Thursday, December 23, 2010

O-M-GEE!! Coupon to get RABBIT and THE JUDGING 1/2 off on Smashwords!

How fun!

My publisher, TreasureLine Publishing & TreasureLine Books, is offering a 1/2-off coupon for RABBIT: CHASING BETH RIDER & THE JUDGING on Smashwords! If you are a Smashwords customer, or wish you were, use these codes on these links to buy these great books for less than $3.00!!

Remember that we are STOKED to see RABBIT: CHASING BETH RIDER as the #1 Ranked Horror novel on Amazon Kindle several weeks in a row. Folks are really "getting" it and enjoying it a the same time. Yay!

The Judging's Coupon code is TU49R - $2.49
Rabbit's Coupon code is CJ63H (not case sensitive) - $2.49
Don't be shy -- please feel free to contact me anytime via email at and/or visit me at my official website,


Saturday, December 18, 2010

"Hobbit Schmobbit, Bring on the Rabbit!" ~ RCBR #4 on Amazon Kindle!

Fleeting but beautiful, my first novel, Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider, was found to be #4 on the Amazon Kindle / Fantasy Best rated list, based on reader ratings. I can't say that I understand how that all works, but just to be #4 and have Tolkien's The Hobbit #6 is enough to swell a little lady's head. Don't worry, I'll come back down. These ratings change every 24 hours, so tomorrow could be different. But it is still a thrill!

I am sending out a huge THANK YOU to everyone who supports my writing efforts. I am only able to write because of you and I will never forget that!

For those who don't know, my newest novel, The Judging, came out November 29th. It is the first book in a separate series, but readers of Rabbit will recognize it as the novel Beth Rider wrote that got her in so much trouble with the Rakum (vampires). See this (and all my books) here:

Thursday, December 2, 2010

WINNERS ANNOUNCED !! "The Judging" Contest/Giveaway

In September, we ran a Blog Contest/Giveaway
where entrants jumped through a few hoops in hopes of winning one of 5 copies of my newest Christian Vampire thriller, THE JUDGING. The five people who won are listed in this fancy picture and will be receiving their books before the end of the year.

A HEARTFELT THANKS to everyone who participated. It's because of you that I have the nerve to even attempt to write a story.

Hugs to you all,

Ellen C. Maze

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

GOODREADS Giveaway HUGE SUCCESS for "LOose RaBbits"!

The 40-day Goodreads Giveaway for 5 FREE copies of "Loose Rabbits of the Rabbit Trilogy" was a huge success with nearly 1000 folks entering. 85 of them put the book on their shelves. Goodreads chooses the winners and I have shipped them out today, except for the one to Australia and the one to UK -- those I will ship tomorrow.

As you know, LOOSE RABBITS contains spoilers for RABBIT: CHASING BETH RIDER, so I put a coupon inside the books to remind them to buy the 1st novel!

For all who entered and wish you knew who won... here ya go!

J. Muirhead Queensland| AU
S. Shove| Great Britain
T. Baxter PA| 16045| US
L. Turpin Idaho| 83318| US
I. Walters Milpitas| CA| 95035| US


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Newest 5-Star Review of RABBIT: "If you don't like this book, you must be crazy..."

Anna Motteler said: " This book is absolutely, positively, utterly, amazing. I'm not even exaggerating and if you do not add this to your to-read list after reading my review, then I will just assume that you are ignorant or crazy, one of the two.

I have been hes ...more This book is absolutely, positively, utterly, amazing. I'm not even exaggerating and if you do not add this to your to-read list after reading my review, then I will just assume that you are ignorant or crazy, one of the two.

I have been hesitant to read any vampire related book since Twilight, to be completely honest. So when Ellen C. Maze was willing to send me an ARC, I was kind of excited. I had read about this book and it sounded like it would keep my interest, and boy was I right. AMAZING.

This is not your typical vampire book, let me tell you that right now. It takes a completely different approach, from what I have seen anyway, and this novel ties in religion. I feel like this makes it a heck of a lot more intriguing and it captures the essence of God in a way many would probably not imagine. I love this book and I especially love Beth & Michael, my two favorite characters.

You will love this book. If you don't, then I feel sorry for you.

Thank you, Anna! I couldn't have said it better myself . You are who I wrote this for...thank you for telling the world how much you love it!!
Huggles, Ellen

Buy One Today:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

CONTEST GIVEAWAY UNDERWAY for "The Judging", A new vampire tale from Ellen C. Maze

How do we spell "contest" boys and girls? C-O-N-T-E-S-T. Correct! Now, if it were only that easy. I want to giveaway five (5) signed copies of my newest novel entitled, THE JUDGING, The Corescu Chronicles Book One, and at the same time, I want to spread the word about it. This is where you guys come in!

WORLD-WIDE CONTEST -- no country restrictions !

I know you're busy, but if you'd like to participate and get your name in the drawing for these books, here are the rules. Send your responses to me privately at (DO NOT POST IN COMMENT SECTION OR YOU'LL GIVE AWAY THE ANSWER! silly :-)

Okay! I have listed below five (5) steps to be entered into the contest. 

*You have to do 3 out of 5, to have your name entered once.
*Those who do 4 out of five will have their names entered twice.
*And those who do all 5 will have their names entered thrice

At the end of the contest, I will draw from all of the names in the hat and post the winners here and on my social sites. The winners will receive their free signed copy as soon as the book is available, approximately November 2010. See, we're creating a buzz! Yes, these steps all help advance the web-presence of my books and my brand, and I can never thank you enough for all of your support. THANK YOU my friends! 

HERE ARE THE STEPS (remember, do a minimum of any 3 to enter the drawing, and 4 or 5 to be entered even more!)

  2. WATCH BOOK TRAILER #1 at this link: and answer this question: "What time is showing on the Capital Building Clock?"
  3. WATCH BOOK TRAILER #2 at this link: and tell me how many vampire images show up in this 1:02 min. video.
  4. VISIT MY NEW WEBSITE at and tell me how many book covers are displayed on my home page.
  5. SHARE THE LINK to this Giveaway Contest on Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace, and provide me a link so I can see where you shared it.
Contest Dates: SEPTEMBER 8th, 2010 to OCTOBER 31st, 2010

That's all you have to do! Yay! Thank you for entering and I simply cannot WAIT to share this new novel with you. It's been cooking since 2004, and it is ready to be born. Hugs to you all, Ellen C Maze

Monday, August 9, 2010

New Review of RABBIT from author Timothy Dean, "READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!"

(Photo from a 8/10 Mississippi writer's conference, a new RABBIT CHASER ready to start chasing!)

By Timothy James Dean "Author and Reader"
This review is from: Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider (Paperback) also Kindle (link)

Ellen Maze can write! That is the first thing I look for in an author - someone who can spin a world, and draw you into it for a great ride.

"Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider" is one of the most original and courageous novels I've read in a long time. There's no way around it, so I might as well just spit it out:

this is a Christian story about vampires. Or possibly it's a vampire story about Christians.

If that offends thee, you might as well stop right here!

Ellen herself is an interesting person, who could be a character from the pages of her novel. She is a Messianic Jew who lives in Alabama. Sounds like a mythical creature? Turns out, she's mystical instead.

Much of Ellen's research comes out of her heritage. Her vampires are called "Rakum," based on an old Hebrew word. And make no mistake: these vampires are not the near-vegetarian milksops of the "Twilight" variety. The predators of the old vampiric tales, and of Ms. Maze's novel, would eat them for breakfast.

Instead, "Rabbit's" blood-suckers are ancient creatures of biblical proportions.

The center of good in the story is the title character, Beth Rider. And "rabbit" refers to the state in which she is transformed by a powerful vampire.

Beth Rider is a novelist, and her most recent effort suggests that there is a way the Rakum can leave their demonic state and find life. Her nemesis is offended, and he comes to teach the puny woman a lesson. He has the ability to transform her into delicious prey that will bring the brethren from far and wide, to sample her female charms, and feed on her.

We know what rabbits do - they run!

But Beth has an unusual ally among the Rakum. And more importantly, she possesses a secret weapon - one that may save her life, and threaten the entire race of ancient monsters.

"Rabbit" is a romance, no question, one with a strong female lead, akin to the "Twilight" series. But there many of the similarities end, for Ellen Maze's story faces the essential evil of the Rakum race, and instead of seduction, offers redemption.

A word of warning: this may ruin other vampire stories for you.

Read at your own risk!

Timothy Dean
Teeth - The Epic Novel with Bite (The South Pacific Trilogy, Volume 1)

Thursday, July 29, 2010


BESTSELLERSWORLD.COM review of Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider
Reviewed by Stephanie Nordkap

What do you do when something that you have written and laboured over attracts the wrong kind of attention?

Best-selling author Beth Rider is shocked one day when at one of her book signings she is approached by an evil-looking, giant of a man who gives her a warning to watch her back. And the strange thing about the entire episode is that no one else seems to have witnessed it. Beth tries to shake to it off; after all, her books about vampires are selling quickly, and everyone seems to be reading them.

