginning of their long journey ahead. I made a note in the first chapter of the new story about how I personally feel. If you want to talk about your own point of view, here is the place. This was my note:

A/N – I’m sorry, I know a lot of you side with Stephanie, but when I began writing again, I just couldn’t. My own mother is worse than her mother, Helen. I may not be right either, but I just never would or could be as aloof or irresponsible thinking as she is. I always strived to do better, and it wasn’t easy because I didn’t have just a little devil on my shoulder saying I couldn’t do anything right, I had TWO parents saying that at the same time. So, I’m sorry, she may be a nice person, but come on? The secrets, the lies, the two-timing. I just can’t give her all my sympathy in this story.

I have a friend like her that I tried to help repeatedly over the years. She was pretty, the guys liked her, she was fun. However, she had a difficult upbringing as well. Daddy abandoned the family, and left them destitute, he was rich, a doctor, never paid any child support. She always had to have a man, always picked the wrong ones, always made the wrong choices. Well, her looks began to fade, she ended up on painkillers, later she was stealing, men set her out, and I had to cut her loose as a friend. I had my own family, and you don’t lie or steal from me when I’m trying to help you. The last time, I bought her clothes, gave her some silver jewelry. She lost the earrings in less than a week. Ironically, she even had a baby that died. Her one and only. Poor little thing had severe birth defects.

She uses men, and even her friends to putter through life, and I’m sorry, but that is Stephanie Plum in a nutshell. What it boils down to is that she may not like to be dependant on anyone, like have someone telling her what to do, but even in the books when she needs money or a place to stay, she goes to the men in her life. Like my friend, she has learned to be a user. Has no appreciation for anything, not even gifts from friends. Now, she’s just reaping the consequences of her actions, and she is damn lucky that Ranger is giving her the time of day. I don’t care what he did in the beginning or the end. He did a lot for her, invested his time and money in her, gave her protection, helped her all the time, but he had no obligation to her. They were friends with benefits. We forget sometimes that Morelli, not Ranger, was her boyfriend.

So we shall see if Stephanie Plum goes the way of my friend or if she finally decides to grow up, and begin making unselfish, and responsible decisions. I promise you that that would be the one and only reason why Ranger would take Angel away from her altogether.

 

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20 thoughts on “New Story and Sequel to Redemption: The Absolution.

