Sunday, December 16, 2012

Just wanted to post this to wish all my friends and readers a wonderful holiday season and a prosperous new year. Maybe this photo is a hint of something that may be published later this month.



The best to all of you.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

We have a winner!

Just wanted to post this short note to announce a winner from those leaving messages while I participated in the Wicked After Dark blog hop.

The winner, drawn randomly from a hat filled with other names of participants is:

Brandi Slater

I've sent Brandi an email but just in case she (you) did not receive it, I am also announcing it here.

I will be sending Brandi a paperback copy of my first novel if she chooses. Ah what the hell, I'll go ahead and send her the second novel as well.

In the spirit of the season, I would also like to extend a free ebook copy of Lovestruck Succubus and Lexi's Run to all those that left a message on my websit during this event. To claim your prizes, simply write me a short email - author dot ellison dot james at gmail dot com - and let me know if you would like your ebook copies in PDF, kindle, or nook format.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Wicked After Dark Blog Hop

For those of you visiting my website for the first time during this hop, some introductions are in order.

I am Ellison James and I write paranormal romance, paranormal romantic suspense, paranormal erotica, and general erotica. Whew, that was a mouthful. Some of you may be familiar with my titles including my first novel, Lovestruck Succubus - A story about a demon succubus who wants nothing more than to find love. Not just any love but true love, everlasting love, the kind of love she'd only seen in mortals. Trouble is, every time she tries to love a man, she succumbs to her needs ... and kills the man she's with. She thinks she is doomed to an eternity full of struggle between her desires and needs until she meets the one man able to survive her kind of love but he brings problems that threaten her very existence.

Anyway, that was my first novel, and I must say, it is not for the squeamish or one that is easily embarrassed if caught reading a particularly spicy part of the story in, oh ... let's say ... a doctor's office. I also have a sort of paranormal short erotic piece I wrote for a branded series called The Cusp of Libra. This book is free through Smashwords. Some of my bestselling contemporary fiction is a series I write about exhibitionism and voyeurism. In these stories, Wendy Parker discovers a new passion for what some might call 'performance' sex after watching her neighbors make love through her living room window--and getting caught.

My most recent novel is called Lexi's Run. Alexis is a werewolf princess who refuses to give in to her parents plans to have her mated with the son of the current pack Alpha. She runs away from her small town of Ellijay, Georgia and hops a bus to Atlanta only to fall asleep and wake up in Montgomery, Alabama. While hiding out in Montgomery, she manages to find more trouble than she would have had if she'd stayed in her small town. In the end though, she finds her true mate, catches some bad guys and saves the day.

But I'm sure you're not here reading this for a list of my work. I'm hoping you are participating in this hop for entertainment and enlightenment. So, here goes.

I thought since Halloween is fast approaching, I would ask the question: What is it that people find so intriguing about Vampires, Werewolves, Demons, Faeries, and even Mer-folks? My short answer is, intrigue. The long answer could go on forever, But I'll try to sum it up in just a few short sentences.

I think that what some find so intriguing about romantic or erotic stories of the paranormal is the ability to delve into unknown and unfamiliar worlds. In these worlds, we get to make up our own rules and, in some cases, can live on forever. This means that everything in the relationship is more intense. The sex is more intense, the love lasts for eternity, and the danger is often right there standing in your front door with an ax in its hand. This danger is especially intense when the main character of the story is a mere mortal and lacks all those special abilities writers like to imbue into there paranormal characters. Sometimes, if the main character is not mortal, they are made to suffer in some way for their immortality.

Here's an example of this struggle from my first novel, Lovestruck Succubus.


She felt the rush of energy through her body.  It started from deep within her, and emanated in all directions in waves of heat and electricity.  Pain and pleasure mixed in a borderless realm without thought or control.  Every movement was too much but she could not stop herself from moving, thrusting, and gyrating for more.  Energy left Jerry's body from everywhere.  It hung in a cloud tingling her skin to the point of stinging, but pleasurable, as her body absorbed it all.

She slowly regained control of her own movement as the cloud dissipated and her waves of orgasm subsided.  She was frozen in place, every movement too intense, and every inch of her body too sensitive.  Jerry had fallen silent and she knew he was gone.  She pulled off him, avoiding eye contact, and slid down off the bed.

After cleaning up in the bathroom, she slid her panties back on and smoothed her dress.  She felt a flood of conflicting emotions surfacing and she took some deep breaths to stave them off.

The harder Azra tried to push back those feelings that always followed her own satiation, the more they came to the surface.  She was exhilarated and depressed at the same time.  A muddy stain of conflict and depression seeped through her halo of energy and euphoria.  She always felt this way afterward but sensed it came from the desire she felt to somehow make all these men love her, and the realization that her kind of love brought them only death.  Now, even with her resolve to use this man only for her needs, she felt empty.  She only managed to prove she felt remorse for any man, not just the ones she liked.

She stood at the side of the bed and looked at Jerry, his body now just a shell, his lifeless eyes glazed over.  They seemed focused on nothing, on some endless distance overhead.  Dull eyes set in pale orbs, surrounded by flimsy ashen skin—a death mask.  The room was silent, not even the sounds of the city below permeated the quiet, as if the world paid homage to the recently departed.

Why can't I make this work?  She thought.  Can I not learn to survive without this?

Azra thought about Tarmin.  "Learn to love within your own kind," He had said to her so many times.

But, she could never be satisfied with his version of love.  She needed this intimacy, this sex with mortal men for her very survival.  If she could find a man to love her without sex, she would gladly accept her fate and perish, if only she could gain some control of her base need.  Between survival and love, her instinct simply moved her to survival.  Finally, at an emotional impasse, she looked at Jerry one last time.

"Goodbye Jerry," she said aloud, as tears tracked down her cheeks.

