Sneak Preview: Sep 10, 2012

September 9, 2012

Our upcoming releases for the week of September 10, 2012.

Release date: Sep 10, 2012

Release date: Sep 10, 2012

Release date: Sep 12, 2012

Release date: Sep 12, 2012

Release date: Sep 12, 2012

Release date: Sep 14, 2012

Release date: Sep 14, 2012

Chained Hearts by Elizabeth Noble

June 8, 2012

The third installment of the Sentries Series, Chained Hearts by Elizabeth Noble, available from Dreamspinner Press.

Sentries Book Three, sequel to Together Bound

Todd and Nick Ruger are alive and on the run in the Yellowknife Protectorate, but maybe not for long. After narrowly escaping New Colorado, where they were implicated in the assassination of Chancellor Shaffer, they’re running out of steam: Todd is gravely ill and Nick’s injured. Just when it seems like the harsh winter will get the best of them, they find refuge with a doctor in the isolated town of Elk’s Ridge.

On the surface, Elk’s Ridge seems the ideal place to rebuild their lives. Nick begins training as the doctor’s apprentice, and Todd works in a lumberyard until they’re recovered enough to return to their duties as Sentries. They make friends, forge a new life, and most importantly, there’s no sign of anyone from New Colorado.

They should have known it was too good to be true. Victor Raleigh, the new Vice Chancellor of New Colorado, knows all about Nick’s psychic abilities, and he wants them in his corner. When Nick is betrayed and captured, Todd sees no alternative but to head back to the war zone to rescue him. But will Nick be the same man Todd loves after Raleigh’s pet psychic vampire is through with him?

Length: Novel
Genre: Science Fiction, High Fantasy
Series: Sentries by Elizabeth Noble (Marked Yours, Together Bound)

Buy as Paperback
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Additional information: Elizabeth will have an authors chat on the Dreamspinner Press Facebook on Saturday June 30th. Join her for questions about Chained Hearts and other topics!

Together Bound by Elizabeth Noble

October 10, 2011

Will Todd and Nick’s bond survive separation, imprisonment, and the threat of war? Together Bound by Elizabeth Noble, available from Dreamspinner Press.

Sequel to Marked Yours

Todd and Nick Ruger have settled into their life and work, the master/slave bond in New Colorado tying them together in a sacred rite of service, protection, and—in their case—love. But out of the blue, Todd receives a letter from the vice chancellor of New Colorado threatening their bond, demanding ownership of Nick under eminent domain.

It turns out Vice Chancellor Clarke desperately needs the help of the sentries, especially Nick, to investigate a problem involving the Chancellor. With New Colorado on the verge of war with West Caldera, a rift in the government would be disastrous. Todd and Nick agree to help, and Nick enters the orphan slave compound while Todd joins the Estate security force.

They don’t expect the danger they discover. Now the target of an unimaginable threat, Nick and Todd will face terrors that lead to murder, imprisonment, and the threat of separation forever as the hopeless battle escalates into full-scale war.

Buy in eBook
Buy in print
Genre: Science Fiction
Length: Novel

Strays by Elizabeth Noble

September 7, 2011

Can Kyle and Daniel see past the lies surrounding them to keep each other safe? Strays by Elizabeth Noble, available from Dreamspinner Press.

Kyle Anderson grew up with the lie that he was one of the last humans born. Then Kyle’s quiet, lonely life as a research assistant and student is shattered when he discovers the government has been lying to the world for more than twenty years. Now on the run from authorities who would kill for his silence, Kyle is taken in by Daniel Shanks, a member of a militia group dedicated to discovering the truth.

Daniel has seen death and violence in this new, radically changed society, and the closer he gets to Kyle, the harder his fears ride him. They will need to stop listening to the lies told by the government and start facing the lies they’ve been telling themselves, because the only place strays like them may be safe in this uncertain world is in each other’s hearts.

Buy in eBook
Genre: Science Fiction
Length: Novella

The meaning of Nick’s collar and brand

May 23, 2011

On the cover we see Nick kneeling beside Todd. He’s wearing a collar, a symbol of slavery in this world. Slaves are required to wear their collars in public, but wearing one continually and in private gives it a different, deeper meaning. Slave collars can also show the world a master and slave have more to their relationship. Nick’s collar is a symbol of what their relationship is and what it means to each man. He’s very proud of his collar.