  1. Ti88akaRoselle says:

    Ok. First off I want to say a very excellent story and congrats on your book. As I have read many of your fics I am not shocked you havee succeded in outside writing world as well. Well done. I also would like to thank you for a place to post our comments away from fanfic.net. My comments are my thoughts and not a start of WWIII or an attack on the author – you. And I have found to be a growing problem on this site. I have always seen the ability to respond to a writer and that writer respond back a privilege and an honor. It is something we can do with the writers outside fan fic. And let me tell I look for my next update in fanficdom as much if not more than I look for the next novel out in the bookstore.
    I would also like to express my sympathy and sorry not only for you but also for your friend and all involved.
    And really the only reason i am saying someting this time is because I am shocked. And I am not sure if I am posting this in the right blog area cause my thoughts are bouncing all over and if I hadn’t read the first chapter (which I started not to after reading the AN) and it went like it did I wouldn’t have probably even though much of the same thought I had when Ranger was trying to get costody without marring Steph. And Step cast in the role of your friend doesn’t faze me. I have read enough and its a common practice for many different reasons and not a negative thing at all.
    And I commend you for keeping your life on track no matter what. It takes a strength of character and sense of what you want and who you are that is unshakable. Do not treat it as a simple character trait because it is not. It is how I know there is a God. It is something to be celebrated. The ability to in face of all adversary to say know mean and believe that ‘I’ matter no matter what ‘I’ matter and ‘I’ will succeed no matter what. So much props to you.
    Goodness I got myself off track. Oh yes. Ok I got beef. Not with you. Not at all. My beef is with the characters. Not how you have protrayed them. But how they have protrayed themselves. There is a difference. I reread certain parts twice and sometimes three times and yes. That is what it is. So I think it would be easy to list them. By character. And the reason I am doing it is because this is exciting. They are making my think and I have to ask why is what they are doing bugging me. And I finally got some answers.
    Ok in the the first story that scene with Ranger and Steph pissed me off. And I felt he got off light but I couldn’t figure why. And then I realized after reading the beginning for all intense purposes he raped her. Just because she was a prostitute didn’t mean she didn’t have the right to walk away. Maybe he gave her a chance at the hotel or whereever he took her I didn’t read beyond realizing this was going to happen. But I am sure they went over that in therapy and it was a rough time and as the title was redemption I figure Steph sees it as him punishing her. She seems to have forgiven him. And I respect that.
    There is nothing Steph didn’t that warrented her to be cast away to the streets. This is a society and
    a family concerened about the neighbors think. Infact the fact she got training in something else and then was able to get a job to support herself please. She attempted to make more responsible decisions. Her best bet would have been to get on the first bus out of town to another coast after Bobby. But she didnt . She made the mistake thinking she had a family. U cut ties with your friend for saftey reasons. But I wander if you got a call from a rehab facility or social worker that said hey your friend wants you to what is going on with her can she email you or I call and give you updates. Who knows how that pans out. And it doesn’t sound like you treated her like Ranger or Joe.
    Lula was Trenton and in fact despite what happened with Bobby is still waving that gun around and no one a removed it or b she never got a clue come on lula. But u r pissed off because a she let a another hooker train her b didn’t tell you about a still born baby. And so she isn’t my friend and your are going back to Trenton. Yes go. Please. Your actions show why she despite what went down with her and Ranger she is talking to him. Your action and words are worse than what Ranger did. I believe if Steph didn’t have Angel she would have never gone.with Ranger anywhere. She.by her own admin was disassociating.  
    Joe where should I start. You to only care about what others think and what you want. You were selfish when u screwed her in the bakery. You was a dirty little kid (maybe a victim as well of the same thing) and you had no reguard for health of woman u claimed to love or an innocent child whose only crime was to have ranger as her father. Her  biggest mistake was getting back together with you. I tried to read book one and I realize I don’t like his character.
    Grandma mazur shame you say shame. Well Helen had to get it from somewhere. And for them to actually live in that house. No. I am not surprised. Not really.
    I know for a fact there is nothing to make my mom disown me. Other members of my family. Well yep. Don’t dance to their tune. And it screwed me up and almost took me out. But only emotionally. Never acted on any of the crazy thing inside. I clung to that knowlegde even when I didn’t see it. My mom loved me no matter what and colored the decisons I made. I wasn’t really living but all the pitfalls most would have fallen into I didn’t. I knew God loved me as well. And i knew if I broke everylaw had a bizzion kids my mom would have my back. My back not my actions. And that made all thne difference. Lawabiding and kid free and I am in my 30s and taking my life back.
    Having someones back and agreeing with their choices is two different things. Condoning or not condoning their actions has nothing to do with having their back.
    So no. I would not have told them a dang thing. Heck I wouldn’t without talking to my doctor tell them or allow them in my world. Your girl Steph is trying to move forward. That is a process and until that process is over there are good days and bad days. But if you think she was going to share with you the only thing that kept her going the good she saw. That baby got her out of a marriage that would have ended badly. Joe only wanted the Steph he wanted.
    Lester is dealing hurting and honest.
    Ranger s dealing hurting and honest. And I think is trying to give her family one last chance. Plus you camt morn a misscarage? A lost baby is a lost baby. Its like the notion u aren’t a parent til you or the woman gives birth. The minture u both find out u r pregnany u r parents. U have to take of that woman and that baby while it grows. Birth doesn’t make u a parent. And misscarriage doesn’t mean that child is loved any less. Loss if loss and to take that attitude is insenstive of her family.
    As for Steph relaying on people. She doesn’t know how to break the cycle. She tried that was the job with the linlguire that went belly up.
    Steph and Lula remind me on the whole it is all fun and games till someone losses an eye. They were entertainment. And it was funny. And it stoked Rangers ego to be the superhero. If it never did she would have never had the chance to clear Joe of his crime. She would have been shut down from. TPD and Rangeman can argue and spilt hairs about what Steph and Lula was susposed to do but they were charged with protecting the citizens the other citizens and they didn’t. Because if they didn’t get trained then they lose their entertainment and free labor. Lula pulled.her gun Miami and it was dealt with. Steph never carried her gun. She couldn’t use one despite being a crack pot shot. Why would u insist her carry when she can’t shot?
    The truth is in this series everyone uses each other. They are all in a sick sort of codependency type of relationships.
    I love the face Rangers money can’t just make a birth certificate appear.
    I worry about Steph’s train of thought. Steph the person and Steph the actions are not the same. I don’t care how pretty the package is if they can’t separate the two I do not want Angel in that enviroment.
    There will be mistakes I know.
    You have done a great job so far. I know it is a sequel but for me its more of a one possible following out from the first part called Redemtption. And as we never know what the future holds and what choices our characters take it will be interesting to see what happens next. In my head they are off after Remdption working on all of that. Characters I read don’t stop after I finish reading that continue on. So many avenus and outcomes. All exciting in their right.
    So I hope I haven offened you. If so I am sorry. And if there is a way I could have something in a better way in a less confiirtational way, please let me know. Thanks.
    Roselle aka Ti88

