Balance

Sept 15 Image.jpg

 

How do I find that balance?

In all honesty, I think that’s a never-ending journey. Every time a rock shifts, we have to realign. Every time something settles, we have to readjust. In this new stage of life, I’m still finding my way. I know I’m doing something right, though, because I’m writing. And I’m finding joy. Those are the best indicators of balance for me.

How about you? How do you find balance? How do you know when you’ve succeeded?

Balance.

It’s an easy word to say. Not so hard to live.

A lot of the parts of my life are out of balance right now. Getting my oldest settled in college. My youngest getting his driver’s license—oy! Reorganizing my work so I have more time to focus on writing. Things falling by the wayside, and new things cropping up to stuff themselves in their place. If I’ve learned anything in over four decades of life, it’s that the chaos never stops, but my body and emotions need balance.

 

 

 

 

Binge Reads!

27271853-352-k281042.jpg

 

 

So what about you — series or not? What’s your favorite? (I need to add to my TBR! :P )

 

Want to check out Eden and Scarlett’s books? You can, right here:

http://www.edensummers.com

http://www.scarlettcole.com

I love reading a romance series. There’s nothing better to me than being able to visit couples from previous books again and again and again, seeing little glimpses of their lives while learning all new things about characters I’m just getting to know. The past couple of months, I’ve binged on two fantastic series that my assistant introduced me to: Eden Summers’s RECKLESS BEAT series and Scarlett Cole’s SECOND CIRCLE TATTOOS series. I’ve loved them both! And Scarlett’s series even has a followup, PRELOAD, that I now get to start on. I can’t tell you how excited I am. 😃

 

1448559002478.jpeg

September Contest!

* * * September Monthly Contest * * *

 

Blue Collars Vs. Billionaires

 

September, finally! Cooler weather is coming, and before then, we get Labor Day — YAY! So this month I’m celebrating the broad range of alpha heroes by asking which one you like best:

 

*Blue-collar heroes – mechanics, soldiers, fighters…

 

OR

 

*Billionaire heroes – CEOs, heirs with a cause, tech geniuses…

 

Tell me who you love! (Bonus points if you *show* me. ;) )

 

One lucky commenter will win e-book copies of TWO of my backlist books. (Already have them all? Enter anyway; I’ll give you two of another author’s backlist books instead!)

 

*** Likes and shares with your booklover friends are appreciated but not required! Contest ends SEPTEMBER 29th. ***

Hop on over and check out the contest on my Facebook page!

Sept Contest Image.jpg

Field Trip: Dismals Canyon

Earlier this month my family took a trip together, something we don't get to do often with teenagers working and my husband and I so busy. We visited a place here in Alabama called Dismals Canyon. The canyon is a "pristine wilderness" you can read more about here. I've truly never seen anything this beautiful in the US.

The area is wooded, with massive sandstone chunks lying haphazardly around the canyon. One of the images below shows my husband next to an outer wall of the gorge, giving you the scale of what we were looking at. Dismals Branch, a crystal-clear creek, runs through the entire canyon with its beautiful sand-and-rock bottom. The waterfall at the entrance to Dismals Canyon is thunderous and, yes, the water is icy cold! (You can see my daughter and niece trying it out -- many squeals were heard, let me tell ya!)

At night the canyon walls reveal the reason for their name: a species of glow worms known as Dismalites that light up in the darkness. I've included an image here from the canyon's website, showing the Dismalites. It was impossible to photograph, but you can imagine the wonder of walking along the trails and realizing you'd been there just a few hours earlier and not realized such fascinating creatures were there with you until it became dark.

The entire area is peaceful, a great place for my family to reconnect and share in the wonder of nature. Have you ever visited someplace like this, a natural wonder that made you catch your breath?

Do You Reread Your Favorite Books?

I admit, between writing (and the business that goes with it) and my day job as an editor, there’s not a lot of time for reading, much less searching out new authors. I’m a rereader through and through. It saves me the time of trying to find a new book to read that I know will be good. (Guess what? I’m the same way with TV and movies. Go figure… 😜)   Some of my fave rereads are almost anything by Christine Feehan (love me some Carpathians!), Linda Howard, Lara Adrian, and Karen Rose (those dark thrillers…*shiver*). What about you? Do you reread your favorite authors over and over? Share your number one reread with us!

Some of my fave rereads are almost anything by Christine Feehan (love me some Carpathians!), Linda Howard, Lara Adrian, and Karen Rose (those dark thrillers…*shiver*). What about you? Do you reread your favorite authors over and over? Share your number one reread with us!