Back at her hotel room, trying to relax and calm down, Beth is suddenly attacked. The man is Jack Dawn, an Elder of the Rakum, one who believes that Beth’s books, which have also been read by the Rakum, are dangerous to his people and their system of beliefs that have held for thousands of years. He draws her blood and forces her swallow his blood, marking her as a Rabbit, one his entire race can sense for miles around. She is now unable to die and can face torture from his people until they either grow tired of her or she chooses to commit suicide, if she can.

Shaken and disturbed and with no idea of the extreme circumstances she now faces, she returns home, only to be scented and marked as soon as she lands in her hometown airport. Michael Stone senses the Rabbit. He knows that Rabbits are usually traitors to the Rakum, but he is confused and shocked when he sees Beth, and senses that something is wrong. Furthermore, he feels a connection to Beth that he has never experienced with a human; a feeling to protect that is so powerful he follows her home. Michael decides to put his own life on the line and protect Beth from the Rakum he knows will surround and chase her forever, unless together they can come up with a solution that will either lead to many deaths or lead to their redemption.

I really had no idea what this book was about when I first started to read Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider. Once I realized it was about vampires, it did run through my mind that this was probably another vampire book glorifying the supernatural. I couldn’t have been more surprised, and pleasantly surprised, by the twists and turns that this supernatural tale takes.

I absolutely love it when an author can take a myth or legend from the past, in this case many were from the Bible, and weave them neatly and efficiently into a brilliant and original tale. Ms. Maze created a new and different type of vampire race in her novel whereby humans are not turned into vampires, but born into vampires. Only the Fathers can procreate using a human mother and the children are raised and trained to be ‘proper’ vampires, their talents explored and developed. They drink blood to look like humans, to interact with humans, and control many of businesses in the human world. Ms Maze pulls this off with such skill and precision, it is amazing this is her debut novel.

The emotional connections between the characters were deep and profound. Beth is a very likeable character and Stone, though it took him more time to come under the ‘spell’ of Beth’s books, was the perfect hero. The character development was remarkable and I came to care for many of the characters as they looked upon their lives and wondered if they could each be ‘redeemed’. Ms. Maze wrote with such sensitivity and compassion that I understood how many of them felt and was sympathetic to many of their plights. In one scene, when Beth shows Michael how disturbing Jeremy’s paintings are and how they reflect his perceptions of Michael and the Rakum, the horror of that realization and the dawning understanding of the attachment of humans to Rakum is just as strong for me as it was for Michael. I was horrified, disturbed, and pitied Jeremy very much. It was a very disturbing scene.

This book is definitely not simplistic in nature. Ms Maze gives us a fast-paced plot with many twists and turns, not just in the action, but also for the mind. There is definitely some pretty deep philosophy in this novel. The story deals with such issues as faith, redemption, light and darkness, mythology, and philosophy. There were times I actually had to stop reading and think about some of things she mentioned in the story. Beth’s deep faith in God kept her going through many difficult moments. It doesn’t go overboard on the Christian and philosophical elements, but they are still there, giving the reader many things to reflect upon and ponder.

If you’re looking for a book that has many elements in it (romance, suspense, thrills, fear, philosophy), then this one has it all. Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider will grab your attention from the first page and will not let go until the end, and maybe not even then. Enjoy the chase!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

BUILDING SUSPENSE in your Novel with author Ellen C. Maze

Recently, I completed my second novel, Rabbit Legacy, and began the fun-filled days of editing the work. I sent it off to three editors—two of which are also authors—and printed out a copy for myself to read aloud. I had been studying books on ways to improve your novel and one of the things I learned to recognize was places where suspense could be increased, therefore making the book better. 

I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the instances I found to increase suspense and at the same time enlarge the characters multidimensionality. See, suspense is no good on its own; it needs to be supported by context, character personality, plot, theme and progress. Here are a few places where I was able to increase suspense AND advance the plot or character development at the same time. Take a look:

(Chapter 28, excerpt)
Fifteen minutes passed before a yellow Dodge Ram pickup came barreling down the two-lane highway that ran through the park. Beryl stepped into the road and waved his arms as Ta’avah limped along the side. They played their roles well enough that the driver slowed, pulled off, and then hopped out to offer assistance.

“What happened, son? Did you have a wreck?” Thick and muscular with an ample beer belly, the driver helped Ta’avah balance and then noticed the copious amounts of blood staining Beryl’s shirt and jeans a few feet away. His eyes widened and he did a double take at the twins’ faces. When he recovered, he pointed at Beryl. “Ya’ll get in the cab. I’m taking you to the hospital right away. Come on, son. Can you walk?”

Beryl hobbled to the vehicle unaided as the husky Samaritan carefully lifted Ta’avah into the passenger seat. When he came around to the driver’s side to open the third door, Beryl reached forward and grabbed him tightly by his arms. The man was shocked by the move for the first several seconds, but as his predicament dawned on him, he began to thrash wildly against his attacker.

Beryl met Ta’avah’s eyes, who hadn’t lifted a finger to help. On the contrary, he leaned back in the seat, smiled, and crossed his arms. Undaunted, Beryl growled and stressed the man’s torso to one side fracturing several vertebrae. The truck driver screamed high and terrified as his legs buckled. Eyes still glued to his superior hidden inside his brother’s body, he held the man up with one strong arm and stabbed him in the neck with his free hand. He’d have his fill with or without the demon’s help. His victim stopped struggling moments into the attack, and Beryl drew out his blood until he could hold no more. As he was finishing, Ta’avah slipped down from the truck and casually approached. (end excerpt)

At the highlighted portion, I realized that I glazed over Beryl’s attack. Initially, I probably did that to save word count, or maybe I wrote this scene in a hurry. But either way, I did the character a disservice by not covering how he would attack such a victim. Read the expansion below and see how I was able to delve into Beryl’s state of mind, his relationship with his master, and his general worsening attitude by simply showing the reader how the attack went down.

(cont’d)….Beryl hobbled to the vehicle unaided as the husky Samaritan carefully lifted Ta’avah into the passenger seat. When he came around to the driver’s side to open the third door, Beryl considered how the attack would go down. Subduing mortals was easy enough if you surprised them. The two seconds that it took to realize the threat was plenty of time to snap a neck or otherwise immobilize for feeding. The driver was a big man and would have leverage; Beryl didn’t want to be shoved off his feet in front of his master. He limped toward the man and whimpered, his muscles tense as he prepared to lunge.

“You look all banged up, son. What happened to ya?” the man asked, his head to side, totally convinced by Beryl’s performance.

Dashing forward, Beryl reached and grabbed him tightly by his arms. The man was shocked by the move, but as his predicament dawned on him, he began to thrash against his attacker. Beryl allowed the man to struggle and met Ta’avah’s eyes. His master leaned back in the seat, smiled, and crossed his arms. Undaunted, Beryl growled and spun the man around easily, grabbing him around the chest from behind. With a sneer aimed at his master, he stressed the man’s torso to one side and fractured several of the driver’s vertebrae. His victim screamed as his legs buckled and pain ripped through his body.

Eyes still glued to his superior hidden inside his brother’s body, he held the man up with one strong arm and stabbed him in the neck with his free hand. They weren’t leaving him alive so Beryl aimed for the jugular. He’d have his fill with or without the demon’s help. His victim fell unconscious, and Beryl drew out his blood until he could hold no more. As he was finishing, Ta’avah slipped down from the truck and casually approached.
(end excerpt)

Another instance where suspense was improved was in Chapter Forty, where Beryl is trying to avoid the police. Opening up these violent scenes actually reveals the character’s growth leading up to the end of the book when he is a significantly changed person. Check out how I chose to expand this scene (it is established in the text that these quoted italics indicate telepathic exchange):

(Chapter 40, excerpt)
“I can take out the ones I see. You kill your three. Meet me behind the privacy fence gate. I have a van.” Beryl paused making sure his every word translated across.


“We’ll make a run for it.”

Silence. Beryl smirked unintentionally, sensing hesitation in his master that Meryl would never have suffered. Maybe Ta’avah was not as strong as he pretended.

Then a gun fired, muffled and from inside the bar.

Beryl jumped into action.

Faster than the eye could see, he gained on the policeman closest to him and snapped his neck. As he was falling to the ground, two of his buddies turned to come to his aid, their guns drawn and beginning to come up. Beryl didn’t allow them to complete their arc. As quickly as possible, he rushed them with arms wide, cupped the heads of each with his open palms and slammed their heads together so hard, their skulls cracked like egg shells.

In a flash, a cop rounded the corner, aimed and fired just as Beryl leapt off the ground and scrabbled onto the roof. One uniformed officer disappeared into the bar but there were at least two left outside. Had Ta’avah finished off his or had he been shot? Should Beryl make a run for it alone? (end excerpt)

During proofing, I realized that I totally cheated Beryl out of another chance to show insight into his thought processes. By adding just a few lines, I was able to increase the suspense in an already suspenseful scene, and remind the audience that being shot earlier in the work weighed heavily on Beryl’s mind. Check it out:

(cont’d)…In a flash, a cop rounded the corner, weapon trained at Beryl’s chest. The sudden recollection of being shot by Canaan’s woman caused his pulse to speed up. He so didn’t want to be shot again. The officer’s finger tugged at the trigger as Beryl leapt off the ground and scrabbled onto the roof. The spent bullet ricocheted harmlessly on the cement wall, but the radio chatter increased exponentially. Beryl sensed more units being dispatched from all over the city. Things were getting out of hand.(end except)

Now, wasn't that a hoot! There are more, but these are two to get you started. So if you write fiction and want to spice it up with a little kick of suspense, look for places where you glazed over action that could be really be expanded and do the novel good. Happy writing!