  2. basketcse says:

    Roselle, I’m absolutely not offended. Absolution is not going to be a beat up on Stephanie story at all. I felt like some might expect a fairy tale out of Ranger’s declaration of love, and that would be very unrealistic.

    There is a ton of hurt and a big mess that is going to have to be dealt with. I wanted to get all the ugly, the lies, bad feelings, everything out in the very beginning.

    Just like in therapy, they will be dealing with fallout from everywhere. Many people are involved, family and friends. Stephanie is just flat out messed up in the head at this point. Ranger and his patience is going to be tested, and severely.

    There is one thing that I always kind of hate to hear and that is what a pervert Morelli is. I was curious about a neighbor boys kibbles and bits at that young age and participated in a doctor and nurse game. Most kids have. And, every, I mean every single boy in my high school was a Morelli wannabe. Some were just like him and left half the female class laying on the ground behind the bleachers and talked about it. Morelli is kind of like my own husband, and the guy that most of us sleep with every night. He’s a hard working regular Joe, he just wants a particular girl. The guy was seriously wronged in this story. He could have given her a few bucks before he kicked her cheating butt out.

    My friend was so much like Stephanie. Girls, girl, funny, super fun to be around. I wanted nothing more than for her to make a good choice and stick with it. Every time she started college, she quit. She’d get tangled up with another abusive jerk. She lost jobs.

    Every time that I tried to help her, I got hurt. My apartment got broken into, my new car got keyed by her new jerk of the month. It was never ending. When it wasn’t just about me and her any longer, when I had my own family, and I was still getting hurt twenty years later. I finally had to say sayonara to her, and even my own parents. They never did get any better. I was better away from them.

    Along those lines, Angel being in the picture is similar. Stephanie is in no way capable of supporting that baby. She barely supported herself and Rex. So I wasn’t sure, but I hope what you’re saying is that you’ll stick with the story to see how it all comes out.

    Thanks again for talking here!~Mandy

  3. Laurie says:

    Hey Mandy!
    Well I stayed away from the decaf and was so happy to see you uploaded the first chapter of the sequel so quickly. Girl you rock! Talk about starting it with a bang. Almost spit that liquid ambrosia all over my iPad thinking “No he did not just do that.” You never disappoint with the emotions you pull from all of us who are reading this tragedy unfold. It’s like a slow moving train collision, you know it’s going to be bad but you can’t do anything to avoid the carnage and you can’t look away. You my friend are a master storyteller. (Note the bowing gesture here.)