Emotions flooded her soul.  Depression and self-hatred once again stabbed through the cloud of euphoria, staining her heart with darkness.  She ran out of the room and down the stairs to avoid showing her tear-soaked face.  She left the hotel promising herself she would never return—and never fall prey to her silly thoughts of finding mortal love again.

I certainly hope this provided an example of the kind of struggle that can be found in the paranormal. Since I spent so much time talking about my first novel, I would like to offer a signed copy of Lovestruck Succubus, chosen randomly from those leaving comments on this post. So, just leave a comment on this post for a chance of receiving a free copy of my first novel in paperback form (or ebook, if you prefer) sent to you home or reading device.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Beginnings



I offer this for your perusal and opinion. I will be publishing another work of short erotic fiction soon. The story is a continuation of my Sex in Public series. This series has become quite popular for reasons unknown to me. Well, I guess one reason is that it explores the world of exhibitionism and voyeurism. I try to get into the mind of my main character, Wendy Parker, as she embarks on a new experience, and grows increasingly dependent upon the rush of adrenaline, the excitement of risk and exposure that comes with engaging in sex in clear view of others or in public places.

Presented here is the draft for the first scene in the story I've tentatively named Center Stage. In this story, Wendy will take her experiences to a new level. Sure, she's already enjoyed engaging in a kind of competitive sex dual with the couple across the street but now she will be presented the opportunity to actually participate in sex for the entertainment of others. I've done some research on this and found the activity does exist.

Anyway, please read if you would like and do not hesitate to give me your thoughts; good, bad, or other than beautiful. Also, for those interested, I will be giving those on my mailing list a free copy of this when it is published.


"All the world's indeed a stage, and we are merely players, performers and portrayers. Each another's audience outside the gilded cage."
~Rush, Moving Pictures
 
 
My body stiffened from the jarring noise of the door buzzer--something I was not used to hearing, especially now that Rick was living with me. Even more bothersome to me was that someone was actually standing outside our door at such a late hour. Rick was startled too, his hand coming to a sudden stop just over the inside curve of my lower back. I gave him a couple of knowing pats on his shoulder and he withdrew from me with a sigh. I looked to the lighted apartment window across the street and saw Trip Tanner and his wife, who's name I still did not know, had stopped their lovemaking, probably wondering why we had stopped our own exhibitionist show.

"Just a minute," I yelled toward the door, as I slid off the back of the couch, my core already feeling cold and wanting of Rick's marvelous lips and tongue.

I grabbed my robe off the floor, glancing at our wall clock as I threw the robe around me and cinched it closed. It was nearly midnight and again I wondered why the hell someone was buzzing my door at such a late hour.

"Who is it?" I reached for the locks but held back, waiting for a response.

"Courier service, ma'am," sounded from the other side of the door.

I opened the door to find a young dark-haired man holding a rectangular box in one hand and an electronic signature board in the other. He thrust the box and the signature board to me at the same time, while mumbling "sign for the package ma'am." and staring at my breasts so hard I had to check to make sure my robe was closed. Rick slid in beside me, squeezing through the door frame to take the box, then disappearing again as he brought it into the apartment. The young courier broke from his stare and looked up at me. His eyes flashed disappointment, probably because I wasn't alone, and then sank back down to my chest again. The courier pulled a little plastic stylus from the side of the board and I signed for the box in an area too small to make my signature look anything but childish. When I was finished, he took the board from me, haphazardly throwing it under his arm, while cranking his stare up my eyes again. This time his eyes reflected impatient waiting.

"I don't have any money on me for a tip," I patted my bathrobe as if checking for hidden pockets full of money, immediately embarrassed at my own gesture.

He said nothing, only returning his gaze at my chest and shifting on his feet.

"Maybe this will suffice for a tip," I said, as I pulled the collar of my robe apart, slowly revealing my breasts to the courier. I felt a smile spread across my face, and a devious thrill raised the hair on my arms and pinched my nipples tight. I caught a glimpse of the young man's mouth falling open as I turned, allowing my robe to fall as the door eased shut behind me. As soon as I heard the click of the door closing, I scooped up my robe, nearly running to the kitchen table where Rick waited to open the mysterious box.

The box was a standard cardboard affair, brown paper wet and stick tape holding it closed. Rick pulled the tape free and opened the box. inside was another box but not of cardboard. This box was made of dark wood with a solid clasp on the front and two brass hinges on the back. It was the size of a large shoebox. Together, we swatted the cardboard box away and gently placed the wooden box in its place on the table. I rubbed my hands together at the anticipation of what might be inside the box. I could tell Rick was excited too by the way his tongue slipped out the side of his mouth and he held it in place with his teeth. The wooden box was stained dark with ancient-looking carvings on every side. There was no note or return address from the cardboard box. I began to wonder who sent the box, and why. Was this some kind of cruel joke, or an anonymous gift from some unknown past acquaintance?

Rick placed the wooden box ceremoniously on the table and unfastened the clasp, while I squeezed in beside him and wrapped my arms around his waist. My body warmed to a tingle with the thought of what might be inside the box. I was strangely excited, my skin bristling with nervous anticipation. I certainly was not expecting such a delivery, and I could not help but wonder if Rick's reaction was just part of some devious plan he'd conjured up--some surprise he planned. He'd already proven his ability to plan surprises of epic proportion with his proposal in Seoul. Now, the suspense and wonder had me standing on my toes until they cramped, and squeezing my arms around Rick so tight it had to be hurting him. He gave not indication of pain, only smiling at me as he opened the clasp, deliberate and painfully slow, to reveal the contents inside.

Inside the box was a simple envelope seated inside an elaborate frame atop a false bottom. On the envelope in gold was the word "Invitation" handwritten in a fancy script style.

"Do you know anything about this?" I gave Rick a probing look, knowing that I would see through him if he was keeping something from me.

He looked directly at me and said, "I know nothing of this. I'm as surprise as you."

