Monday, February 19, 2007

New Releases and Upcoming Appearances

Hi all! Happy February. Did everyone have a nice Valentines day?
Well I'm having a very exciting week this week. I officially have two books out. SUM3, the anthology of Zircon Short Stories, is available in paperback from (finally!). This book is chocked full of brilliant speculative romance short stories, so I'd highly recommend picking up a copy. And enjoy!

And THE HERON'S CALL is out February 20th from Samhain Publishing! This is a fantasy (erotic) romance set in the same world as my short story Kellyn's Sacrifice--free here on the website. It's available first as an e-book on its own and will eventually be available in paperback with two other novellas by the incomparable JC Wilder and Carol Ivey in an anthology called IN THE GLOAMING. To help motivate you to pick up a copy of THE HERON'S CALL, I've included a very short excerpt below. Enjoy!
But before the excerpt, I have two upcoming appearances to announce. I'll be doing a live chat at I'll be doing a live chat
at Novelspotters on February 21st from 12:00 to 1:00pm EST with JC Wilder and Carol Ivey to promote IN THE GLOAMING.

Also, March 2 to 4 I'll be attending Celebrate Romance in Kansas City, MI where I'll be doing a talk on Sunday the 4th called Sexual Oddities in the Animal Kingdom. I'll be regaling readers with stories of the strange sexual antics in the natural world (see that Ph.D. in animal behavior isn't going to waste after all! ) I hope if you're in the area you'll be able to drop into the conference. And if you're already going, be sure to stop by and say HI when you see me.

Now, for that promised little excerpt from THE HERON'S CALL. Happy reading! Isabo

The Heron's Call
Copyright 2007 by Isabo Kelly

As the shadows stepped into the faint light from the crescent moon, she realized they weren't ordinary robbers. Their linen shirts were too clean, their leather trousers and bracers too well-repaired, their weapons and steel breastplates too well-made and maintained. Seven of them in all. Mercenaries, she guessed, noting the rough look of them despite the high-grade of their gear. She turned in a small circle as they surrounded her, gauging their movements.

"I give you fair warning," she said, studying their faces. "Put up your swords and leave. Now. And I won't kill you."

As she'd expected, the standard warning was met with derisive laughter. She shook her head. Mercenaries, of all people, should understand what it meant to face a sword sworn of the Aleanian Temple. "Very well." She lifted her sword.
"Shall we?"

And she grinned.

If her movements hadn't given her away, her grin should have. Still they came at her, an all-out attack, seven at once. Not the best tactics, she thought as she danced away from them and into the clear, using only the briefest flicker of mind-hazing. The mercenaries got in each other's way, too many swords in too tight an area. They adapted quickly though. When they turned on her this time, they attacked two or three at a time.

She laughed as the fight got underway, rejoiced in the feel of her muscles moving, her skills being tried, her mind sharp and focused. Seven opponents was a good number--enough to make her work and stretch, not too many for her to handle. She twisted away from an awkward swing by one man, countered a blow by another, and disarmed a third with a back swing. As the disarmed man scrambled for his sword, another took his place. She didn't rush to incapacitate them. She was having too much fun. But she knew she'd have to take care of them soon. No point in exhausting herself. She still had a long way to go before she reached Dorjan's lands.

She hated to kill them, though. They were just doing a job. A job she had no doubt Dorjan had funded. But she couldn’t afford to have them at her back either. Maybe if she gave them a thorough enough beating... She disarmed two men and faced the four converging on her.

Suddenly, the air around them darkened, inky blackness too solid to be real. Rowena and the seven mercenaries stilled and looked around. A flash of blinding light, a crack like thunder. And a dark figure rose up in front of Rowena.
Even with his back to her, he was obviously male. His broad, thickly muscled body was encased in leather trousers and vest. His dark blond hair hung just above his collar in a tempting disarray of waves. What she could see of his pale skin gleamed silver in the moonlight.

The stranger raised a sword in front of him. From her position, Rowena watched the long blade come up over his head. The steel glowed purple.

The mercenaries backed away from the man, their weapons at the ready. Rowena kept a tight grip on her own sword in case the stranger turned. A moment later, the fine hairs on the back of her neck stood up. She heard the soft rumble of the stranger's voice, chanting, quiet, vibrating through her bones. She sucked in a breath and it felt as if the air had thinned.

Another blinding flash of light and power rolled over her in a heart-stopping wave. She dropped to one knee, ducking her head to brace against the storm winds of his spell. For an instant, all air was sucked away and she couldn't breathe. And then as suddenly as it happened, the light faded, the air calmed, and the dark night fell quiet.

Rowena dragged in a lungful of air, blinked to clear spots from her eyes and raised her head. All seven mercenaries lay unmoving, their swords blown beyond their grasp. She looked up at the stranger just as he turned around. Their gazes locked. It took a second, no more, before she recognized him, before the jolt of his presence ricocheted through her body.

She rose slowly to her feet, never taking her gaze from his green eyes. When she stood at her full 5'10" height, she straightened her shoulders, flicked a glance at the downed mercs, and said, "Kael, you bastard. You ruined a perfectly good fight. What the hell are you doing here?"

Dark eyebrows rose and his sexy mouth twitched at one corner. "Rowena," he murmured in a voice that made her thighs clench. "It's good to see you again too."