book reviews

Want To Read Teach Me Early?

ella sheridan, author, writer, romance author, contemporary romance, erotic romance, romantic suspense, Teach Me, Advance Review Team, book reviews, new releaseTEACH ME, the first book in my Southern Nights series, releases October 28th. I’m anticipating that day almost as much as the arrival of my firstborn -- okay, maybe not quite that much; she was two weeks late, after all. :) But this is a very exciting day, and I need help making it truly spectacular — and you can help me do that! How? By joining my Advance Review Team.

That’s right: ADVANCE. You get to read Teach Me before it actually releases. What do I require in return? Only one thing: an honest review posted on release day.

That’s it.


Awesome! Here’s what you do.

1. Sign up for my newsletter if you haven’t already. Only members of my mailing list get the opportunity to join the Advance Review Team. You will continue to get only one e-mail a month from me. No spam! Just news, once a month.

2. Once you’ve signed up for the newsletter, send an e-mail to ellasheridan.writer @ gmail (dot) com with the Subject: “Advance Review Team”.

3. What do you have to tell me to get picked for the team? Only one thing: that you want to read and review my books. That’s it! If you want to read advance copies of my books, and are willing to post a review on release day, nothing else is required. :)

ella sheridan, author, writer, erotic romance, romance author, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, Teach Me, Advance Review Team, book reviewsOkay, once you’re a part of the team, what then? It’s simple.

1. I will send out an e-mail when a new release is coming up.

2. Shortly after, you will receive an ARC of the new book in the e-format you prefer. (Approximately three weeks before release.)

3. You read the book. Awesome, right?

4. One day before release, you will get a final e-mail from me. That reminder e-mail is to let you know your review should be posted to Amazon and any other e-book retailers or sites you feel comfortable posting to (Goodreads, B&N, etc.), on the following day. You can even write it ahead of time and have it ready to copy and paste on release day.

That is all. Oh, and there might be occasional prizes…

Now, does this mean I want a guaranteed 5 star review? No. I want an HONEST review. Once a new book goes up for sale, your reviews help the book get noticed, help others find it and decide if it will fit their reading tastes and needs. One of the greatest gifts you can give an author (aside from buying their books) is a book review. Receiving a review on one of my books is a privilege I don’t take lightly!

Now, are you ready to join? Believe me—if you want to read an advance copy, you want to start now! Teach Me is already getting awesome props from beta readers. It’s a don’t-miss opportunity. Not to mention, it gets you on the team before books two and three come out in December and February, and you get to read those too!

So what do you say; are you interested? Sign up for the newsletter and then shoot me an e-mail quick, because arcs for Teach Me will be going out to my ART members by October 7th.

~ Ella

And don't forget, I'll reveal the official cover for Teach Me on September 28th!

What I'm Reading: Hard As It Gets by Laura Kaye

ella sheridan, romance, writer, author, erotic romance, what I'm reading, laura kaye, hard as it gets, hard inkTattoos. Special Forces. A damsel in distress. What could be hotter than that? In this first book in Kaye's Hard Ink series, absolutely nothing. Becca Merritt goes head to head with Nick Rixey when her brother disappears, leaving only Nick's name as a clue for help. I have to admit, shocking as it was, Nick's hard-ass attitude in the first scene was enough to wet panties, just because you knew all that badness would eventually be channeled into taking care of his woman. Yum! For me, Nick was the driving force behind enjoying this book, though his sexy, tortured teammates came a close second. And the dog. The bit about the dog was hilarious -- and I am not a dog person by any means.

Here's the blurb from Kaye's website:

Tall, dark, and lethal...

Trouble just walked into Nicholas Rixey's tattoo parlor. Becca Merritt is warm, sexy, wholesome--pure temptation to a very jaded Nick. He's left his military life behind to become co-owner of Hard Ink Tattoo, but Becca is his ex-commander's daughter. Loyalty won't let him turn her away. Lust has plenty to do with it too.

With her brother presumed kidnapped, Becca needs Nick. She just wasn't expecting to want him so much. As their investigation turns into all-out war with an organized crime ring, only Nick can protect her. And only Becca can heal the scars no one else sees.