Just like there are different types of jewelry there are different kinds of collars. To Todd it has always been of paramount importance that Nick has a good home, along with that he wanted Nick to have a nice collar. Some slaves wear simple or inexpensive collars. Others, like Nick, are given collars that are more personalized for both owner and slave.

For Nick his collar not only indicates he’s a slave, but ties him to Todd in a very personal way.

In this world slaves are branded with the initials of their owners. Nick has an extra brand, the one on his chest that helps protect him and shows the world he’s a sentry. A crucial part of the book is how Todd and Nick feel about these brands. I think readers might be surprised to find out their opinions.

My friend, Terry, whipped me up a cool bookmark design. Leave me a comment or ask a question to any of the posts here and then send your mailing address to elizabeth.noble19@gmail.com and when I get them (I’m just waiting for them to be delivered) I’ll send them along.

I think she did a pretty cool job!

Who are these masked men?

May 23, 2011

Well, first of all they don’t really wear masks.

Even though they live extraordinary lives and have a very unusual job they’re really average guys. Each one comes into their relationship with his own hopes, wants and dreams like all of us.

A few centuries ago many courtships and marriages were carried on and kept alive through correspondence. People wrote to friends who became lovers then partners. In a way the internet has taken us back to the days of letter writing. Todd and Nick had no contact with one another until the day Nick turned twenty-two, that’s when they officially met.

Before that, however, they saw one another from a distance and were able to exchange letters. So, they come to their pre-arranged lives as master and slave with some knowledge of who each other are. Like anyone else they’ve developed opinions, expectations, hopes and wants. They know enough about each other to know they want to learn more.

They don’t know so much that they aren’t a little unsure of how things will go once they’re together for real.

The master/slave relationship is very complicated. Todd is not simply Nick’s master. He wants a partner, someone who loves him and whom he can love. Nick has a very special talent. He needs a home, someone who he can call family and someone who will help him use his gift, not abuse him. They’re paired up and bonded as master and slave when both are young children. Those who decided on the pairing had very specific reasons for putting these two guys together in life. Neither has a choice in their path through life. They need to work together to make their own way, a life together and find happiness.

Todd loves to cook, which is lucky for him since Nick loves to eat. He’ll freely admit that Nick might be the slave, but he’s most definitely not the only one owned.

Throughout the story Nick struggles against an upbringing which taught him he was a disposable person and would be replaced if he failed.

Contest #2!

Todd gives something to Nick on their first night spent on the road together after leaving Nick’s village. For a free copy of the eBook version of Marked Yours, what is it?

Marked Yours by Elizabeth Noble

May 23, 2011

Can Nick and Todd’s bond survive the challenges they will face? Marked Yours (m/m) by Elizabeth Noble, available from Dreamspinner Press.

Three hundred years ago, natural disaster reformed the face of North America, and the people who lived in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains would never be the same.

Now, the master/slave bond in New Colorado has become a sacred rite of service, protection, and, sometimes, for the lucky, love. Nick and his intended Master, Todd Ruger, a sentry of the territories, have grown up knowing that they were pledged to this bond. They’re looking forward to the ritual with both excitement and trepidation—it’s something they’ve prepared for their entire lives. But New Colorado’s institution of slavery has made dangerous enemies on a frontier fraught with trouble, and they are unprepared for the trials their new relationship will face. Their bond needs to grow very strong, very fast if it’s going to survive the collision of old superstition, new beliefs, and the ever-present danger of the natural and supernatural frontier.

Buy in eBook
Buy in print
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal
Length: Novel

Marked Yours by Elizabeth Noble–Writing and Concept

May 23, 2011

Hello, hello, I’m back. Really I’m still at work, but this site lets you set up posts ahead of time. How cool is that?

I’ll have my netbook with me and weather permitting I’ll sit outside and if the wind is blowing the right way I’ll try and pop in at lunch time. If not I’ll be here live after about 5PM Eastern Time, US.

