I still remember my first acceptance and the anxiety that came with it. Please welcome Ela Stein, now a proud Evernight author.
Hello, everyone! I’m here today to talk about my two new releases with Evernight Publishing, but first of all, a very huge thank you to my blog hostess for having me. These are my first publications, so I am excited and a little scared Writing has always been a part of my life, and getting published a dream and a goal, so it’s a cool feeling to have two books for my very first release date.
First, a little bit about my Free Read because… well, it’s free. So you can try out my writing at no risk, and I hope you enjoy it. This is a quick and short read, at a little over 5,000 words. “Pleasure Android 7.1” came about as the result of the eternal “what if” question. With all the advances we’re making in artificial intelligence and robots, it seems almost inevitable that this will be our future. I saw a video about the robots they are creating in China… they look like people, they talk, they make eye contact. It’s exhilarating, the progress we’re making, and a little creepy at the same time. Nico, the hero of “Pleasure Android 7.1” is definitely not the least bit creepy. He was created to be every woman’s fantasy and has the database to deliver (wink, wink).
Zola is dismayed to discover that for her 40th birthday, her friends teamed up to purchase her a hot sex droid. She refuses to let herself get attached to a machine, and tries her best to avoid the temptation. He is programmed to overcome such resistance and knows how to wear down defenses and sell himself like a pro using his perfect charms and impeccable skills. Though she suspects it’s nothing more than a sales pitch, she begins to question whether beneath his perfect manufactured exterior can lie genuine feelings and desires.
What the fuck.
A seven-foot-tall box occupied the middle of my living room. I stared at the prime male specimen behind the clear front panel. Well over six feet tall, with dusky skin, dark brown wavy hair, broad shoulders, aquiline nose, full lips—basically, he looked like a model, the kind you’d drool over in an ad for high-end products.
With his eyes closed, his long, thick lashes grazed his chiseled cheekbones. He looked as though he slept—an illusion of the most expensive kind.
I sighed, hands on my hips. My best friend, Lexia, had done it. For my fortieth birthday, she got me a sex droid. She’d joked about it, but I never thought she’d actually follow through. It had to be her—she was the only other person who had access to my apartment.
On the box, in large, blocky print, it proclaimed “Domestic Android 7.1” and underneath it, in fancy script, “For Your Pleasure.” Alrighty then. And what if it was my pleasure to get rid of it? I stalked to the box and circled around it. The back and both sides were solid panels of striking red. If it was supposed to be romantic, their marketing department missed the boat. I wasn’t a big fan of Valentine’s Day, and this was even cheesier than a heart-shaped box of chocolates.
Although, I could remember a time when chocolates, roses, and a little stuffed bear made my heart skip a beat. I had grown a bit jaded over the years, which was probably why my friends decided to gang up and torture me with this… thing. It stood there, like the proverbial elephant in the room. There would be no vid watching on my birthday, cuddled up with a bowl of ice cream. No relaxing in the tub with a good romance novel. Now I was too distracted, and I wasn’t going to be able to enjoy myself until I got this thing out.
A plan formulated: get the box outside and message his creator, Atlas Robotics Corporation, to come pick him up. No, not him. It. I studied the box. At five foot five, it had well over a foot on me. I tried to tilt it to the side, planning on then pushing it out the rest of the way. The damn thing was heavy. So heavy, it didn’t even wobble when I gave it my all.
Exhausted, I plopped down on my yellow pleather couch to glare at the box. I refused to build up a sweat today of all days. What a disaster my birthday was turning out to be. There was no getting the box out until Atlas Robotics agreed to stop by. Since they had no incentive to be eager to process a return, it could be days. Maybe even weeks, I thought miserably.
Not fair that here I was, suffering, while he—it!—stood there, all serene and peaceful. I jumped to my feet and approached the box. There was an easier way to do this. Turn him on and order him to take a hike on his own two legs. The more I considered it, the more I liked this plan. Quick, easy, smart.