Desire is the easy part. Love is as hard as it gets. Good thing Nick is always up for a challenge...

ella sheridan, author, writer, romance, erotic romance, what I'm reading, laura kaye, hard ink, hearts in darknessNow, I have to admit, while I enjoyed this book and all its alpha-male abundance, I did not enjoy it as much as I did Hearts in Darkness, which is a stand-alone novella that got me interested in Kaye's writing. She has a way with wounded, tough-on-the-outside, gooey-on-the-inside heroes that just works for me, and HiD was a phenomenal example of that -- I highly recommend it. Then again, I enjoyed HAIG, too. It took me less than a week to read, which is always an indicator of how much I'm enjoying something. I have so little time to read that, if you haven't hooked me early, I have to set the book aside. I kept going back to this one, even reading on my iPhone occasionally. And I definitely plan to read the rest of the series: The second book, Hard As You Can, featuring teammate Shane, has just come out. Book three, Hard To Hold On To, will be out in August.

There you have it! If you're looking for tough heroes with wounded bodies and hearts, look no further...or should I say, harder? ;) Oh, just go buy it already! And don't stop reading till you get to the scene where the guys sing on the stairs. You'll know it when you get to it -- and you'll probably roll on the floor laughing as hard as I did!

~ Ella

What I'm Reading: The Night Prince Series by Jeaniene Frost

ella sheridan, romance, author, writer, erotic romance, paranormal romance, what I'm reading, jeaniene frost, night prince, vlad, leila, once burnedI admit I'm just now starting on this series, which began in 2012, for one very good reason: I hate first-person point of view. I'd heard several people raving about Jeaniene Frost -- totally deserved, by the way, and thank you, thank you, thank you, M. V. Freeman! BUT...I wouldn't pick up her books because it takes a very good writer, with just the right touch, to allow me to enjoy first person. Kristina Douglas (a paranormal pseudonym for Anne Stuart) is one. And now Jeaniene Frost. Her prose is compelling. To be honest, I can't put my finger on why -- it's clean, almost feeling too concise and uncluttered, abrupt, though it isn't. Not normally what I enjoy; I admit to preferring a more descriptive voice. But I couldn't put it down. I've really enjoyed finishing it, and I'm looking forward to reading more. (Hurry, hurry, hurry! :) )

The Night Prince series centers around the vampire Vlad, who is the original Dracula, and a psychic named Leila who -- get this -- is a carnival performer. Yes. I didn't think it would work either, but it did! The first book in the series is Once Burned; here's the blurb from Frost's website:

She’s a mortal with dark powers…

After a tragic accident scarred  her body and destroyed her dreams, Leila never imagined that the worst was still to come: terrifying powers that let her channel electricity and learn a  person’s darkest secrets through a single touch. Leila is doomed to a life of  solitude…until creatures of the night kidnap her, forcing her to reach out  with a telepathic distress call to the world’s most infamous vampire…

He’s the Prince of Night…

Vlad Tepesh inspired the greatest  vampire legend of all—but whatever you do, don’t call him Dracula. Vlad’s ability to control fire makes him one of the most  feared vampires in existence, but his enemies have found a new weapon against  him – a beautiful mortal with powers to  match his own. When Vlad and Leila meet, however, passion ignites between them,  threatening to consume them both. It will take everything that they are to stop  an enemy intent on bringing them down in flames.

ella sheridan, romance, author, writer, erotic romance, paranormal romance, what I'm reading, jeaniene frost, night prince, vlad, leila, twice temptedThe book drew me so much I immediately bought book two, Twice Tempted. This book begins with Leila leaving the emotionally closed-off Vlad -- which is a good point about this series: Frost does a lot of those "Do Not Do This!" things most of us have been told is the death of a story. Vlad is no clean-cut alpha hero. No meditation for him when he's stressed; no, he tortures people. He's so emotionally constipated that Leila leaves him. Why doesn't he go after her? He says later he thought she was bluffing. Yeah, constipated. Leila's not your typical heroine either -- the torture she suffers in book one is pretty unpalatable. But her knowledge of '80s pop rock is a thing of beauty. :)

I cannot wait for the third and final book in this series to come out. I highly recommend the first two books in the meantime, so go check them out. Now!