Where did the story concept come from?

The idea for this book came from a few places, actually. I was reading through a community on Live Journal where people can post requests for finding specific stories or specific kinds of stories for a fandom.

One request was for stories where the two main characters were forced into an arranged marriage. It’s awkward for them at first, but eventually they learn to love one another. Sweet.

A few posts later on the thread someone was looking for stories where the two main characters always knew growing up they were meant to be together. Now that’s just awww…very sweet!

An idea took hold in my head, bit down hard and wouldn’t let go. Thus was born Todd and Nick Ruger and Marked Yours. I honestly can’t remember what made me think to use slavery. I wanted my story set in a different world and have always had a fascination for post-Apocalyptic sagas. So, I decided in order to set up the world I envisioned I needed to go to some future society different from what we have now, using a natural disaster that, if it occurred, would change the world dramatically as a jumping off point.

I love action/adventure and wanted to incorporate the concept of a group people I call Sentries. They guard society from threats natural and supernatural. There is not only a love story, but some ass-kicking, bit of monster hunting too!

How things get written:

A few people have asked me what sort of process I go through to get a book from idea to something that’s actually readable. I like to make my own worlds, world-building is fun. More importantly I’m basically lazy and a world created to fit the story is easier for me. I’d done a lot of reading up on what a post-Apoc society might be like and how it might evolve differently from what we have now. I also researched what would happen during and after this natural disaster and how the face of North America might be altered.

After all that I just babble to myself on paper—erm computer screen. I have notes and scenes and ideas stored on both my computer and in a notebook. Any ideas I get at work are hastily scribbled on scrap paper and kept in my pockets. I must look like some kind of bizarre chipmunk when I get home, emptying out all the notes!

A few good friends of mine are kind enough to often be subjected to my whining and carrying on about how I can’t work through this or that plot point and we brainstorm or they help me work out specific scenes and details. They’re also responsible for encouraging me to submit the manuscript for publication.

What’s on the cover and why?

Other than the two luscious men on the cover there are a few images symbolizing different elements of the book and that are important to the story. The first is a symbol that both Todd and Nick have on their chests. This not only protects them from some supernatural baddies they might encounter, but also acts as a sort of badge announcing to others they are Sentries.

The second image very prominent on the cover is an erupting volcano. There is no volcano blowing off steam in the story, but one that had done so in the past is very important to the world I’ve created.

Paul Richmond is the cover artist, and I can’t say enough good things about him or his art.

This brings me to contest #1!

I make etched glass mugs and to enter for a chance to win one with images from the cover on it comment below and tell me what real geologic feature caused the fictional natural disaster that lead to the development of the world of the Sentries? And where is it located? (Hint, look at the cover art and at my bio for the answers!)

The mugs are individually etched so between the time to make them and ship them give it about 4-6 weeks before it arrives. As long as you live on planet Earth and have a snail mail address I’ll ship it to you. I’m guessing anyone with internet access has a way to get snail mail. Those of you joining in from extraterrestrial colonies, I’m sorry.

I’ll contact the winner for their mailing address sometime Tuesday May 24, 2011. The mug won’t be an exact reproduction of the cover, but images from the cover and of course completely one of a kind.


Happy Release Day…Marked Yours by Elizabeth Noble

May 23, 2011

Good morning! Thank you for taking the time to stop by today and for helping me celebrate the release of my first novel.

I’m Elizabeth Noble, author of Marked Yours.

Thanks to the wonders of the internet I’ve posted this ahead of time and hopefully it’ll show up around 8 AM Eastern time US (which is -5GMT I believe). Right now I’m actually at work and won’t be on live most probably until around 430 PM. I have some posts going up every few hours with contests, give aways, a look inside the world and men of Marked Yours and how it came into being.

All the answers to any contest questions can be found either on here, my bio page: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?cPath=55_423&products_id=2362 or my website. Yes, that was a very thinly veiled utterly shameless ploy to get you to go check out my website: http://www.elizabeth-noble.com/index.html . To win any of the prizes or claim any of the free give aways all you have to do is participate in some manner, post a question or comment. Whoever wins the eBook must have a Dreamspinner account, which is free. You simply sign up. For any of the other prizes/give aways I’ll need you to send me your mailing address to my email: elizabeth.noble19@gmail.com

Blurb:

Three hundred years ago, natural disaster reformed the face of North America, and the people who lived in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains would never be the same.

