Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The End

No, it's not the end of my blog, but I finally was able to close out my latest Work in Progress. I've been working on getting the last story in my Stones series finished for a while now. The problem was it just grew and grew and grew. It out grew novella length by some publisher's standards and now sits as a full novel. I'm pleased with how it's turned out. It was rather harder to do and the longer length I think comes from the need to build the backstory for the character. When you're writing a Were story you can sometimes rely a bit on the pop culture awareness of the lore. There isn't such a wide base of knowledge for the incubus and so I had to do a bit more world building.

Actually it was more of world revealing. I already knew exactly what role the incubus and some of the other species played in my world. But I found I had to explain more of it than I'd anticipated.

It's time to enter the world of self and peer edits. Then it will be time to see if Soul Stone (the working title) and my little incubus Tarris can find a publishing home. But in the mean time I plan to take a few minutes to celebrate before I start editing.


The contest I'm sponsoring to mark the release of Mating Stone (currently available from Ellora's Cave and the first in the series I mentioned above) and Seeing Me (releasing March 28th also from Ellora's Cave) is still open.

To win the 17" freshwater pearl and amethyst bead necklace, write a brief answer to the following question and send it to with “Mating Stone Contest” in the subject line. I’ll pick the best response as the winner, and two honorable mentions to receive smaller prizes. The winning entries will appear in my blog on April 13th.

In Mating Stone, Mark falls in love with Sarah. Sarah, a young human woman who has no idea that Were’s even exist beyond novels and movies. Strictly fictional. As a human woman, how do you react when Mr. Yummy tells you he’s the one with claws and may just leave fur on the sheets? So tell me: What type of Were is Mr. Wonderful and how does he break it to you?

Seeing Me Releases Friday!

My one and only Quickie from Ellora's Cave releases on Friday. Seeing Me is the story of first time author CJ Ellison who finds herself on a panel at a large scifi/fantasy convention. Not only is she on the panel with some big time authors, but also with one of the most yummy actors in the business today. When she opens her big mouth, as usual, and speaks before she things, as usual, she gets His attention in a big way. Now not only are her professional aspirations coming true, so are some of her fantasies.


“And then you come…”Cara jerked her head up at the sound of the words. He gave a short harsh cough, took a sip of water and continued. “Sorry and then you come to the pivotal moment in the story and if you aren’t focused you can ruin what needs to be the payoff for the viewer.” He cleared his throat again, “That’s why it’s important to me to be able to commit myself to one project at a time. It makes having a personal life of any kind hard but there are often sacrifices you have to make.”

Looking down she realized she’d actually sketched the body of the nude male, no face but his hands were definitely…

She felt the heat wash over her cheeks and lowered her head, letting her hair fall across her face. She flipped the page over on the table and continued her list. She should choose a safer topic but right now she doubted her mind could focus on anything else.

The questions continued from the audience and she thought she noticed Him grow a bit uncomfortable. True, ninety-nine percent of the questions were for him but that was something she was actually grateful for. God help her if someone asked her a question right now.

She was up to twenty on her new list, having just added the delightfully archaic “deflowering,” when she heard the voice of the angry writer from earlier denounce the idea of film representation of his books as a bastardization of the art, as selling out for the money. “No screenwriter, no director, no actor can do justice to a well-written story or character without cheapening it, without robbing it of some essential element that a given reader holds dear,” he’d practically sneered. “So there’s no chance I’d ever sell one of my stories to the commercial Hollywood machine.”

“Are you crazy?” The words were out of her mouth before she realized she had spoken them. “You’d sell your left testicle if someone wanted to make a movie from one of your books with that kind of budget.” She waved her hand at the actor and author who were being criticized.

There was an undercurrent of laughter and she suddenly realized everyone in the room was looking at her. He was looking at her and wearing that wickedly seductive smile that had put him in the pages of many a magazine. Her face flushed hotly and she looked down at her hands. I can’t believe I said that, she moaned silently.

The moderator quickly swung the conversation back on track. A quick glance down the table saw that indeed, the offended writer was glaring at her in disgust. Great, just great, she thought. He’s got twenty times my sales, we share the same agent and I go and piss him off. Well, it was nice while it lasted. My agent is going to kill me.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Better Late Than Never

I was recently bemoaning the fact that I hadn't thought to have a contest related to my first Ellora's release Mating Stone. Well, better late than never. So to mark the release of Mating Stone a bit late and the release of my upcoming Quickie, Seeing Me, I've decided to hold a contest anyway. Seeing Me is the story of two people who are finally able to see past the hype to who the other really is.

