What I'm Reading: Kresley Cole's MacRieve

ella sheridan, kresley cole, reading, macrieve, immortals after dark, paranormal romanceWow! That's all I can say. I first read Kresley Cole years ago when A Hunger Like No Other, the first in the Immortals After Dark series, came to bookstores. I loved it, but I could never get into the whole "race" thing that took over the next few books. I could see how an Olympic quest would be interesting, but for me, I just couldn't get into it. Fast-forward to this past year when I saw Cole at RWA Nationals in Atlanta. She won her 2013 Rita Award and was inducted into the RWA Hall of Fame. I admit I paid special attention because Unbroken, my paranormal romance, was nominated for the Golden Heart. I remember looking up at her on the stage after I'd lost in my category, wondering if I'd ever even publish, much less be nominated for a Rita.

ella sheridan, paranormal romance, kresley cole, macrieve, immortals after darkThough Unbroken is still on hold, I have published--and, I'm happy to say, I've read a new Kresley Cole book. :) And it  has me blown away and shown me what I have to strive for. The book is MacRieve, about a damaged werewolf and his innocent half-Lorean mate. It is truly awesome. Knowing I was uncertain about the series, I picked up MacRieve reluctantly, but I couldn't resist the cover (isn't he yummy?!?!). And what was between the covers was far more pulse-pounding than the guy staring out at me from the front of the book! Here's the description from Cole's website:


Uilleam MacRieve believed he’d laid to rest the ghosts of his boyhood. But when a brutal torture revives those ancient agonies and destroys his Lykae instinct, the proud Scot craves the oblivion of death. Until he finds her—a young human so full of spirit and courage that she pulls him ba ck from the brink.


Seized for the auction block, Chloe Todd is forced to enter a terrifying new world of monsters and lore as a bound slave. When offered up to creatures of the dark, she fears she won’t last the night. Until she’s claimed by him—a wicked immortal with heartbreaking eyes, whose touch sets her blood on fire.


With enemies circling, MacRieve spirits Chloe away to the isolated Highland keep of his youth. But once he takes her to his bed, his sensual mate becomes something more than human, evoking his savage past and testing his sanity. On the cusp of the full moon, can he conquer his worst nightmare to save Chloe . . . from himself?

You know me, I like dark and gritty and emotional. MacRieve was certainly a roller coaster ride in that respect. The characters felt and felt deeply. What woman wouldn't want to heal MacRieve's wounded soul? The things he has endured were horrific, but you can't heal what you don't know, and Chloe can't break down the walls her mate has put up between them. Cole has a talent for throwing together characters who are diametrically opposed, in the most believable ways, and then letting their differences wreak havoc on them. I thought MacRieve was as wounded as he could get at the beginning, but oh no, the worst was yet to come. His story touched my heart and made me cry. And though I typically focus more on the male character, Chloe tore at my heart too. I even enjoyed the soccer talk (Chloe's a pro soccer player), though I pretty much hate sports. :)

So, run, don't walk to pick up MacRieve. There's even an audio excerpt on Cole's site. This book has certainly turned my eye back toward this series. I guess now I'll have to see how long it will take me to read the other books. ;)

~ Ella

Guest Blog Alert!

Ruby Slippered Sisters, guest blog, Golden Heart finalist, GH finalist, Dani Wade, Ella Sheridan, writing, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romanceI'm over at the Ruby Slippered Sisters today with my twin, Dani Wade, talking about our writing journeys, how we're alike, and how we're different. Check it out! RSS Welcomes GH Finalist Ella Sheridan...And Her Sister

The GH List Is Up!

Golden Heart, RWA, finalist, finallist, paranormal, Unbroken, Ella Sheridan, paranormal romance, romance, announce, announcementBrag Alert!! RWA has released the "official" list of this year's Golden Heart finalists, the Lucky 13s -- pictures and all! Boy is it weird to see my name and the name of my book out in public like that, and with a picture too. :p You can see it on the RWA website HERE. Check it out! My fellow Lucky 13s are shown in all their glory too.  c;


I spent many years dreaming of writing around diapers, every-evening dinners, and the amount of laundry only two kids two years apart can create. My sister, Dani Wade, was writing romance novels targeted at Harlequin, and I remembered how that felt, the evolving of a new world, the playing out of a scene across the screen of my mind that somehow, through the miracle of the pen, translated itself to the page. But I didn't try it.