Now, the master/slave bond in New Colorado has become a sacred rite of service, protection, and, sometimes, for the lucky, love. Nick and his intended Master, Todd Ruger, a sentry of the territories, have grown up knowing that they were pledged to this bond. They’re looking forward to the ritual with both excitement and trepidation—it’s something they’ve prepared for their entire lives. But New Colorado’s institution of slavery has made dangerous enemies on a frontier fraught with trouble, and they are unprepared for the trials their new relationship will face.  Their bond needs to grow very strong, very fast if it’s going to survive the collision of old superstition, new beliefs, and the ever-present danger of the natural and supernatural frontier.

Excerpt:

It was close to midnight when they finally stopped to make camp. There were four wagons in all, the other three carrying two or three occupants each, and two men riding on horseback. Nick’s mind drifted back to childhood, watching Todd ride through his village a few times a year, watching him grow from a skinny boy of twelve to the powerful man he was now.

A fire was built in the center of the wagon circle, and a meal was prepared. The night air was chilled and damp and Nick’s clothes, more suited for the southern climate, weren’t keeping him very warm. Nick wouldn’t have minded sitting near the fire to eat, even if he had to listen to John Ruger and his friends tell whatever stories they told one another. Todd, however, took his food and headed back to their wagon, so Nick followed.

He tried hard not to shiver through dinner. Everyone else had thicker coats and heavier clothes, much more prepared for the climate they were heading into than Nick. Glancing wistfully at the fire and its warmth, Nick huddled over his plate. He’d never dare ask for another coat. He was a slave. Who cared if he was cold? Slaves didn’t count in this world.

“You have any heavier clothes?”

Shaking his head, Nick murmured, “No, Todd.”

Todd set his plate down hard on the ground and stood abruptly. Nick flinched and looked up. Reaching into the wagon, Todd pulled out a heavy dark green pullover shirt. In his other hand he carried a few bottles and two glasses.

“Here, put this on. It’ll keep you warm enough for now. When we get home you’re getting the right clothes. I’m not spending the rest of my life watching you shiver.” He set the bottles and glasses down and resettled onto the ground beside Nick. Dark, amber liquid was poured from one of the bottles. “You ever had whisky before?” He started to hold the small glass out to Nick, but when Nick shook his head no, Todd chuckled. “Okay then. Not having this right now.” Grinning, Todd downed the liquid himself. Crossing his eyes, he shook his head as he swallowed. “Here, try this instead. We’ll start you off slow and work you up to the really rotgut stuff later.”

Nick laughed and took the small bottle Todd offered. He took a whiff; it didn’t smell bad. Nick took a short sip of the bottle’s contents. He pulled the bottle away and looked at it. “What is this?”

Todd had been watching him the entire time, looking almost boyish and hopeful. “Eh, you didn’t spit it back at me, so that’s good. Beer. You never had beer before?”

“No. Just water.”

“You like it?”

“Yeah, I do. It’s different. Sorta bitter at first.” He’d pulled the heavier shirt over his head; it was thick and made of a woven material that was warm and soft. Breathing in deeply, he was at once surrounded by the combined smells of gun oil, leather, and something he recognized from sitting beside Todd all day that was uniquely Todd. The beer made his throat warm, but it was the scent of Todd all around him that made warmth spread in delicate tendrils from his belly to his chest.

“Good, ’cause I don’t do bread and water. We do what we do and keep the good folks in the towns and villages safe at night, but they’re damn well feeding us good.”

Nick had no idea what it was Todd referred to. He’d thought since Todd and his father, and now Nick, were hunters, they’d simply track down and catch their own food if they needed to. Nodding, Nick drank his beer and finished his food. It was stew—tasty, hot, and filled with chunks of meat and vegetables in a heavy broth.

After mopping the remains of the stew from his plate with bread, Todd leaned back and grinned. “I want more. You want more?”