His look and demeanor did not falter. I knew he was telling the truth. One thing I'd learned about Rick through our relationship was that he was too proud to properly hide his sly smile when he was trying to surprise me. I took the envelop from the box and turned it over. It actually had a wax seal hold the flap closed. Till then, I'd only seen an envelope sealed with wax, like in the movies. I broke the seal, opened the flap, and pulled the folded weighty paper out. On the paper was written:
 
An invitation from a friend.
Accept, and intrigue will soon begin.
So, join us on the morrow's night,
and immerse yourself in voyeur's delight.
From this, you'll find your only sin
is wishing it would never end.

Under the poem was an address and instructions stating that the masks must be worn throughout the night's events. Masks? I ripped at the false bottom of the fancy wooden box, pulling it away to reveal two stunning masquerade masks. They were both simple but elegant. They did not have brash feathering or long beakish noses. Instead they were both tasteful, with golden piping around the edges and eloquent scrolling. I felt Rick's hand moving down my side, over the curve of my hips before circling my ass and squeezing.

"Should we go?" He asked, as if he didn't already know the answer.

"Of course we'll go." I turned and brought my hands up to his broad shoulders. "Sounds exciting, doesn't it?"

"Yes, I'm excited." a smile worked its way across his face and his eyes flashed devious. "Can't you tell?"

I could tell. I felt his hardness pressing against my stomach through my robe as he pulled me into him. I had a devious thought of my own, and pulled away from him, searching his eyes for sign of agreement before continuing with my request.

"Let's put on the masks." I watched as his smile stretched further and he moved his head slowly in affirmation.

We grabbed the masks out of the box, nearly running as we headed to our bedroom.

So, please tell me what you think of this opening. Does it pique your interest? is it sexy enough? Can you understand the characters even if you had not read the first two stories? Again, I'll provide this story free to those on my mailing list for those interested. Thank you.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

A Novel Adventure

Yesterday, I attended my first author event. I was pleasantly surprised of the outcome.

You see, this was not the standard event where the author goes to some book store loaded with books and giveaway items hoping to snare passersby, it was something altogether different. Yesterday I set up a table at a local flea market.

I know, it seems strange and counter intuitive to do such a thing but I was quite surprised at the results. I sold more books than expected and most of all, met many new friends-wonderful people, some aspiring authors.

I was offered this opportunity by a friend of mine who attends this event on the first weekend of each month with their father who sells tools. Yes, I had my little table set up next to some guy hawking tools at a flea market. But I didn't go for the hard sell, instead, I simply drew passersby to my table with the offer of free mints and a free bookmark. Once they approached my little table, I would start with "my latest story takes place right here in Montgomery, Alabama." We were set up in a nearby city so that piqued the interest of many. From there, I simply answered their questions and asked questions of my own. I was surprised with how many people actually decided to buy a book but even more surprised with the number of people changed their minds after I mentioned the last little fact that the main character just happens to be a shape shifting werewolf.

Surprisingly, that was the clincher that sealed the deal for many.

They would respond with something like, "Oh, that's what I like to read" before offering up the names of all the authors they read in the genre.

But the most surprising of all was that I sold nearly as many copies of my first novel, Lovestruck Succubus when I did not even have it displayed on the table. You see, since I live in the South, and many outwardly shun the possibility of what they consider "ungodly" books, I kept those books in a cardboard box and displayed an alternate cover on my poster.

When people asked, "is Lexi's Run part of a series?" I would say "why yes, and I have some with me, but I can't display them because this book is very adult in nature." I could see their eyes bloom with that statement and, more often than not, they immediately wanted a copy.

I must say though, that I learned much from this event. I discovered the importance of offering something, like free bookmarks, to get people to your table. I discovered that more books are sold by simply engaging those you meet in meaningful conversation rather than pushing your products on them. Most of all, I feel I met many new friends throughout the day and I'm thankful for each and every one of them.

I keep going back to the bookmarks and I must express that these were not professionally made. I simply created them on photoshop and took that graphic to my local store to have two bookmarks printed on a sheet of 4X6 photo paper. I cut them in half and, viola, I had over a hundred bookmarks. The back of the bookmarks were blank whit paper and I used that to practice signing my name while waiting for potential customers to stroll by. Not only were people impressed that I gave them a signed bookmark and signed copies of my books, it also helped me add flair to my author signature. Because, let's face it, if it weren't for mechanical or electronic writing machines, my handwriting would be virtually unreadable.

For those customers and new friends that approached my table, I thank you. For those other authors that either are considering something like this or simply shun the thought as beneath the dignity of an author to sell their books at a flea market, I say just give it a try. Besides, it's not just about selling stories, it's about meeting the people who read your work. I am proud to say that not one of the people buying books at my table yesterday knew who I was even though I am local-now they do.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fifty Shades of Fantasy

Wasn't that a catchy title? I wanted to title this post "Realistic Fantasy" but simply could not resist the temptation of the title above.

Truth is, I recently succumbed to all the hype over the E.L. James trilogy and to begin reading it for myself. About half-way through the first book, something struck me as profound--although the story uses a realistic backdrop, the situation is just far enough beyond reality to qualify as fantastic fiction.

I don't mean 'fantastic' as in 'great' (I'm sorry, but the quality certainly is not great) rather, I mean 'fantastic' as in beyond the realm of the realistic. That is, in fact, what attracts most readers to fiction.

When the word 'fantastic' is mentioned, I feel we've ventured into my territory. I would consider many of my stories in the realm of the fantastic, but at a polar opposite to stories such as FSoG.

Let me splain.

The premise of my stories are based in the fantastic. I like to take the paranormal existence of my characters and make them believable by grounding them in the real world. Realistic fiction takes normal (human) characters and attempts to bring their actions into the realm of the fantastic.

So, in a sense, many paranormal and fantasy stories must concentrate more on the realistic in order to help the reader suspend their inherent disbelief of the subject matter. I find this aspect of paranormal stories fascinating.

