Sunday, July 29, 2012

I can't believe it's been ten years!

No, not my marriage LOL. I've been married a lot  longer than that! I guess it is a marriage of sorts, though, because in November I'll have been writing for Ellora's Cave Publishing for ten years.

This month I had my sixtieth ebook release from EC, LOVERS' FEUD, the first in a new series called Caden Kink. It's been a fun, busy ride that I hope goes on for many more years--the company has great management, super editors and the best art department in the business!

I'm happy to be a part of the company's ten-year celebration, with all sorts of neat perks including new, super-hot covers for my oldies but goodies like AWAKENINGS-- a fairytale fantasy, probably the first or one of the first of the company's successful themed series.

AWAKENINGS came out first in the summer of 2003, an erotic takeoff on "Sleeping Beauty" and "Jorinda and Joringel" in which Jorinda falls under an evil witch's spell that requires two princes--in this case Jorinda and his twin brother Khalil--to make love to a sleeping princess and break the spells cast on both women.  Needless to say if you're familiar with my books, AWAKENINGS is a big departure from the contemporary erotic romances I usually write.

If you like erotic fantasies and haven't tried this one, check out the excerpt below...and get your updated copy with the beautiful cover by Syneca from Ellora's Cave, Amazon or other online retailers. It's also available in print, in the collection DARK FANTASIES.


 The most profound experience of his life. ‘Twas the only way Joringel could describe the orgasm that had overtaken not only his body but his heart and mind. Content, he lay on the mossy bed in the glen, tracing the sweet, womanly curve of Jorinda’s spine as she lay against his chest. Birds of red, green, yellow, and brilliant blue swooped down, then returned to perch in the branches of trees filled with fragrant blossoms.

The waning sun warmed his cheeks.

Paradise. Perhaps all he needed was this woman, not a thousand-year-old princess who’d only awaken to the touch of a worthy lover. Chances were, that worthy lover would have been Khalid, not he, in any case. Perhaps he’d take Jorinda, leave the forest ere evil befell them, and carve out a kingdom of his own in the verdant valley of Aphrodisias.

Yes. That was exactly what he’d do. Closing his eyes, Joringel imagined restoring the palace, fortifying the valley’s defenses…

Suddenly the sound of the birds’ songs changed, grew urgent. The sky darkened. Alarmed, Joringel drew Jorinda tightly into his arms as a huge black bird swooped down from the sky, its descent accompanied by an ominous rumbling from the top of a snow-capped mountain that lay far in the distance.

But his strength was no match for that of the mighty raptor. It grasped Jorinda by the waist and dragged her away…and up, up, up until she hung suspended from its huge yellow claws as though she weighed no more than one of the frightened songbirds.

Out of his reach. He searched for a tree to climb, that he might free her. None reached as high as the creature had already soared. Desperate now, for he now knew Jorinda was his destiny, Joringel snatched up his robe and sword, and took off running in the direction the bird had headed with its precious burden.

Toward Acilik Mountain, from which ‘twas said no man had ever returned.

The legends he’d heard and scoffed at before venturing into this place of tempting horrors now terrified him. Tales of maidens being carried away and turned to stone by Marij, the wicked witch of the mountain, never to be seen or heard from again, reverberated in his ears.

His original quest forgotten, Joringel uttered up prayers to the deities of his own people, and to the gods and goddesses that were said to keep the Aphrodisiasi people from harm.

“Protect my lady. Give me the strength to free her.” Joringel repeated those words like a mantra, though he had no clue as to how he might wrench his lover from the clutches of the evil one.

His concentration centered on his prayers, Joringel noticed only when he’d been neatly captured in the branches of a gnarled flower tree that he could no longer move about.

To no avail, he struggled to break away from the encircling branches. Finally realizing he’d been rendered helpless at least for the moment, Joringel assessed his surroundings. Nothing unusual. Only the forest, with its plants and creatures… He gawked, amazed, at the large snow-white owl when it landed on the ground before him, for the creature emitted a surrealistic glow, then changed into a wizened gnome before his eyes.

A gnome who looked much like the one his mother had described in the bedtime stories of his youth.
“Help me free myself, for I must hasten before it’s too late. The evil one has taken my lover.”

“She will go nowhere but to Acilik Castle. ‘Tis where Marij keeps all those she finds trespassing in this enchanted forest. Fear not. We’ll retrieve her in due course.”

Joringel struggled to break free, but the branches held him fast. “I must go to her now. I cannot lose her.”

“Calm yourself, my prince. First you have a more pressing duty: to break the spell Acilik Marij cast on my sleeping princess, for the time is upon us. Where is your brother, so we can get on with the seduction?” asked the gnome. “You are a prince of Gaziantep, are you not?”

“Yes, but—”

The gnome stomped one claw-like foot. “There is no time to argue, Your Highness. Marij’s curse was to last a thousand years, until the princes would come and waken Princess Talia.” The gnome’s wrinkled cheeks turned a brilliant red, and he lowered his gaze. “She’s to be awakened with all manner of carnal pleasures,” he added as though reluctant to impart that proviso.

Joringel had heard before that the awakening would involve mating with the sleeping princess, from wandering Aphrodisiasi minstrels who often visited the courts of Gaziantep, as well as in the Yazilikaya pleasure palaces. Understandably his mother had omitted that part of the legend when she’d told it to him and Khalid.

An hour ago Joringel would have argued that he could waken Talia alone—that his sexual prowess was without equal. Now, though, it was Jorinda he wanted—for life, with or without the kingdom that would come to the prince who awakened the Aphrodisiasi princess.


Tina Donahue said...

Wow, 60 books - amazing!!

Major congrats, Ann - and I absoluely LOVE the cover of Awakenings. :)

jean hart stewart said...

Congratulations...I love fantasties. You've set me a good goal. I'm only up to 28 books, more of them with EC, though.

Fiona McGier said...

I read that 50 shades has made erotic romance "hot" in sales. Even Anne Rice is re-releasing her "Sleeping Beauty" books under her real name with a new foreword. I found them a little too harsh when I read them years ago, but to each their own. Your "take" on the fairy tale sounds more to my taste!