Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Reviews - Servant of the Undead & Mistress of the Undead

Servant of the Undead

"You've seen slow zombies, and fast zombies. You've seen Haitian Voodoo zombies, Deadite zombies, and Vampire zombies. Hell, you've even seen radioactive mutant ghoul zombies. I'm willing to bet, however, you've never seen erotic sex zombies - and, if you have, never quite like this.

"Isabelle Drake doesn't spoon-feed the reader, and I like that. We're in the dark for much of the story, not understanding what Mattie really wants of Hayden, or what the rest of her tribe wants with Rachelle, Hayden's mortal girlfriend. Interwoven into the scenes of cold, sometimes cruel, erotica are themes of power, control, and consent that make this so compelling. While it's hard to form an emotional attachment to any of the characters, it's all too easy to be fascinated by their struggles, and excited by their angry sex.
Yep. These books are something else.
Nope. These books aren't for everyone.

"Servant of the Undead wasn't quite what I expected, and it's better for it."

--Bob Milne, Beauty in Ruins

"It starts right from the beginning.  She did not miss a beat and leaves you holding your breath waiting. I think it was a well written book."

--Jessalee S, Reviewer, NetGalley

"I don’t think this book is going to be a book for everyone but if you like a little monster mixed in with your erotica it may just be the book for you."

--Barks Book Nonsense

Mistress of the Undead

"I enjoyed the magical and mystical aspect.  The zombies in charge are fantastic manipulators and eerily display an ability to use every bit of their sexuality and sensuality to get whatever they want. 

"Drake is a great writer, I can’t dispute that.  I thought the story itself was very thrilling and entertaining.  A good horror story."
  

--Crypt Countess, The Horror Report




Wednesday, February 6, 2019

How *did* I get published?



A colleague asked me to write up my publishing story...this is what happened.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Cowboy for Hire, out now


Blurb:

Anxious for adventure and the chance to prove she’s not the spoiled socialite her friends and family believe her to be, Victoria Marana buys The Circle Cat ranch, rolls up her sleeves, and begins the repairs that will turn the ramshackle place into the best dude ranch in Arizona. One thing she didn’t plan on was a dark, down-on-his-luck cowboy smashing into her barn. But when he does, she turns the problem into an opportunity. Armed with limited experience, but a lot of determination, Victoria sets out to get what she wants from the wandering cowboy.

The last thing Lang Thompson wants is to get tangled up with a woman. Especially one who’s used to getting what she wants when she wants it. He knows what rich girls like her expect and he isn’t interested in playing games. But he’s no match for Victoria’s hardworking determination and sexy brand of innocence.

Excerpt:

Lang Thompson eased his foot off the worthless brake pedal and waited for the red Arizona dust to clear. A board swung above the cab of his truck, once, twice, three times. The rusty nail holding it gave up the fight and the weathered two-by-four smacked across the hood with a weary thump.
One more dent wasn’t going to matter.

He pushed back his beat-up Stetson, mumbling a string of words that in his childhood would’ve earned him an afternoon in the milk house. He didn’t need this.

Outside his window a hairy, black Australian shepherd barked and waved its tail.

“You don’t need to tell me, I see the mess.”

For a split second he considered backing out and leaving. The way the place looked, the owner probably wouldn’t even notice the new gaping hole.

No, he didn’t want any unfinished business hanging over his head when he hit the highway again to head south, away from the miserable memories he’d left behind. There was that and the fact that his conscience had an unfortunate way of popping up at the worst times.

He glanced down at the animal now sitting among the rubble that used to be the side of a barn. A tired, seen-better-days barn but a barn nonetheless.

For the sake of his furry witness, he held back another string of words unfit for delicate ears as he shoved the door open and stepped out. He leaned against the truck and yanked his hat down to block out the afternoon sun. The owner had to be around somewhere.

“I guess I should’ve hung a no parking sign there.”

Lang turned to the shapely outline in the shadows. His bad luck kept getting worse. A woman. He didn’t want to shoot the breeze with a bored rancher’s wife.

If you’ll tell me where to find your husband, I’ll straighten this out with him.”

As she moved into the sunshine Lang tried to convince himself he didn’t see her thick blonde hair or clear, blue eyes. He didn’t notice the way the way her breasts strained against that plain white t-shirt tucked neatly into her faded jeans, either. And that bolt of physical awareness that shot straight to his cock? It didn’t exist.

A blindingly bright smile spilt across her sun-kissed face. “I can’t do that.”

No, those sweet lips didn’t really have an effect on him either. But just to be sure, he stepped away as she came closer. “Do what?”

Raising her hand to shield her eyes from the desert sun, she glanced over her shoulder toward the mess. “Did you plow into my barn because you suffer from memory loss?”

Lang turned toward his truck. He had indeed plowed into the barn. Her barn. “Your barn?”

She nodded, then reached down to rub the dog’s ears, giving him the perfect opportunity to look down her shirt. Was that a white bra with pink lace trim?

Damn he loved lace.

Forcing his gaze back to her face, he asked, “You don’t have a husband I can talk things over with?”

Sunlight blinked off the golden strands of her hair as she shook her head and scratched under the animal’s chin. Her silence didn’t make sense. Why wasn’t she pissed? “Look, ma’am, I’m really sorry—”

While waving her hands to cut him off, she moved closer, her sexy, long legs making short work of the distance. “You don’t need to explain right now.”

Judging from the tilt of her head and the welcome in her eyes, he was missing some piece of a puzzle.

But what?

He stamped out his curiosity. He only wanted to take care of business, then get back on the road and find that ranch for sale his cousin Cole had badgered him into looking over. With that out of the way, he’d get back to his real goal, which was putting as much distance between the remnants of his old life and himself as possible. He tugged his gaze away from her all-too-easy-on-the-eyes face, glanced around but soon found himself looking her way again. “Where am I anyway?”