Looking up, surprised and knowing his face showed it, Nick blurted out, “I am allowed more?”

Todd snorted. “Yes, Nick, you are.” He held out a hand for Nick to pull up on. Once righted, Todd’s hand released his, moved to his neck, and patted gently a few times before he turned and went back to the fire.

The men there snidely asked why Nick was still wearing clothes and why they were wasting time eating. Todd ignored them. As he turned around, heading back to their wagon, Todd’s eyes caught Nick’s. He smirked and shook his head.

They resettled behind the wagon, out of sight of the others, and finished eating in silence. Then, leaning forward, elbows resting on his knees, Todd rubbed at the back of his neck for a few minutes.

“So, uh, you ever been with a woman?”

Nick stared at a point between his feet and shook his head no.

Todd shifted a bit. Nick thought he sounded nervous . “A man?”

“No.” His voice came out barely above a whisper.

“Got any preference?”

Nick drew in a deep breath and looked up at Todd, who wore that boyish, hopeful expression again. “I like watching girls sometimes, but they’re sort of skinny, no muscle. I think I look at men more.”

Todd nodded and seemed satisfied with those answers. It wasn’t as if Nick had a choice. He’d been bound to another male since he was five years old. Whether he preferred men or women as sexual partners was never a consideration. Maybe he’d always been that way, or maybe he’d just trained himself to like men more. He didn’t know. It didn’t really matter.

When Todd reached out and curled warm, strong fingers around his neck, Nick leaned into the touch. He decided it was something Todd liked to do, touch him that way, and it appeared to Nick the gesture pleased Todd and made him relax. Nick had decided back in the village, the first time Todd had touched him that way, that he liked it. Not even twenty-four hours later and Nick was craving those tiny touches and counting the minutes between them, hoping for another one.

This time Todd leaned closer and pulled Nick toward him. As Todd’s lips brushed the side of Nick’s hair, he moaned soft and low. Pushing his nose through Nick’s hair for a few seconds, Todd pulled him in even tighter, nuzzling his cheek against Nick’s, breathing in deep. “You smell good.” Todd’s hand moved from his neck up into Nick’s hair, turning his head toward Todd.

Todd pressed his lips to Nick’s, gently licking his tongue along Nick’s lower lip. It startled him at first when Todd’s tongue slipped between his lips and into his mouth. Todd’s other arm wound around Nick’s waist and gently, slowly pulled Nick completely against him. Todd’s tongue glided around his own and coaxed Nick’s tongue into his mouth. Todd sucked lightly on Nick’s tongue for a few seconds before pulling away. He looked at Nick, seemed to be memorizing every bit of Nick’s face before pulling him back in for another kiss. This time Nick mimicked Todd’s actions and sucked Todd’s tongue.

When Todd pulled away for the second time, they were both panting, and Nick was whimpering softly. Fingers raked tenderly through his hair and Todd kissed his nose and then his cheek, murmuring in his ear, “You taste so good. I’ve been waiting forever to do that.”

Nick felt a flush creep over him. When Todd’s arm tightened even more around his middle, Nick leaned his head down so his face was pressed to the crook of Todd’s neck. “I don’t… I’ve never….” This was so embarrassing.

“It’s okay, Nicky. You’ll learn. You’ll be just fine. Just us now.” Todd rested his chin on the top of Nick’s head and held him tightly. Nick had never in his life been held—not like this. He’d been held down and beaten a few times, but never had anyone simply held him. When he pressed closer and relaxed more against Todd, the other man drew in a deep breath and let it out slow. Nick liked this and he sensed Todd did too.

Laughter from the direction of the fire made them both start and pull back from each other. Laughing nervously, Todd ruffled Nick’s hair. “We’ll save the rest for when we can be alone.” He stood and stretched, throwing the cover back on the wagon’s opening. “Just us now,” he repeated. Nick nodded because he had the feeling he was supposed to respond somehow. “C’mon, Nicky. Get some sleep.”

***

I’ll be back a bit later with the first contest and some more trivia about Marked Yours.

I’d also like to remind everyone the first twenty paperback copies will be signed!