Monday, May 2, 2016

Want to Write Sexy? Week long online sex scene writing seminar


Would you like to:
  • Create satisfying sex scenes?
  • Examine how  the best sex scenes are structured?
  • Be sure to infuse your sex scenes with emotion?
  • Make sure your sex scenes move the story forward?


Are you:
  • Totally new to writing sex scenes?
  • Have some experience but looking for ways to punch your sexy writing up?
  • Searching for an opportunity to brush up your skills?


If you’re nodding yes to some or all of these questions, this online course may be for you. Taught by an erotic romance author and college writing professor, this course will be a combination of daily challenges, lessons, scene work-shopping, and instructor feedback.

Of course, all correspondence and submissions can remain anonymous.

Week long online sex scene writing seminar will be taught by me erotic romance author/college writing professor Isabelle Drake. 

To sign up, or get more information, email me @ isabelle@isabelledrake.com.
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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Best Friends Never, #1 in Cherry Grove series out now

Be careful who you keep secrets with, especially in picture-perfect Cherry Grove, a place where average isn’t good enough, and nothing is what it seems.

Lexi Welks wants two things—respect and a college acceptance letter that’ll get her out of too-good-to-be-true Cherry Grove. The problem is that the nasty, life-ruining secret she shares with Monica Sanders is about to go public. If their ugly truth comes out, her plans for college—not happening. And that’s only the beginning of her end.

Monica is the kind of student teachers adore—well-behaved, hard-working and always following the rules. She’s the kind of friend other girls follow—well-dressed, popular and always knowing the right thing to do. If only they knew the truth about her. The truth Lexi found out the hard way, after spending the past summer letting Monica talk her into doing things she knew could come back to ruin her.

Now it’s the first week of school and one of the seniors is missing. Lexi knows a thing or two about the circumstances of his disappearance, but she’s not talking. Neither is Monica. But wicked truths have a way of crawling to the surface and tearing through the most careful plans.
~~~
Buy it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, or direct from publisher Finch Books.
~~~
Want a taste? Here's an excerpt:

Blood red.

And death black.

Whoever picked out Cherry Grove High’s school colors was an idiot.

Either that or a serial killer.

The hideous color combination blurred across the gym floor, spinning in the cheerleaders’ skirts, bouncing in the pom squad pom-poms and slicing through the air in the quivering band banners. Except for the bizarre Goth meets Glee effect, the scene was flawless. Even the shouts echoing off the walls were just right.

Outside, beyond the gleaming floor-to-ceiling windows and careful flowerbeds, past the student parking lot dotted with Nissans, Volvos and European SUVs, early autumn trees shaded the tidy streets with the first brush of rust, orange and red leaves. It was Cherry Grove after all—anything less than perfection would be inconceivable.

The bleachers were jammed with students, some actually excited about the annual back-to-school pep assembly, the rest just screaming like mad, glad for the chance to be crazy on the first Friday afternoon of the new school year.

From her spot at the boosters table, Lexi Welks could see it all. The teachers huddled in the corner by the wrestling mats drinking Diet Pepsis and eating popcorn, the basketball players lined up under the net, shoving each other, wanting to be the one standing closest to the podium, and the mini-mob of freshmen trying to squeeze themselves into the tiny niche that led to the empty space behind the bleachers. Apart from the chaos stood the football team, arms folded over their Cherry Grove jerseys and looking like they’d rather be anywhere but where they were—right in the center of the attention.

“Here’s your baseball fundraiser auction sign-up sheet.”

Monica Sanders, coming up out of nowhere like a giant weed that not even the deadliest dose of Roundup could get rid of. One of the wicked plants from Little Shop of Horrors.

Only this plant had a nonstop figure wrapped up in a come-screw-me black turtleneck. Half the guys in the school wanted a piece of her. The rest wanted her ACT scores.

Lexi?

Up until a week ago, she and Monica had been friends. And now Lexi was paying the price for what had seemed like fun at the time.

Monica looked over Lexi’s shoulder, waved at basketball center Eric Watson, then came back with a careful smile, showing off her bleached teeth as she slid into an empty chair. “Not that the sign-up is going to do you any good. You know, with next year.”

Lexi took the sheet, dropping it onto the table as though she wasn’t the least bit concerned. Which, of course, was a huge lie. Because getting the right names on that single sheet of paper would change her whole life.

“Can I have your attention? Students?” Dr. Guerra, the superintendent, tapped on the microphone, sending out a series of heart-thumping thuds.

It worked—even the cheerleaders shut up, dropping to the floor to sit cross-legged like a row of overgrown preschoolers. “We need a moment before we get started with the pep assembly. Could everyone please welcome Officer Davenport from the Cherry Grove Police Station?”

“Where else would he be from?” one of the newspaper nerds muttered. “7-Eleven?”

The cop slid behind the mic, adjusting his navy blue uniform tie while he waited for the losers in the back rows to catch on to the idea that he had something other than the D.A.R.E. essay winners to announce. Once the room fell silent, he started talking about Jon Eagle, the kid who’d gone missing a couple of days before. Each word out of his mouth made the knots in Lexi’s stomach pull tighter as images of that night skittered through her mind.