For instance, in my latest novel, Lexi's Run, my main character, Alexis, is a shape shifting werewolf living among an entire community of shape shifting werewolves.

How could I make her seem real?

First, I made sure that her community lives in secret among mere mortals. See, now I bet you're already thinking, "Yeah, this could be happening right now. In fact, this might explain the weird behaviour I've witnessed in my neighbor, Joannie."

Second, I made sure that Alexis lived as much of a normal human life as I could outside of her secret existence. She grew up in the small North Georgia town of Ellijay, Georgia, nestled at the foothills of the Appalachian mountains. He parents took her to all the local fairs, she attended college in Atlanta, and did all the things that a normal human would do. She just did them through the filter of werewolf royalty.

This way the reader gets to know Alexis as a person, and then is okay when I throw in that extra little fact that she just happens to be a shape shifting werewolf.

This is one of the reasons I like reading paranormal romance, and I'm hoping it is the reason other enjoy the genre as well.

You see, when one is reading a paranormal story a jumping off point must be provided, otherwise the story may be too unbelievable from the start. This is in direct contrast to a story such as FSoG where normal characters do things that, in real life, one might consider out of the ordinary. But that, in itself is a kind of fantasy. And isn't that what reading is all about? It is this ability to experience things as if we are the main character doing things we would never personally do.

But I still like it best when I can experience these things through the eyes of a demon, faerie, werewolf, or dare I say ... even a vampire.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Interracial Quandary

Opinions are strong and dissenting on the subject of interracial relationships.



I recently became part of a somewhat heated discussion on this subject on a social networking site. I learned that there still exists, those people that truly believe that each should keep to their own kind, and that relationships involving differing cultures, races, or ethinicities are still taboo, or in the case of a sexual relationship, fetish.

Should one consider the written expression of a relationship between people of differing backgrounds taboo, or fetish? I think that would depend on the context in which the story of the relationship is written. I believe that, in America and throughout the world, there still exists an element of taboo in such a relationship. But should it? I personally do not understand how some have come to a point in their thinking that they might believe that interracial relationships are akin to bestiality. Yes, there are those that believe this, even today.

First, a little background.

Quite possibly, this attitude is left over from a time (I believe this thinking fell out of favor in medieval times) when peoples commonly subscribed to the practice of endogamy in marriage. This is when a community practices marriage among those within their own community. Communities prescribed to this practice in an effort to preserve the purity of their race, community, or culture. This practice was especially common among royalty.

It did not take long for people to begin to realize the ill-affects of inbreeding. Oddly enough, as much as many think that those of African descent are somehow less advanced than those of Anglo-European, communities within Africa discovered these problems long before Europeans and prescribed to the practice of exogamy or outbreeding. Villagers would sometimes travel for days to forge relationships and arrange marriages among those of another village.

Why all the hate?

Interracial relationships have always been considered out of the norm, or taboo. This belief permeates all cultures, ethnicities, and races. As our world moved more toward a global community, the occurrence of this type of relationship became more prevalent, but not commonplace. Relationships between those of differing backgrounds was normally one-sided, being a product of purchase, or even kidnapping.

During the colonization and increased exploration of America, new farms and a fledgling economy brought with it a voracious appetite for labor. The most cost-effective form of labor at the time was slavery. There existed some Anglo-European slaves and indentured servants in the country but the slave trade took off like a rocket with the discovery and transport of people from Africa. These new slaves were easily identifiable, inexpensive, and would not demand their freedom after their term of indentured servitude. The concept of rounding up entire tribes, sometimes against their will, and shipping them across an ocean in disease-laden conditions was made easier to swallow with the falsely perpetrated belief that these people were somehow less than human by those that might wish to purchase them.

Of course, many female slaves ended up pregnant by their masters. This was the beginning of ill-feelings toward relationships between those of differing skin color. Now, don't get me wrong, it wasn't just African slaves that brought about this belief . It was perpetuated by those of all backgrounds. Many also demonized relationships between Whites and Indians, or Whites and Chinese during the Westward expansion.

In America, our strange beliefs revolve mostly between those of African descent and those of Anglo-European descent, or Blacks and Whites.

Even after slavery was abolished, there remained a deep-seated hatred of blacks from whites and an equally deep-seated distrust of whites from blacks. I will use the term "whites" and "blacks" from this point only for ease of distinction, although I personally find the term crude and misleading. More than any other race, ethnicity, or immigrant, those of African descent continued to suffer prejudicial treatment until, some would argue, today.

For a white man to have a relationship with a black woman was considered taboo. It was frowned upon. But for a black man to enter into a relationship with a white woman, could be deadly. In fact, in America and other countries, lawmakers commissioned anti-miscegenation laws. The very name of these laws expresses the long-standing misunderstanding of nature, and more specifically, the human race. The term "miscegenation" refers to breeding outside of a genus. This strikes me as odd since all of human race (emphasis on race) falls within the same genus.

On a more personal note, I find it difficult to understand how people can actually think that relationships between different cultures and ethnicities can be so wrong. After all, if we were really all so very different, one might think that nature would have accounted for our vast differences by making us incompatible.

For those of a religious background, I offer this. If God had not intended for us as humans, as diverse as we seem, to join together, then I would think that we would have been made incompatible. The fact that when those of differing "races" have sex they produce viable offspring, proves that we are compatible. So, in my belief, that is what God intended.

For those believing in evolution, I would say the same thing. We are an adaptable species and we know that, over time, many species have had to adapt in order to survive. This being the case, it is still true that the union of a cat with a dog cannot produce viable offspring. On the contrary, the union between humans of all backgrounds produce viable offspring. With this fact, I must surmise that all humans are close enough in their genetic make-up to be compatible. Therefore, the union is natural.

Although it is a well known fact that people of all backgrounds produce viable offspring, social fears remit a response quite different than one might think logical. In America, relationships between those of differing backgrounds was so frowned upon that laws were passed in an attempt to discourage people of different races to marry. The laws served only to strengthen the resolve of those in legitimate relationships and fuel the taboo and exoticism of sex with someone "different."

