Posted by: Author | April 25, 2013

Special Guest AND Warning!!!

JILLIAN: My friend Shay Lacy has a new release with Ellora’s Cave tomorrow and the cover is WAAAY too hot for words. Please, please don’t scroll down if you’re at work, have kids around or are offended by nice male glutes. I’m warning you, I mean it. I passed out when she sent it to me. She wanted me to set it here near the top but I made an executive decision to move it down further. She’s a good egg and I know she’ll forgive me. I don’t want to be responsible for anyone’s cardiac arrest (psst- you can click the pic to go to the buy link and a BIGGER cover). Take it away, Shay!

SHAY: When a Story Won’t Leave You Alone

A story idea captivated my imagination, so I captured it on paper. Then I filed it away in my filing cabinet with the rest of my short stories. That year, at my annual MVRWA brainstorming weekend, when it was long past midnight, I told the story to one of my friends.
The next year after midnight I told it to that friend plus one. This time I added character voices and acted out some of the story. The next year, I acted the story for everyone present, and it wasn’t even midnight when I shared the story.
It became one of our brainstorming rituals, and the next year my friend suggested I submit the story for publication. When Sacrificed to Ecstasy sold to Ellora’s Cave, the group celebrated. I performed the story for the final time at brainstorming right after it was contracted.

Blurb:

The gods have abandoned the world and their people. It is prophesied that only a virgin’s willing sacrifice can reawaken Vashon, the god of fertility, returning him and his blessings to a suffering world. Rayan, drawn to Vashon’s temple and saved by his priestess, is willing to fulfill the prophecy. Common-born and inexperienced, Rayan fears she won’t be enough to satisfy a god, let alone one whose marble likeness broadcasts virility for the world to see. Determined to save those who have saved her, Rayan is about to discover that an open heart and willing body will reap pleasures that transcend the boundaries between mortal and heavenly.

How about an excerpt:

“Are you alone, child?” There was a note of censure in the priestess voice.
“I was traveling with my betrothed.”
The priestess caught up to Rayan and walked by her side. “My name is Elida. What are you called?”
“Rayan.”
“Meaning dawn of the sun. Where are you from, child?”
“Elderhaven, near the plains. Raiders destroyed it six months ago. My family fled with the few other people who survived. We’ve traveled since then, trying to find a safe place to live.”
“A too familiar tale, unfortunately. If only there was someone to fulfill the gods’ prophecy that could save us.”
The brown lump in the distance distracted Rayan’s attention from asking about the prophecy. Her betrothed, Faram. She waited for a stab of grief, but felt only a faint sadness, mostly for the hopes that died with him, for a purpose to her life, for a home and a man who might love her some day. She’d run farther than she’d imagined. She hadn’t known she had such speed in her. It was amazing what a person could do when they had to.
She’d been desperate to reach the mountain to save her, and in a way it had.
When they reached Faram’s crumpled form she sank to her knees beside him. Death had twisted his facial features from plain to gruesome. Scarlet soaked the tunic on his chest around the ugly hole where he’d been stabbed. He’d tried to protect her, and to some extent had succeeded. At least she could say that about him.
“I’m sorry, child. I know there is little to ease your sorrow over his loss. But you have good memories of him.”
“I only met him three days ago, when he bought me from my family.” Rayan looked up at Elida. She didn’t want the priestess to misunderstand. “I’m not a slave. My family was starving. We had no home, no work, no food. I’m of age to marry and Faram’s wife had died. He needed someone to keep his home while he traveled. I offered myself as his wife for food for my family. It was an honorable trade.”
The priestess nodded. “Many such beginnings become strong marriages. It is a pity, though, that you did not have time to create children together. Although that hope might yet be realized. You had three days, after all.”
Rayan shook her head. “We were not yet married. Faram was taking me to his village temple to be married there. I asked him to wait until after the vows were spoken.”
Elida’s sharpened gaze pierced Rayan. “You are a virgin?”
“Of course.”
Elida shook her head. “There is no ‘of course’ in these violent times. How did you escape unscathed from your village?”
“My parents dressed my younger sister and me as boys. I begged Faram to allow me to continue the charade, but he said I was to be his wife and should dress like it.” She would not lay blame on his dead corpse.
“A virgin.” The priestess spoke in an awed tone. “Do you know Vashon’s prophecy?”
“No. We worshipped the other gods. I need to gather our belongings.”
“Yes. We should be gone from this place as quickly as possible,” the priestess agreed with startling alacrity. “We will take you with us.”
Rayan took a deep breath and dove her hands into the folds of Faram’s clothes. She wouldn’t keep what she found—she’d return it to his family. She owed it to them to report what had happened to him. She wouldn’t impose on them, but maybe they could help her find sanctuary somewhere.
The raiders had managed to steal his money belt before running her down. She’d have to ask the children if they’d found it when they searched the bodies.
She removed Faram’s ring and the few items he carried that the raiders hadn’t had time to steal—his merchant ledger, his metal fire starter, and his leather water bladder. Standing she looked around for her small bundle of clothes and the horse that carried the merchandise Faram peddled. She spotted the clothes a few feet away, but the horse wasn’t within sight in any direction. She remembered hearing it whinny in fright. It was probably halfway to the nearest village by now, if other raiders hadn’t caught it. Faram had been proud of the spirited brown beast. A more placid animal might not have wandered far or bolted. She must not speak ill of Faram now.
The children arrived as she reclaimed her bundle. With a calm moment to study them Rayan saw how poor and ill-fed they were. Their bones showed clearly under their skin. Their dingy gray clothing was stitched and patched to repair tears. She decided not to ask about Faram’s money belt. They needed it more than she did.
The children glanced from Faram’s body to Rayan to Elida. Elida shook her head. “This is Rayan’s betrothed. His belongings are hers.”
Rayan insisted, “It’s all right. Take anything you want. I have what I need.” She tucked Faram’s belongings into hers.
The children looked again to Elida for permission. “Do so, but hurry. We must start back to the village. These raiders might have been part of a larger group.”
As the children knelt beside Faram’s body, the priestess took a protective stance with her staff held ready. She nodded toward the children. “The boy is Barnd, the brown-haired girl Davina and the blonde is Sylvan. Their families thank you for your charity.”
“I hope they will consider it enough for food and lodging for one night.”
“Child, you can afford many years of lodging if you would fulfill Vashon’s prophecy.”
“I own nothing but clothing. Faram’s things are not mine to barter. I am a simple merchant’s daughter with no shop and no merchandise. I have nothing of value to any of the gods, especially the god of fertility. My betrothed is dead and I told you I never lay with him.”
“And that is what you have to offer that is priceless.”
sacrificedtoecstasy_9781419943799_msr

