Please welcome Elle E. Ire with
Storm Fronts #1
All cybernetic soldier Vick Corren wanted was to be human again. Now all she wants is Kelly. But machines can’t love. Can they?
With the computerized implants that replaced most of her brain, Vick views herself as more machine than human. She’s lost her memory, but worse, can no longer control her emotions, though with the help of empath Kelly LaSalle, she’s holding the threads of her fraying sanity together.
Vick is smarter, faster, impervious to pain… the best mercenary in the Fighting Storm, until odd flashbacks show Vick a life she can't remember and a romantic relationship with Kelly that Vick never knew existed. But investigating that must wait until Vick and her team rescue the Storm’s kidnapped leader.
Someone from within the organization is working against them, threatening Kelly’s freedom. To save her, Vick will have to sacrifice what she values most: the last of her humanity. Before the mission is over, either Vick or Kelly will forfeit the life she once knew.
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The Book of My Heart
THREADBARE is not my first published novel. My first is titled VICIOUS CIRCLE, and it’s being rereleased by Dreamspinner Publications in a few months. It is unrelated to THREADBARE, and not part of the Storm Fronts series of which THREADBARE is the first book. However, in many ways, THREADBARE feels like my first published novel because it is, truly, the book of my heart.
To understand why this book is so important to me, one needs to know just how long THREADBARE’s heroine, Vick Corren, has been part of my life. Believe it or not, I first conceived of the cybernetic mercenary soldier when I was in college, and that is a long, long time ago, like about twenty-five years ago. I was majoring in creative writing at the University of Miami, and I’d written a couple of trunk novels (practice novels never to see a publisher’s desk that have been stashed away in the depths of my computerized trunk). Coursework demanded that I produce pieces of short fiction and poetry, but I wouldn’t be required to write another novel-length work until graduate school. However, I’ve always preferred the longer written forms, and my creativity was becoming stilted.
Enter the live-action film version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Okay, you’re probably thinking to yourself, this just took a very strange turn, especially where mutant turtles are concerned, and yes, it was a bizarre series of events.
I had a very good friend in college who went to see the Ninja Turtles film with me as a study break during final exams. We also regularly watched the cartoon series on Saturday mornings and read the comics. Though she was studying to become a veterinarian, she had a strong creative side and loved to write, so we began composing fan fiction for the Ninja Turtles and sharing it back and forth between ourselves. The internet was barely a thing at that time, so that was as far as it went, but it was fun. I even got my name printed in a published Ninja Turtles comic book for suggesting a title to a spinoff series of theirs.
Anyway, as part of our fan fiction, my friend and I decided the turtles should have girlfriends. Yeah, okay, sappy sweet, but we were college students. By our second year of this, we’d actually gotten nicknamed after two of the mutant turtles. She was Donatello. I was Raphael. Both suited us. She was the intellectual science-y one. I was, well, something of a rebel with a bit of a foul mouth and a developing badass side. And any girlfriend I created for Raphael was going to give him a badass run for his money. Thus, Vick Corren was born.
Initially she was an assassin more than a soldier, from some distant star system but stranded on Earth, trained in a dozen martial arts, capable of using any weapon that found its way into her hands. She had a backstory, she had computerized implants that gave her some crazily enhanced abilities, she had a wide and varied profane vocabulary, and she had Raphael wrapped around her finger. Writing her was fun. In fact, it was so much fun, I decided she needed her own book, completely independent of any other source material.
When I got out of college, settled into a teaching career, and married my also-writer spouse, I eventually wrote ASSASSIN’S NIGHTMARE. Vick Corren’s first run in a novel-length work was good enough to get me my first agent. It told the tale of the super-secret undercover organization Vick worked for, her struggles with her conscience, her never-approving spy father, and her like/hate relationship with a young woman who would become her best friend, but nothing more than that . . . because originally Vick Corren was entirely straight.
Though I knew deep down that Vick was bisexual, I had not voiced this epiphany out loud, and I wasn’t ready to respond to the inevitable questions that would arise about my own sexuality if I created a bisexual protagonist. This was, again, quite a number of years ago. I’m much braver now, though not as brave as some. Regardless, I’m ninety percent convinced that ASSASSIN’S NIGHTMARE didn’t sell because I wasn’t being true to the person Vick Corren is.
Years passed. I wrote more books. My novel, VICIOUS CIRCLE, sold, and guess what? It featured a female/female relationship showcasing an assassin protagonist. But that protagonist wasn’t Vick. Oh, Cor Sandros, my badass heroine from VICIOUS CIRCLE is full of power and sarcasm, and you should all definitely go read the novel when it’s rereleased this coming fall, but she’s different, dark in other ways, not technologically enhanced, and not as psychologically damaged as Vick. But Cor was bisexual, true to how I envisioned her, and it was time for me to go back and re-envision Vick Corren.
It’s not like she ever really left my thoughts. I dream story ideas, and Vick featured in most of them (and still does). She is the character who would not shut up in my creative imagination until she got her life on the page. I would dream entire scenes, hear dialogue while I slept. I would even find myself viewing the real world through her unique perspective.
I took Vick’s character, let her sexuality be what it was always meant to be, scrapped everything else from ASSASSIN’S NIGHTMARE, and rewrote the book from the ground up. What resulted was THREADBARE, which sold in a three-book deal as part one of the Storm Fronts series.
The book of my heart. The character of my soul. I hope readers will love her as much as I do.
About the author:
Elle E. Ire resides in Celebration, Florida, where she writes science fiction and urban fantasy novels featuring kickass women who fall in love with each other. She has won many local and national writing competitions, including the Royal Palm Literary Award, the Pyr and Dragons essay contest judged by the editors at Pyr Publishing, the Do It Write competition judged by a senior editor at Tor publishing, and she is a winner of the Backspace scholarship awarded by multiple literary agents. She and her spouse run several writing groups and attend and present at many local, state, and national writing conferences.
When she isn’t teaching writing to middle school students, Elle enjoys getting into her characters’ minds by taking shooting lessons, participating in interactive theatrical experiences, paying to be kidnapped “just for the fun and feel of it,” and attempting numerous escape rooms. Her first novel, Vicious Circle, was released by Torquere Press in November 2015, and will be rereleased in 2019 by Dreamspinner Publications along with her new novel, Threadbare, the first in the Storm Fronts series.
To learn what her tagline “Deadly Women, Dangerous Romance” is really all about, visit her website. She can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.
Elle is represented by Naomi Davis at BookEnds Literary Agency.
Promotional post. Materials provided by the author.