~Ellen C Maze,

Recommended text: The Plot Thickens, by Literary Agent Noah Lukeman

Thursday, July 8, 2010

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Kim Kouski sits down with Ellen C Maze

This week, I was interviewed by writer and blogger Kim Kouski about marketing your novel. It was so much fun, I want to re-post it here. You will find all of Kim's delightful and informative blogs here, as well as information on her writing endeavors. ~ ellen

"I had the pleasure of interviewing my friend Ellen Maze, the writer of Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider regarding the marketing of her novel. She has in the past given me a glimpse of her marketing techniques, but I finally nailed down the Rabbit Writer and learned her secrets and what awesome secrets she has!!!! (May I also add, she’s sold almost 800 books in 6 months.)"

Hi Kim! I’m honored to be invited back for another interview. I have called myself a self-marketing Guru and I’ll happily share everything that I’ve learned with you and your readers today.

1) What marketing techniques do you use for your books?

There are literally dozens of ways that I market my books and hundreds more that I haven’t even glanced over yet. During the course of this interview, I will name as many as I can, but let me start with the number one technique: Facebook. Yes, more than MySpace or Twitter, Facebook is every author’s best friend.

Set up a personal profile page for yourself to make friends with people, and also set up a ‘Group’ for your novels. Some authors make a personal page, a novel group, and a separate Author’s Fan page. I have found that if you have enough readers, you can make as many groups as you can imagine. And in case you didn’t know it, all of this is FREE.

Please check this link for my personal Profile Page: and this link for my Facebook Novel Group: .

Also, if you’re reading this blog and you haven’t ‘friended’ me yet on Facebook, please do!

Now, if you were paying attention, you caught me marketing right then and there. I told you about my links in an interview and then asked you to join me! This is a major part of self-marketing and self-promotion—friendly and open communication with potential readers and fellow authors!

Once you have your Facebook all set up, it’s time to set up a Twitter account, using your author name and inserting your novel’s web site into your profile there. Do the same at,,,,,, and the list goes on and on. I’ll attach a more comprehensive list of social networking sites at the end of this interview.

2) How did you make your video book trailer?

My homemade video book trailer turned out beautifully and it was my first attempt. Using the Movie Maker included in my PC, I taught myself the program and had it completed in about five hours. Because of copyright laws, every part of the video had to belong to me—music, photos, and text—so I took the time to make it all legal. I went downtown and took the appropriate photos, my musical husband wrote and played the music, and my graphic artist daughter did the titles and book cover. All in the family, we made a $300 book trailer for nothing. Here’s a link to the trailer (please watch ) .

My publisher, Outskirts Press, also made me a video book promo for $95. It is plain but gets the job done. Here’s a link to that one:

I have signed with a publicity company recently called Apex Reviews (ya’ll jot that company down. You’re going to want to use them when the time is right!), and they are making me a 3rd video book trailer. I haven’t gotten it back yet, but for less than $75, they provided a host of services included a professional book review, listing on dozens of web sites and blogs, and this trailer. I recommend the usage of these publicity companies when you are self-publishing. Some other pay-companies I have used and liked: Premium Promotional Services and Kingdom Expansion . So far, I’ve never paid more than $75 a pop for their services, and to me, that is very reasonable considering the exposure they provide an independently published book.

3) Which marketing techniques have you used that work well for you?

As aforementioned, Facebook has had the largest impact and found me the most readers. But I have to work the system there and that is a talent in itself. Another biggie that is just as important, if not more so, is for every serious author to set up an author profile on You must sell your book on Amazon, and you can publish a Createspace Kindle version for FREE. Seriously. Buy this book: SELL YOUR BOOK ON AMAZON. If you follow even 50% of his advice, you will see your title on dozens of different web sites within the first few hours, and it is perpetual. I still see reviews and lists I created on Amazon last year create new online searches for my work now. Amazing exposure for FREE!

Listen up friends—for self-promotion, you’ll dedicate 10 to 20 hours a week promoting a new title, and 10 hours a week between new books. It has to be done. Even authors published by the larger houses do these steps. It’s the only way in this tough economy and isn’t likely to change. If you don’t have it in you, ask your sister to do it for you. Maybe you’ll get lucky.

4) Which ones would you not recommend or tell others to avoid?

I do not recommend paying hundreds of dollars for services you can do yourself. Unless money grows in your backyard, don’t pay for reviews. You can get book reviews for FREE if you seek out your reading audience and find the bloggers who like your genre. With a little cyber-footwork, you can find literally dozens of reviewers who will read and review your book for you for the cost of mailing them a book.

5) Do you do book signings and do they work well for you?

I love book signings. To make it successful, advertise it as much as you can beforehand. On all your social web sites, as well as local print papers if possible. Put up a poster in the store a week or so before and leave bookmarks for the cashiers to put into customers’ bags leading up to the event. Then, go to the signing prepared to meet only one reader. You might meet more, but maybe not. To fill the time, take some drawing paper (people LOVE to watch people draw), set out snacks (people in bookstores are hungry), set out bookmarks (people love free stuff), and if all else fails, pull out a manila pad and start writing the sequel. There’s one fact you just can’t skirt—if you want to sell more of your first book, write another one!

6) What is the hardest part of marketing your book that you have encountered?

Hmmm. Good one. The biggest challenge is the time element. Ideally, we’d all be able to spend 100% of our day writing the next great novel. But these marketing steps must be taken, and unless you’ve hired a publicist (Milton Kahn and Asso. For a 3-month campaign, $15,000: nice folks, great work, hefty price tag. But he’ll get you on Oprah! ), you will have to put in the hours. I have heard it boils down to 50% time spent writing, 40% time spent marketing, and 10% time left for the rest of your life. But what can we do? We were born to write!

7) Does one need a lot of money to market their book?

NO. 99% of my marketing efforts are FREE or only cost me the price of one of my books. The time is what costs the most. Networking and meeting authors, readers, and movers of the industry who can help nudge your book ahead in the ratings.

8 ) How would a newbie writer who has the book in her hands start marketing her book?

Make sure you have a bang-up professional web site. The web site doesn’t have to cost anything, just be professional and easy to navigate. My site is fun and its look matches my unique personality. Check it out here: I don’t think you should pay more than $100-$150 to have one built, so shop around. It used to cost upwards of $500 for a simple site, but there are so many web designers out there now that they had to come down. My sister, Marty Hersh, is a professional designer and she will create you one for around $100. She designed all of my sites, although I changed the look of them along the way, she set me up and taught me how to maintain them myself. Here is her web address:

Get set up on all those Top social web sites I mentioned. Seek your audience on those sites. Say your on Facebook and you wrote a book about vampires. Search the Twilight, Trueblood, Sookie, Vampire Diaries, Cirque Du Freak, etc. groups and join them. Start talking about your book to these people in a friendly and open way. Send friend requests to hundreds of them and build your online presence.

9) You once said you go to where folks are talking about your book. Can you expand on this and what do you do? How does this help?

OMGee this is important. Go to and set up your google alerts. You will be able to make Google alert you whenever anyone on the internet searches your book title, name, or any other word phrase you request. Also called, internet clipping service, it’s a way to know when you or your book is being discussed in cyberspace.

Let me go through the steps to find the alerts, as they are hidden on the main screen. Go to . In the top line, near the middle, the highlighted choice is ‘more’… drop that down and all the way to t bottom is ‘even more’. Select ‘even more’. The first option on the left is ‘alerts’. Click this and follow the instructions. It’s that simple! I have alerts for all my book titles and my author name. Now I know when a store in India is selling my book AND if some woman in Newark, NJ is blogging about it!

10) I haven’t published my book yet, but I’d like to create a following so when I sell it, I’ll be ready. What you recommend for me?

Go ahead and start up a fan club on facebook! Present yourself as an author, tell them about your book, and when you suspect it will be published, if you know. When I started my facebook group, I had no idea that I’d be self-publishing my first book. I just knew I was submitting my novels to publishers and would soon find a taker. I had collected 200 fans before I even had a date for the first release! I’d like to have a thousand fans, but right now, it is at about 560. Half-way there…

Also, create a blog that chronicles your writing efforts. The more you mention your name and your titles on the internet, the more searchable you become. Ideally, when someone Googles your book title, your book title will take up the first 10 or 12 pages of Google searches. When I began my marketing efforts, one Ellen C Maze came up for my novels. Now, if you Google RABBIT: CHASING BETH RIDER (Published in Nov 2009), you will find that the first 15 pages are dedicated to stories regarding that book. I have my marketing efforts to thanks and it didn’t happen by itself!