Okay, I hope you liked the beginning of my free short story. Now, onto my novella, “Love’s Labyrinth”. I am a huge fan of fantasy, and this novella is very close to my heart. It’s set in the far future, on a colonized planet. Humans weren’t doing too well with surviving on it after a crash landing, but the Gods took mercy and intervened, helping them figure it out. The Goddess of Love left behind her magical Labyrinth, where once a year, those who participate get to meet the ones they’re fated to be with. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) the ratio of men to women is skewed, so it’s not uncommon with a woman to find more than one mate. As everyone knows, the Goddess makes no mistakes.
Auria enters the magical Labyrinth on New Year’s Eve, and its halls guide her to the two men she is fated to be with. Brener has loved her from afar since they were children, and Jhennen is a Warrior-Guard, commanding in personality and intimidating in physical presence. They share a life-changing, passionate night together, but come morning, they must decide if their one-night menage can be the beginning of something new. When trouble threatens to tear Auria away from her life and the two men she is starting to develop feelings for, their connection just might be her only hope for salvation.
Brener’s tongue flicked masterfully on my clit. He knew what he did to me. I held my breath, feeling my insides begin to gather, ready for that final moment.
But just before it came, Brener stopped and jerked back, leaving me alone. My pussy protested, my clit throbbing almost painfully. My eyes flew to him in protest, in supplication, but then my whole being froze.
Brener was sitting back on his heels, his lips wet from his ministrations, his body stiff with shock. The same shock I myself felt, as I stared up at the stranger that seemed to have appeared from nowhere.
He was gigantic, appearing to loom like a mountain from my prone position. Whereas Brener had an athlete’s body, this stranger had a warrior’s body with a broad back and wider hips and his entire physique encased in bulky muscle. Blond hair, almost white, was pulled back in a long ponytail—I could see its bottom reached to his lower back. My eyes flew to his face, his cold, pale blue eyes. He seemed to regard me with some measure of amusement. A long pale scar saved his face from being almost pretty, as did the rough bump in his aquiline nose. Leaning against the green wall of the Labyrinth with one shoulder, his relaxed stance was at complete odds with the tension that gripped me.
I gasped and used my hands to cover my breasts, while drawing my legs up to cover my splayed pussy.
Seeing this, he chuckled and shook his head. “No need to cover all the loveliness,” he said, and his words held a hint of an accent, the difference in inflection conveying he was not from our village. It sounded like a northern dialect.
“Who are you?” I could think of nothing else to say in that moment. My heart jumped to action, pounding away like crazy with a surge of adrenaline.
“Jhennen,” he replied, as though we were out to tea, having a pleasant chat. As an afterthought, he added, “Jhennen Vayment.”
“What are you doing here?” Brener almost growled, coming to his feet now, bristling. With them standing, it was clear Jhennen was a couple heads taller. All the more sweet that Brener thought to protect me from him, dwarfed as he was by this man, who looked battle-trained and used to combat.
“I suppose the same thing as you are,” Jhennen drawled out almost carelessly. His stance was nonthreatening, but his eyes glinted with definite danger. “The Goddess brought me here, same as you. So stand down, and either watch or participate, your choice.”
Outraged, I sputtered, and would have flown at him to slap that presumptuous smile off his face, but remembering my complete nakedness, I stayed put. “What do you mean, participate?”
“Is it the word or the concept you’re not clear on?” He turned to me now, his tone light.
“You’re not participating in anything here, or with anyone here. Feel free to turn about and go back the way you came,” I shot back, angry now.
“I think not. The Goddess doesn’t make mistakes, and to be honest, I hoped we’d cross paths here.”
Reading was my entertainment and salvation as a child, and it transferred into a passion for writing. I am still very much a reader, and love many different genres, from erotic romance, to fantasy (and dark fantasy… Game of Thrones, anyone?), to historical fiction, and that love is reflected in my own writing as well (I don’t do contemporary very often). If you’d like to learn more about me, or chat about books and life, you can find me all over the web. I’d love to get to know all of you, and even though my blog is new, I post regularly and update on life and my writing progress. Thanks so much for stopping by today and reading. You can find me here: