Thursday, December 31, 2009

Raven Shifter Romance

The raven shifter in Paranormal Romance isn't common. So, why would I pick the raven as a hero for The Forbidden Chamber? For me, the symbolism of the raven in the Gothic novel had much to do with the choice. The dark and moody setting. The dark and moody hero. The dark and moody...
You get the picture.
Here are 13 points to ponder about the raven:
  1. Ravens are familiar in myth and lore in civilizations from the Vikings to the Native Americans. The superstitions around the bird are various and worldwide--from the belief that the raven created the world, to the superstition that the raven foretells death. Lots of mystery and fantasy around this avian.
  2. The Tower of London has its own myth, that the tower/monarchy will fall if the ravens leave their roost there. As symbols of a tower known for executions, it's no surprise that the imagery of ravens in a Gothic tower came about.
  3. That master of the Gothic himself, Edgar Allan Poe penned the famous "The Raven" with the chilling and well known phrase: Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."
  4. Ravens are frequently included on covers of Gothic Romance novels. That hint of gothicness sets a tone and mood immediately.
  5. Ravens have a complex societal structure, their flock is called an unkindness, and they are known to be monogamous and mate for life (well... as far as any animals mate for life.)
  6. Ravens maintain strong familial relationships. They are intelligent and playful. They collect shiny/new objects as juveniles but as they get older, they avoid new things. Sounds sort of human, doesn't it?
  7. A shifter who flies, hunts, mates for life, has a fantasy-like myth/lore background, and is dark and dangerous. Who can resist?

    Here are six stories featuring raven shifters:

  8. The Forbidden Chamber by Ella Drake. Available now from Samhain Publishing as an ebook, in print August 2010.
  9. Last of the Ravens by Linda Winstead Jones. Just finished this enjoyable read with the unique concept of a man who can shift into a flock of ravens.
  10. Kiss Me Deadly by Shannon Stacey.
  11. Raven by Alison Paige
  12. Heart of the Raven” by J.C. Wilder in the two-book anthology Paradox I (ebook) / Sacrifice (print)
  13. Grounded: a Hayle Raven Story by Ella Drake. This is a followup short story for The Forbidden Chamber.
    Grounded is a freebie, available at the Samhellion, here.

What comes to mind when you think of ravens? Do you know of any other raven shifter romances?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Free Read: Tin and Paper

Tin and Paper by Ella Drake

A modern fairytale relived when a war-injured soldier comes home to claim his ballerina.

Get this free short story at the Samhellion.
Or, download the pdf directly.

Tin and Paper is a reimagining of The Steadfast Tin Soldier but with a twist. Let me know what you think!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Space-D: Episode Two. A Daphne Adventure

Excerpt Monday LogoWelcome to the special Christmas/New Year Full Reads for Excerpt Monday. This month, in addition to our typical excerpt week, we're having a week of full stories written by several fabulous EM writers. Excerpt Monday site! or click the banner.


When last we saw Daphne, she'd just gotten the better of a bunch of creepy crawly carnivorous space worms. Today it will all change for her. Take a look at the next installment of Space-D.

Space-D: Episode Two. A Daphne Adventure.

Posted on my website here. Available as pdf download.

If you haven't read the first short story, it's available on my website. Also available in a variety of download formats.



Links to other Christmas/New Year Free Reads
Note: I have not personally screened these excerpts. Please heed the ratings and be aware that the links may contain material that is not typical of my site.

A Dragon Caern Christmas

Historical Romance by Emily Bryan (PG13)

A Mistress by Design

Historical by Sabrina Darby (R)

Space-D: Epsiode 2

Science Fiction by Ella Drake (NC 17)

Over and Out

Contemporary Romance by Inez Kelley (R)

Le Nouvel An

Fantasy by Aislinn Kerry(NC17)

A Saint Nicholas Surprise

Fantasy by Aislinn Kerry(NC17)

Getting Personal

Contemporary by Elise Logan (NC)17

Belle’s Christmas Carol

Historical by Charlotte McClain (R)


Excerpt Monday Logo

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Boy tested and approved

Just in time for holiday book shopping, these are books my boys recommend:
  1. The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, 1-5) by Rick Riordan
    Both boys enjoyed this series from beginning to end. Not only that, it's the only set of books that they've lent out to friends, who all enjoyed them as well. Another mother, whose son is not a reader, was shocked when he read The Lightning Thief and said he "got" it. Highly recommended.
  2. Redwall (Redwall, 1-21 and still going) by Brian Jacques
    This series is the favorite of my oldest.
  3. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (and the complete series) by J.K. Rowling
    This is middle son's favorite.
  4. Magyk (Septimus Heap, 1-5) by Angie Sage
  5. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney
  6. Molly Moon's Incredible Book of Hypnotism by Georgia Byng
  7. The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn Iggulden, Hal Iggulden
  8. The Forests Of Silence (Deltora Quest, 1-8) by Emily Rodda
  9. The Field Guide (The Spiderwick Chronicles, #1) by Holly Black, Tony DiTerlizzi
  10. My Teacher Is an Alien by Bruce Coville
  11. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
  12. 100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson
Bonus-Goblin Quest by by Jim C. Hines This and the second in the series will soon make an appearance for the holidays. shhhh. Don't tell my boys.
I have a feeling these books will be favorites soon.


The Field Guide (The Spiderwick Chronicles, #1)Goblin Quest (Jig the Goblin, Book 1)Redwall (Redwall, #1)Magyk (Septimus Heap, #1)The Dangerous Book for BoysMy Teacher Is an Alien (My Teacher Books)Inkheart (Inkheart, #1)100 Cupboards (The 100 Cupboards, Book 1)Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)The Forests Of Silence (Deltora Quest #1)The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog DaysMolly Moon's Incredible Book of Hypnotism (Molly Moon)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Firestorm on E'Terra Excerpt II


Once a month, a bunch of authors get together and post excerpts from published books, contracted work or works in progress, and link to each other. You don’t have to be published to participate–just an writer with an excerpt you’d like to share. For more info on how to participate, head over to the Excerpt Monday site! or click on the banner above.
***

Chapter One
Master Sergeant Wilson Dex checked the buckle on his chute, adjusted the fit of his pack strap, and twisted his hips to ensure the equipment on his back didn’t jangle. With a slight tap, he verified that his rebreather sat on his chest, ready to fit over his face. All set. In the vast, multi-craft launch bay, he sat next to the hotshot team lining the benches and waited for the go.

“Hey smokejumper, ever taken a helo down from a slapshot on the stratosphere? It’s a wild ride.” The punch on Dex’s shoulder would have told him if the laughter following the challenge had not.

“Chief,” Dex rolled his shoulder to ease out the sting. “I’ve logged enough jump hours to make your entire team look like the babies they are.”

Another punch, in the exact same spot, and a knot started to throb in Dex’s upper arm. Without a flinch, he resisted the urge to cup the forming bruise and didn’t move a muscle.

“Hell, I know, son. Otherwise I wouldn’t have brought a wild card to work with my team.”

Assigned to the mission as a subject matter expert (SME), Dex didn’t point out Chief hadn’t brought him on board. Before the banter could descend into the usual barbs between the loner smokejumper and the cohesive hotshot team of twenty men, the crackle of the speaker reverberated through the open space of the dock bay. “Jump is on hold until turbulent electrical storm passes the landing site.”

The Chief clicked on the comm attached on his shoulder chute strap. “Chief Klein to Captain Varde.”

Dex stilled and tried not to eavesdrop on the civilian fire chief who’d muscled his way onto the bench next to Dex, shifting the team, grunting and grumbling, further down. When Dex noticed he held his breath, waiting on the response over the comm, he pushed the air from his lungs with a long sigh.

While Chief’s hail went unanswered, the burly man raised his brows and grinned at Dex. “Eager for the jump, eh? Can’t control the weather. Well, not on this new terraform, anyway. When the startup colony makes the money, I’m sure they’ll bring in a weather control expert to get them going.”

The leader of this band of firefighters was winding up for another long-winded lecture when his comm clicked.

“Chief,” came the precise, even tone of Captain Varde. Though the voice was nearly asexual, and the woman herself controlled and put-together, Dex’s groin tightened, and to his chagrin, his cock hardened. He shifted on the bench and brought his helmet from hanging on a knee to his lap.

“Ma’am, do we have an estimate on how long we’re delayed?”

Despite trying not to do so, Dex leaned toward the comm on Chief’s shoulder. The Chief raised his brows again, and Dex sat back.

“At least a day, Chief. Disperse your team to regroup again in twenty-four.”
“Aye, aye, skipper.”

The off-click took away her voice, as warm and inviting as the synthesized AI unit that ran this ship’s enviro and café systems. Yet, he’d hardened even more, picturing her still face, neat blonde hair with every strand in place, and perfect lipstick he wanted to muss and smear all along his cock.

Dex shifted on the seat again, bumping the hotshot jumper next to him and elbowing Chief. His temporary superior stood and addressed the group of men.

“Well, you heard the boss. Same drill, same time tomorrow. Get your gear stowed and put in a regular day. Blow off the steam you all built up waiting for word. Dismissed.”

The heat-resistant chromoter strapped to Dex’s wrist showed ten minutes before his reserved zap-ball workout slot. When he’d boarded, he’d received an assigned daily exercise, based on preferences, which he’d not missed, not once, in the two-month intragalactic voyage to E’terra.

With the usual routine disrupted when the StratGlider had achieved orbit and the pending mission aborted, Dex hustled out the door. He hoped his partner wouldn’t miss today’s match.


***

Links to other Excerpt Monday writers

Note: I have not personally screened these excerpts. Please heed the ratings and be aware that the links may contain material that is not typical of my site.

So, to kick it off, your hosts:

Alexia Reed, Urban Fantasy (R)

and

Bria Quinlan, Rom Com (PG13)

Joining us this week:

Danie Ford, Womens Fiction (PG13)
Kaige, Historical Romance (PG13)
Jeannie Lin, Contemporary (PG13)
RF Long, Fantasy Sword and Sorcery (PG13)
Shawntelle Madison, Paranormal Romance (PG13)
Debbie Mumford, Flash Fiction (PG13)
Jo Lynne Valerie, Paranormal Romance (PG 13)

Kendal Ashby, Erotic Contemporary (R)
KB Alan, Erotic Paranormal Romance (R)
Penny Dune, Romantic Suspense (R)
Cate Hart, YA Paranormal (R)
Inez Kelley, Contemporary Romance (R)
Jeannete Murray, RomCom (R)
Christa Page, Regency Paranormal (R)
Michelle Picard, Paranormal
Jeanne St James, Erotic Rom M/M (R)
Danielle Yockman, Historical Romance (R)

Sara BrookesFantasy (NC17)
Emily Ryan Davis, Erotic Contemporary Romance (NC17)
Ella Drake, Erotic SciFi Romance (NC17)
Angeleque Ford, Erotic Contemporary Romance (NC17)
Jamal W Hankins, Dark Fiction/Fantasy (NC17)
Bryl R Tyne, Transgender M/M (NC17)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Holiday Blog Tour Winners


PRIZE LIST!!

Sharon K
Preja Vu by Alanna Coca
3 paperbacks from Emily and Elise
For a Price by Olivia Brynn
Wolf's Tender by Gem Sivad

Beth
Once Bitten by Trina M. Lee
Bound by Deception by Christa Paige
Rocky Mountain Heat by Vivian Arend
Banged Up by Jeanne St. James
Endangered Hearts by Jolie Cain

Boone Brux
Flesh and Blood by Tina Holland
Between Heaven and Hell by Stephanie Adkins
The Challenge by Serena Shay
Protective Custody by Paige Tyler

Amy S.
Human Nature by Cat Kane
Backlist book by Dee Carney
Semper Fi by Jambrea Jo Jones
Red Lioness Tamed by Savanna Kougar

Shawn F
The Spirit of the Place by PG Forte
Iron by PG Forte
In the Dark by PG Forte
Winner's choice of any book by K.Z. Snow

Foretta
Six Foot Hero by Shea McMaster
TBA by J. Morgan
Hearts Afire December by Emily, Elise and Ella
Signed print copy of Destiny's Magick by Rae Morgan

Caffey

The Omegas by Annie Nicholas
The Extremist by Juniper Bell
Tastes of Pleasure by Shara Lanel

Congrats to all! You will be contacted by the authors for prize delivery. Thank you all so much for joining in our fun! We're already planning another blog tour before christmas, so check back here for details!

