Friday, June 13, 2008


As promised, here's a little excerpt from SIREN SINGING, out today from Ellora's Cave! The excerpt is PG because this blog isn't age controlled, but trust me, the book is hot :) And remember, everyone needs to buy the book since writing is now my only income and I'll soon have a baby to feed. (cheeky grin)

ISBN 9781419916595
Siren Singing Copyright © 2008 Isabo Kelly.

Sonia Karishja took a deep breath and straightened her shoulders. She’d known for years this day would come. Even before her father announced his decision, Sonia began to prepare. From the moment the seer revealed the future to her, she’d studied and trained, learning everything she could to guarantee success.

Because this one day could ensure the future of her entire planet.

Her wedding day.

“Sonia, stop fidgeting,” her lady-in-waiting scolded. “The jewels will be crooked if you don’t stop moving.”

She glanced down at Nina where she knelt, affixing small rubies to the skin around Sonia’s navel. “Sorry.” Standing here, getting ready to meet her groom for the first time, nerves plagued Sonia. She’d been so positive this marriage was the right thing. Now her future seemed less certain.

Vander Ulneric was the oldest son of one of the most powerful families, both militarily and politically, on Callisea. This marriage would form a bond between his family and hers, a powerful Ishari family, creating a treaty between their planets that couldn’t fail like so many had in the past. Sonia would bring the superior technology of her planet to the superior armies of his. The tie would force their two governments to deal with each other, and together they could survive as independent worlds against the onslaught of their mutual enemy, the Selmorahn Empire.

So she’d learned everything there was to know about Vander to ensure the success of their marriage, even to the point of becoming fluent in his native language. And all that knowledge had produced an unexpected side effect.

She’d fallen in love with him.

“This seduction plan of yours will go a lot smoother if you aren’t worried about crooked body art,” Nina said.

She tried to grin but her stomach fluttered. Nina was her best friend and the only person she’d trusted with this particular secret. “I’m starting to worry about my plan.” She glanced over her friend’s head to her reflection in the floor-length mirror. Cool spring light streamed into the room through giant windows, making the white silk of her dress glow. “I’ve never tried to seduce a man before. Not like a normal woman.”

“Then use your song. I don’t understand why you won’t. If I had the talent, I’d use it.”

Sonia shook her head and watched the tiny bells in her hair sparkle as the jingling sound danced through the quiet room. “I want him to want me. I don’t want him tricked into lusting after me.”

Nina sighed but didn’t look up from her work. “Sonia, you want him to love you. But…”

When Nina didn’t finish, Sonia glanced down. “What?”

“But you know that might never happen,” she finished and finally met Sonia’s gaze. “You better than anyone know you’re facing an uphill battle.”

Sonia bit her bottom lip and glanced back at the mirror so she wouldn’t have to see the compassion in her friend’s eyes. Nina was right. She understood only too well her quest to make Vander fall in love with her might be hopeless. He was already in love with someone else. A ghost. A woman who’d been killed in a Selmorahn raid only four months before this marriage was arranged.

A woman who was opposite in every way to Sonia. Anya had been petite, fair-haired, light-eyed, quiet, shy, biddable, sweet, caring and giving. Sonia was dark—black hair, black eyes, olive-colored skin. She was tall, curvy, forward and brazen. She considered herself caring and would do anything for her family and her people. But she wasn’t quiet, sweet was questionable, and biddable wasn’t a term often used in the same sentence as her name.

Not that she hadn’t considered changing for Vander. But as Nina pointed out, she made a terrible blonde. Half smiling, she shrugged. “If I have any hope of winning his heart, I have to earn it for who and what I am. You said as much already.”

“I didn’t mean for you to avoid using the one sure-fire talent you have to seduce men. Besides, that’s part of who you are. Would you hide that from him?”

“No. But I’m not using it against him either.” She looked up at her reflection again. “I’m just going to have to seduce him the old-fashioned way.” She ran a hand over her gown.

The dress was cut to reveal more skin than it covered, despite the full-length skirt and long sleeves. She wasn’t even supposed to wear undergarments, but after some debate had opted for small, lacy panties. While her own people wouldn’t think twice about her provocative attire, Calliseans were much more conservative. Undergarments weren’t the only adjustment she’d had to make to accommodate a wedding on Vander’s home world, including having to forgo the typical four to five day weddings of her home city, Holiabad. But she’d kept a few of her own customs. She would remain barefoot on her wedding day and for the following four days. And her hands and feet were decorated with red body paint, her hands covered with flower and vine designs specific to her family clan.

In the bright sunlight filling the room, the contrast between red paint, white silk and her dark skin was striking. She grinned. “If he isn’t seduced by this fine work of yours, I have no hope. With or without my song.”

Nina grinned back. “If he doesn’t want you on first sight, he’s made of stone and doesn’t deserve you. You’re going to have every man in that room drooling.”

Sonia pressed a hand to her stomach, above the swirls of rubies. There was only one man she wanted to notice her. And he was the one man she was worried might not.

Nina patted her hip and stood. “I have an early wedding present for you.” She crossed to the stacks of trunks that made up their luggage.