11) Anything else you can think of.

I want to say, be kind to each other. Go to and meet some authors of books or genres you like. Befriend them and try to get them to read and review your book. You can exchange reviews if you like. Make as many friends online and in person as you can, because people don’t like to buy from a snob or a morose person. Be happy, smile a lot, and put yourself out there. Don’t be too private –readers get a thrill from being able to ‘friend’ you on facebook and email you personally. When you’re self-published, word-of-mouth is so important. So, be excellent to each other.

12) As always, you’re the bomb, baby!! Thanks.

Thank you Kim! Here is a list of social web sites your readers might like to copy and paste: (Either google them by this name, or add .com to the back)
Just to name a few…

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

TOP MOVIES OF THE SUMMER w/earning totals!

July 6, 2010 SUMMER MOVIES Round Up with Gary Susman

The movies I've seen have a highlighted review out to the side! --ellen 

The full top 10 (four-day totals):
1. 'The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,' $82.5 million (4,468 screens), $175.3 million total
2. 'The Last Airbender,' $53.2 million (3,169), $70.5 million
3. 'Toy Story 3,' $42.2 million (4,028), $301.1 million [2-THUMBS WAY UP-ellen]
4. 'Grown Ups,' $26.5 million (3,534), $85.1 million
5. 'Knight & Day,' $14.0 million (3.104), $49.3 million [2-THUMBS WAY UP –ellen]
6. 'The Karate Kid,' $11.5 million (3,109), $155.0 million
7. 'The A-Team,' $4.3 million (2,153), $70.4 million [2-THUMBS WAY UP-ellen]
8. 'Get Him to the Greek,' $1.7 million (884), $57.9 million
9. 'Shrek Forever After,' $1.3 million (957), $232.6 million [Pretty good –ellen]
10. 'Cyrus,' $1.0 million (77), $1.7 million

Top 10 movies of summer 2010:
1. 'Iron Man 2,' $308.5 million [2-THUMBS WAY UP –ellen]
2. 'Toy Story 3,' $301.1 million
3. 'Shrek Forever After,' $232.6 million
4. 'The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,' $175.3 million
5. 'The Karate Kid,' $155.0 million
6. 'Robin Hood,' $104.0 million
7. 'Sex and the City 2,' $93.7 million
8. 'Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,' $88.4 million
9. 'Grown Ups,' $85.1 million
10. 'The Last Airbender,' $70.5 million

•Follow Gary Susman on Twitter @garysusman.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


We're gearing up for the release of the sequel to RABBIT: CHASING BETH RIDER, and what better way to do that than to give away a few review copies of the first book?!

The book has gotten so many rave reviews and I'm ecstatic to be able to share it with you this way. Ya'll be sure to put it on your to-read shelf when you enter the drawing. That way, you'll remember it later if need be!!

NOTE: you can read 1/2 of this book online to see if it's up your alley. Go to the web site to do so or click here:!

WATCH FOR THE SECOND BOOK IN THE RABBIT TRILOGY to launch in September. I'll post a giveaway for that one too as soon as appropriate.

AND YA'LL FRIEND ME on Facebook! I'm from the Deep South so don't be a stranger!



Wednesday, June 16, 2010


NAME A VICTIM names have been chosen! Here are the names and where they appear in the book.

1. Mac Ardel --- killed by Beryl in Ch. 39
2. Stanley Rotich---- Stan Rotich , killed by Rakum in Ch 17
3. Caleb Dixon ---- young man who reads at the library in Ch 5

How did I choose THESE names out of such a huge pile? I chose the ones that spoke to my muse as I read the scene. Not a very scientific process, but I never claimed to be a scientist!

I’m hanging onto this list as I write the next book, RABBIT REDEMPTION, I would like to use a few as needed. Those people will receive the same free book offer as the ones today.

These current winners will receive one of my novels FREE. I’ll be contacting you now, so watch your inbox.

THANK YOU EVERYONE! THIS WAS SO FUN! And be sure to buy RABBIT: CHASING BETH RIDER & RABBIT LEGACY… I promise you’ll have fun reading them!

Monday, May 24, 2010

NEED A VICTIM...How would you like to DIE in RABBIT LEGACY?

I have an idea and it's kind of cheeky.

Folks are always asking me to put them in my novels. Well, I have all the main roles cast already. But I do have these pesky victims that need names...

In my upcoming novel RABBIT LEGACY I have two (maybe three) one-scene-victims, and because of the nature of the conversations, I will need to use their whole names (first and last). Would some of you like to nominate a name for me to use? It'll be fun!

I have already given these victims names, but they can easily be changed, since they only appear in one scene. When we choose the names from this blog, I'll reveal the scenes that these poor souls will be murdered in.

#1 -- they have to be men's names
#2 -- you have until June 15th
#3 -- no more rules. There's no copyright on names, and I'm not using their likenesses. It'll be fun to be immortalized this way. Honest!

Come on and leave me a comment on this blog of:
#1 the name you want me to use,
#2 tell me who it is to you (in case you want to prank your husband, so I'll be in on the joke too!),
#3 your email address so I can get back with you if you win.
#4 if you are following this blog, let me know, and your vote will count as two!

Okay...let's go.

Who shall I kill in RABBIT LEGACY?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

RABBIT: 5-Stars "Novel is tight, thoughtful, powerful and entertaining"

What a joy it is to wake up in the morning and see a brand new glowing review of your debut novel! That happened to me this morning and I am still doing the Snoopy Dance around the room (you should see it!).

Author Donnie Light has summed up my book beautifully and poetically, with insight that I don't really expect most readers to have. Yes, I have intentionally woven elements in this book that are sometimes obscure, but Donnie sees with vivid Light (pun intended) and has left one of the coolest reviews ever. Please read it and then go buy my book!

Post Script: I am reading Donnie's book DARK JUSTICE and it is very compelling. I will review it here when I'm done! There is a link for his book right here....DARK JUSTICE on Amazon

5.0 out of 5 stars A Rabbit's Secret Weapon, May 10, 2010
By Donnie Light "Author of "Dark Justice" Kindle and Paperback"

This review is from: Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider (Paperback)

Ellen Maze's novel, "Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider," offers a clever take on the popular Vampire genre.

In this story, a vampire-like race of beings called "Rakum" are shaken to their core by something they never suspected possible.

Novelist Beth Rider has written an inspirational piece of fiction that is having a strange effect on a handful of Rakum. After reading her book, these Rakum begin to wonder about God and question His influence on human believers. They are curious to know more about God, and seek out Beth to answer their questions.

These events are noticed by the Rakum Elders, one of which marks Beth Rider as a "Rabbit" - prey for Rakum to endlessly pursue and torture. However, this Rabbit is different from all the rest. Beth Rider has a secret weapon - her unwavering faith that God has put her in this precarious position for a reason.

The world of the Rakum is severely shaken as more of them are openly curious about Rider's message. The Elders see this as a movement that needs to be put down quickly and mercilessly. Some Rakum decide to protect Beth Rider at all costs, while others seek to destroy her and all that stand in their way. As the two factions struggle for final control, Beth Rider faces the worst of the Rakum alone and on their terms. Against all odds and unknown to the Rakum, she has some unseen help at her side.

Author Ellen Maze weaves an intelligent tale that lets the reader experience the life of the Rakum and their endless need to feed from human donors, while only able to move about in the dark underworld of night. Readers can easily imagine how some of the Rakum respond to Beth Rider's redeeming message of hope and love and how they might long to feel the warmth of sunshine upon their faces for the first time.

Tightly written, "Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider" delivers a powerful message in a thoughtful and entertaining way. I highly recommend it.

Donnie Light, author of Dark Justice

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

HAPPY DILEMMAS of the Rabbit-Writing-Author Ellen C Maze

Happy. That is a good word for my attitude today. I have much to be thankful for and much to be happy about. Firstly, this morning when I checked my book on, the number of reviews had jumped from 34 to 40. That freaked me a little because normally, it jumps ONE review every few weeks (at least now that the book has been out a few months). So I was elated. I was also happy that some had been sold -- YAY!

So what's next?

I have a dilemma.

RABBIT LEGACY, the second installment in the Rabbit series, is nearly complete. I have a few climactic chapters to write and it will be ready to edit. On the one hand, editing can take months--at least two months if all of my pre-readers and editors hustle. Three months if we have major edits to make. So if I want to publish LEGACY by the summer, it'll be quite a press. It could be done, but I will want to take every precaution NOT TO RUSH THE BABY. I cannot allow the book to be rushed to completion.

THE JUDGING is closer to being ready to publish. My awesome reading partner, Ams Lantz, volunteered to read all of my books for me and give me invaluable advice and needed critiquing. She gave THE JUDGING the thumbs up, with a few minor tweaks to help it flow into DAMASCUS ROAD (which she also read for me!!). The only drawback on publishing this one myself is that it is currently being considered by different agents/editors who showed initial interest...

So there's the rub. I have no problem waiting, but I want one of these two to come out by the end of July. I just had a capital idea! I'll launch a public campaign with my readers -- let them choose! That's pretty close to drawing lots, if you ask me!