Contest Winners


Congratulations!

I'm happy to announce the winners of the SFR Holiday Blitz. Both winners were chosen by using random numbers from Random.org. First, the winner of the ebook Hearts Afire: December is April. I've emailed you at the address used to enter the contest.
The winner of FALLEN & GUARDIAN by Claire Delacroix is
kenderkg

Please send me your contact information at ella AT elladrake DOT com.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Holiday Blog Tour



Does he look a little cold to you? And look, he's got a bit of red ribbon. A gift. Just for you.
Okay, so you might not be looking at the tiny little ribbon. But I was intrigued by it. Wonder if he's trying to remember something?

This scrumptious guy is brought to you by me for the Holiday Hottie Tour. To enter the contest, just leave a comment and head on over to the next stop on the tour--Jeanne St. James http://www.jeannestjames.blogspot.com/

If you've landed here on your own and would like to be part of the scavenger hunt, just read the details below.
Good luck and happy holidays!

****

It's the Holiday Hottie Tour! Eye candy for all, and prizes galore. Just look at the list of the scrumptious sugarplums that could appear in a stocking near you:

Preja Vu by Alanna Coca
3 paperbacks from Emily Ryan-Davis and Elise Logan
For a Price by Olivia Brynn
Wolf's Tender by Gem Sivad
Once Bitten by Trina M. Lee
Bound by Deception by Christa Paige
Rocky Mountain Heat by Vivian Arend
Banged Up by Jeanne St. James
Endangered Hearts by Jolie Cain
Flesh and Blood by Tina Holland
Between Heaven and Hell by Stephanie Adkins
The Challenge by Serena Shay
Three Holiday-themed books by PG Forte
Protective Custody by Paige Tyler
Human Nature by Cat Kane
Any backlist book by Dee Carney
Semper Fi ~ Magnus by Jambrea Jo Jones
Red Lioness Tamed by Savanna Kougar
The Spirit of the Place by PG Forte
Iron by PG Forte
In the Dark by PG Forte
Winner's choice of any book by K.Z. Snow
Six Foot Hero by Shea McMaster
Book (TBA) by J. Morgan
Hearts Afire December by Emily Ryan-Davis, Elise Logan and Ella Drake
Intimate Strangers by Gem Sivad
Backlist book by Vivian Arend
Signed print copy of Destiny's Magick by Rae Morgan
The Omegas by Annie Nicholas
The Extremist by Juniper Bell

All you have to do is leave a comment on each blog post. Easy, right? You think that's reason enough to join us? Well, it is... but there's more! Many of the authors above will be gathering for eggnog, gingerbread, and roasted chestnuts in a nice cozy chat room during the blog tour. That's right, one chat room filled with so much imagination and romance, we might burn up the website. No need to sign up for anything, just click to enter after the last stop on the tour.



December 11th, 2009 from midnight to midnight for the tour, and chat from 7am to 7pm eastern.

Start the hunt HERE


Participating authors:
Trina M. Lee http://trinamlee.com/blog/
Serena Shay http://serenashay.blogspot.com/
Jolie Cain http://joliecainauthor.blogspot.com/
Tina Holland http://tinaholland.wordpress.com/
Stephanie Adkins http://stephanieadkins.wordpress.com/blog/
Emily and Elise http://www.scorchedsheets.com/blog
Paige Tyler http://paigetylertheauthor.blogspot.com/
Juniper Bell http://authorJuniperBell.blogspot.com
Alanna Coca http://alannacoca.com/blog
Roscoe James at SEx http://www.liquidsilverbooks.com/blog/
K.Z. Snow http://kzsnow.blogspot.com.
Ella Drake http://elladrake.blogspot.com/
Jeanne St. James http://www.jeannestjames.blogspot.com/
Annie Nicholas www.annienicholas.blogspot.com
P.G. Forte http://www.rhymeswithforeplay.blogspot.com/
Shara Lanel http://sharalanel.wordpress.com/
Olivia Brynn http://oliviabrynn.com/blog
Dhympna du Maurier http://culinarycarnivale.blogspot.com/
Morgan Q. O'Reilly http://themorgandiaries.blogspot.com/
Sara Brookes http://www.sarabrookes.net
Savanna Kougar http://kougarkisses.blogspot.com/
Christa Paige http://www.christapaige.com/blog/
Vivian Arend http://vivianarend.com/blog/
Cat Kane http://catkane.blogspot.com/
Dee Carney http://www.deecarney.com/blog/
Jambrea Jo Jones http://jambrea.wordpress.com/
Gem Sivad http://gemsivad.wordpress.com/blog/

Thursday, December 10, 2009

13 lines from Firestorm on E'Terra

Hearts Afire: December

13 lines from "Firestorm on E'Terra" my erotic SFR novella. In this scene, the hero and heroine, Dex and Samy, are drinking Samy's special recipe health shake after their usual exercise workout.

Dex put down the thermos. Desperation speared through him. This would be his last opportunity, and only the chance of a freak storm had given it to him. He had to seize the day, take the chances he was known to take. He reached out and took her thermos, put it on the pantry counter top, and tugged her into his arms.

“I’ve wanted to do this for two months,” he whispered against her lips.

“Do it,” she ordered. Commanded. A strong woman who wrapped her arms around him and yanked him into the ample chest her uniform couldn’t disguise.

His lips devoured hers. The taste of oranges from the shake blended with her minty scent and made his head spin faster than when he nosedived off the Cerebus Canyon into wildfires that sent him reeling with toxic smoke. He’d managed to walk away from the dive. The taste of Samy, heady, intoxicating, threw him over a ledge he’d be lucky to survive, much less walk away from.