See, I was afraid. Afraid of what people would think, especially my sister. Afraid I couldn't do it. And most of all, afraid I truly had nothing of value to share. And then came Arik.Ella Sheridan, Unbroken, Archai, Arik, tattoo, blond, chest, romance, paranormal romance, hero, perfect hero, loner, griffin, shape-shifter, shape shifter

I don't even remember exactly how he came into being. I only remember asking myself, if I could write my fantasy hero, what would he be like? Well, Arik is it. He is dark, sexy, a loner, a male in need of healing and yet the embodiment of strength. He's everything I ever wanted in a book hero. But then I had to write him.

And that's where everything changed. Because I didn't write Arik immediately--I spent three years honing my skill as a writer before I ever let myself touch his story (and yes, for me most stories are about the hero; the heroine is just a replacement for me, lol!). The world of the Archai and the supernatural characters that populated it deserved my best, and I refused to begin the story until I knew for certain I was ready to give that best. So, in a way, Arik is responsible for the writer I've become, not just someone who dabbles, but a committed, skilled author who can finally bring that scene stuck in my head onto the page in a way that makes readers forget they're reading a book and not actually walking along beside the characters themselves.

Wanna know more about Arik? How about a little treat? Here's Arik's introduction in the first chapter of Unbroken. Go on and read it; you know you want to! Indulge yourself with the hero who changed my world. ;)


The roads were rank with the scent of recent rain, exhaust, and unwashed human. Stalking through the midnight-black streets, skirting the circles of light cast by an occasional irritating streetlight, Arik held back an ugly grin at the expressions on the few bums and far-gone club hoppers he happened to pass. No long hair flowing like a curtain behind him, no leather duster flapping in the slight wind--who the hell needed the theatrics, anyway?--but it didn't stop the fear that sparked in the eyes that witnessed his passage through the night. And they should be afraid. He wasn't the only one on the hunt tonight.

griffin, archai, paranormal romance, romance, ella sheridan, unbroken, golden heart, shape-shiftersHis senses flared, humming like a refrigerator on full cold as he followed the shifters' trail through the maze of sidewalks scattered with flashing neon lights and the occasional roar of sound when a bar door opened abruptly. Downtown Nashville was full of nightlife, but the middle-of-the-night cold kept most of the revelry inside rather than spilling onto the streets as it did in the summer. Hunting was harder then, but tonight, with a full group of shifters moving through the heavily traveled area, most of the oblivious population wisely kept their sport indoors and out of his way.

A yellow cab, the "available" light a beacon for customers, passed on the narrow street. A blast of exhaust clouded the air, fucking up his nose, and Arik hissed. The sound startled a drunk on the darkened steps jutting out from a nearby alley, and the man jerked, his bottle of cheap liquor rattling as it hit the concrete. He slid wild eyes in Arik's direction before hastily shuffling farther into the yawning cavern between two buildings. Arik ignored the interruption and continued on.

They were close, he knew, the ones he sought. Not Archai like him. These were the dark ones, the Anigma that had risen in the Great War, after life for the Archai--and Arik--had changed forever. Shifters that had given up their honor for... Well, whatever the hell they'd given it up for, they hadn't won. No shifter had. But still Arik hunted the Anigma. They were his enemy, and he'd be on them in moments.

Turning left at the next corner, Arik allowed his animal to the fore, using his griffin sight to scan the next several blocks. Even in the darkness of this less frequented section of downtown, he instantly homed in on the group of males dispersing at the entry of a local blues bar. The lit sign lazily proclaiming the place to be Lenny's shone on the half dozen black-clad figures entering the building, the rest of the Anigma team fading into the surrounding shadows. Arik had no doubt the males stayed close. When he followed their team members inside, the rest would know.

"Let 'em," he said, low and mean, the animal strong in his voice. Power surged in his muscles, the adrenaline of the hunt, and he found himself standing outside the bar in seconds. Too fast for human eyes to see, but not the Anigma. The whisper of their shifting weights as they noticed him was easily discernible to his sensitive ears. He ignored them and stepped inside.


Over on The Mutual Admiration Society, we have what we call Friday Feature Foto--the first Friday of every month, we feature a character from one of our books, including a photo. Hop over there and check out my personal message for Arik this month!

I Did It!

Golden Heart, RWA, finalist, finallist, paranormal, Unbroken, Ella Sheridan, paranormal romance, romance, announce, announcementIt is with much disbelief and thankfulness that I announce my very first paranormal, Unbroken, has finalled in the Golden Heart ® contest for RWA! Squeee!!! I am pinching myself all over! Thanks to Lori Handeland for calling me this morning and continuing to talk despite all my tears and blubbering. And thanks to Dani Wade and Gina L. Maxwell, my outstanding CPs, for all their help with the submission. You guys are invaluable! Love you!