    I am sorry to hear about your real life experiences first with your family and then with your friend. So been there myself with a friend but you can’t save everyone and sometimes the best thing you can do for your own sanity is walk away from toxic relationships. Painful but necessary. It truly sucks but then again, it’s all of these experiences that make you the person you are today. It’s in overcoming these challenges and obstacles that builds the character you have as a person. Although I’ve had plenty of conversations (one-way only) with God letting him know I’ve built up plenty of character now and can go without any more challenges in my life for a while. 😉

    That said, I did want to comment on this first chapter. It was a rough one. I feel you’re right that at this point Steph is just emotionally and mentally screwed up. Serious couch time needed. Life isn’t fair and while it’s her actions/inaction that have created consequences, sometimes life just dumps crap on your head when you’re down. Not her fault? Perhaps but again…life=not fair. She’s had her share of both. Her fall back thinking of planning her escape with Angel is unrealistic in what’s best for the baby. As a mom, you have to forego the easy path to do what’s right for your kid. Painful and uncomfortable as it may be for her to be in this situation, Ranger is the only way for Angel to get the documentation and help she needs. A baby with a disability is going to need resources that unfortunately she just can’t provide. This is where I hope Steph does show growth and make a good decision. Does she want to run? Hell yes, but I’m hoping she’ll talk herself out of it knowing it’s not what’s best to save Angel. Perhaps her talking this out with her therapist will nudge her in this decision. I’ve had plenty of days of wanting to scream and go running from my house leaving my husband and/or 3 kids behind but luckily my best friend lives 5 houses down and always asks, “Do I need to uncork the Merlot, or bring bleach and a shovel?” (Luckily a little screaming and a glass of Merlot go a long way!)

    However, this situation with Ranger is beyond toxic as well. He’s acting on pure guilt and his fall back method of taking over without bothering to even talk to Steph about what they should do to memorialize the baby was just wrong in so many ways. He knows she’s fragile, he just basically told her it’s her fault Angel lost her hearing. If she had given up the baby she could probably hear. Another layer of guilt she now has to carry even if she had the best intentions in saving her. Then he announces to TLL about Steph lying to them and about the baby. He tells them he’s planned a memorial, when it is and where they are going to put her ashes. How did he think inviting all his family (who he never introduced to Steph when they were semi-together), and calling her family without knowing anything that happened was going to turn out? He thought a day for her to get used to the idea was going to be enough? He has things to tell them? Questions why she didn’t tell them? How about just talking with Steph? She was the one that carried the baby for 7 months. Felt it’s heartbeat, it’s kicks, had to deliver it and try CPR to save it. Could he really be that clueless? My friend’s baby was stillborn after the cord wrapped around its neck at almost 9 months. Tragic. She was devastated emotionally for two years, becoming a shell of my friend. She once told me the memorial they had, made it that much worse for her. Everyone telling her how sorry they were. All she wanted was a quiet time with just her husband to spread the ashes at the beach. She folded to his and his family pressure to have a memorial for all their friends and family. Much like this will be, it was a train wreck in the making. Even with the best intentions, there were questions of what happened, why it happened, why didn’t she feel something? Advice on how she should/could get over it. How to feel better. It was a nightmare.

    I’m hoping Tank will come to be the voice of reason with Ranger and with Les and Lula. Clue Ranger in to the fact that the memorial should have been a time for them to heal as the parents (not a couple) and find peace with saying goodbye and move on. Not the spectacle you know it’s going to be. The people invited to come have no connection to the baby, no connection anymore to Steph. They don’t need the memorial for them to heal and move on. He did this so he could put the baby behind him. It’s what he does. Situation: baby’s ashes. Solution: schedule memorial, put her ashes in ground, move on…Check, done. Now even more people will learn how she screwed up, caused her divorce, lied to her friends/family, damaged Angel physically because she didn’t go through with the doc visit when she went in. This really could have been a transforming/healing step for them both, his “fixing” it totally destroyed that opportunity. I’m hoping Tank will change his mind.

    Tank seriously needs to sit Lula down too. Give her a little refresher course on what it means to be a friend. Her short term memory on Steph “her friend” saving her without judgement, Lula’s failure to back her up/leave her while skip tracing (didn’t she bail to get her weave done causing Bobby to have to step in and back her up?), gossiping on Steph’s life, waving a gun in a baby store? What happened to that talk? Lula causes more mayhem and chaos than good, yet she’s ready to bail and cut her ties with Steph. Nice slap in the face. Where was she the whole two years since Bobby’s death? So Steph lied to her? Heck, I would too. She knew Lula was going to run back to Ranger with the story.

    Les I’m on the fence about. Really why is he here? He told Steph he still blames her for Bobby’s death even if he was going to die of cancer. He’s not there to support her. Doesn’t really seem to have been a friend to begin with, admitting he didn’t see what Ranger saw in her other than entertainment and amusement. Ranger admitted to him he denied Steph when she came to him and Les even told him that’s fucked up, but why again did he come? He was banging Alieda, then hooked up with Sylvia. Ranger or Tank could have told her about Bobby. Tank should just tell him he should leave, why even stay for the memorial? He’s so angry he’s not going to do either Ranger or Steph any good. So much for his “love” of Sylvia right? Boy he forgot about her quickly enough. Hmm, wonder if that little blip is going to cause any problems?

    As far as Aleida (I still think we haven’t heard the last of her!), the Plums (trust me there isn’t enough room this time for another rant) and Edna (I’m just sad she caved and gave up on Steph) I’ll have to wait with everyone to see how the next chapters unfold. 🙂

    Whew, okay now that I’ve spewed my crazy thoughts all over you, take a breath from reading and know that I think you are an amazing storyteller. I haven’t been this emotionally invested in fictional characters since Veiland’s “Change in the Wind.” This little rant of mine is by no means a critique of your writing. I honestly love the angst and hope to eventually see Steph grow a backbone and stand up for herself, her choices and deal with her mistakes. Like us all, she had the “potential” to be a strong survivor. It’s what we all hope fallen heroes will become. It may not be a HEA for them as a couple, but perhaps something good will come of it all and she will find happiness in her life. I’m guessing that’s what Bobby would have wanted for her. Guess we’ll see.

    (hopefully soon!)
    Always a fan,
    Laurie

    • basketcse says:

      Haha! Hi Laurie. You know not long into Redemption, I was dubbed the dark Plum writer. I thought that was funny. I’ve never been afraid of making people a little uncomfortable. Shoot, I’m that way with my humor too. If I’m with you, and I have to make a trip to the facilities, you may hear me say something when I come back like, “Wish I hadn’t eaten that third jalapeno with the pizza last night.” When I was a travel manager, I would have three hands slapping their foreheads, and somebody mumbling, “We didn’t need to hear that, boss.” LOL

      Most of the reviews so far are positive, but a few mistakenly think that I’m writing a Stephanie bashing story. Well, I’m not, but what do you do with good news, and bad news? Get the bad out of the way first. All the ugly, all the lies and secrets need to come out first, before they can start putting themselves back together. Mostly what you’re seeing in the beginning is a bunch of surprise and hurt feelings.

      We know too, that Stephanie’s one shrink session with the revelation didn’t cure her of all the messed up in her head. Ranger knows it, and he is not a knight in shining armor in this story. Yes, he is, and was a big part of her problem.

      I hope that everyone will stay with the story like they did in the last one. I have never written a story to hurt characters before. I like to write stories that have meaning, that portray real emotions and life.

      Thanks again for the words! Mandy

  4. Laurie says:

    So is that anything like the Dark Knight? Ha. Personally I like the joker myself. Sure he’s a bit of a sociopath, but he got to blow stuff up and then got to ask, “why so serious?”

    Don’t let the haters get you down. I’m sure the majority of readers will get it and hang in there. The story is like a jig saw puzzle. You just have to be patient enough for the 1000 pieces to become one picture. Or if it’s anything like my crazy life, like the Ikea bookcase that mysteriously has a couple screws left over.

    • basketcse says:

      Jig saw puzzle! Perfect analogy for this particular story. Get it all out on the table and then try to put the big mess together.

      I’m sure the readers will come around. The first chapter was very rough, as will be the next couple. My regular readers grouch and grumble at me all the time.

  5. Sandy says:

    Hi Mandy
    I was pretty sure when you agreed to write a sequel it was not going to be “sugar and spice and everything nice”. That just wouldn’t be a basketcase fic! As i wrote in my fanfic review, I think most of us know a “Steph”. What I find rather interesting, though, is the dialog these characters have created in the last year. It is interesting to listen to and read about how people are analyzing and really thinking about how these Plum characters have been written and evolved, or not, in the course of events. I discovered the Plum novels late in life so read them all up to 19 in the course of about 18 months. While I enjoyed them, especially the early ones, there was always something about them that bothered me. Through the fanfic sites and especially writers like you and like Victoria Eiland I’ve been able to discern some of the reasons the novels bothered me. While I really love these characters they are majorly screwed up and depending on what I read, they can be fixed! My point is that a new, or really not so new, phenomenon has happened. People are discussing books, stories, and points of view. I think that is something that had almost completely stopped with the influx of all the electronic devices we have in our lives which are able to do our thinking for us. I am encouraged that you have given folks a forum to discuss, sometimes be critical, but most of all communicate in a pretty positive way. Do we care about an HEA for Steph and Ranger? Absolutely. Will it affect the outcome of world peace? No. But then, it’s not supposed to. Thank you for giving us a place to escape for a little while and caring enough about a group of fictional characters to want them to be better than they were originally written. An added bonus is the fact that so many writers on this site go on to write outside of this series so we are already familiar with favorite authors and brand new reading material.

    • basketcse says:

      Allow me to be a bit of a dork for a moment.. What a super-duper point of view! LOL Very healthy. I worry sometimes because I see the readers get so emotionally wrapped up in the stories. They relate to Stephanie, and know people like my friend, have their own Helen for a mother, or Morelli for a boyfriend. Long for a Ranger like character to love and watch over them.

      My original stalker lady was one of those. It was almost like she was in a virtual reality machine, and not just reading simple fiction. Fiction is meant to help us escape, and you are right, it’s healthy to have a forum to discuss how we feel about what we’re reading, and even what we’ve experienced that relates to the story.

      I just encourage the readers to compartmentalize it, and close the book when finished with the chapter. Tomorrow is another day…

  6. Laurie says:

    Hey Mandy I thought you would totally get a kick out of this. Saturday I arranged for six of my friends to take my BFF to a drag show brunch at a local gay club for her 50th birthday. Had a BLAST. I highly recommend going. We didn’t realize it happened to be Gay Pride Day downtown that day as well. We had a wonderful time walking around and spent a few dollars at the dunk tank sponsored and manned by gorgeous male underwear models. Hey, just doing our share to help fundraise! As we strolled, we were approached by four very hairy, white-faced nuns with parasols no less, dressed in drag. They were the “The San Diego Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.” After snapping a few pics which I could send you if you need a laugh, they gave us each a bookmark. It reads:

    “Be it known that on this day you are granted Unconditional Absolution of Stigmatic Guilt by the personal Divine authority present in all our hearts. Go forth and live your life
    -without having to live up to standards others might use to judge you
    -without having to feel bad that your beliefs are different
    -without having to deny who you are so others may feel comfortable
    -without having to apologize for having your own set of morals, values, and beliefs
    -without having to apologize for not being “normal.”