Hearts Afire: December is available now from Liquid Silver Books, including "Firestorm on E'Terra" by Ella Drake and "This Fire" by Elise Logan and Emily Ryan-Davis.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Free SFR reads

In honor of my two weeks of Celebrating Science Fiction Romance, I thought I'd post a list of free reads for those of you new to the genre, wanting to get a taste. Check out the following stories:

Short stories, some of which are sizzling hot!
Still We Live by Ann Aguirre
Pure Bond by Kim Knox
Star Song by Karin Shah
"For The Children" by Susan Sizemore (Scroll to the bottom of page)
Lust in Space by Kathleen Scott

Serial with connected short stories (definitely sizzling hot/erotic)
GMS Mercy by Elise Logan and Emily Ryan-Davis

Related reads:
Steampunk Tales

Romantic Science Fiction, full length novel in ebook form. (This book is in the Baen Free Library, so while you're there, check out the rest of the site.)
Sunrise Alley by Catherine Asaro

If you know of others, feel free to link in the comments section. This is just a sampling of what's out there.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Blogging at Liquid Silver Books

I'm over at the LSB Blog today announcing the release of Hearts Afire: December.
Come take a look if you'd like to read an excerpt from "Firestorm on E'Terra", my eSFR novella.

A hot firefighter, a spaceship, and explosions on SEx-Silver Expressions Blog.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Hearts Afire: December Released

Hearts Afire: December
including "This Fire" by Elise Logan & Emily Ryan-Davis
and

"Firestorm on E'Terra" by Ella Drake
Erotic Science Fiction Romance -- Novella

When fire meets ice, the storm flames out of control.

Intragalactic smokejumper and former refugee Wilson Dex takes the latest in a long line of risks, a mission to quell the firestorm on planet E'terra.

Equipment from his transport ship malfunctions, forcing by-the-book Commander Samantha Varde dirtside to help Dex though she suffers from landsickness.

While fighting the ill-timed and against-code heat between them, they have hours to reprogram a torpedo, fly into a tornado, and chute into a firestorm, all to save the colony before the storm flames out of control.


Available from Liquid Silver Books.
For updates, get more information in the Liquid Silver Forum

Today, I'm also visiting with author Nikki Duncan

For a chance to win Hearts Afire: December, enter the SFR Blitz contest, more details below.

Counting down to Release Time!

Release-Day Blog Party at ScorchedSheets.Com!

Spend Monday with Elise Logan as she compulsively refreshes the Liquid Silver Books web site in anticipation of the official release of HEARTS AFIRE: DECEMBER, featuring novellas by Ella Drake and Elise Logan & Emily Ryan-Davis.

Prizes are to be had, and many of them - all through the day!

Hearts Afire banner

Sunday, December 6, 2009

SFR Holiday Blitz--More celebrating Science Fiction Romance

Welcome to the SFR Holiday Blitz!
The holiday season upon us, and that means 2010 is simmering just below the horizon. Start your New Year off right with a chance to score a FREE read in one of the hottest up and coming genres around—Science Fiction Romance!

Here’s the scoop: 12 bloggers have teamed up with 17 authors for your chance to win over 30 SFR books. Whether you’re new to the genre, or a fan looking to add to her collection, this event is for you.

It's simple to enter: There are no quizzes to answer, no hoops to jump.



For your chance to win FALLEN & GUARDIAN by Claire Delacroix, all you have to do is leave a comment for this post. Prize limited to US, Canada & UK residents. The deadline to enter is midnight on Friday, December 11, 2009 EST. The winner will be announced on Saturday, December 12, 2009.

But don’t stop here! Increase your chances of winning even more books by visiting all of the participating blogs.

It’s easy: Just click on one of the links to the participating bloggers below. Make sure to leave a comment on the post titled “SFR Holiday Blitz.” From there, you can then jump to the next blog. There’s a wide variety of books to win so why miss out?


Alien Romances
Dirty Sexy Books
Ella Drake
Enduring Romance
Flying Whale Productions
Lisa Paitz Spindler
Love Romance Passion
SciFiGuy
Spacefreighters Lounge
Take It To The Stars
The Galaxy Express
Queen of the Frozen North

In addition to the print books FALLEN and GUARDIAN by Claire Delacroix, I'll also be giving away a digital copy of Hearts Afire: December. This anthology from Liquid Silver Books includes my SFR "Firestorm on Eterra" as well as the contemporary novella, "This Fire" by Elise Logan & Emily Ryan-Davis. For more info on this ebook, including blurbs and excerpts, check out the LSB forum.
This contest is open world-wide and is simple. Just enter your email address below.
(email addresses are confidential and will only be used for this contest, or if opting to do so, to sign up for my newsletter. Winner picked randomly from all entrants.)


***
form removed, contest closed
***

Don't forget to leave a comment on this post for your chance to win FALLEN & GUARDIAN by Claire Delacroix. & check back on the 12th to see the winner announcement!

Once you've entered here, check the other participating blogs listed above for a chance to win books from the following authors:
Ann Aguirre, Katherine Allred, Margaret L. Carter, Rowena Cherry, Ella Drake, Jess Granger, Susan Grant, Nathalie Gray, Leanna Renee Hieber, Claire Delacroix, Barbara Elsborg, Susan Kearney, Jacqueline Lichtenberg, Karin Shah, Linnea Sinclair, Susan Sizemore, Ann Somerville

Good luck! For more on how I'm Celebrating Science Fiction Romance the first two weeks of December, check out the list of events here, or explore further on this blog.
Happy Reading!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Most Recent SFR Read--Taking Liberty by Jodi Redford

More Celebrating Science Fiction Romance with a look at my most recent read: Taking Liberty by Jodi Redford.

************

From zero to naked at warp speed…

Rini Campell’s one shot at keeping her field agent position with the United Galaxies’ repo department means bringing in the spaceship Liberty. Piece of cake. Except she didn’t count on the pilot still being on board. Or being buck naked.

Lucus Granger doesn’t have time to deal with a pain-in-the-ass repo agent. Not when he’s minutes away from dropping off a cargo haul for the psychotic alien dictator of Aquatica. Though he figures it’s just about the stupidest bargain he’s ever made, he allows Rini to tag along for the flight.