Okay, I'm off tor facebook. I'll be sending the voting through our Rabbit facebook group, so you're not a member, please join up. Here's the link! If you join after the announcement goes out, that's okay. Just send me an answer -- which book you want to see first! I'll post it on the wall of the group as well as send out a group-wide invitation to participate. Fun!

Now go and have a great day!

Ellen C Maze

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: 33 A.D. Vampires in a very famous Era !

The following is my book review of 33AD by David McAfee. Please follow the links provided to learn more about this amazing novel. ~ ellen

(In the interest of brevity, I’ll refrain from summarizing the book plot, please see the Item Description for synopsis.)

I have some advice for you if you’re about to read this book. Do not begin it if you only have a ‘few minutes’ to spare. You will get sucked in by the first paragraph, if not the first words and I’m not easy to please when it comes to contemporary vampire fiction. I first began to read this novel when I had five minutes before leaving the house. That was my mistake—once started, I was blown away and made myself late trying to put it down. It’s that intriguing!

Also helpful, do not pick up this book for some ‘light reading.’ Author David McAfee spins a vampire yarn that obliterates all predecessors. He will touch on issues as deep as religion and as terrifying as an ancient race of vampires known by their Hebrew name Bachyir. The bloody attacks are not for the weak-kneed reader and the appearance of the greatest Man to walk the earth creates a dichotomy that thrills and enthralls.

You know by now that this Man we speak of is none other than Jesus Christ. In fact the only constant you can count on is the parallel account of the activities of the famous Jewish Rabbi. McAfee does not trample the faith but weaves a tale around the events during Passion Week, fitting his vampire plans seamlessly into the historical record. You will know Jesus’ fate because of history—the rest is up for grabs: who will live, who will die, and who will be tortured by the bad guys...

McAfee’s novel refuses to be pigeon-holed into a genre as it shatters a number of industry norms by melding the vampire tale with the biblical account of the crucifixion. This is not a ‘Christian’ tale but neither is it offensive to those who hold that faith. The thematic elements of Good/Light versus Evil/Darkness are guaranteed to occupy your mind long after you’ve read the book.

Technical Data: I love the cover of this book and it reflects the mood of the story very well. The interior format is flawless and professional, making the read not only easy but fun, with a hand-drawn graphic by McAfee himself at the top of each new chapter. Taking into account the author’s expertise with prose and suspense, it is hard to believe this is his first novel. I predict a long and illustrious career for him and I look forward to his next book. Bravo, Mr. McAfee! Bravo!

Follow this link to view and/or purchase on Amazon
Ellen C Maze

Author of Paranormal and Vampire Fiction for the Discerning Reader

Monday, April 12, 2010


This is the coolest thing ever!

Today as I was checking my email, I floated over to a Twitter follower, then I followed them, and then noticed on their feed a Tweet from someone else and I clicked the offered link. Then I journeyed an hour into a social sharing and marketing site for authors and publishers. WOW! Suddenly, my book is set up on this awesome site, with this fancy new exclusive technology where readers can click the link and READ my novel on their PC for FREE!

Of course, there’s a catch. I did not allow the entire book to be read for free, but I selected the first 176 pages. That’s half the book, and once the reader gets to this page, they’ll be utterly addicted. This is a good plan .

READER PERKS--- the pages turn like a real book, right on your monitor! Very cool technology!

Setting up this profile and uploading my book took about an hour. Now, I will follow-up on the literally DOZENS of additional social networking sites they suggest to list my widget on. Think of the exposure! I’ve never ever heard of some of these networks, but they’re about to hear about me. If any of you have a book to tout, please have a look at these guys. I can’t believe it’s free. I’m so happy…

(Above is a photo of some of the networks I will add to my list...and there's a MORE button!)

So you guys please click the widget on this page (top right) or this link right here, and start reading RABBIT: CHASING BETH RIDER. Leave me a rating, click me as a fan, whatever you want. Let’s ride this puppy to the top! I won’t forget you 

God bless! I have to get to work on the sequel RABBIT LEGACY. It’s almost ready to go to the editor!

Hugs, Ellen C Maze

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

VAMPIRES SUCK but this Vampire Book is WONDERFUL


My newest review comes from the talented author Angela Dolbear, who's debut novel THE GARDEN KEY is making a huge splash with audiences all over the nation. She recently read and reviewed my novel, RABBIT: CHASING BETH RIDER and I am happy to share it with you now! Please be sure to pick up your copy today... and also buy Angela's book. You won't be sorry!

5.0 out of 5 stars A vampire novel you really get sucked into!, April 7, 2010
All puns aside, this unique supernatural thriller pulls you into the story from its epilogue. You big rooting for the heroine Beth Rider from her first scene, who is, by the way, as supernatural as the vampires in her ability to remain calm and still in the face of great danger. How does she do it? You'll have to read the book to find out for yourself.

Although I am and always have been a big fan of vampire stories, this one takes a unique turn in that we see the vampires -- or Rakum, as they are called -- challenged with the opportunity to lay aside their powerful undead status of spending the rest of earth's days roaming about the world only at night, or accept a divine relationship which restores their humanity with a promise of eternal life in heaven. Very interesting predicament, indeed.

The pace of the novel is exhilarating leaving me with a bit more of an adrenaline surge than I would like before sleep (my primary reading time), but a thoroughly enjoyable thrill ride of a novel. I am eagerly awaiting the release of its sequel.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

HATS OFF to the RABBIT: Hopping to #72 on AMAZON List

Released in November, 2009, Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider has been hopping into the hearts, minds and souls of people all over the globe. Today, it reached it's highest ranking thus far, on Amazon's exclusive rating system.

Rabbit climbed into the top 100 among books to #72, in its category, Christian/Fiction/Fantasy; and to an amazing 31,000 in the general Ranking. That is out of millions of books!

These numbers fluctuate regularly, but to hang among the clouds for any amount of time is heaven and I want to thank all of you who have bought the book, read it and loved it. The sequel should be out later this year and I hope you love it even more.

Please visit to learn more, participate in interactive opportunities with the author, and join our novel's Facebook group. We'd love to have you!

Monday, March 22, 2010


 (artwork copyright Dies-a-Irae, link 'Black Haired Girl')

As I began writing RABBIT LEGACY, I began to wonder what would make the best prologue. It is my style to include a prologue with every novel so why stop now? I had some great first chapters, but I needed a 'look back'. A chance for the reader to get a little back story that would be instantly interesting and even compelling. I soon realized that I had the perfect Prologue already written -- in my pile of Loose Rabbits.

If you're unfamiliar with this term, go to this link and rectify the situation. Otherwise read on...

This Loose Rabbit became the Prologue of RABBIT LEGACY for several reasons. The #1 being that it fits perfectly. Absolutely perfectly. It introduces my main character, Canaan, who is not in RABBIT CHASING BETH RIDER, and it sets up relationships between Javier and Roman, indicates the relevance of Father Damien to them all, and hints at a possible betrayal of friends.

I have leaked the prologue below. If you've read the Loose Rabbit associated with this, you may notice some slight changes. I have altered it only slightly to make it fit with the plot, but nothing is 'changed' really. I just left out Kilmeade for time purposes... I think you'll like the way it turned out.

Look for RABBIT LEGACY in early Fall 2010. Thank you for stopping by and leave a comment if you will!


RABBIT LEGACY    Prologue    by Ellen C Maze

1897 New York City

The blood of a brother was not particularly tasty. So why was Javier compelled to honor a stranger in such a way?

Tonight, Roman was moving them to New York to live on the grounds of a Rakum-owned hospital. He was excited at the prospect of having an endless supply of human victims helpless and without recourse. But now that the Rakum who picked them up at the train station was seeking to drink his blood, he wished Roman had not volunteered him so cavalierly.

Javier surreptitiously looked the guy over. He was tall, broad and bound with muscle; much different from the slender figure of his Elder. His every glance exuded confidence and a cool laissez faire that Javier only dreamed of one day developing. Just before he asked his name, he beat him to the punch.

“Call me Canaan.” The Rakum said in a British accent and then turned to remove the sweat-stained harness from the carriage horse. “Can you clean tack, little brother?”

“Yes. Of course.” Javier said as he watched Roman disappear through the door of the attached dwelling to meet their host. Feeling abandoned and awkward, Javier received the traces from Canaan. When both had their arms full, the older Rakum gestured to the barn and Javier led the way.

He was uncomfortable with the stranger for several reasons. Firstly, because since coming to stay with Roman at age eight, he had lived a sheltered life. Now he was twenty, but he could count on one hand how many Rakum he’d met in his two decades. More than that, Canaan was too quiet. Elder Roman explained to him long ago the tendency of their people to keep to themselves; saying that it was appropriate and even desirable that a Rakum remain aloof. But knowing this did not make it easier for Javier to accept. His propensity for chattiness was a bane to his Elder. If Canaan would say more, Javier was certain his nerves would settle.

“I apologize, little brother.” Canaan offered as he pulled open the barn door. “I will attempt to be more communicative.”