“We’ve been checking leads and retracing Jon’s steps. We’re in constant contact with his family—they’ll be informed as we uncover substantial information.” He flattened his square palm across his jacket lapel, pausing dramatically as he looked out at the faces. “We know how distressing this is for you all, for all of us. For those of you who’d like someone to talk with, your lead counselor, Mrs. Howell, has added appointments before and after school. She’s assured me and all your parents that she’ll do anything she can to help you through this difficult time.”

Monica took out her pretty pink leather-bound planner and wrote down the officer’s name. Then she waited, pen poised, for anything else noteworthy.

“Please keep in mind,” he continued, “that we have no evidence of foul play at this time. There is no reason to believe that anyone else is in danger.” He went on to add that the detective in charge thought that Jon had been in touch with kids who, for some reason, were choosing not to tell anyone. 

“If that’s the case, we urge you to come forward at this time.” Contact information flashed from the huge ceiling-mounted projector onto the wall behind the podium. Lexi barely held in her roll of nausea as Monica jotted down the counselor hours, the hotline phone number and email address with one hand, all the while texting with her other.

But that was Monica Sanders. Smart. Capable. Efficient. And a real self-serving jerk. Too bad it had taken Lexi three months to figure it out.

“Thank you for your attention.” Dr. Guerra was back at the mic, struggling to say something press and parent friendly. “If we all work together, we might… Maybe we’ll… Jon might…” Thank God she finally gave up, because while two band geeks in the front row were snapping pics, some of the yearbook girls over by the art teacher were starting to cry. A cloud of awkward silence filled the gym, everyone’s face tense. Everyone’s except Monica’s. She was dumping her stuff back into her bag and getting to her feet, all while looking as fresh and fantastic as ever.

“Taylor told me to ask you if you had questions about the sign-up,” she said as she pushed the chair back. This time she wasn’t even bothering to hold on to that flawless, fake smile.

“You mean like why are you even bothering with yours?” Lexi tapped her own sheet with her finger. “Because all the names that matter are going right here.”

Monica practically snorted as she spun on her heels, swinging away without a reply.

Lexi watched the girl’s model-perfect ass until she ducked through the red and black cluster of drumline kids clogging the double doors at the end of the gym.
Once she was sure the girl was gone for good she picked up the sheet, staring at the empty rows and imagining the names she needed scrawled across those blank lines. Planning how she’d get them there. And fighting back the fear of what Monica would do when she did.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Torn fishnet stockings and sex in cages. Or: How I got started writing erotic zombie horror

Write about zombies? Not me. Write about zombies who feed off sex? Well, that’s more likely. Add in a horror element--now I’m all in.

January of 2011 I was about halfway through my MFA in Creative Writing. We were given a writing prompt that, we were told, was designed to push us “out of our comfort” zone. The assignment: read a tabloid newspaper, like The Weekly World News, long time supporter of Bat Boy, or the National Enquirer, currently keeping readers up to date on the happenings with Matilda, the Cat from Another Planet, then write a scene based on one of the features. Being the good student that I was, I dug right in to the assignment.

The two articles that inspired me most were Zombie Barbies! by Frank Lake of the Weekly World News and A Very Zombie Holiday also by Frank Lake. Since I was soon to be on my way to Boston, I was also inspired by a very real blizzard wrapping its way around the East coast.

Before I move on to the rest of my account of how I started to write erotic zombie horror, I should mention that prior to beginning my MFA program I had already publisher about ten novels, fifteen novellas, and twelve short stories. Give or take a few in each category. All of them were written to make readers happy, many were romances of all heat levels, and nearly all were “commercial.” And, to be honest, pretty much all of the stories were written with the end goal of selling them. Like, for money. I mention this last part about the money because in the literary community writers are often paid with contributor copies or not at all. So, I entered my MFA program with the mindset that the work I produced should be, could be, saleable. Enter this assignment.

Even before my fingers typed the first word, I was already planning to write not only one scene, but a whole story that my readers would be excited about reading. In the winter of 2011, I was writing all erotica and erotic romance. So, the story had to have sex. Problem: sex scenes with yucky rotting zombies would not be…pretty. Or alluring. Solution: attractive zombies. Logical solution: zombies that live off sex. Even better solution logical solution: zombies that live off sex with human captives. That’s right, as long as they have enough sex with their human captives, they stay attractive. Bonus to the improved solution: sex scenes will be necessary and part of the storyline.

The current East Coast blizzard intrigued me because it had shut down entire cities, halted travel. That sort of thing doesn’t, or rather didn’t, happen very often. What if zombies roamed an entire frozen city? A city held hostage to a fierce winter storm? One thing that came to my mind, zombies don’t feel the cold. That’s creepy. I took that idea and went with it. Soon, my tribe of sex zombies had extraordinary strength, from all that sex no doubt, and the ability to climb ice coated buildings. The last thing I needed was a zombie. An sexy, aggressive sex-hungry zombie. My inspiration? Zombie Barbie. Once my imagination was done with her, she was built like an Amazon goddess, wearing a mini-skirt, torn fishnets, and heavy black boots. Simply put. Mattie is a badass who takes what, and who she wants. Her victim? A tabloid newspaper writer named Hayden.