The Contest:

The hero of Mating Stone, Mark Ursine is a Were-Bear as is his twin brother Luke the hero of the upcoming July release, Lovers’ Stone. The Ursines present their lady loves with stones rather than engagement rings. For Mark and Sarah it’s an amethyst. So to win the 17” freshwater pearl and amethyst necklace here’s what you need to do. Write a brief answer to the following question and send it to with “Mating Stone Contest” in the subject line. I’ll pick the best response as the winner, and two honorable mentions to receive smaller prizes. The winning entries will appear in my blog on April 13th.

In Mating Stone, Mark falls in love with Sarah. Sarah, a young human woman who has no idea that Were’s even exist beyond novels and movies. Strictly fictional. As a human woman, how do you react when Mr. Yummy tells you he’s the one with claws and may just leave fur on the sheets? So tell me: What type of Were is Mr. Wonderful and how does he break it to you?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

I've been watching an rather excellent miniseries. It probably isn't new to most of you, but to poor little me with out cable or satellite there is a great deal of good stuff out there that I only get a chance to see when it goes to DVD. So this past week I've beenenjoying a few minutes here and there watching a BBC mniseries called The State Within. Now this movie is appealing to me on two levels. I love the intrigue, the political twists and turns. I like to be kept guessing who is the good guy, who is the bad guy. The acting is quite excellent.

But even better is the fact that it is several hours of Jason Isaacs. The man is so lovely to look at. I don't care if he's playing a good guy or a bad guy, he's truly fine. Pleasantly enough, in the case of this series he is playing a good guy. How nice to get to cheer for him and not feel guilty.

Another great review for Mating Stone. Alternative did a flattering write up on this paranormal novella. “She gave it enough twists to make you think, but to me the crowning touch was Tarris. He can come feed from me if it's anything like the scene between him, Mark and Sarah...YUM!”

As a matter of fact, I’m currently running up to the wire trying to get Tarris’ story done. As way of motivation for myself, I thought I’d give you a little peek at what the reviewer enjoyed.

This excerpt contains some adult content. Read at your own risk.
At first she thought she’d awoken. But there was something about the feeling and the scene that made her certain she was dreaming. Everything up close was clear but the edges of her vision were glassy, blurry. And there was the fact that she was lying there wearing only the white silk slip she’d put on under her dress. Only the slip and she definitely had not gotten undressed before going to sleep.

She felt the mattress give and looked to her left. Mark was stretching out on the bed beside her. The feel of his body told her he wore only his pants, his arm sliding under her neck to cradle her to his chest. His head lowered and he kissed her tenderly. His mouth was soft, almost playful in its exploration of hers. When he lifted his head, his eyes were again filled with that dark hunger that never failed to cause a physical response. She felt the aching begin between her thighs. Her body was readying itself for him, desperate to feel his touch. She explored his mouth with her tongue and he responded by palming her breast and beginning to squeeze gently. His hand ran down her body, smoothing over the silk until he reached the edge where it lay across her mid-thigh. He lifted his head slightly and brushed his lips across her cheek to her neck. As she turned her head to allow him access she realized they were not alone.

She should have been shocked. She should have been horrified. But she wasn’t. There was an almost disturbing sense of calmness as she looked into Tarris’ blue eyes. His eyes were soft, like falling into a warm soothing pool. He stood at the edge of the bed watching them, a soft smile just curling up the edges of his lips. There was a seductive, needful look in his eyes but his face didn’t seem hungry or in the remotest way predatory. Mark’s kiss, his tongue stroking her neck, made her gasp and she couldn’t look away from the voyeur.

Mark’s hand caressed her shoulder. “It only a dream, Sarah. Only a dream.”

“A dream,” she murmured, lost in the feel of Mark’s touch and the beautiful blue gaze of the man who stood beside the bed watching them.

“Look,” Mark pointed toward the chairs. She lifted her head. She saw Mark sitting there, his head tipped back and his eyes closed. She couldn’t see Tarris but then she hadn’t seen him sitting in the chair when she entered the room. “It’s only a dream Sarah. Tarris wants to join us. He wants to share this with us. But it is your choice.”

She hesitated. A rather vociferous part of her was yelling, Hell yes! But another part of her dreaming mind—and damn this had to be a dream—was still rational. She looked into his dark eyes searchingly. What would he feel if she said yes? Would he hate her for it? Would she hate her for it?

“Sarah,” he smiled gently. “If you want to feel his touch, if you want to share our passion with Tarris, it is all right. It’s his way. He’s not like us, Sarah. Tarris is an incubus. He needs this, the energy our bodies radiate as we touch and are touched, to survive. This is part of who we are, my family. We take care of him and he gives back to us more than you could understand until you feel it. Think about it Sarah. Would you deny your sister food if she were starving?” The dark eyes lifted for a moment and met his friend’s. “I want to share this with him. To give him what he needs. It would not be the first time between he and I but this is not a world you are used to. So the choice is yours.”

An incubus? Her gorgeous, sexy boyfriend wanted her to help him feed Tarris, the incubus? Damn but her mind had pulled out all the stops to justify this erotic little dream. An incubus was the very symbol of forbidden and decadent sexuality. Dark spirit beings, they came in dreams to indulge the darkest and most hidden of fantasies within a woman. And they fed off her reactions, they fed from her passion. Her release, her pleasure was the very food of life to them. Some lore painted them devils tempting women—or it seemed in this case men too—into the sin of lustfulness.

Sarah swallowed hard. God, she’d never done anything like this before, even in a dream. But there was no denying she wanted it as well and if Mark was okay with it… It was only a dream after all. She turned to look at the beautiful face hovering over her. Slowly she reached out her hand to him. His smile brightened and he took it. Within seconds, the warm heat of his body was pressed against her right side and he had sandwiched her between them. A warm glow seemed to encompass their bodies and she watched Mark tip back his head and sigh. She felt it too, this sense of being wrapped inside sexuality, in the arms of need and desire.

Sarah suddenly felt out of her depth. She had no idea what was supposed to happen now. As if he read her mind, Mark was speaking tenderly. “Relax. All you have to do is relax. Let us please you. We are here for your pleasure, my darling.”

A shudder ran through her when, as if choreographed, the two men placed their fingers gently against her cheeks. They moved them down over her jaw, down her neck and across her collarbone. The two hands slipped down over the curves of her breasts, down her ribs and came to rest on either pelvic bone.

Mark unfastened the halter of the slip. Working in perfect harmony, their hands moved up and pulled down either side of the silk covering. Pausing, the men’s next actions stunned and delighted her.

Well I can’t give everything away.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Rants and reviews

First off, I received two great reviews today.

Measure of Healing received 5 nymphs from Literary Nymphs Reviews Only. I was thrilled with the review and thankful that the reviewer ejoyed it. "Secrets, pain and desire blend together and opposites are not so different after all. The Were-child is the glue that brings the story together and softness to these strong characters in Measure of Healing. I loved watching Alej and Brie find everything that has been missing in their lives and finally accept what they were. I was emotionally drawn to them and enjoyed the way their shells are chipped away little by little. Roth did an excellent job and I look forward to more of her stories."
Great news since several of my WIPs and sketched outlines involve this world. Almost finished is the story of the young Wolf who appears at the end of Measure.

Mating Stone was also reviewed at Literary Nymph Reviews Only and received 4 nymphs. This is my first Ellora's Cave release as Elyssa Edwards and I was nervous about its reception. But it's been great. "Mating Stone - Amethyst is a wonderful story with humor and sensual love play. Elyssa Edwards displays a very creative talent in this surprise saga. Mark is every woman’s dream man, caring, gorgeous and considerate of Sarah, who thinks about herself as a plain, shy woman. This is a remarkable read that I enjoyed."
Naturally I screwed up when leaving a comment on this and did it signed in as Jacqueline and not as Elyssa. Duh!
More good news since this is the same world as Measure and the sequel to this, Lovers' Stone, is due out in July.

Other great authors getting terrific reviews that popped up on my radar today include:

Bronwyn Green-Mystic Circle. Bronwyn kicked butt with her 5 nymph rating. The reviewer couldn't stop gushing. Check it out at :

Mona Risk- To Love a Hero. Lots of very nice praise for Mona at:


Some of my more savvy colleagues manage to have killer contests and to do so regularly. I admit I’m not quite so adept. Mostly because I’m new to this and also because I’ve always doubted my taste. What if what I think is cool, no one else does. That happens to me a lot. You know that look you get when you go…”Oooh, isn’t that neat?” and the other person doesn’t think so? I get that frequently. Or maybe I’m just hanging out with the wrong people.

I also admit to being a person who often finds myself thinking, “Damn! That was a good idea. I wish I’d had that.” Or the one who gets the idea after the fact. I have a current release that would have been great to do a contest related to the amethyst since it was an “Amethyst” release from Ellora’s. Did I think if this? No, not until March. A bit late on the uptake, I am. Some days I feel like Winnie the Pooh. A bear of little brain. Lot’s of fluff and stuff between my ears. Maybe if I sat down and had a good think, think, think… I’d do better. So what idea did you miss the boat on?

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Most List, Part I

I’ve read a great many books lately in a number of genres. Some I liked, some I didn’t. Some that were like brain candy, never challenging me and making me feel warm and fuzzy. Some were boundary pushing, making me look at what I was comfortable with and what I thought I knew about myself and the world. So for lack of anything more interesting to do today, I offer you a list of Mosts.

Most Fascinating World Development: Mystic Valley Series

Easy choice here, really. It’s no surprise to anyone that I’ve become a big fan of this writer over the last year. And I’m not easy to please, particularly where fantasy is concerned. Just ask my book group. They get tired of me saying, “Didn’t like it.” But Anny Cook’s Mystic Valley Series is one of the most intricate and well planned out cases of world building I’ve seen in a long time. Cook has created a world were so much is familiar while so much is alien. Yet what could have been overwhelming and confusing for readers is handled so flawlessly that it blends into the reader’s awareness as the stories unfold rather than becoming a jarring case of information dumping. The Mystic Valley Series currently includes three titles: Dancer’s Delight, Traveller’s Refuge and Cherished Destinies and is available from Cerridwen Press and Ellora’s Cave.

Most Useful Writer’s Resource: The Novel Writer’s Toolkit.

Bob Mayer has created an effective and common sense guide to creating a novel. The information won’t make a person who isn’t a writer a writer, but it will certainly make you a better writer. The graphic organizers and the tips are presented in such as way as to make you think about how you are structuring your stories. It contains information on how to avoid some of the common pitfalls that many writer’s create including the afore mentioned information dumping. The seminar that Mayer presents around the country was insightful and immensely helpful. His book is an excellent resource for any writer.

Most Eye Opening/Boundary Pushing Experience: The Cress Brothers

Brynn Paulin’s trilogy for Ellora’s Cave’s Torrid Tarot series was an eye opening experience for me. I went into these books knowing nothing about and having had no background with the BDSM lifestyle, but being exceedingly curious. Books I’d read in the past had not been flattering of the lifestyle and had portrayed the Dom/sub role as an unequal and degrading one. But Paulin’s work is so laced with the emotional side of this dynamic that it was eye opening. Her characters were not role players, but are deeply entrenched in the lifestyle. But the love and affection and caring between Dom/sub was presented in a way that showed the tenderness and the true give and take between the roles. It showed the empowerment of the sub in a way I didn’t expect. The stories themselves were excellently written and the characters wonderfully developed. Paulin’s Torrid Tarot titles include On Your Knees, All Chained Up and Master Me and are available from Ellora’s Cave.

Most Fascinating Memoir: Born on a Blue Day

This autobiography was written by a remarkable individual. Daniel Tammet is a high-functioning autistic with Asperger’s syndrome. As a synethesist, Tammet’s perception of numbers crosses the visual/spacial realm of his senses. He sees numbers in terms of shapes, colors, textures and motions. Tammet describes the number five as a loud clap of thunder, while the number 89 reminds him of falling snow. Asperger’s can affect the individual’s ability to connect emotionally with his surroundings, making him detached and isolated. Tammet tells how he has learned to use his synethesia to learn to relate to others. The book is a riveting look inside the mind of one of the smartest men alive.

Most Impressive Find: The God Eaters
Jesse Hajicek’s book is published by a small print on demand press and came to my attention while ordering another book for my book group. The reviews were outstanding and the premise interesting. Ashleigh Trine is imprisoned by the theocratic government for “inflammatory” writings. Sent to a prison for the most vicious of convicts, the shy, scholarly Trine should be an easy target for the inmates. On the train, Trine meets Kieran Trevarde, a hardened and brutal assassin. Trevarde is doubly cursed with the forbidden dark magic hiding deep in his blood. And the prison to which both are being sent is no ordinary prison. Trevarde takes Trine under his protection in part because the smaller man’s frailty will give him plenty or excuses for the fighting that he understands. But Trevarde is also drawn to Trine for other reasons. This is the story of an unlikely set of heroes and an unlikely love that could just save their world. This book is one of the best reads I’ve come across with astoundingly well developed characters and a plot that is truly inspired. The God Eaters is available through
If you drop by tomorrow you'll find a continuation of this list dealing with characters, settings, plots etc. I'll tell you who I think is the most lickable character, the heroine I'd most want to be and even what character tugs at my heartstrings so much that I just want to take him home, coddle him and feed him warm milk and cookies.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Not new, but how I'm feeling today.

On Becoming Invisible

The smiling faces
Gazing back
Eyes look through
Glazed and unseeing
Because no one is here

A silent scream
Begging to be recognized
Becomes a murmur
A part of the drone
A whisper unheard
Unimportant, unheeded, unneeded

Laughter surrounds
Oblivious to the torment
Concealed so well
Because no one is seen
No one is noticed
Grey space filled but vacant

A shadow
A movement
From the corner of the eye
Gone in an instant
Unregistered by synapses
Forgotten before known

Filler for the background
A shape without form
A blur of grey
Indistinguishable from the crowd
The tree lost in the forest

Breathing stops
Heartbeat stills
Humanity slips away
Fading away in the silence
Lesson taught, lesson learned
On Becoming Invisible

(Originally published in An Anthlogy of American Poets Vol. 4 in 2006)