Ellora’s Cave — publishers of romantica (romantic erotica) :: Jaid Black


I. Bit of a rant

e-books: Print books ordered from Ellora’s Cave have a sort of appendix that explains why e-books are better.  Plus, there’s a few different e-readers available now where you can load the text and not have to explain away the saucy covers.  This, to me, gives rise to some philosophical (?) and philological issues.  For example, remember when "reader" used to mean that compact little print book you used in elementary school? It was full of fairy tales, legends, nursery rhymes, etc.?  Now people are reading text messages (dull, moronic pasttime), e-mails (wonderful when they are done well), Internet-fashioned news stories so far removed from professional journalism that they are a species unto themselves, blogs (er…yeah), and anything else that is NOT printed between two covers and is portable.  Fine. Whatever. 

But you know what is really, really stupid?  They call glancing at those lexophobic blips "reading".  They think they have "read" if they glimpsed a couple of text messages, some gossip at Perez Hilton’s blog (where did this piece of subterranean excrement come from and why hasn’t he been flushed away?) , and checked the weather on their iPhone.  And they have the nerve to be indignant if you call them ignorant.  Sad, misled, ignorant, weak-minded fools.  If you don’t read anything — ever — that is what you are.  It doesn’t matter what you think, that’s what you are.  BUT, you can change your mind anytime and pick up the slack in your reading life.  So there.  I don’t just complain about problems, I offer a solution.  Whether you get your books on a paper reader or e-reader, get your book on.  Get into it.  You will find yourself becoming more interesting.  And when you do, others will pick up the vibe.

II. Trek Mi Q’an — Naughty, horny sci-fi

Reading Order for Trek Mi Q’an series:

  1. The Empress’s New Clothes  [link to TENC]
  2. Seized  [link to Sz]
  3. No Mercy  [link to NM]
  4. Enslaved  [link to Ens]
  5. No Escape  [link to NE]                           5.5 Dementia  [link to Dem]
  6. Naughty Nancy
  7. No Fear  [link to NF]

I would not be surprised to hear that this set of stories has done more to liven up dull marriages than any counselor.  They’re very sexy — tremendously silly at times — but sexy. I do not kid. Ladies, if you and the SI are in a rut, read these books to your hub.  If they don’t excite you, you will at least have tons of controversial topics to argue about.  You can make up afterwards. *nudge nudge, wink wink*

The first story deals with the Emperor Zor.  He’s the capo di tutti capi of several galaxies in the 7th dimension.  He’s taller than Yao Ming and proportionately large all over.  He discerns his "sacred mate" on modern-day earth and that’s pretty much when the fun starts.  His brother Dak has a crush on Zor’s wife’s best friend.  Dak’s love story is in book 2 although it overlaps with book 1. 

Book 3 is Rem’s love story.  He’s brother to Zor and Dak.  He also finds his wife on earth — modern-day Australia. 

Book 4 is Kil’s love story.  He is the fiercest brother of the four preternaturally tall and gifted royal family of TMQ.  He finds his SI in 1960s America — during a bra-burning feminist protest.  Total opposites.

Zor and Kil have black hair and blue eyes.  Zor’s wife is a redhead; Kil’s has dark blonde hair.  Both of the women are quite short so when they mate, it’s awkward to imagine a 7½ foot man of almost 300 pounds getting on top of a woman who’s maybe 5’5".  At least the women are fleshy — you know, NORMAL.

Dak and Rem are blonde Adonises.  Dak fell in love with an African-American woman, tall, but still….  Rem’s woman is a redhead with freckles, and man, does their book really work the freckle-fetish angle.  It’s totally believable though, in a weird, sci-fi, freaky, unbelievable sort of way. 

The sex scenes are frequent, frantic, and freaky.  Here’s an index of sorts:

  1. exhibitionism: 1, 2, 3, 5.5
  2. non-consensual: all
  3. orgies: 1, 3, 4, 5.5
  4. non-human: ALL
  5. mind control: 1, 5
  6. seeing your kids have sex: 3, 4
  7. self-pleasure: all
  8. menage: 1, 3, 4
  9. romance: all
  10. voyeurism: all  
  11. public sex: all
  12. adultery:  all
  13. frottage: 5

Sometimes, they even do it in a bed.  Picturing it leads to all sorts of head-scratching as you try to figure out how a 7.5 foot man and a woman who only comes up to his belly can get certain body parts to reach other body parts. At that point, you just give up and go with the flow, because seriously — 75% of that stuff is just not possible even if you’re limber.  Your reach is your reach and no more. 

Now, EC is a fine establishment who are doing interesting things in romantica.  I think they even made up that word just for their product.  But c’mon!  Who the hell is editing these bluelines?!  The series note at the beginning of the paperback lists ENSLAVED as the 4th book, but the blurb on the back says it’s the 3rd.  I’m confused.  How did that get past the eds.?  Errors in grammar abound in the worst way!  Spelling, word choice, subject-verb agreement, missing words.  Oh My God.  I can’t sell these books as new because I have circled mistakes on so many pages.  Hey, if I have to proof these damn books, at least lower the price.  Or pay me.  Trust me, these are not ignorable mistakes.  They stand out like a pork chop at a Hadassah luncheon. 

To be fair, THE EMPRESS’S NEW CLOTHES is one of the best books of its kind — romantica, that is.  It’s a trend-setter.  You get to like Zor and his wacky family after a while.  The world Jaid Black created is consistent throughout the series.  Except in NO FEAR, she starts to spread it out a bit and the language rules run amuck among the galaxies.  She starts a lot of threads that go nowhere, and I find that irritating.  Most importantly to someone like me, the lexicon stays consistent throughout the series.  It consists of some old-fashioned English public school vocabulary with heavy use of articles like in Spanish.  Although, they use "moon-rising" and "night" but they don’t seem to be interchangeable.  Consistency of specialized vernacular is very important in this genre, and that is the strongest characteristic of these books.  Oh, and most of the sex is pretty cool, too. 




3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Steve on June 24, 2008 at 10:10 PM

    I\’m wondering about this category called "Mind Control".  At first I was thinking it might be a subset of "Non-consensual", but then imagined a case where one partner consents to the other beforehand to practice mind control.  But would that be akin to "Self-pleasure"?  The mind controller is programming the automaton to do everything he says.  There\’s no sense of surprise.  Then again, maybe you could have random pleasure moves as part of the program.  I may have to think more about this.


  2. […] that I think may have inspired Ellora’s Cave to come into being.  If you’ve ever read the Trek Mi Q’an series, you can see how much is owed to (or should be owed to) Joy – OMG I made a funny! “owed […]


  3. […] Previous Post:  Trek Mi Q’an – It’s Like, Out There, Man […]


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