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Responses

  1. Hmm…maybe I should put a warning on tomorrow’s post too. I’m not shocked, though. Now maybe if he were to turn around…

    Shay, EC uses its model/cavemen as cover models. What if this same guy is the one who escorts you across the stage? Or maybe me? How will we know for sure?

    • Susana, I only put a warning on since my followers are used to PG 13 posts. Lol.

      And yep, you totally have to check out the EC dudes butts to see which is on this cover.

      • Susana, I WANT my escort to be this man!! Oh yes.

  2. Jillian, thanks so much for having me here today and for sharing my man. He could rate a Wordless Wednesday!

    • Thanks for being here Shay. You’re always welcome to hang with us. And yeah, he could be a WW.

  3. Wow, what a cover! And what a great story – building ideas around a writer’s campfire.

    • Thanks for popping by, Lynn and rbeeyswan.

    • I hear some campfires involve liquor. This didn’t. But, boy, what if it had?

      • Can’t wait to see you again either Shay

  4. oooooooh laaaaaaa laaaaaaaaaaa..:0!!! spicy hot cover! smooth like butter babeeee! 😉
    redz041@yahoo.com

    • LOL. Thanks, rbeeyswan.

  5. oh, la, la! And as one of those Brainstorming participants who had heard the story told a couple of times, I’m delighted that Ellora’s Cave is putting it out there for everyone to enjoy.

    • Connie, I’ve told Shay she has to act it out for me the next time I see her.

      • Can’t wait until we’re together for that, Jillian.

  6. Nothing wrong with that cover. Nosiree. Nothing at all. Excuse me…I need to go cool off. 🙂
    Congrats on the new release, Shay!

    • HEHE, Laurie. I was hoping the hype would make more folks want to scroll on down! That whole curiosity thing, you know.

      • You’re spreading the joy, Jillian. Thanks, Laurie.

  7. Okayyyyy I scrolled first then went back and read the post. Wow, hot cover and loved the excerpt.

    • Haha, Glad you scrolled first, Lavada. It is a great cover and excerpt.

      • Thanks, Lavada. Even now, I just want to stare and drool. Words? There are words?

  8. OH MY On the cover, but what really has me curious is the acting out the story. That must have been a sight to behold. Sounds like a great read.

    • Yep, Darlene. I have to see this acting thing.

  9. What can I say? Some people talk with their hands. Some people need more than their hands.

  10. Jillian: Your blog is so much fun! Thanks for having me here today.

    • Thanks for coming by Shay. And for bringing buttocks man!


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