    I found it fitting not just for the gay community but for everyone. I gave a copy to all three of my kids (my oldest son is gay and it made him smile). Made me laugh thinking Steph in your story could have used this bookmark too. Of course, like my luck, it had to be given by four hairy, six foot tall drag queen nuns with parasols. 😉

  7. basketcse says:

    Haha! Excellent! In the last chapter, I poked at Ranger’s Catholic beliefs a little. I poke fun at anybody with what I consider a radical or ridiculously wrong kind of belief. In other words, those that hurt people or single them out. I’m equal opportunity not prejudice, I’ll nail them all. My husband is Catholic and the first time I heard that limbo thing, like Tank, I told him how stupid I thought that was.

    My mom got a weird religion in the 80’s. The crazy speaking tongues and eyeballs rolling back in the head one. She kicked us all out, said she wasn’t going to hell to be with us. Even my Dad. I laughed at that because I was the first, and he didn’t even try to help. Yeah, and you guys wonder why I’m nuts. LOL

    Those guys flying those planes on 911? Bet they are in the company of a bevy of hot virgins now. All with horns, tails, hooves and wielding pitch forks, taking turns jabbing them up their dumb butts.

    No patience with stupidity here.

  8. jackiew1954 says:

    Reblogged this on jackiewarden and commented:
    Hey, Merry Christmas chick! Hope you are doing well and miss your writing!!

  9. N says:

    So I have just finished reading both redemption and absolution in a day in a half. I have not read any of your other plum fictions yet. I must confess that I am a total BABE ! All I have to say is that holy moly you killed batman , or at least our idea of him. I am not mad at you , sometimes its fun to take a ride on the flip side. This one was jam packed with highs lows twist turn and crazy bumps. While I can’t say that I am happy with where it ended the ride was amazing.

    I see that from reading the comments you based this version of Stephanie on a friend of your. My question for you is where does the book version of Stephanie and your friends story meet and end. I get the resemblance you feel for the two, but do you view them as one in the same and feel that Stephanie can never get it together because you friend still has not. She may screw up time and time again but However Stephanie is not total without any redeeming qualities . Stephanie is more than just a pretty face and entertainment , I see Stephanie a little more complex and dimensional than this friend you would like to place next to her in your nut shell. I agree with you J.E . has turned Stephanie in to a user in her later books. She does not even try anymore and calls Ranger far too often as if her were her personal errand boy. I wanted to slap her in FLF when Ranger ask her to take a job with him. She balked because Morelli might not like it. After everything that Ranger has done for her, how could she possible think twice a bout granting him such a simple request? Book by book J.E. seems to be ruining this character flattening her in to a single dimension.

    You were right when you said that Ranger did rescue her from her life in Newark. No matter what his motive he helped her an Angel out of hopeless future. That does not mean I agree with his behavior!
    In life we all get thrown curves balls, some of us of able to seamlessly adjust and get past them , other are knocked down and have a had time recovering .I read a Quote the said something about “I became angry when life threw me a curve ,but in the end it was the curve that saved me”. That is what happened here , Ranger took her out of the pan and pulled her in to the fire. His actions were disgustingly reprehensible . This curve he threw Steph saved her by forcing her to take charge of not only her life, but the tiny one that had been depending on her. One of Stephanie’s biggest problem has always been being able to acknowledge here mistakes learn from move on and not continue to repeat them. It wasn’t you fault ? Come on at some point it has to be.

    Morelli had every reason to be hurt , he was lied to by the woman he loved and cheated on. However he and Ranger share some of the same fault. There is something just plain wrong about picking a woman up at her lowest point and coercing to marry you simply because she is out of options. Both men had their own agenda for Stephanie’s life and little of it had to do with her desires or happiness. I have to winder did either one of them really love her or did they both just want to win at the game that had being going on for far too long.

    As for Ranger and Stephanie being friend with benefits , I have to disagree with you . Yes they hooked up a couple of times but there is not indication that this had been or was going to be an ongoing thing. Yes I know ,it’s still not right.

    • N says:

      I knew from the star that there would be no happily ever after for Babe and Ranger from the beginning of redemption. There is no way you humiliate and degrade someone that way and have bygones be bygones.