Yes, we actually had "anti-miscegenation" laws forbidding the marriage between whites and those of other backgrounds such as: African, Chinese (or any Mongolian or Asian) Indian, and even Mexican. These laws continued to exist, at least in Southern states, until June 1967 when Richard and Mildred Loving persevered in having the law rescinded after being married and discriminated against since their marriage in 1958.


Is it taboo? Fetish?

Yes and no for both. Taboo is based on community or societal norms, while fetishism is something more personal. But is reading about interracial relationships titillating? Again, the answer is yes and no. Some writers specifically put interracial relationships into their stories for the benefit of their readers. They do this because they are catering to the group of readers that enjoy reading about those of differing backgrounds engaged in sexual acts. Some focus specifically on physical differences to gain the arousal of their readers. But is that necessarily a bad thing?

I might ask, should we think it bad to think about, or dare I say, fantasize about having sex with someone different from ourselves? Why should it be shameful or prejudicial to think of such things? How many of you can honestly say that you've never had the slightest fantasy about someone different from yourself, and the fantasy revolved around, and was perpetuated by those differences? Again, I don't understand the problem in this.

I have an erotic story on the market right now called Pleasure Doing Business involving a three-way relationship between a white man, a black woman, and a Hispanic woman. They are the best of friends and astute business professionals. They join together to help their friend expand her fledgling business and their old feelings boil up until they must express them in a most physical way.  Did I put these three people together on purpose? In the case of this story, the answer would be no. These are just the personalities that came out of my head as I wrote the story. Is is possible that it was my own fantasies fueling the creation of these characters? Of course, and I would hope that it would be something readers would fantasize about as well.

Anyway, not more that two months after the publication of this story, I received a review accusing me of being "racial" in naming my one of my characters Reshonda. I think the reviewer wrote something to the affect of "using the name Reshonda reeks of prejudicial beliefs." Well, just in case you're wondering, Reshonda may be considered a stereotypical, even racial name elsewhere, but down here in the South, it's fairly common. And by the way, there are plenty of white girls named Reshonda too.

While I like to use diverse characters in my stories, I also like to write them in as if the relationship, whether it be only sexual or long-term loving, happens in the natural course of of their lives. I try to be honest and have my characters make the same considerations as they would in any relationship.

In Lexi's Run my lead character Joseph, a black man, meets his future leading lady, a white woman. The original manuscript contained a small section where Joseph considered his budding relationship with Alexis. He actually had some self dialogue about about how his mother would be turning in her grave if she knew he was falling in love with a white woman. It may seem bold, but people of color have these issues about interracial relationships too. White folks do not have a monopoly on prejudice. After harsh prompting, I removed all references of his consideration as more than one beta reader stated their concern that some readers would not understand his actions.

But, is the relationship between Joseph and Alexis fetishism? Does their coupling explore something considered taboo? I would hope that I wrote the story in a fashion that the reader will hardly notice their "racial" differences. That is not to say Joseph is completely free from prejudicial treatment. He is still considered a "feral" by the rest of Alexis' werewolf community.

The question remains with Joseph and Alexis, are they a contrived relationship, put into the story for the purpose of satiating reader's desire for an interracial relationship? Well, kinda.

Joseph and Alexis originally appeared in my novel Lovestruck Succubus. They had to work and live in close quarters for great lengths of time while hunting down rogues. Even though they are recently married or "mated" they bicker and then make up like an old married couple. This provided an avenue of dichotomy for me--a kind of yin and yang within their characterization. I wanted others to see this dichotomy so I took it a step further making Joseph a very dark-skinned black man with a bald head, while in contrast, Alexis was very pale-skinned and of obvious Eastern European descent. Yes, they have sex in this novel but it was written as erotica, what else would one expect?

Now, was their sexual encounter derivative of their differences? No, and any thought that I planned it that way is only in the reader's mind. While I like to show diversity within my stories, I also like to make these relationships seem natural. Does that mean it is not alright to write or read material that glorifies a person because of their background? Of course not. I believe it is perfectly okay, normal even, to show loving relationships between people of different "races" and think is is just as natural if we want to go a step further and celebrate, or even provide taboo or fetish titillation for someone different from ourselves.

Why not celebrate and relish our diversity rather than discourage such openness? What are your thoughts on interracial relationships, whether they be in a story or in real life. Certainly we've made advances in our civilization in order to understand that this is natural--something that should be accepted as a natural fact. It is the perceived prohibition of such a relationship that makes it into a subject of taboo and fetish, and that is something I would hope that we as humans could certainly rise above.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Werewolf Love



I would never have thought when I began my first novel that I would be writing about werewolves. I was attempting to write a character study (more or less) dealing with the dichotomous problem faced by a woman wanting a normal relationship but unable to sustain one.
Of course, what I came up with was a demon succubus. Hey, why not? Using a character such as this allowed me to explore the problems many face of wanting a lasting relationship, but somehow sabotaging themselves.
But, given the nature I invented for my succubus, how would she ever find a lasting relationship if she kills all her lovers? Who could possibly survive her love? That's when werewolves made their entrance into the story. I would just have my main character fall in love with a werewolf. In my mind anyway, a werewolf can survive a succubus. Oddly enough, I later found the very concept I dreamed up, was used in a television show called Lost Girl.
Of course, my werewolves were different. In fact, my werewolves were created eons ago by demons such as Azra and Tarmin. More about that later. The werewolves in my world are just like other humans, living among the rest of the population. They do tend to keep to themselves, and they have a definite hierarchy within their group. My werewolves also (for the most part) mate for life. Now there may be a rogue out there having relationships with more than one partner, but that will be another story. Also, my werewolves communicate just like married humans, oftentimes arguing or engaging in banter. Here's an example of this using Alexis and Joseph from the novel Lovestruck Succubus.
Joe Johnson sat in a darkened car next to his wife and mate, Lexi. The car was a rental and they had been sitting inside of it for nearly four hours watching Raif Lungren's apartment building. The air outside had cooled some but there was no breeze and now the day's heat radiated off the buildings and the concrete. Hot moist air filled the car making their skin stick uncomfortably to the seats. The windows were cracked open but they could not run the air conditioner for fear of attracting attention, even on the deserted street in the dead of night. The inside of the car stank of coffee, french-fries, and body odor.