Big mistake.

Stranded in enemy territory, they find themselves fighting a battle on two fronts. Against a creepy dictator who’d as soon drown them as look at them. And against a blazing attraction hotter than the godforsaken planet itself. For these two wary hearts, love could bloom in the desert…if it doesn’t kill them first.

Warning: A feisty heroine and yummy hero getting sweaty in the desert. Squid aliens who bring new meaning to the word slimy. Oh, and some close encounters of the sexy kind.

************
Taking Liberty is as fun a read as the blurb lead me to believe. The plot is action packed, the chemistry is sizzling, and the world-building is unique. It certainly doesn't hurt that the hero Lucus channels my first love, Han Solo.

Rini is a repo agent out to repossess the spaceship Liberty. Lucas has other ideas. The tension between the two is immediate and real. Lucas talks Rini into allowing him to make one last run to pay off the debt for the Liberty. Rini agrees, to get a shot at the bad guy. As you might expect, everything goes wrong, but the unique twists keep this story going and pulls you in. The tension between the couple is built perfectly. I couldn't put this story down and read it in one sitting.

This story has everything I love about SFR: spaceships, lust in space, squicky bad guys. It has none of the pitfalls. And, the cover by Kanaxa is gorgeous. If you enjoy SFR, you really can not go wrong with this one.

For more info, check out the Samhain ebook page, or Jodi Redford's website.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Celebrating Science Fiction Romance

I'm gearing up for two weeks of Science Fiction Romance (SFR) goodness. Here are 13 ways I'm celebrating my favorite genre.
  1. Dec 1 - I was a guest on Rowena Cherry's Crazy Tuesday podcast this week, talking about SFR. If you'd like to take a listen, it's archived here. Other guests were Heather Massey of The Galaxy Express, Danger Gal Lisa Paitz Spindler, and SciFi Guy Doug Knipe.
  2. Dec 2 - Posted an article with a short list of futuristics/SFR with viruses as part of the plot. Check out How did the wasp get its sting?
  3. Dec 3 - Thursday 13. This post!
  4. Dec 5 - Blogging about the last SFR I read, Taking Liberty by Jodi Redford.
  5. Dec 6 - Kick off of The SFR Holiday Blitz, an exciting SFR scavenger hunt featuring myself (yay!) and 11 other bloggers, highlighting 17 authors and over 30 prizes.
  6. Dec 7 - Release of Hearts Afire: December from Liquid Silver Books. This two-novella e-book anthology features "This Fire" by Elise Logan & Emily Ryan-Davis and my SFR novella, "Firestorm on E'Terra"
  7. Dec 7 - Visiting with author Nikki Duncan, discussing modern day heroes and how they inspired my futuristic story, "Firestorm on E'Terra".
  8. Dec 8 - Blogging at Liquid Silver about "Firestorm on E'Terra"
  9. Dec 9 - Posting a list of SFR free reads out there, including GMS Mercy by Elise Logan and Emily Ryan-Davis
  10. Dec 10 - For Thursday 13, I'll be posting 13 lines from "Firestorm on E'Terra"
  11. Dec 11 - Will be in a Holiday Blog Tour with other Liquid Silver authors, once again featuring "Firestorm on E'Terra". Lots of prizes to win!
  12. Bonus event: from Dec 11th to Dec 17th at noon EST, I'll be participating in another scavenger hunt. This one sponsored by Samhain authors, with a chance to win ebooks and a Sony ereader to read all those SFR/Futuristics you've been dying to read. Details will be posted here and at the Samhellion.
  13. Wrapping it all up on Dec 14th with Excerpt Monday, when I'll be posting an excerpt from my SFR "Firestorm on E'Terra"

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Crazy Tuesday Podcast

Gearing up for a spectacular Science Fiction Romance holiday event, Rowena Cherry is hosting Heather Massey from the Galaxy Express as a guest on her Crazy Tuesday podcast show (hosted on PIVTR ). I'm a guest on the show as well. Tune in to check it out (10am-12pm EST). We've announced a fantastic event: the SFR Holiday Blitz. Other guests for the show include bloggers Lisa Paitz Spindler & Doug Knipe, SciFi Guy.
For more on the SFR Holiday Blitz, check out the Galaxy Express.

Get ready for Holiday Scavenger Hunts!

I'll be participating in three author scavenger hunts this month. Many prizes up for grabs. More details to come.
The SFR Holiday Blitz
The Holiday Scavenger Hunt with many fellow LSB authors.
And a to be announced Samhain event you will not want to miss.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Grounded: a Hayle Raven Story

A raven shifter can no longer fly. Can he find a mate, though he’s grounded?

"Grounded: a Hayle Raven Story" is now available for free download at the Samhellion.
This standalone short story is a follow up to The Forbidden Chamber.
Please, check it out & let me know what you think.

Winner of Michelle Picard's Ruling Eden

is RKCharron.
Congrats!
I'll be in touch to let you know how to get your book.
Enjoy!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Welcome Michelle Picard

Today I'm fortunate to have Michelle Picard visiting with me to talk about her forthcoming novel, Ruling Eden. I'm lucky to have read Michelle's work and am a true fan. Let's all welcome Michelle!

A random commenter will be picked to receive a print copy of this wonderful fantasy for themselves! So be sure to leave a comment.

Ella: Tell us a little about Ruling Eden, your release from Crescent Moon Press.

Michelle: First off, I can’t tell you how much happy dancing I did when I received the contract offer on this book. It was the first manuscript I had ever finished and I cut my writing teeth on it. With all the love and attention it received over a number of years, it deserved a home. It’s just been released in electronic format on the Crescent Moon site, but will be available in print format in about a month through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

I view the book as an interesting mix of fantasy romance and urban fantasy. It has a kick-ass first person narrator named Rachel. She’s an ordinary Boston gal, on the tough side because she grew up in foster care, who learns on the eve of her twenty-fifth birthday that she’s the ruler of a supernatural realm hidden on earth and is the most powerful supernatural being on the planet. Quite a shock, because she never knew there were supernatural beings.

So off she’s whisked to Eden’s Court where she confronts the seven races she’s supposed to rule (angels, demons, fae, witches, vampires, shapeshifters, dragons). The leaders of these peoples are on the whole a manipulative, moody bunch and can intrigue with the best of them.

In her new life she meets her sexy, noble, half-angel, half-incubus demon guardsmen Gabriel. They fight a soul mate attraction to one another while coping with solving a murder, preventing an interracial war, and helping Rachel learn to use her magic. Of course the fate of the entire earth also hangs in the balance. Why do things in half measures? Here’s the link to my excerpt if you care to get a taste for Rachel’s adventure.

Ella: Your wonderful fantasy stories, which I've been privileged to have read one, include a large cast of characters, all of whom are unique and pack an emotional punch. How do you give such depth to your secondaries?

Michelle: Secondaries are fun to write. I don’t have to do much planning for them because I never feel the pressure of fully developing their “issues” ahead of time. I write them spontaneously and don’t care how outrageous they become. After I grow to love them I, of course, have to do their stories justice by the end. Two characters by the names of Tarn and Sebastian (Rachel’s fae and shapeshifter guards respectively) are my particular favorites in Ruling Eden and I have big plans for them in the future. It’s quite a challenge to do that when they never become point of view characters. My other favorite is Qest, Rachel’s dragon brother. He’s easy to fall in love with. All fiery emotion (grin) and just the right amount of broodiness along with a loyal, caring and genuine nature.

Ella: Tarn and Sebastian are fantastic and memorable secondary characters and can't wait to read more of them. Hurry up and write!
Do you have a writer space, a ritual, or a unique way you get yourself in the zone?

Michelle: I don’t have a particular ritual. Mostly I depend on the characters speaking to me in my head and delivering the dialogue they want me to record. This happens mostly in the car and at the health club. Once this happens, I’m revved to write. If you want to call it a ritual, I am usually racing home with the notes I’ve sketched on a napkin or scrap sheet of paper and plopping myself in front of the computer. I’ve been blessed with an ability to write in chaos, although I can’t play music while I type. It gets in the way of hearing the characters’ voices. Kids screaming; fine. Music; impossible. Go figure.

Ella: The obligatory desert island question. If you were deserted on a desert island, what three things would you take?

Michelle: I’m a practical gal. I’d say a portable generator, my laptop (with adaptors to recharge it through the generator) and some large all purpose cutting implement. My first list included a book on survival skills and distinguishing plants for medicinal and nutritional purposes, but then I realized I could look that up on the web. I suppose the neighboring island better be close and have an unsecured web connection I can use. Is this unrealistic?

Ella: Not unrealistic in today's day and time. But no web connection on my desert isles, my girl! Cute cocktail waiters, maybe.
What's next for Michelle Picard?

Michelle: I’ve already written the direct sequel to Ruling Eden, speculatively titled Surviving Eden. My editor has it and will let me know if Crescent Moon is interested. Luckily, I consider Ruling Eden a stand-alone book. But I’d be thrilled if readers could continue following Rachel and Gabriel’s story beyond that. If Surviving Eden is contracted, I plan to write books three and four in that series. As of now I don’t believe the series will go beyond four books, but the Muse will let me know when I get there.

Ella: Definitely hoping for that sequel!
And last, but perhaps most important, what's your favorite writing snack?

Michelle: Salt and sugar. With caffeine not too far behind on the list. Actually I got into a chevre cheese and sun dried tomato on petits toasts habit a while back. (Try saying that fast ten times.) But I have to take breaks between such a high salt snack from time to time. Today it was mini cream puffs.

Ella: Thank you Michelle, for taking the time to visit with me. To visit with Michelle yourselves, she can be found hanging around in these spots:
www.michellepicard.com
www.crescentmoonpress.com
www.thequirkyladies.com

Don't forget to comment for a chance to win a print copy of Ruling Eden, released a few short weeks after the ebook. A cool bonus, anyone who signs up for Michelle's newsletter will receive a packet of wildflower seeds to grow their own Garden of Eden. You can sign up through Michelle's or go directly to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/michellepicardnewsletter/

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lots to share

Today I'm a guest at The Blackraven's Erotic Cafe. Stop by for my interview about writing paranormal/SFR, inspiration, and ravens. Be sure to enter the contest! A copy of The Forbidden Chamber is up for grabs.

Another cool announcement, The Forbidden Chamber is 30% off right now at Fictionwise! Check it out here.

Or, if you prefer to ebook shop at AllRomance or OmniLit, they're running a Samhain special until the 24th. If you buy The Forbidden Chamber, you get a 25% rebate.

Chamber has had another wonderful review. From Lexie at Poisoned Rationality: "Isabel is hands down one of my favorite romance heroines."

Later this month, a Forbidden Chamber followup short story, Grounded, will be available free at the Samhellion, Samhain Publishing's author website. To receive an announcement when it's available, sign up for my low-email newslist at yahoo, or check back here.

And...
I've also written an article "Finishing that First Novel" for the Samhain newsletter this month. Check it out!

And, that's what I have to share for now. Happy Wednesday folks!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