Realizing that the older Rakum was a telepath, Javier made an effort to think happy thoughts. Canaan chuckled at that moment and tossed Javier a cleaning rag from a bucket on the floor.

“Ask me a question.” Canaan said as he rubbed moisture from the bridle in his hand.
Javier ran the traces through the cloth and tried to think of something to say. He did not want to give his blood, but he couldn’t very well say that. Canaan made a soft noise of amusement a few feet away and Javier grimaced. The guy was a superior telepath and none of Javier’s thoughts were getting past him.

“Do not fret, little brother. I am not your enemy.” Canaan threw him a wink and hung the cleaned tack on the wall peg. He made a grab for what Javier had cleaned and hung it up as well. “Pretty good job, mate.”

Javier said nothing and watched him push closed the door on the tired gelding’s stall. Canaan collected his oil lamp and checked the animal’s water trough before heading for the door.

“What now?” Javier asked dreading the inevitable.

Canaan grinned and winked. “Shortly, I will begin the tour of the hospital.”

Javier nodded his head and stood from the low stool as if perhaps they would put off the blood-letting. But Canaan gave him a smile. His blue eyes flashed as he leaned against the closed barn door and crossed his arms at his chest.

“I like your Master, Javier. He has a soft spot for you. Speaks of you very tenderly. You’ve lived with him alone for how long?”

“Almost thirteen years. Since I was eight.”

Canaan whistled and shook his head. “I knew you were young, but not that young.” Maintaining eye contact, he lowered his chin and licked his lips. “And Roman is your main buzz? All this time?”

Javier nodded. Canaan was referring to the blood Javier consumed, and since he lived alone with Roman isolated in a forest miles from town, his was the most available. Canaan made a noise of surprise and Javier was curious.

“What? Is that strange?”

“You have no idea.” Canaan laughed and tucked the oil lamp on a set-in wooden shelf. “Rakum are raised in Group-Lairs for a reason. One of those is so they have a variety of blood donors available to them. You were raised in isolation. Why, only the Fathers know.”

Canaan lifted his eyes to the dark rafters above and paused. Javier remained silent. Canaan might be communicating with them as far as he knew. The Fathers were known to spy on their children, and with Canaan about to be promoted to Elder, they could have him under close surveillance. The Rakum lowered his gaze and smiled at Javier again.

“Indeed.” He said, answering Javier’s unspoken observation. “I am two hundred and forty-five years young, Javier, and I have never met a Rakum like you. You are a rarity…”

Canaan sounded wistful and finally Javier’s mouth curved into a smile. Of course he had a notion that he was special; that his situation with Roman was quite singular.
“This is why Roman consented. As a favor to me.” Canaan took a deep breath and stepped off the door, remaining across the floor for now. “Who is your father? Theophilus? Johann?”

Javier shook his head. “Father Damien.”

“Ahh…” Canaan nodded and approached, stopping a few feet away. “I can see that.” He then closed the distance between them and touched Javier’s hair, looking thoughtful. “Your mother was very dark, then? A Gypsy perhaps?”

“Yes.” Javier answered, unnerved at the close quarters. He furrowed his brow and met the other Rakum’s gaze. “What happens now?”

“Do not be impatient.” Canaan chastised. “Have you met Father Damien?”

Javier shook his head and Canaan reached for the collar of his plain white cotton shirt. Unlike Canaan and Roman who dressed to the nines in the fashion of the day, Javier wore plain brown canvas trousers and a roomy white farmboy shirt. He looked down at Canaan’s fingers on his shirt and clenched his jaw.

“Father Damien is an extraordinary Rakum. He sees the future. He can levitate objects. Even a carriage. He is amazing.” Canaan successfully opened Javier’s shirt a few inches and stepped closer. “Can you do that Javier? Move things with your mind?”

Javier inhaled sharply and shook his head. Normally he’d be extremely interested in learning anything about his true Rakum father, but with Canaan close enough to embrace him, he finally began to overtly resist the prospect of volunteering his blood.

“Why do this? Am I that special?” Javier asked in a low voice.

“We do this for training purposes, little brother.” Canaan became still, only inches from Javier’s chin. “To be an Elder, my sense of smell has to be a hundred times better than yours. My sense of hearing and taste too. My eyesight is already much more acute than any other Rakum I know. But I also need experiences. As many as I can gather. I may never meet another Brother like you, with your circumstances. Buzzing mainly from one source—that could cause you to take on the attributes of your donor. Could better prepare you to be an Elder one day. Might make you very powerful…”

Javier did not care at all for the man’s reasons, and he was wounded that Roman would give permission so hastily. He put his hands up and pressed into Canaan’s chest.

“Just be still.” Canaan ordered him and put his long thumbnail to Javier’s throat.
When he had pressed through the skin Javier grit his teeth but made no sound. He’d endured several years of bone-crunching torture already in First Ritual, so a little puncture wound barely registered. But he had not buzzed Roman but a handful of times and the sensation was unpleasant to say the least.

Maybe that was it. Perhaps Roman was testing him.

Javier sighed wondering if he’d ever complete the Ritual. The average Rakum graduated at seventeen and Javier passed that mark three years ago. Even as Canaan pressed his lips to his bleeding throat wound, Javier wondered how much longer he’d have to wait. Roman promised he’d meet Father Damien while in New York. Meeting one of the Fathers was one of the last things a Rakum did before graduation...
Javier pushed against Canaan again a little more forcefully. Canaan held him tightly, one hand behind his neck and the other around his shoulder. And he showed no sign of letting up. Javier did not want to lose too much blood. He had a long night ahead of him and he did not know when his next meal would come. After another few long seconds, the older Rakum still hadn’t let up and Javier returned to his thoughts.

Perhaps he would soon be on his own. If he graduated, Roman would put him out, set him up somewhere and let him start a life on his own. His own Cows. His own interests. His own Brethren to carouse with.

Lightheaded now, Javier grunted and pushed Canaan with real zeal. The larger Rakum’s mouth slipped from his skin and he stood back and rolled his eyes.

“Javier…” Canaan grinned and swallowed dramatically, his handsome face shining with something akin to revelation. “Buzzing only from an Elder… It makes a difference.”
“Fine and well for you, Brother.” Javier began, putting his fingers to his healing throat wound. Canaan held up his hand and wagged his finger in Javier’s face.
“Do not be cross, Little Brother. I have dinner waiting for you.” Canaan stepped to the door and picked up the oil lamp. “Elder Roman says begin the tour. I will show you my favorite floor.”

Javier stepped to the door, shook off the dizziness that threatened his balance, and followed Canaan across the moonlit yard to the hospital rear entrance. He was frowning, but the Elder took no notice of his expression.

“The lunatic ward is in the basement. Come, I will introduce you to my Isabella.”
Canaan pulled open the narrow service entrance and led Javier down an unlit hallway. The hospital was quiet and the lighting minimal as they descended the staircase to the basement. Javier noted that below ground level, the odor of medicine and human waste stung his nostrils. He winced but Canaan laughed.

“You won’t notice it after a while. Especially when you taste the reward I have down here for you.” Canaan whipped out a key ring and opened two locks. “In here, use the keys. Practice opening locks elsewhere.”

Javier nodded but wondered why the oddball rule was in place. Like all Rakum youth, he had learned how to mentally manipulate the mechanisms of the locksmith and no door would ever bar him. But Canaan kept going, without a pause and offered no explanation. When he opened the door, a wall of aromas slammed against his senses but Canaan walked in seemingly unaffected.

“You eat down here?” Javier asked incredulous.

Canaan did not answer and led him down an empty hallway to a door that opened up into a large circular room with stark and filthy walls. The floor was without furniture but snoring bodies slumped everywhere. Unable to stop himself, Javier began diagnosing illnesses left and right until Canaan touched his sleeve and distracted him.

“You can use your powers of healing upstairs. Down here, they all stay as they are. Understand? The lunatics…they are free food. For as long as you want. These rooms…” Canaan gestured to the padlocked doors that surrounded the empty floor. They were approximately twelve feet apart, with a barred window at the top of each. “…the rooms are for the violent ones. But over here…” He led Javier to a door on their right. “…I stashed a little treat for myself.”

Javier stepped over the sleeping form of a pregnant woman with a grey casted arm and entered the room after Canaan unlocked it with a wave of his hand. Javier looked at him sideways, recalling the decree of moments before, but Canaan again offered no explanation of his actions. Javier shook his head and followed the man’s lead.

Inside the smelly ten-by-ten cell, sat a soiled cot and a full toilet basin. On the rough stone floor beside the cot was a woman; short but pretty if he could imagine her without the grime that clung as if a second skin. Her hair had been shorn off recently but it had been black. As he watched, curious as to what Canaan had in mind, the Rakum approached the woman and stood over her. He looked to Javier and whispered low.

“With these people, you can be yourself. They can report vampires all day long, and no one will give them a listen. I take my fill, sew her up, and come back the next week. She never runs dry.”

Javier nodded with understanding.