      You said you plan to write a story of redemption for Lester. Sorry that man is just nothing but sex and evil. He is the type of man you love to hate.He is a loose canon ready to blow.

      You are one talented writer and I enjoy your work. I must tell you that you have my mind jumping in several different direction. There are some loose ends you left with Ranger and a story for them is swirling around and keeping me awake. I just may have put pen to paper so I can get some sleep LOL.

    • mandycolton says:

      Ah, explaining the last two stories I did. Well, as far as my friend, she never got her life straightened out. In no way was I writing the Stephanie character like my friend or I wouldn’t have ended both stories with Stephanie smart enough to win the whole awful game. I don’t think she is stupid, just inadvertently fell into some bad behaviors because of her attraction and push and pull between two men. She’s stuck and can’t or won’t get herself out the way she is written. JE herself is responsible for jading me where the characters are concerned, leaving them all in a pathetic kind of limbo. I wrote every kind of story until I was a little aggravated with all of them. I wanted to write a really creative story and I guess I did give them kind of a spanking. LOL

      You gotta admit that these characters are ideal for any canvas. You can do great things with them. Don’t think I hate them, I LOVE them. Surprisingly, I had the best time with all the readers because their minds were working just like yours, they were guessing at twists and turns and so we turned it kind of interactive. Had a ball even though it didn’t quite end the way most prefer. You gotta admit that those two stories will stay with you. They do me and I’ll admit I made myself shiver with ’em. Hehehe!

      • N says:

        Glad to hear you don’t hate , because I was truly wondering if you did. Especially Stephanie. I can see how you could easily get jaded with them do to their lack of evolution , no one stays the same forever. I read somewhere that J.E. never plans to age the charters past a certain point. I get that but does it mean that they can’t grow, change, or progress? In the last few books Stephanie seem to actually be moving in reverse.

        Yes those stories will stick with you. That is not a bad thing. As far as the ending again I am not mad , good to see that Stephanie finally got her act together and was able to stand on her own two feet. The one thing, that still has hold of me is the downward spiral that Ranger took. In my mind he had always been a good guy with a big heart that did some bad things. Now we are left to wonder if that is true or has he always been sick and twisted with a hunger for blood and violence? Was Joe right when he call ranger a psycho? There is a story that is writing it’s self in my head about who this Ranger is and how he became so very twisted and such an unhinged person. I hope you don’t mind if I move it from my head on to paper. I don’t plan to post it anywhere and it will most like stay in a spiral notebooks like most everything else I write.

        By the way I still think Lester is evil and give me a major case of the creeps.

  10. mandycolton says:

    Write it, write it! Post it and tell the readers why you are delving into him in that way, into his psyche. They will love that! The way JE has written him, he kind of seems like an insensitive person playing with her emotions anyway. I was grouched at for delving into the question of what he does, when Steph is with Joe. That kind of man is NOT celibate. Go for it! Get creative and let it go. I’ll support you for sure.

    • N says:

      So , I went and did it , I wrote the first chapter and posted It just a short chapter, but it is going somewhere. I am still waiting for it to show up. The title is El Diablo viste de rojo no negro ( The devil wears red not black). Thanks for the encouragement.

  11. mandycolton says:

    So very proud of you. I really love your back story. I could even see you weaving this heartbreaking drama into a truly convincing acceptable ending for the characters.

  12. wheyprotein says:

    Olá, gostei extraordinariamente do seu tema!
    vi que o conteúdo muito bem escrito. estou escrevendo um blogue no mesmo assunto e gostaria de ver se você tem alguma sugestão para quem está começando a escrever sobre isso.
    abraços!

    • mandycolton says:

      I translated this in Portuguese as: Hello, I liked extraordinarily your theme. The content is very well written. I am writing a blog on the same subject and would like to see if you have any suggestion for who who is starting to write about this. Hugs!

      Hello and hug for you as well. Thank you. Could you be more specific about which content in particular you will be blogging? Mandy

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