I admit, between writing (and the business that goes with it) and my day job as an editor, there’s not a lot of time for reading, much less searching out new authors. I’m a rereader through and through. It saves me the time of trying to find a new book to read that I know will be good. (Guess what? I’m the same way with TV and movies. Go figure… 😜)

August 11th Image.jpg
 
 

August Giveaway

 

I’ve still got Ireland on my mind! This month I’m giving away a gift pack I brought back from my trip specifically for one winner, including:

 

* A journal from Trinity College Library, home of the Book of Kells

* Whiskey-infused chocolate from the Jameson Distillery on Bow Street, Dublin

* Seed packets from the poison gardens at Blarney Castle

* “Hot Irishman” Irish coffee mix

* A signed paperback copy of DECEIVE ME (featuring my very own Irishman, Fionn McConnough)

* A signed paperback copy of Dani Wade’s Backstage Pass Anthology, including one of my favorite Ireland-set BDSM romances — and boy, is it hawt! — STRIKING A CHORD (check this great series out here if you haven’t read them yet: http://amzn.to/2v4xbdp )

 

What do you have to do to win? Share a little secret with me…what accent do you find to be the sexiest in the world? Irish? Australian? Cajun? Inquiring minds want to know! And you get double the entries if you share a gif or video clip that includes an example. J

 

*** Likes and shares with your booklover friends are appreciated but not required! Contest ends

August Giveaway

 

I’ve still got Ireland on my mind! This month I’m giving away a gift pack I brought back from my trip specifically for one winner, including:

 

* A journal from Trinity College Library, home of the Book of Kells

* Whiskey-infused chocolate from the Jameson Distillery on Bow Street, Dublin

* Seed packets from the poison gardens at Blarney Castle

* “Hot Irishman” Irish coffee mix

* A signed paperback copy of DECEIVE ME (featuring my very own Irishman, Fionn McConnough)

* A signed paperback copy of Dani Wade’s Backstage Pass Anthology, including one of my favorite Ireland-set BDSM romances — and boy, is it hawt! — STRIKING A CHORD (check this great series out here if you haven’t read them yet: http://amzn.to/2v4xbdp )

 

What do you have to do to win? Share a little secret with me…what accent do you find to be the sexiest in the world? Irish? Australian? Cajun? Inquiring minds want to know! And you get double the entries if you share a gif or video clip that includes an example. J

 

*** Likes and shares with your booklover friends are appreciated but not required! Contest ends

 

 

International Hotties!

International hotties are on my mind—Fionn since I've just returned from his home country, and my fave Aussie, Isaac, while I write his and Kennedy's book. I thought, while I'm thinking about them, I'd take the time and also introduce them. (You know you wanna see, right?)

Fionn is the redhead, of course, and Isaac is the one trying to get out of his clothes as fast as possible, LOL!

And don't forget, this month's contest is a giveaway for title suggestion for Isaac and Kennedy's book. Be sure to enter for a chance to win one of five ebook sets of the two IF ONLY books!

A Little Betrayal

I have this weird quirk when it comes to romance: I love betrayal.

I'm not talking cheating, but when a hero does something so wrong that it tears the couple apart—and he has to work hard to pull them back together. That's my favorite part, actually! 😉 Maybe it's because I'm drawn to a hint of the bastard hero, though only if he's redeemable (and seriously motivated). Or maybe it's that I love it when an alpha male willingly humbles himself to win back the woman he loves.

 

That probably seems odd for someone who absolutely cannot read a book without an HEA, but there it is, my confession!

Here are just a few of my favorite "betrayal" stories:

After the Night (Linda Howard)
Shades of Twilight (Linda again – she's really good at this, and OMG do I love this book!)
Coyote's Mate (Lora Leigh)
MacRieve (Kresley Cole)

What about you? Any confessions about story lines you love and why?

July Monthly Contest

It’s summer, and my brain has fried! :P

No, seriously, I need your help. I’m working on Isaac and Kennedy’s book this month (in and around trips). This is the third book in the IF ONLY series, and I am in desperate need of some title suggestions—and I want YOU to give them to me! All you have to do is comment with a title you think would be good for this book. The only requirements:

- The title has to begin with the word ONLY.

- It should be similar to the other two titles in the series (Only for the Weekend, Only for the Night).

That’s it! Comment, and at the end of the month, I’ll choose FIVE of the suggestions I like most to win e-book copies of books one and two in this series. That’s FIVE chances to win! *throws confetti* Are you ready?

Head over to my Facebook page to enter!

***Likes and shares with your booklover friends are appreciated but not required! Contest ends JULY 28th.***

 

 

#Watercooler Wednesday: What I've Been Reading

What better to talk about around the proverbial watercooler than our latest great find, right? I admit that I tend to be behind everyone else on the latest great book -- I spend so much time writing and working (editing other authors' stories), that I don't often get time to dive into a book for pleasure, but this past weekend, laid up with a stomach bug, I scrounged through my TBR pile and pulled out a book that ended up being the best I've read in a while.

Behind This Mask by Meghan March

*

He loves me, and he doesn’t even know my real name.

The limelight that follows him could expose everything I’m hiding.

But even knowing the risks, I can’t force myself to stay away.

I’m going to break his heart, but mine will shatter right along with it.

Will we lose it all when I reveal what’s beneath this mask?