“So you are hungry, right?” Canaan bent down and lifted the woman to her feet. She came awake slowly but as soon as her eyes focused she took a deep breath to scream. Canaan covered her mouth before she made a sound and trained his eyes on Javier.

“Come and taste this one, Javier. Riding accident. She came in for a broken arm and a concussion two months ago. I found her on my rounds the night they casted her.”

Javier stepped close to the girl and looked into her terrified pale green eyes. She shook and perspired but did not struggle. As Canaan continued his story, Javier put his hands on the woman’s shoulders and considered her throat. When he took blood from the Cows and prostitutes Roman provided, they were invariably older, and usually male. Plus, Roman always took from their arm or wrist. Canaan was a throat guy. Javier listened to him with one ear and put his hand to her cheek and moved her chin aside.

“I intended to heal her arm and send her on her way, but look at her, Javier. She is exquisite. And innocent. Barely sixteen.”

Javier blinked at her age but then pressed his own thumbnail to her taut skin, just below her jaw. He usually used a knife, but he was learning new things in New York.

“So I had her transferred down here. She cemented her fate by telling them she was frightened of vampires. Beautiful, eh?”

Javier’s nail broke through but it took much more pressure than he expected and she gagged and recoiled at the sensation. When he pressed his mouth to her and began to draw of the trickle that leaked from the insufficient laceration, he almost choked with surprise. Canaan was right. The girl was different. Her blood caused his head to rush and his gut to tingle with pleasure. He no longer noticed the awful smell of the basement ward.

“That is her consent you taste, little brother. Her consent.” Canaan paused thoughtfully and Javier barely heard him. “She wrestles with herself, not us.”
Javier may have grunted a reply but he wasn’t sure. The rules of drawing blood from females were not on his mind at present.

“I am leaving her to you, Javier.” Canaan held the girl against his chest from behind. “Isabella. This is your new master. Treat him well.”

The girl squirmed half-heartedly but Canaan was practiced at keeping her silent. Javier drank a little longer and stopped himself. It wasn’t easy to quit her but she was small and Roman taught him to be aware of how much he drew out. Drinking them to death was forbidden. Taking a dying buzz was a crime worthy of severe punishment.

Canaan laughed then, overhearing his thoughts. “Indeed, little brother. In a hospital, with little threat of interruption, it is easy to drink too long. Be very careful.”

Javier nodded and covered Isabella’s wound with his palm until it healed.
“Visit her once a week and she’ll last several months. Visit her once a month and she’ll last several years. Keep her locked up, innocent and untouched by the others, and her blood will always be this smooth. Understand?”

Javier nodded, his head still fuzzy from the pleasure of the meal. “How do you…” he smiled at nothing and continued. “How do you manipulate the mortal physicians here?”
“The Groundsman and the Director are Cows for Elder Kilmeade. They’ll transfer to Roman. Between the two of them, of all of your requests will be met. I will introduce you tonight.”

Javier watched Isabella’s face as Canaan removed his hand from her mouth and lowered her onto the dank cot. She did not make a sound, but watched him with sorrowful eyes.

“I will keep her as long as I can, Canaan.” Javier gave the girl a grin which she ignored and he nodded to his brother. “I will keep her in here and make her last. Roman has to have her. I would like to know what he thinks.”

“Fine. But this hospital is full of Isabellas. On the second floor, there is a charity orphanage. Children and infants. Whatever you are in the mood for. Take a tiny bit from each one. Heal them up. You are in paradise, Javier.”

Javier tried to imagine what Canaan was describing but it was unfathomable.

Canaan abruptly moved to the door and motioned for him to follow.

“Come. Elder Roman is waiting for us in the Lobby to begin the tour.”

As Javier trailed Canaan up the stairs, his thoughts danced on the future. For one year, at least, he would have all the blood he wanted from any number of helpless donors. And a locked up princess named Isabella.

Javier laughed and glanced at Canaan. He was smiling too.

Monday, March 15, 2010


BOOK REVIEW by author of vampire fiction, Ellen C Maze Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider

I have just finished reading TOUCHED BY A VAMPIRE by Beth Felker Jones, a book that promises to examine the major themes of the TWILIGHT SAGA through a biblical lens. I must say that on the whole, the author has succeeded in this endeavor.

I read some reviews before I bought this book, pro and con, and had no idea which way I would go when I finally got to read it myself. It turns out that this was an easy read and I got a lot out of it. I feel like I need to tell you a secret though...what I liked best about this book is that Felker Jones succinctly and superbly provided detailed synopses of all four books in the TWILIGHT SAGA. This is a very special bonus for anyone who has not or cannot read the whole series. I mean, wow, thanks Beth!

Felker Jones also provides plenty of biblical insight into the themes of family, love, marriage, sex, children, and relationship with God that parallel those in the Saga. In my humble opinion, I do not think that the author slams TWILIGHT at all, so if you avoid these kinds of study books because you think they might insult your favorite vampire series, don't worry. Felker Jones gives credit where credit is due and seems to be simply asking questions...asking you to consider if this certain theme goes with this certain biblical position. There are helpful summary questions at the end of each chapter that I think kids would enjoy answering if this book were read in a group study. I know I would!

TOUCHED BY A VAMPIRE is a 5-star book looking to speak to the lovers of TWILIGHT without pointing the finger of judgment anywhere but at ourselves when necessary. TWILIGHT fans rest easy - you can enjoy this book, study from it, learn from it AND be entertained by Edward and Bella. And I hope you will. This book makes TWILIGHT even better.

Ellen C Maze, author Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider
Vampire fiction like none other

Saturday, March 13, 2010

CLEAN UP AISLE THREE! Legacy is Leaking (Ch 3)

Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider is hopping all over the globe and readers demand a sequel! I am excited to inform you that the sequel, Rabbit Legacy is nearly done...and I absolutely LOVE it. This is an excerpt that is currently Chapter Three. Of course, it may be edited, moved or deleted altogether depending on how the final edit goes, but please enjoy reading about what happens when you transform from earthbound diety to lowly mortal and then are charged with apostasy by your former brethren...oooooo... check it out and leave me a comment! ~~ ellen
(Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider spoiler warning...but read it anyway!) 
Nashville, TN
Oct. 31st, 9:00 pm