Her delicate eyebrows knotted together and her shoulders dropped. “You didn’t come about the ad for work?”

“Work?” He shook his head. “No. I was trying to turn around, get back on the freeway.”

Her kissable pink lips curved weakly, the glimmer in her eyes faded but didn’t go out completely. 

“You’re at The Circle Cat Ranch.”

“And where is that?”

“Cactus Junction.” She dipped her head the other way and a few tempting strands of silken hair slipped over her shoulder. “You do know what state you’re in?”

Arizona. Only a couple of hours from the Mexican border.

Her gaze circled his face, considering, then dropped lower, assessing. He straightened, planting his legs wide enough to place the bulge in his pants front and center. If she insisted on getting a good look at him, he might as well give her a view worth the effort.

As though she realized she was rudely looking him over like he was a colt on the auction block, she brought her attention back to his face and tried to cover her actions with a smile as she spoke. “You look like you could use a drink. I know I could.” She brushed past him without waiting for a reply. 

“Come on up to the house and have some lemonade.”

That place his cousin was so hot for them to buy was in Cactus Junction. At least he didn’t have much farther to go.

Not that he wanted to buy a place and start all over but Cole had cajoled him until he’d agreed to at least look it over. A promise is a promise. Even to a cousin like Cole.

The woman’s hips swayed invitingly as she strode toward the house. Each determined stride called to some better left unspoken part of him.

He grumbled and tore his gaze away. He’d written complicated entanglements with women off. For good.

The screen door smacked shut after she disappeared inside.

Why did it seem like the last shred of control he had over his life was slipping away? The hot wave of lust pooling in his gut shouted a warning, telling him to forget his so-called integrity and take the chance that once he got on the road he wouldn’t need brakes any time soon. He could always coast to a stop.


He groaned. All those hours in the milk house taught him more than to mind his tongue. He had to stick around and settle the issue at hand. That ranch for sale wasn’t going anywhere. With a quick glance down to be sure he wasn’t wearing any of his fast food breakfast on his shirt, Lang headed after the woman and the dog.
~~~
Get your copy on Kindle and other outlets.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Beer, pretzels and big ideas

Beer, conversation, music--for me these things lead to BIG ideas. About a year ago, the big idea was doing an anthology with two of my friends. One of the friends, Holly Halsey Mayes, wasn't present but that didn't stop Alexandria Sure and me from deciding she was in on our idea.

We tossed around some classic romance themes: second chances, workplace, holidays, fantasies—and finally settled on mistaken identity. The idea of wanting to be someone else for a day, a week, or for however long, appealed to us because, well, we understood that. The grass is always greener, and all that. Of course, our character’s thought so too, but after only a few pages, they realize we have some consequences for them. There are happy endings all around as well.

We settled down to the writing, got together for write-ins and planning (cover, editing, promotion, formatting) and now, we have the anthology!



NAUGHTY LESSONS, by Isabelle Drake, from the MISTAKEN: LITTLE LIES, BIG LOVE

Blurb

Motivational speaker and personal improvement expert Jaya Vinar is out of control--or so people keep telling her. When her boss pairs her with a handsome personal consultant, things get even more out of control. She wants to scare him off, he wants her in his bed. Only one can win. And neither one is exactly who they’re pretending to be.

Sometimes wild, and rocky, starts lead to even wilder, and happier, endings.

Excerpt

Jaya paused outside the hotel room, staring at the number 726, posted on the right side of the dark brown door. The late-night crowd had gone to bed hours ago, leaving the hall empty and the row of rooms quiet. With the elevator only yards away, a few steps was all it would take to head back to her own room and forget the whole thing.

She wasn’t going to walk away. She wanted this. Wanted him.

After several heavy beats, the door swung open and he was there. Despite the late hour, he wore a navy suit. He even had on the tie. The bright white shirt collar cut against his skin, emphasizing the rough, late-night stubble. No smile, no hello. He just stepped back and motioned for her to come in. 

The heat of his body caressed her as she passed him in the small hallway. She heard him follow her as she moved into the room, felt him behind her when she stopped. The intensity of his presence was so intense, so piercing; it was painful.

What a magnificent pain it was.

His suite was larger than hers, with a sitting room separate from the bedroom. A floor-to-ceiling window offered a view of the glittering city. There was a balcony with two padded chairs and a low glass-topped table. She could tell by the arrangement of the room they wouldn’t be spending time out there, enjoying the view or the crisp night air.

She moved forward a step and set her fingertips on the single chair placed in front of the couch. The chair was centered in front of the couch, its back to the window.

Jaya moved in, feeling the heels of her pumps sink silently into the plush carpeting. She felt the hem of her dress brush the back of her thighs and the tug of her garters on her inner thighs.

“I see you followed the instructions on the dress. Are you wearing everything I sent?”

Thinking about the box that’d been delivered to her room an hour ago, she nodded. She’d followed the instructions on the card, putting everything on slowly, savoring the moment. Simply touching the intricate pink lace bra and matching garter belt had made her shiver with anticipation.

“I can tell by the look on your face, you are uncertain.” He came around, stood beside her and touched her elbow. “You don’t have to trust me. You just have to do what I say.”

Heat skittered up her arm, worked across her breasts, making them swell and become heavy. 

Following all of his instructions had been one of the requirements on the note. By coming to his room, she had agreed to do the other—follow his commands without question.

With a slow, deliberate gesture, Connor pointed to a chair. “For now, I’ll accept obedience. The trust will come next time.”

Next time?
~~~~