Servant of the Undead breaks some of the “rules.” For one thing, the point of view character is male. Hayden’s capture and subsequent servicing, read: giving her the sex she craves, of Mattie is the main storyline. The other thing, he is the captive, not her. So, to see what readers think of this role-reversal, I decided to post the novel on Wattpad. I post a new part every Friday. Each part is about 1000 words long and features a video.

The fishnet videos, like the story itself, are an “accidental” creation. I did not set out to use myself to promote Servant. But after looking for images that suited my story and uncompromising zombie Mattie, I came up empty. My solution to this dilemma: put on my own leather mini, torn fishnets, and boots, then go out into my backyard and make my own pics and videos. I imagine I looked a tad eccentric wandering around my backyard, climbing on my woodpile and such, dressed that way and with a hoodie, undone hair and no makeup, but hey–I’m a writer. The neighbors know I’m weird. 


You can check out Servant of the Undead on Wattpad, let me know what you think about that role reversal, then come back every Friday for the next part of the story. Want to be sure you don’t miss any? Add the Servant to your Wattpad Reading List.



Monday, March 14, 2016


Servant of the Undead

Undead seeking human captives. A blizzard and raw desires. Passion and fear.
   ~~~
Boston is hostage to a blizzard & rumors spread about zombies roaming the streets, looking for human flesh. Hayden Thomas, tabloid writer, is out to get some fresh news about the undead. At the Boston Public Library, he uncovers research about a tribe that survives by having constant sex with human instead of eating their flesh.

Mattie, one of the undead out tracking a rival tribe, finds Hayden and uses him for sex. Afterward, she discovers his research and acquires him as her sexual servant, planning to use him for information as well as sustenance.

CHAPTER ONE "Do It"

Hayden Thomas shifted on the wooden captain’s chair, trying without success to ease the stiffness in his spine. Whoever selected the chairs for the Boston Public Library obviously never sat in them. The damn things had no armrests and were crammed so close together Bates Hall looked like a cafeteria. 

Except for the green desk lamps and rows of bookcases lining the wood paneled walls of the vast, deserted room. Hayden leaned back, placing his palms on the small of his back as he stretched.

Fine, it did look like a library. And it was everything the city claimed it to be, historical, well-cared for, and a fucking architectural gem. He just didn’t want to be there, digging through old books sane people shouldn’t care about. As if on cue his phone flashed. He picked it up and read the message. That article will be done tonight. Right? You’ll have something fresh. Right?

As if he had a choice.

Hayden tapped in his reply, yes and yes, then shoved the phone in his pocket. He wasn’t going to look at it again until he had what he needed. Something fresh. What the hell did that mean anyway? A paycheck. Control over his future. Little things like that. So he’d come to the library, to look through actual books. He’d scanned through several about werewolves then set aside the ones on vampires when he found the ones he needed.

Coming to the library had been a good idea. Not only had he found fresher content than the guys only using the internet, he’d also made a video clip of the inside with his webcam. He might be able to use that on the paper’s website as part of the series. A scholarly approach to give the piece an air of authority. Bob would love the irony of that.

“Lights in this section getting turned off early. ‘Bout twenty minutes.”

The security guard had come up behind Hayden and was standing in the aisle between the rows of gleaming wood tables. He motioned toward the expansive windows that started at the top of the bookshelves and reached up about fifteen feet to the domed ceiling. “Snowmaggeddon, man. Everybody’s leaving. You should too.”

Outside, snow whipped against the glass, so fierce and bright that even though the sun had gone down an hour ago the white blast was still visible. The bloated flakes brushed against the glass, spun in circles, creating a delicate, menacing spiral. Shit. A storm. As if he didn’t have enough to deal with. He’d promised Rachelle, a girl he’d started seeing, that he’d be done with the article that night so they could “do something fun, something crazy” tomorrow. Hayden eyed the stack of books surrounding his laptop.

“Do you have a photocopy machine?” he asked, scanning the area behind the guy.

“Yeah.” The guard looked at the piles of books, his mouth twisting into a frown as his gaze skimmed over the titles. “Where’d you find those?”

“In the scary monster section, under Z for zombies.” 


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Isabelle Manhattan

Dissolve the 2 teaspoons brown sugar in water. Set aside.
   ~~~   ~~~
Put some ice in glass (small cubes are best)
Add 2 or 3 shots of rye
And, 1 shot of the dissolved brown sugar 
Then, 1 shot sweet vermouth
Lastly, 5 shakes of orange bitters
Finally, press cherry to glass then drop in.
Stir lightly (That way the taste of the drink gradually reveals itself)
   ~~~   ~~~
Occasionally, I have one while writing.