They had watched Raif walk home from work. They had watched a woman follow behind him. They had watched her hide beside a tree for more than two hours. Now, they watched as she moved to the apartment entrance door, and they would wait until morning if they had to, just to see if the woman stayed in his apartment for the night. They had been watching Raif for more than two weeks. All of his activities had been noted and relayed back to their pack leader and alpha in Northern Georgia. But the woman was new, and why she was hiding outside his apartment building they had no idea, although the arrival of this new woman did bring some excitement to their normally dull observations. Lexi wrote notes on a small notepad. She listed the general characteristics of the woman approaching the apartment building, approximate height, hair color and length, and clothing worn. She noted the time, 1:43 AM, and wrote it down.

"Did you see that?" Joe poked at Alexis, and then pointed at the apartment entrance.

"See what? She just went into the apartment building." Alexis gave him a stern look through the darkness, peeved about his habit of poking her when he wanted her attention.

"No, Lexi, I didn't see her open the door." Joe always called her Lexi, and she called him Joe, unless they were mad at each other, and then it was Alexis and Joseph.

"What do you mean? I'm sure she opened the door and then went inside, you just missed it."

"I don't know. It looked to me like she went through the door."

"Maybe you need more coffee." Lexi held the thermos up for him. "I think all this stakeout stuff just makes you loopy."

Joe resigned the argument, thinking she was right and he was probably just seeing things that were not there. He lifted his Styrofoam cup out to her and smiled in acceptance of her terms. Lexi filled his cup, smiled back at him and settled back in her seat. They fell into silence, Joe slowly slurping coffee, Lexi huffing and shifting abruptly in her seat in annoyance at his loud, sloppy drinking.

They had sat in the car another forty minutes when the apartment building door flew open and a kind of half-human half-wolf creature came through at a full run.
This scene from Lexi's Run served as part of the introduction of Joseph and Alexis (Joe and Lexi) in the first Novel. It is told from Joe's point of view. It may seem strange to some readers that the second novel went backwards, but I thought this was a great way to highlight the relationship of Joe and Lexi. I thought it would show how they became so familiar with each other. They weren't always so informal. In fact, this next scene shows how they almost never got together.

Joseph walked across the old crumbling asphalt parking lot, and over patches of loose gravel in front of the abandoned auto parts store toward the bar. As he crossed the alley, he heard a voice and, looking into the darkness, he saw a man and a woman in the shadows by a garbage dumpster. The man said something, and the woman jerked her hand away from him. Joseph's body reacted before his mind even realized the two were not standing in the dark for romance. The woman was backing up, and the man was advancing toward her.

"You alright Ma'am," he heard himself say as he closed the distance between him and the assailant grabbing at the woman.

He made it to the man in five easy steps. The man was preoccupied with the woman, allowing Joseph the opportunity to wrap his arm around the man's neck and drag him away from the woman, making sure to jerk his knee into the man's back at every step backwards. Joseph kept dragging the man backwards until he was brought off balance and went to the ground. He rolled the man over as forcefully as he could and then knelt down with his knee in the man's back, yanking the man’s arms around his back to meet his knee. Joe grabbed his zip straps out from the left side of his waistband, and tightened them around the man's wrists before bringing his attention back to the woman.

"Are you okay? Did he hurt you?" Joe looked up at the woman, standing among the dark shadows of the alley.

He could only make out her general shape in the dark, but he was certain he saw her eyes, just for a brief moment, nearly glowing, something primal reflecting in them through the darkness. His eyes adjusted to the darkness of the alley, and the two standing in front of him came into better view. He recognized the man as Lefty, the local sleaze ball, and the very skip Jake contracted him to bring in. His luck was certainly changing from earlier in the day. The thug wannabee down and secure, Joe turned his attention back to the woman again.

"It's alright, I got him under control," He said to the woman, as he jerked Lefty up by his cuffed wrists.

Standing closer to the woman, he got a better look at her. She was looking not too pleased that he stopped Lefty from doing to her ... whatever it was he was thinking of doing. In fact, the smug look on her face made her seem completely ungrateful that he just saved her life, or, at the very least, her honor. Her pale skin reflected the dim light from the crescent moon overhead, and contrasted sharply with her dark hair. Joseph didn't usually think much of women one way or the other since his mother died, but even in the dark, he saw something special in her, a kind of confidence, a deep, animalistic skill for survival. He was beginning to wonder if he hadn't shown up, if she would've taken care of Lefty herself. Then she spoke, and removed any doubt about her confidence.

"I'm alright," the woman said. "I didn't need any help." She crossed her arms, and moved into a stance that, even in the darkness, came off as arrogant.

"Yeah, I could tell, you had everything under control," he said, with as much sarcasm as he could muster.

She glared at him; a cold hurt showing in her eyes, even through the dark, and he regretted the words as soon as he said them. Truth was, the woman looked like she could take care of herself. She was taller than most women, with a solid build. She was more voluptuous and toned than stick-thin, and her eyes showed strength. Even in the dark alley, her eyes conveyed volumes. Joseph liked beautiful eyes, and he liked a strong woman. He decided to take on a different approach in talking to her.

"I didn't get your name."

"I didn't give it." She turned, and began to walk away. "Like I told you already, I had everything under control until you showed up."

"Sorry if I interrupted your ass-kicking, but I've been looking for this guy." Joseph left out the fact that he had just started looking for him.