Sonia had been given a lavish suite next to Vander’s in the family wing of the palace. But to prepare for the ceremony, she’d stayed in Nina’s cozier room in the guest wing. At least here, she could stand on thick rugs. Most of the palace had marble floors which were freezing against her bare feet. One of the maids told her the palace remained cool even in the height of summer. But it wasn’t summer yet, so she found it hard to appreciate the cold floors. Part of her missed the dry heat of her own home. Even in the approaching winter, she’d still have been able to spend time in her sun-drenched gardens. Though as she remembered the heat of summer, she couldn’t help but appreciate the cooler climate here.

After digging through her case for a few moments, Nina rose with a large box wrapped in gold paper. She grinned as she handed Sonia the present. “If this doesn’t get his engines revving, the man’s a eunuch.”

Sonia raised an eyebrow. When she removed the wrapping and saw the present, she laughed. “Thank you, Nina. I think you just tipped the scales in my favor.”

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

It's Hot! Damn Hot!

It is roasting here in New York City. Okay, today is much much more pleasant than the last four days, but I'm still recovering from all that heat. You'd think a woman who grew up in Vegas would be fine with heat--and I am, when it's dry heat! This humid stuff is for the birds. I spent two of the four heat wave days in front of the airconditioner napping and reading (yay, Vivi Anna's Valorian Chronicles!). Fortunately, being a pregnant woman means I have an excellent excuse to do this. No one even thinks to question my impluse to nap through the heat. But the truth is, I'd have wanted to do that even if I wasn't pregnant!

Funny how many people were worried about me, too, on the days I was out and about. New Yorkers might not always give up their subway seats for me, but I did have a lot of strangers--women in particular--asking me if baby and I were okay in the heat. It's was pretty sweet actually. Fortunately, I haven't had that overly-hot-pregnant-lady thing. I haven't been any hotter than I normally would be. But I still prefer my airconditioned apartment to all that humidity.

Still a lot of stuff to do around the house to prep for baby. But managed to get a lot of random baby gear purchased this weekend and now am feeling a little less frantic. Last week, I was all about needing to get the house ready and worrying over the fact that it's still a "baby death trap"! This week, I've calmed a bit, knowing some of this stuff can get done after baby's born. There's still lots to do, but at least I've calmed down a bit. And with that calm, my desire to write has returned. Yay! I didn't even realize how much I was missing writing until I opened my laptop and started to type. Guess impending motherhood hasn't completely overcome my writing impusle yet. Which is nice.

Now, couple of friend things. Leanna Renee Hieber went to Lori Foster's event this last weekend and managed to score a promotional coup--she found herself interviewed on Barbara Vey's Publisher's Weekly video blog. Check it out--scroll down to get to it. How cute is she and her mom!

And Maya Rodale--one of my NYC RWA fellow chapter members and fabulous historical author--has a little interview of me up on her blog. It's pretty cool actually. She asks authors the same six questions, which means you can compare all your favorite people. Her first six questions went to Julia Quinn and JQ had some great answers. I got the honor of being second, so check it out. The questions are really fun, too, not the usual fair. (See what superpower I want! :))

I have two books out this month, one I know for sure will be out on Friday (SIREN SINGING) so come back to the blog on Friday and I'll have a short excerpt. I wasn't fast enough to get the info to my webmistress before she went on holiday so until we can get a page up on the website, you can enjoy a little reading here in the meantime.

Stay cool! And let me know what you think of Maya's questions and Leanna's video!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Baby Shower NY style

So my fabulous writer friends threw me a little baby shower earlier in the week. And it was lovely. It was actually similar to the one some other lovely writer friends threw me at RT--we spent a lot of time not talking about babies. LOL.

The setting was very appropriately an Irish pub. I was proposed to in an Irish pub (in Ireland), I spent part of my wedding day in an Irish pub (there are pictures of me in my wedding dress with a pint of Guinness--I love those pictures), and now I've officially had a baby shower in an Irish pub (though this one was in New York City).

To add a little "local NY" flavor to the shower, turns out one friend--Marianne Mancusi--managed to get me a bouquet of flowers made by a celebrity florist! The same florist who did Jessica Alba's baby shower. When I can get the woman's name from Marianne, I'll be sure to post it. The florist was so nice. Marianne just asked her for advice on what would be good flowers to bring to the shower, and she went out of her way to actually put together a bouquet from some flowers she had on hand. It's gorgeous too. I don't have a picture of that either, unfortunately, but someone does, so I'll get that soon too. I mean, only in NY would I randomly end up with a bouquet made by a celebrity florist.

Then to top it off, another friend was late because an Adam Sandler promo thingy going on in the TV studio she and her husband run ran late. Adam Sandler made my friend late for my shower. That's just wild.

Only in NYC--at least for me. LOL. The closest I've ever come to celebrities was when I saw Liberachi in the grocery story in Vegas when I was a kid. For the most part, despite the fact that I tend to live in places where celebrities hang out, they seem to avoid me, or else when I pass them I don't notice who they are, so having this many brushes with celebrity all at once is pretty funny. Even if I didn't meet or even see any of them :)

As for the shower itself, the girls did a great job of getting me and baby really cute pressies, which was super sweet. I had a burger for dinner--a really yummy one. And no one got overly emotional or sentimental about the impending arrival which was even better. It was the perfect baby shower for me.

So thanks: Leanna, Liz, Marianne, Stacey, Elizabeth, and Morgan! You guys are the best.

Now, I have to actually get the apartment ready for baby--that's the tough part!