      The Rakum were on the hunt, Father Damien was their prey, and he’d let them in the house. Damien considered his options.
     He’d let them in. Why not? It was Halloween and they said the proper phrase. He’d been hearing it all night from the neighborhood children: Trick or Treat! But once these two burst in, they chased him to the stairwell of the tidy two-story colonial that he called home. Now on the second floor, he considered the three bedrooms and the toilet on the hall. Where could he hide? Could he hide at all?
     Damien tracked hastily toward the furthest room and paused.
     “Damien? Father? This pursuit is trying my patience.” The taunt wafted up to meet him from the first floor. They were coming up the stairs, the picture of wicked nonchalance.
     The intruders were Brethren. Underlings. But which two? He hadn’t gotten a good look at them when they burst in. In his day he knew them all by name but without seeing a face he could only guess. He had been god to them, for two millennia. One hundred thousand Rakum bent their knee to the Ten Fathers. It had been a glorious life. But now? He was an outcast. A traitor. An apostate.
     And now, these two subordinates, barely old enough to wipe their noses, had come to serve up justice of their own making. Or the justice of their new leader.
     Rufus Delouve.
     The oldest living Elder. Seven hundred and fifty years old with a heart as black as coal. Damien knew him well; had overseen his discipling under Jack Dawn. Had personally taught the youth the more complicated feats of telekinesis and apparent teleportation. It was ironic that the skills of self-preservation he taught the young Rakum centuries ago were now coming back to bite him. Literally.
     “Just surrender. We can do this the easy way if you just surrender.”
     The same voice. They were coming up the stairs calmly, side-by-side. Damien looked around, eyes wide, and then up to the ceiling. The attic access door was directly above him. With no express plan in mind, he yanked the cord and pulled down the mechanical step ladder. His knuckles rapped against his pocketed cell phone and he thought of calling for help. One name came to mind right away.
     Canaan. A Rakum Elder on the fence. Not guaranteed to help but neither was he a sure enemy. Living in seclusion with a mortal female, the Rakum Elder escaped the wrath of God that night at Assembly. And now, years later, only Damien knew of his location. He knew because he was a Father; very little got past him when he was among the Rakum.
     He’d contacted Canaan once, telepathically, six months after the debacle at the Cave. Damien was taking stock, counting allies and foes, when he stumbled across the Elder’s thoughts very close by. In a desperate attempt to keep her with him forever, the reclusive Elder from Britain was contemplating feeding his mate his blood. To keep her young. To keep her virile. To keep her period. Such an act would transform her into a Rabbit and such intentions carried much weight. With Damien only miles away, he picked up Canaan’s accidental transmission easily.
     In response to what he’d overheard, Damien made one simple telepathic relay to the Elder: “I’m watching you.”
     The Elder had sent back, “And who’s watching you?” Canaan’s response was hard to comprehend then, but he thought he understood now.
     They never spoke again. Damien’s telepathic abilities diminished over the first two years until just before his Change, he could only overhear the thoughts of those in his sight. Because of this, he found it easy to avoid contact with the remaining Brethren—Rakum and Apostate. Yet somehow, tonight, they had found him.
     They’d been watching him.
     Call 911.
     The notion occurred to Damien and he pursed his lips. Why not? The humans swore by it. Damien fumbled for his phone and dialed the three tones with his thumb without removing it from his pocket. He left the line open and said nothing. Sometimes in the movies, it worked…
     “We have other things to do tonight, Father. Plans. Come on.”
     This voice was different; higher and more sarcastic than the first. Damien narrowed his eyes. The respect he garnered as a leader of his people was hard to live without. Since that fateful night seven years ago when the Rabbit demoralized Abroghia, the High Father, Damien had been on the run. At the time, he did not understand the woman’s entreaty regarding her God, but he understood the end result. Those who refused to at least listen to her words would perish where they stood. So Damien attended, stood on the stage, right behind Beth Rider, standing abreast the leaders of their Kind. Nine Fathers stood broken and sullen on the platform that night; Johann, Theophilus, Umbarto, Amos, Yuri, Wornal, Kin, Duris and himself. Where were they now? Damien did not know. They went their separate ways that night, never to look back, lest an unseen force rip them apart. And Damien was the one unanimously chosen to protect Isaac…
     “Father, you’ll give yourself a heart attack trying to outrun us. Don’t be a fool…”
     Damien grimaced at the hateful words and sought an escape route. He was helpless; as helpless as that night on the stage. Standing behind the Rabbit as she prayed for their redemption. If he’d only known then what he eventually figured out seven years later. His mind went to her Rakum supporters who stood by her that night; Dawn’s Lieutenant Michael Stone, Tom├ís’ errant youngster David Walker, a competent Elder named Roman and Damien’s own blood son, Javier d’Millier. All but Stone had been transformed by then. The odor of human flesh filled the Main Hall that evening and nearly drove Damien mad.
     When the Rabbit gave them an option to save themselves by opening their minds to her words, he did so and was spared. Half of his Brethren consented to her offer of redemption and began a slow walk toward humanity. Twenty thousand transformed to fully mortal in the first twenty-four months. But there were those who rejected her words entirely and slithered off into the night. Damien was one of these. He took little Isaac and fled. The Rakum were destitute and vulnerable for the first time in their lives. When Abroghia deserted them, he took with him the spiritual protection that carried them as a Race since the Great Flood.
     “I can hear your bones creaking old man. What a sorry state. What a pitiful end to a great long life.”
     Damien scowled at the derisive comments; wounded by them. He scooted up the attic ladder carefully and covered the distance to the far window. The brute was right—his entire body ached.
     In the Cave’s Main Hall seven years ago, he listened to the Rabbit and afterwards went on the run. Running from God and running from the truth the Rabbit so innocently deposited in every listening ear.
A short seven days ago by a hasty confession of faith, like Michael Stone and the others, he was transformed into a mortal man.
     Ironically, if the two apostate hunters had come for him a week earlier, he could have defended himself. As a Rakum Father, he possessed powers beyond the imagination. He could burst a Rakum’s heart with a thought. With a glance he could incapacitate any assailant. But now? He was as helpless as a babe. He was human and more than that, an old man. When he sloughed off his Rakum spirit, he was left a wiry and bent seventy- year-old heart patient, taking diuretics and in need of a hearing aid. Damien had never been so frightened in his long life.
     “Oh my god, Damien! The attic? Where’re you going next? The roof?” The first Rakum taunted him as they climbed the ladder to the landing.
     Damien took in the entire attic in a glance and crossed to a small decorative window in the peak. On the lawn below, children played in the moonlight enjoying the clearest Halloween night in a decade. Tiny ghosts and witches crisscrossed the sidewalks, their miniature bodies glowing with chemically enhanced bracelets and necklaces that resembled fireflies in flight. One of the cherubs, probably nine or ten, glanced up then and Damien reflexively squint his eyes to focus on the features. For an instant, a split second really, the boy resembled Isaac. Damien scoffed and looked away, hidden from sight by the lack of light in the attic. Isaac was no longer a child as he was no longer innocent. He had grown into the image of his father and that was bothersome enough.
     Isaac Akaron.
     In the Semitic tongues, the name roughly translated He Laughs Last. Damien smirked inwardly. Indeed, the boy was their creator’s last laugh. The last Rakum ever born; High Father Abroghia’s final effort to reproduce himself.
     Isaac. The boy everyone secretly feared and openly abhorred.
     Isaac; who was foretelling the future before he could walk.
     Isaac; who was moved to the Chamber of Fathers at age thirteen to be trained up in private. What an experiment. It had never been done—take a young Rakum out of Group-Lair to be proselytized in the Cave by the oldest of their kind.
     But there had never been a Rakum quite like Isaac. Where was he? Was he safe?
Damien grunted at his memory’s flights of fancy and looked around the attic. There was no time to reminisce nor mourn lost sons. He was on the run for his life and the Rakum below were heading up.
     But wait…
     The two-foot in diameter window opened out.
     He could fit his body through there. He could go onto the roof. But what then? He couldn’t jump down. His arthritic knees ached at the thought.
     The Rakum were in the attic now only fifty feet away. Damien backed up to the window and faced them. Would he see daybreak? He’d waited two millennia to see the last seven sunrises; was that all he was to have? Damien was loathe to admit it, but he wished to see Javier; the last of his natural-born offspring. And little Isaac, whom now he considered a son. Rakum never developed parental bonds but he was human now. His heart ached to know them once more and see them in the light of God and His kingdom…
     “Rufus wants to see you Damien. For real. No tricks.”
     Tyson and Gage. Their names came to him now as he studied their faces in the moonlight that seeped in around him. Yet these two had been hitting the Dead Buzz; eating the flesh of corpses. The tale-tell signs were evident in the unnaturally bulging eyes, the drooping jowls and dripping saliva. They’d been at it a few months at least and Damien knew that if they did not stop soon, they’d lose all skin tone and upright posture. They were morphing into the dead.
     You are what you eat, after all.
     A thousand years ago, he’d seen it often, but the practice was outlawed in the 16th Century. Yet who remained to enforce the code of the Rakum now?
     No one.
     Tyson, shorter, greasy and rapacious nudged Gage roughly to get him moving. Gage gestured with a fat finger and spoke slowly as if addressing an errant child
     “We got Theophilus already. See—you won’t be alone. You guys can rehash old times.”
     Damien fumbled with the window latch behind him. Tyson inclined his head and bumped his fellow with an elbow. They were on to him.
     “Seriously.” Tyson hissed; a thread of black drool hanging from his slack lips. He lurched forward and    Damien held up his hand.
     “Stop.” His eyes flitted between the Rakum he once called servants. Damien took a deep breath. He was in terrible danger. And he was all alone.
     Or was he?
     “You are a pitiful old man, Damien. You can no more control us than you can your own bladder.” Gage chuckled and hurled a few more insults as he crept forward.
     Damien looked to the ceiling. The rafters were old and dusty; blue light danced on cobwebs set high for eternity.
     He was not alone. His confession a week ago proved it when he spoke to the God of the humans and was changed.
     Damien closed his eyes and lowered his upraised arm.
     “Into your hands, Master.” He muttered and dropped to his knees.
     Then everything happened at once.

     “Freeze! Police!”
     One uniformed officer cleared the attic opening and trained his gun on the two Rakum. Damien’s eyes came open in time to see Gage charge straight for him and then shove past to wiggle out the small window, the odor of decay trailing behind.
     “Freeze or I’ll shoot!” The officer called again as another armed cop entered the attic behind his fellow. Damien scooted to the side and fell clumsily onto his rump, his old heart beating painfully.
     “You better start runnin’ old man.” Tyson whispered as he too soared past Damien on the floor and shot out the window head first. Both policemen jogged after them in pursuit. Damien inched toward the window to peek out but instead of trick-or-treaters, staccato-lit patrol cars dotted the landscape.
     “You okay, sir?” A third police officer crawled into the space and headed for him. It was a woman, short but intimidating with her service pistol at half mast.
     Damien nodded his head and put out his hand.
     “Nice and easy, sir.”
     With her strong feminine fingers in his, Damien was helped to his feet and then supported on her shoulder to the exit. Another officer helped him down with gentle care and before long; he was tucked onto a gurney and pushed into a waiting ambulance.
     The humans rescued him. The mortals saved him from certain death…or worse.
     Damien received the care of the frantic but professional medics and stared at the red lights flashing in his vision. Rufus wanted him alive and he was holding Theophilus captive. Something evil was afoot. Damien glanced at the technician on his right who gave him a huge smile and swabbed his brow.
     “You’re going to be fine, sir. Just taking you to the hospital for a once over, but you look great. Vitals are great.”
     Damien smiled behind the oxygen mask. He was rescued in the nick of time. But this wasn’t the first time he’d been saved from death. He was saved the first time by God Himself. A week ago in his car on the way home from the store. The first time he spoke aloud to the Creator of the universe.
     Damien sighed and closed his eyes.
     He served a new Father now.
     And this one had only his best interest at heart.