13 Twisted Fairy Tales

Twisted fairy tales are a favorite of mine. Maybe it's that taking the familiar and giving it a kick. Maybe it's the fun of seeing how an author can take something well-known and make it new. Or, maybe it's taking a familiar character and seeing him/her in a new situation. Whatever the reason, I love twisted fairy tales. Here's a list of 13 twisted tales.
  1. Changing Thumbelina, short story by Emily Ryan-Davis. If you're a fan of erotic romance, do yourself a favor and go get this short story. You'll never regret spending that $1.49! This is the retelling of Thumbelina. The story is unique, creative, hot, and the characters are unforgettable. Truly.
  2. Stardust by Neil Gaiman is basically a refashioning of fairytales & not necessarily a twist on a specific well known one, but I like the feel of the fairytale world he created. Awesome stuff.
  3. Candy Houses by Shiloh Walker, Grimms are guardian angels and Greta gets a shot at her HEA. This is the first in a series.
  4. I could seriously list more than 13 books by Mercedes Lackey alone, but for the sake of keeping this list short, go check out a list of her works, or start with the fantasy series Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms. Have much love for this series.
  5. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. Newbery award winning retelling of Cinderella.
  6. Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire. I think that Cinderella may be the most popular tale for refashioning, but that's just a guess.
  7. Nancy Madore's erotic series of bedtime stories for women, Enchanted, Enchanted Again & Enchanted Dreams.
  8. Beauty and the Beast has been retold countless times in Romance. Here's one list of books that follow this theme, compiled by Romantic Times. I'll just point out: A Rose in Winter by Kathleen Woodiwiss, simply because she's the author who brought me to Romance.
  9. I've seen a few erotic stories of Snow White and all those dwarves.
  10. Red (plus Scarlet & Crimson, the books in the Dead World series) by Jordan Summers. Futuristic Paranormal Romance, twist of Red and the big bad wolf.
  11. Bluebeard's Egg by Margaret Atwood (even if you haven't read it, obvious that the title short story in this collection is a twist on Bluebeard. Or maybe that's only obvious if you've heard of, or read, Bluebeard.)
  12. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. Many may guess, especially given the cover of some versions (or images from the movie pictured to the right), that this story is a twist on Red Riding Hood. But this story also has twisted elements of the Bluebeard fairy tale.
  13. The Forbidden Chamber, my own twist on Bluebeard.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Early Reviews for The Forbidden Chamber

"If you are looking for something a bit different with a dark gothic feel, this is a must read. I was entertained from page one, and the uniqueness of the story held my interest. As a fan of gothic novels, I am thrilled whenever I get my hands on one I haven't read, and even more thrilled when it is this engrossing." Rating: 4.75 (out of 5)
Reviewed by: Teagan S. Boyd Nov.10.09
BookWenches

***

"This book is filled with so much uniqueness, that I would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves a good gothic romance, a historical romance, or anyone who’s longed for the blending of the two with a paranormal shifter twist." from Becka’s Impromptu Book Review Oct.31.09
Rebecca Goings, author, reviewer, blogger

***

"THE FORBIDDEN CHAMBER combines the lovely, lush and dark aspects of traditional gothic romances with a breathless pace, a unique dash of supernatural and a delicious demonic twist–a perfect accompaniment to your Halloween chocolate stash. Dark only. Milk is not nearly sexy enough." from Scorched Sheets. Oct.27.09
Emily Ryan-Davis, author, reviewer, blogger.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Forbidden Chamber Excerpt II


Once a month, a bunch of authors get together and post excerpts from published books, contracted work or works in progress, and link to each other. You don’t have to be published to participate–just an writer with an excerpt you’d like to share. For more info on how to participate, head over to the Excerpt Monday site! or click on the banner above.

This is an excerpt from The Forbidden Chamber, from Samhain Publishing.
If you like it and want more, come check out my simple newsletter contest for a chance to win a download. Or, it's available for purchase today at MBaM.

“Your life is forfeit if you open that door.”

All her life, Lady Isabel Colven has followed the path laid out for her, content to look neither left nor right for excitement. Her future holds a dutiful, passionless marriage to some nice young man, and she’s content…until the exotic and compelling Lord Rukh Hayle threatens her maidenly reserve. Rumor paints him as a wife-murderer; desire tempts her to look past his aura of danger.

Rukh refuses to let his family’s curse kill a third bride, but Isabel awakens the Raven within him, compels him to take her to wife—and to bed—despite the secrets that live under his skin. That lie is locked in the darkest corners of the manor, waiting to be unleashed. Their lusty union arouses the curse, entangling Isabel in an erotic tug of war that can only end in her destruction. There is no escape for either of them. Not from his family’s shadowy history. Not from demons imagined and real. And not from the choice Rukh faces to save his bride from a fate worse than death…

Warning: This gothic contains heady kisses that lead to ruin, passionate sex on a desk chair, a mysterious husband who may be a murderer, a cursed family of raven shifters, and an unspeakable evil hidden in the closet.


***


“...We both know what will happen before the night is through. Or do you? Your purity is the very reason we are married. Do you know what to expect?”

“Yes.” Well, she didn’t understand, but her answer was sure. He arched a brow at her, and his lips quirked. He didn’t believe her.

“No matter. You’ll understand before the day dawns.”

She shivered, and his smile broadened to show all his teeth.

“Well then,” he purred and swayed toward her before he blinked slowly. His smile faded as he sat back. “It pains me to wait, but I must inform you of your status before we go further. Despite rumors you may have heard about me, I am an honorable man when allowed the choices to behave in an honorable manner.”

He took a deep breath, and Isabel kept her mind from conjuring stories, weaving the rumors in her mind. What was he saying?

“There are some things I must explain before the sun goes down.” His voice no longer unaffected, his ominous tone should have frightened her. He reached across the space to the small table, plucked a sweet pink confection from the plate, and placed it upon her lips. How could such an attentive man harm her?

She had her answer when he pushed the candy into her mouth. His finger followed. The sweet taste on the back of her tongue exploded, at odds with the salty digit touching the tip. A small blaze erupted beneath her skirts. Her lord’s dark eyes glittered with banked promise.

He ran his short nail across her lips. Once. Twice. She wanted more. So much more, but her new husband sat back in his chair and folded his hands across his waist. The crested ring reminded her of his status, a powerful man of influence. With his legs extended toward the fire, the bulge in his pants stole her attention. She swallowed the sweet confection that made her mouth water. Or was it the handsome man before her who whet her appetite?

His urgent voice opposed his relaxed outward appearance. His eyes bore into her, the dark eddies within lit by the fire.

“First, I must give you a commandment you will obey. Do not question it, but trust I have your best interests at heart.”

His ring flashed in the firelight when he raised his hand and pointed toward a red door she’d not seen before. Overwhelmed by the expectations of her wedding night, her mind fixated on the barred passage.

Red, a strange color for a door.