"Well, you got him," she said, not even looking back as she walked toward the street. "Can I get back to work, now?"

"You work here?"

"No, asshole, I don't work here.” She turned and looked back at him, planting her feet at shoulder-width. “Not on the street. I'm a waitress at the Pink Pony." She huffed and turned again, walking toward the alley entrance.

"Oh, I didn't mean ...” But it was too late. She'd already rounded the corner and disappeared.

"Wait," Joseph yelled after her as he moved as quickly as he could toward the street, pushing Lefty in front of him.

He reached the crumbling parking lot just as the woman stepped into the building, the door closing behind her.

"My name's Joseph," he yelled as the door closed.

"Damn you, Lefty," Joseph yelled in his ear as he jerked him toward his truck and pushed him along, making him stumble across loose gravel. "You just cost me a date."

"More like, I just put the two of you together," Lefty countered. "Who are you, anyway?"

"Nobody really, Lefty.” Joseph told him as he opened the passenger door of his truck and threw lefty inside. “I'm just the guy that gets paid for collecting trash like you and bringing them to jail."

It seems these were just two normal people meeting for the first time but soon, it is revealed that Lexi, and her relationship with Joseph is nothing close to normal. I write all this because I am attempting to warn my readers and possible future readers that the direction of this ongoing story is going to change even more with the third novel. What started as a story about a lonely demon succubus is becoming a story of the relationship between demons of old and the shape-shifting werewolves they created in an attempt to rid the Earth of humans.
My werewolves are not demons but they are definitely paranormal. They have special healing abilities, advanced hearing and smell but they are not completely immortal. They do grow old, and eventually die, as shown in Lexi's Run. Nonetheless, they do have the ability to shift to any form between human and wolf.
When it comes to love, there is only one kind for my werewolves—everlasting. With few exceptions, they stay with their mate (chosen or selected) for life. I hope this article provides some insight into my personal world of demons and werewolves. I hope that you would make it your world as well. And, I hope you stay with me because, in the next installment of this ongoing saga, things are going to get a little bumpy.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Stay in Your Lane


The few readers that frequent my website know that I've recently published a new novel in the Immortal Desires series.

I wonder how many reader I've lost because they were expecting erotica, and instead, found romantic suspense. That's the nice thing about being a completely independent writer-I can write whatever I want. Nonetheless, I must also suffer the consequences of jumping genre and confusing readers. And now, with a newly published work set out there in the big cold world, I realize that, to a certain extent, I must start again and build an entirely new audience ... or do I?

So I ask you for your thoughts. Would you stay with an author you like if they suddenly jump genres? Do you make your purchase selections solely on the author, or are you apt to give something new a try if it is written by an author you are familiar with?

I ask this for two reasons. First, the next two novels (and a few free shorts as well) in the series will continue in the same vein as Lexi's Run. I know the first novel has a strong erotic element but the rest of the story just does not call for it.

As all of my readers know, I write erotic stories just like fantasy or romance or suspense. To me, it's all about the story. That may explain why my writing is, as some have said, "all over the place." But again, that's the nice thing about independent writing.

So, tell me, will you follow an author you like if they write across genres? Do you prefer series books to all tie in together or do you like standalone books within a series?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Paranormal Romance Today

credit: Robert Giordano, design 215

Why are so many readers discovering and falling in love with paranormal romance lately? There's no doubt that books like Twilight have played a key role in fostering a new demand for stories of romance beyond the normal. The trend is continued in other genres such as EL James' Fifty Shades, which was originally listed within the erotica genre, until it was picked up by a mainstream publisher and re marketed as romance, but that's another story.

Not long ago, if one searched under 'paranormal' in any book-buying medium, they would be directed to horror books or books about ghosts. Soon though, things changed and authors began to make those characters normally associated only with the strange and fantastic, into more 'normal' characters. What I mean by this is that the characters in stories started to become more like regular old mortal humans. This made the characters more identifiable, while maintaining the allure of them being somehow special, somehow more than normal.

Next, we introduce the romantic element and, viola! We fall in love with super characters that, although they have problems and flaws like everyone else, they are still superhuman, or even more, not human at all.

So, why do you love to read paranormal romance stories? Is it the excitement of characters that are beyond human? Is it the possibility of a relationship between a human and say, a werewolf or vampire?

Personally, the reasons I like to read paranormal romance are the same reason I like to write stories within this genre.

I love the possibilities that come with a character that has special powers. I like to think about those special powers, and how they must be used to resolve a conflict of kind, or even save the character's life. I like the special problems and joys that I imagine one might find when pursuing a romantic relationship with another that has some kind of power. Maybe they have to learn how to control that power and their is an element of danger in the relationship.

In my stories, I like to make my special characters as normal as possible (most of the time.) I want the reader to forget that the characters are werewolves, or demons, or even telepathic. I want the reader to be pleasantly surprised when are suddenly reminded that their beloved character can shape shift or use their special powers to detect danger.

So, for those of you out there that love your paranormal romance, keep reading, and I'll keep writing. Oh, and be sure to check out my books under Ellison James at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and everywhere else. Sorry, just had to get that plug in there.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Surprise Early Release


My latest novel is now available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble for the very frugal price of just $2.99!

In this story, Alexis is on the run after refusing an arranged marriage to the future pack Alpha when she meets hunky bounty hunter, Joseph Johnson. Together, they find themselves in more trouble than they can handle alone, If they can't come together to solve their problems, they may not live another day. Follow Alexis as she battles drug-dealing thugs, amorous bar patrons, her own betrothed mate, and a growing love she cannot deny.

Please help support this work by purchasing, reviewing, or at the very least, liking the sale pages on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. While this novel contains no erotica and is suitable for most adults, I promise it will keep you on the seat of your pants, and routing for Alexis and Joseph declare their love.

Please help spread the word on this new novel by tell friends and forwarding this post.