Don't make me take a page from Vlad's book and impale you.

~ Ella

Taking the Dread out of the Dreaded Book Review

Ella Sheridan, amazon, book review, romance, erotic romanceI've been reading a lot of articles lately about releasing a new book (for obvious reasons). One of the biggest pieces of advice for readers that I've seen? Review books. Now, I have to admit to rarely reviewing books, so I felt a little hypocritical asking others if they like my new book, would they please leave a review. I mean, I'm a writer as well as reader, I know how all of this works, and yet I'm still intimidated by the prospect of posting a book review somewhere. So, in the interest of making the book review easier and a lot less intimidating for all of us, me included, let's look at some of the reasons readers might be afraid of the dreaded book review, and how we can maybe get past that to support our favorite authors:

1. Leaving a book review takes too much time.

Ella Sheridan, logo, barnes and noble, book review, romance, erotic romanceThis is probably the number one reason most people don't leave book reviews. I mean, who has the time to write out an "essay" about a book and then go through the process of posting it? I'm busy! I do think writing out long, detailed reviews with summaries of the plot and everything you liked, including examples, would be time-consuming. The truth is, though, that most people looking at reviews don't have time to read all that any more than you have time to write it. They want to know: is this book good and why. That's all. You can write a couple of sentences or a couple of paragraphs, but you don't have to summarize the book or even use examples if none come to mind. Let's face it, some other reviewer has already been detailed enough for ten reviews, more than likely, so including all that information isn't necessary. Just include the basics; that makes a review easy for you to write and easy for others to read.

2. What if it's not perfect?

So what? I know, I know, this is hard for me to accept as well. I'm a writer; I want everything I write to be perfect. But the truth is, even published books aren't always perfect. Books go through multiple rounds of edits, both with the author and through the publisher, and still they come out with mistakes. It happens. A published book is important. How important is it for a two-paragraph review not to contain a typo? It's not. Get your idea across, and stop worrying about being perfect (she says, pointing her finger at herself!). Which is more important: writing a pristine, literary-journal-worthy review, or supporting the author you want desperately to write more books? I lean toward the latter, and so letting go of my dreams of pristine literature posted in the Amazon review section must go by the wayside. Remember, we don't have time for that! (See point #1.)

3. What if I make the author feel bad?

It's okay not to like everything about a book. It is. As an author, I can tell you that I appreciate an honest review, even if you didn't like everything about my book. And that whole, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say it at all?" Really, it's the nice that matters, and I don't mean in what you include; I mean in the language you use. If there's a criticism, saying it nicely is key. We are all entitled to our opinions, and they are as numerous and varied as belly buttons and, you know, other stuff I won't mention. It's how you say something that matters. We've all heard the horror stories about boards on review sites wanting authors dead and flamers targeting books with one-star reviews. Are you that person? No? (Good!) Then you have nothing to worry about. Be yourself; be nice; be honest. That's all that matters.

4. What if other reviewers "target" me?

Ella Sheridan, goodreads, logo, book review, romance, erotic romanceBack to those flamers. I must admit, things like this scare me. It's a form of cyber bullying that has become so popular on the Internet today, as if the fact that you are safely behind a computer monitor and keyboard gives you the right to hurt the feelings and even the livelihoods of others any way you want. I don't believe that. But I also don't believe that the vast majority of readers target books and authors and other honest reviewers. That's why I finally decided to venture onto Goodreads. Because as much as there are those bullies out there in cyberspace, there are many more lovely readers who just want to get to know their favorite authors, or authors who could become favorites. I'm one of them, even though I have a book published--I'm a huge fan of certain authors. Reading about them and getting to know them makes me giddy! And I refuse to allow the worst of people to keep me from doing that.

So what can you do about the dreaded book review? Forget those essays you had to write in high school and college. Get familiar with various sites, and find one that you like, where you feel "safe." Read a book you love. Then go online and post a paragraph about what you liked. That's all. No worrying about doing it right or perfect or what others will think. Be honest. Be nice. And be supportive of your favorite authors. I know that's what I intend to do. :)