Absorbed in the tableau before the fire, she hadn’t noticed her surroundings beyond their fireside setting. Well, other than the giant bed on the far wall that she dare not consider. Pulled back in invitation, the bed drapes absorbed the light in the room. The dark black velvet matched the covers folded down to expose luxurious sheets of white cotton.

The entire room held rich appointments in colors of black, white, and red. With the nearly monochromatic design, the red lined chairs, pillows, and small appointments drew her eye, but the door remained ominous. She turned to her husband. The picture of the red barrier ghosted her vision and superimposed over the figure reposed in the chair. She blinked the harrowing image away.

“Never open that door. Plainly put, if you open that door, you will end as my first two wives.”




***

Links to other Excerpt Monday writers

Note: I have not personally screened these excerpts. Please heed the ratings and be aware that the links may contain material that is not typical of my site.

Alexia Reed, Urban Fantasy (R)

and

Bria Quinlan, Rom Com (PG13)

Joining us this week:

Jane Bled, Yaoi/M-M Erotica/Vampire/Paranormal/Horror (PG 13)
Danie Ford, YA Urban Fantasy (PG 13)
Heather S Ingemar, Dark Fantasy (PG13)
Babette James, Fantasy Romance (PG13)
Cynthia Justlin, Contemporary Romance (PG 13)
Kaige, Historical Romance (PG 13)
Julia Knight, Fantasy Romance (PG 13)
Jeannie Lin, Historical paranormal romance (PG 13)
R.F Long, Fantasy (PG13)
Shawntelle Madison, Paranormal Romance (PG 13)
Debbie Mumford, Fantasy (PG 13)
Bria Quinlan, Rom Com (PG13)
Megan S, Paranormal (PG 13)
Rosalind Stone, Women’s Fiction (PG 13)
Jo Lynne Valerie, Paranormal Romance (PG 13)

Kendal Ashby, YA (R)
Jax Cassidy, Contemporary (R)
Cate Hart, YA Paranormal (R)
Inez Kelley, Romantic Comedy (R)
Aislinn Kerry, Fantasy (R)
Jeanne St. James, Contemporary Erotic Romance (R)
Cherrie Lynn, Paranormal Romance (R)
Jeanette Murray, Romantic Comedy (R)
Christa Paige, Paranormal (R)
Michelle Picard, Fantasy Romance (R)
Mary Quast, Contemporary Romance (R)
Alexia Reed, Urban Fantasy (R)
Zora Stout, Contemporary Erotic Romance (R)

Sara Brookes, Erotic Sci Fi (NC 17)
Emily Ryan-Davis, Romance (NC 17)
Ella Drake, Historical Paranormal Romance (NC 17)
Angeleque Ford, Erotic Dark Urban Fantasy (NC17)
J.W. Hankins, Dark Fiction (NC 17)
Annie Nicholas, Paranormal Romance (NC 17)
Kim Knox, Erotic SF Romance (NC17)
Michelle Polaris, Erotic Futuristic Romance (NC 17)
Bryl R. Tyne, Contemporary M/M (NC 17)



Friday, November 6, 2009

“Love's Alchemy” by Ciar Cullen

I've been waiting on this story to come out.
Very excited to finally get my copy. And I have it in my hot little hands already. What are you waiting for?



“Love's Alchemy” by Ciar Cullen
Read An Excerpt Online
Genre: Paranormal Romance

ISBN: 978-1-60504-690-7
Length: Novel
Price: 5.50
Publication Date: November 6, 2009
Cover art by Anne Cain

She holds the key to unlock his past—or unleash hell.

Sidra Patmos has the ability to see the real underbelly of lower Manhattan—a horrifying world where wraiths, demons and a few quirky mortals battle for supremacy. Desperate, she seeks out a paranormal researcher to tell her why her life is a waking nightmare.

Instead of answers, her meeting with the dark and irresistible Van Barlowe unleashes a chain of events far more dangerous than her blackest visions. And a desire she can barely manage to hold at arm’s length.

After three desperate centuries, Van has finally found the Alchemist—Sidra. Somewhere locked deep inside her lies the knowledge that will rescue his family from ruin. The only way to reawaken her abilities is to hold his enemies at bay long enough to convince her to step through the mists of time.

Redemption waits there, and a timeless bond ignited by the undeniable pull between them. The missing ingredient: Sidra’s willingness to risk that Van’s attraction runs deeper than sexual chemistry…

Warning: This book is not work safe! Reading about sexy immortal heroes and feisty demon hunters getting it on can minimize productivity, increase daydreaming and lead to frustration eating.

Purchase today at MBaM

Contest

In part to celebrate Samhain's Birthday and the release of The Forbidden Chamber, I have an ongoing contest. I'll pick a winner from my yahoo newsgroup and from my quarterly newsletter on November 13th. Winner will receive a download of The Forbidden Chamber.

To join newsgroup: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/elladrake/
To receive Quarterly Newsletter, see the form on the side of the blog, or go to my contact page.

*The Samhain birthday party is now over*
Other prizes from Samhain and authors will be given out during the party at the Samhain Cafe. Come for a visit! Ebooks and print books given away every hour & a lucky winner will get an ebook reader! All you have to do is comment during the party to enter.

Happy Birthday to Samhain Publishing

Samhain Publishing, who published The Forbidden Chamber, has published 1000th title in four years. Read more on this press release.

Join the party today at the Samhain Cafe today from 10am to 10pm.
See ya there!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

13 Cool Images

Looking through the Flickr: Creative Commons images for storyboarding my current project, I ran across some images that don't fit my storyboard, but I thought were cool. creative commonsThey're all under Creative Commons license, which can be viewed for each image (along with a larger size) by selecting them.
  1. Encadré (Jardim Botânico, Rio de Janeiro)
  2. Moon of Zanthos
  3. provence
  4. Breakfast at Sixtina
  5. Clonmacnoise, County Offaly
  6. Herfst - Autumn
  7. The Carpetbag Brigade
  8. WINTER GEISHA WITH UMBRELLA AND LANTERN -- Meiji-era Studio View  ("Salt Print" # 1)
  9. Kiva at Spruce Tree House
  10. Ded Bob Sho

  11. huele a libertad