Here's the links:

Lexi's Run at Amazon

Lexi's Run in paperback

Lexi's Run at Barnes and Noble

Lexi's Run at Smashwords

This novel should be available soon at Apple ibooks, diesel, kobo, and everywhere else.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Some Fine Tuning

It appears Lexi's Run is on track for a September release. With edits underway, I thought it would be a great time to take another look at something that I feel can make or break a novel before it has a chance to be read - the cover.

Since the second novel marks my commitment to the Immortal Desires series, it stands to reason that I should create a brand or some item that remains constant and identifiable throughout the series.

Enter the series banner.

Take a look at the covers below and comment with your opinion on whether this works as something that ties the series together.


I've also remade the cover for the first novel as seen below:




What do you think? Does the branding work?

The cover you see for the first novel comes from the ebook version. The paperback version still shows Azra's face behind the night skyline of Atlanta, Georgia. This cover will soon replace both version currently on sale.

As some of you may know already, I take great pride in being a completely independent author, even creating my own cover artwork. In the updated cover for Lovestruck Succubus, I moved the photo of the man and woman down to minimize the, uh, exposure of the woman's nakedness. Although this image may seem to risque for some readers, I feel it best depicts the main character of the story, Azra. As most paranormal readers know, the Succubus like to be on top.

The new cover above will likely be the final for publication of Lexi's Run. The new cover for Lovestruck Succubus will appear after the book goes through a late rewrite and the second edition is ready for publication.


For those who might be wondering, writing is underway for the next novel in the series, Demon Among Wolves, and will likely be ready for release next September.



Saturday, July 28, 2012

Bleeding Out the Last Word



It is finally completed. I've typed out the last word in the second story of the Immortal Desires series, Lexi's Run.

Okay, so maybe it is just the draft and still needing editing (which the real writing occurs) but the wait won't be long now. The cover design shown above is still tentative, as with the story title, although the title is growing on me.

After a few rounds of editing, I'll be ready to send advance copies of this story out to dedicated readers. If you would like to be a dedicated reader and receive an advance copy of this story, please sign up for my mailing list, or simply email me your request. Of course, I will announce this in a newsletter upon completion of editing.

Also, please do not hesitate to let me know if you have an idea for another cover concept or title. I'm currently working on putting elements together in some form that will tie all the stories of the series together-something like a border or caption.

I would also like to put a word out to Rasj Prophecy Sanders, a facebook friend and the person I see when I think of Joseph Johnson. Hang in there. I haven't forgotten about you. I will find a way to get pictures of you and use them in my cover art ... somehow.

Meanwhile, I'm back to work on what was supposed to be the second book in the series, Demon Among Wolves. As of this post, I'm in the early planning stages for the last book. I have a tentative title chosen of, The Last Lycan or The Last Lycan King.

Until then, live to the fullest, and never be afraid to seek for yourself, fantasy, intrigue, and immortal desire.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Blog Hop Announcement




I just signed up for my first blog hop. This should be interesting. Follow me this Fall and enter to win something naughty FREE from me and other participating authors.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Official News-New Release


Here it is, the official release of my latest work, Surrogate. It is live and available everywhere, although it may take an additional week or so to post on ibooks, Diesel, and Kobo.

Download your copy soon, and please be sure to help me spread the word, and make this new series "The Geil Clinic" a success!

Follow this LINK for The Geil Clinic website and links for purchasing options.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Pre Release Freebie

I'm offering a chance for early birds to get a free copy of my latest story, Surrogate for FREE at Smashwords and All Romance eBooks.

Hurry! This offer good only Through 10 July 2012.

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/179583

http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-surrogate-863419-144.html

Feel free to leave a review at these sites and at Amazon and Barnes and Noble if you feel so inclined.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Radar Love, or Something Else?

Photo credit: crystalinks.com

I'm probably giving away my age but here goes anyway. Way back in 1973, a Dutch rock band called "Golden Earring" released a song titled "Radar Love." Some of the lyrics went like this:
When I get lonely, and I'm sure I've had enough.
She sends a comfort, coming in from above.
We don't need no letter at all.
We've got a line in the sky.
We've got a thing that's called radar love.
This song always gives me the impression that the two lovers had some means of communicating beyond words. They called each other without the use of phone, letter, email, text, or twitter post. They were connected on a spiritual level.

Think about it. Wouldn't it be great if something like this were possible?

Ever feel like someone was staring at you but when you look, nobody is there? Some believe that is a form of PsychoKinesis or PK.

Many people believe this kind of thing is not only possible, but is something that exists within us all. Parapsychologists from all over the globe have dedicated great amounts of time and money performing tests to determine if one person could possibly communicate with, or even better, influence another without actual verbal communication or physical touch.

The phenomenon has been given many names: telekinesis, Psycho-Kinesis or PK, Remote Influence, Direct Mental Interaction with Living Systems DMILS, among others. Personally, I consider the prospect of remote influence very interesting.

There have been countless studies on this subject involving everything from staring (remember The Men Who Stare at Goats?) to skin reactions. Many of the studies had varying results but some were positive enough to warrant additional study, or even training, in an attempt to foster one's ability in such a matter.

Now, you know as a writer, I could not just leave well-enough alone on this subject. I wondered just how far one could go with this. Is it possible to influence another through tactile stimulation? Could one establish a mental or spiritual connection with another? Could one person remotely stimulate another ... sexually?

In my upcoming story, Surrogate, I explore these questions, and take the possibilities to the next level. To gain more insight, check out this story, written for the Geil Clinic series, scheduled for release on or before 12 July 2012.

Or, if you simply cannot wait that long, Surrogate is available now through Smashwords by clicking this link. I'm even offering it FREE until release day using this coupon code: KZ54K

Hope you enjoy this story. I certainly enjoyed thinking about all the possibilities remote influence might bring, while writing this short (11 thousand words) erotic tale involving four women, a clinical study, and a breakthrough in remote influence of the most intimate kind.