*

Has anyone read this book? If you haven't, go get it NOW. I can't tell you how hard it is for me to lose myself in a book without mentally editing it like I do for my day job, but not here! Meghan does a fantastic job of immersing us in the characters and their problems and quirks and pain and joy. I already have the second book in the series, Beneath This Ink, and I can't wait for a free day to devour it!

Okay, that free day might be a long time coming, but at least I have what I know will be a good book to sink my teeth into when it finally comes!

What about you, dear readers? Have you been surprised by an unexpected romance find lately? Tell me about it -- I want to know so I can go check it out too. A TBR pile can never be too tall, you know. ;)

~ Ella

Christmas Romance Giveaway!

I'm pleased to be a part of BookSweeps Christmas Romance Extravaganza this month, giving away over 150 FREE romances in all subgenres -- including TEACH ME. Wow!

There are also $1000 worth of prizes for readers to win. Go to the giveaway page by December 26th to enter and get all the free reading you'll need for your Christmas holiday!

Moanday Monday: First Glimpse of Dain!

Sometimes--okay, pretty much all the time in my case ;) --characters surprise you. I'm coming to the end of Dain and Olivia's novella, and Dain has done just that. Here I thought I'd be dealing with some rough, tough dudes with no sense of humor and plenty of pissiness. The pissiness has definitely made an appearance, but these characters...boy, can they get me to laughing! I thought today, I'd give you two things: your very first taste of Dain, and the character inspiration images for him.

(And no, this is not at all how I pictured him when I first recognized him in my mind, but again...surprises. :) )

 

~ ~ * ~ ~

 

When they grabbed Livie, Dain fought. He didn't fight when they slammed him facedown on the floor, but only because SWAT Supervisor Hedlon had released his hold on Livie in exchange for grabbing Elliot. The bastard got a kick to the groin that had Dain laughing all the way to the ground.

The snick of cuffs around his already sore wrists cut off the laughter, of course. When a cop in regular uniform hauled him to his feet by his cuffed arm, he thought about kicking the guy just like Elliot had kicked their supervisor. In favor of getting out of this sooner rather than later, he refrained.

Barely.

 

~ ~ * ~ ~

 

(Yes, he's like this all the time. Where is my eye rolling emoji?)

On My iPod

It's Friday! Normally on Fridays, I post a feature on my Facebook author page called "On My iPod" where I share songs inspiring my current project (songs that will later appear on that books official playlist). And because there's not a ton of crossover, I thought I'd begin sharing those Friday tidbits here on the News as well. Would you enjoy that?

Good! ;)

I'm still hard at work on both Dain and Olivia's story AND Deacon and Elliot's story. And the whole clan seems particularly drawn to Fall Out Boy for some reason. :) In fact, every time I think about Deacon and Elliot butting heads, one particular song comes to mind. Elliot is a bit of a firecracker, after all...

(Enjoy!)

Fall Updates!

Is it really already fall? It doesn't feel like it here in the South. It's still hot and muggy and sticky. Ugh! But the cotton is starting to puff out in fluffy white balls, so cool weather isn't too far off.

The summer has definitely been busy. I spent it at the coffee shop near my house, typing and editing madly in an effort to get new books to you. So what's coming? I guess it's time I let you know... ;)

The first Archai Warriors book, Griffin Undone, is almost ready. BUT...there's always a but, isn't there? *insert evil laugh here* BUT I've decided not to torture you with a new release in a new genre with no second book ready yet. So I'll be holding on to Griffin until book two is almost complete, and then I'll let you know about a release. No worries! It should be this coming spring if Sun and his warriors will cooperate. His woman, Risk, might make things difficult though!

In the meantime, I'm currently working on two books at once, the next installments in the Southern Nights series. Teach Me and Trust Me, books one and two in the series, were based on Conlan James and Jack Quinn, owners of JCL Security. The next trilogy (and bonus novella) will be centered on one of Jack and Con's security teams. Want to meet them?

Dain Brannan, AKA "Daddy"

Position: Team Lead; in charge of intel and research.

Dain is known for taking care of his team, especially their female member, Elliot, as well as he takes care of the love of his life, his wife, Olivia.

* * *

Elliot Smith, AKA "Otter"

Position: Dain's Second in Command

Elliot is as surly as she is secretive. The team calls her Otter because she's anything but playful.

* * *

Kingsley Moncrief, AKA "King"

Position: Team Liason

King might've been born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but when it comes to danger, he's deadly.

* * *

Saint Ignatius Solorio, AKA "Saint"

Position: Weapons and Logistics Specialist

Iggy might be the joker of the group, but when it comes to his name, he's not laughing, so don't make fun. You don't want to end up on the wrong side of his weapons.

* * *

The team's stories begin late this fall with Dain and Olivia's story, as yet untitled. In the meantime, I'll be releasing the first three Southern Nights books in an all-in-one e-book anthology, so keep an eye on your inbox this fall!

Release Day Fun for NIGHT!

ONLY FOR THE NIGHT releases MAY 31st! For other books, I've had a party on my blog, but this time I want to take the party to where the readers are.