inspiration

Ireland

I’ve been looking for inspiration as I work through the early chapters of Capture Me. Lyse runs from her past and the man she loves to a remote Irish village. In looking for images to spark my imagination, I began with one of my favorite places during my visit to Ireland in 2017: Howth.

(That’s pronounced “hoat,” like ho-ho-ho but with a T at the end. ;) )

What do you think? Would a place like this make a good blueprint for Lyse’s hideaway?

https://www.nomadasaurus.com/things-to-do-in-howth-ireland/

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I had a truly unique inspiration for ASSASSIN’S PREY: a question. That’s right, a question.

How does a man who’s held himself apart all his life, even from family, who kills for a living, who has nothing resembling a normal life, actually make a relationship work?

That was the whole story in a nutshell. Most romances end once the couple is together, right? I wanted to go past the “I love yous” and find out how Levi, of all people, would react to falling in love. *Spoiler ALERT* We already saw a little bit of this in MARK—he stayed away for a year, but couldn’t stay away any longer. Now that he’s given in, what next?

I hope you’ll check out ASSASSIN’S PREY next TUESDAY and find out. I can’t wait for this tough, tormented alpha to finally, truly understand what love is all about. You can find the book on Radish Fiction starting May 29th!

Inspiration

Authors are asked all the time, “Where do you get your inspiration?” The truth is, I don’t always know. Or maybe it’s that I get it from everywhere. Narrowing down inspiration to one source is impossible for me. I simply try to be open and receptive whenever it passes my way.

 

Sometimes it’s a song that comes on the radio and inspires a character—this happened for me with Abby in ASSASSIN’S MARK. (The song was “Me and My Broken Heart” by Rixton.) Or a TV show. I’ve been watching Dark on Netflix, and it’s made me realize that villains might be terrible, but they can also be compelling. Places can be inspiration—I find many of my ideas while my mind rests out in nature, for walks especially. Oddly enough, the treadmill never gives me inspiration; now why is that? 😟

 

Where do you find inspiration? What sets your imagination soaring?

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Inspiration

 

I admit, with all the concentration on ASSASSIN’S MARK, I’ve struggled to keep my head in Kennedy and Isaac’s world as well. I needed some fresh inspiration, so I went back through my world-building file for ONLY FOR THE MOMENT and did some digging. Turns out I had the perfect inspiration just waiting for me.

 

These two images. Mind. Blown.

 

MOMENT is a book about baring your soul more than baring your scars. Slowly unfurling the shadows that you hide behind to reveal that most secret part of you to someone else. Recognizing your desires and needs and accepting them—for you, most of all, not to please someone else. I can’t wait to share this journey with you later this spring. It’s a different pace of erotic romance, but I think you’ll love it as much as I do.

 

Head on over to my Facebook page for a peek at these images!

Friday Inspiration

Friday Inspiration

So I’m off traveling *AGAIN* this weekend! My daughter has a long-held crush on her favorite artist, Amy Lee from Evanescence, and we are on our way right now to see her in concert tonight. As my daughter has grown up, I’ve listened with her to so many of these songs, and admired Amy’s dedication and skill, a beauty and work ethic that has inspired my daughter to work equally hard toward her own goals. I’m excited to see tonight’s concert and definitely hope they play the newer song, “Speak To Me,” as it’s become one of my favorites!

https://youtu.be/lB8ZsjMhy5M

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?

A Day in the Life...

This year, in keeping with my New Year's resolution, I want to take the time each month to tell you about something that's happened in my life, a moment, big or small, that meant something to me -- and hopefully to you. And I want to encourage you to look for moments in your day that add meaning, and value, to your life and world. This week is, of course, fairly hectic, with TRUST ME releasing in less than a week (oh boy!). I'm learning I have to give myself moments in the day where, even if things are hectic, I take the time to relax my mind, exercise or even relax my body, just "be." Do you have a place where you can do that? I do! Whenever the weather cooperates -- and sometimes even when it doesn't -- I have a walking trail a few minutes from my house that I visit to de-stress.

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Beautiful, isn't it? These were obviously taken in two different seasons, but that's part of what I love about this trail is that it is so soothing no matter when I go. (Sometimes there are more people than others, which might be why I enjoy the colder weather sometimes, but... :) )

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The best thing about this area is the water. Many authors find water a creative energizer. Water flowing is soothing for me, both the sound and the movement. I often find myself coming up with new ideas for books or blogs when I walk here. And sometimes the water attracts companions that brighten my day:

photo 3Can you see the heron there? At least I think it's a heron; I'm a bit bird illiterate. :) But he was a pretty thing, perched there on the log, watching the water, one stick-like leg holding him up. I passed him twice, and both times he would open his beak and swing his head back and forth real slow as if warning me away. I wanted to hang out with him all day, of course, but he didn't seem to feel the same, so...

What about you; where do you go to get away from it all and de-stress? Does it involve activity, or do you prefer rest (like a massage)?

Don't forget, next weekend is release time! Next Monday I'll be hosting my traditional release day dance par-tay!!! (So obviously I need the R&R this week. :) ) And check back this week for details on the Facebook party coming up this Sunday. It's gonna be so much FUN!

~ Ella

 

New Year's Resolutions

Staring at the blank page before you Open up the dirty window Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance So close you can almost taste it Release your inhibitions

Feel the rain on your skin No one else can feel it for you Only you can let it in No one else, no one else Can speak the words on your lips Drench yourself in words unspoken Live your life with arms wide open Today is where your book begins

The rest is still unwritten

~ "Unwritten," Natasha Beddingfield

DSC04748This song has struck me hard the past few months. Why? Because I've spent a lot of time working. A lot. There's no better way to describe it except maybe that I've been drowning. So many of us find ourselves in this place at some point in our lives, wondering how to get out of the hole that seems to be consuming us. So many of us never find the answer, but I was determined to. I want to "live with arms wide open," not with my eyes forever on a computer screen. And so my New Year's resolution is just that:

I want to live with my eyes, arms, and heart open -- to my family, to my creativity, to my faith, and most of all, to those around me.

I'm still figuring out what that means for me. My first step is to LOOK UP. I spend a lot of time looking down -- at the computer, at the ground, at my feet because I'm too shy or too self-conscious or too scared to meet other people's eyes. Not anymore. I'm looking up, really trying to see the world around me, not just the characters in my head or the work that's waiting for me.

There will still be plenty of characters, of course. TRUST ME will be here on February 1st. TAKE ME, book three in the Southern Nights series, will be released this spring, featuring the enigmatic Gabe Williams and his twin brother, Sam. Hopefully Ian's book in the Secrets To Hide series will be written and released later this summer. And if all goes well, there just might be a new genre on the horizon. That's right; my paranormal series, The Archai, is on my to-do list this year.

And in and around all of these great books will be lots of moments of living intentionally, of looking up and truly seeing and living, not burying my head in the sand or letting work rule my life. What about you? What is your New Year's resolution this year? Inquiring minds (like mine!) want to know... :)

~ Ella

 

Inspiration: "If I Lose Myself" by OneRepublic

ella sheridan, erotic romance, romantic suspense, teach me, southern nights, Jess, ConlanI've been working like a mad thing on revisions for the first Southern Nights book, Teach Me. Sometimes, when a book has been a part of you for as long as this one has me, you lose the inspiration that originally had you revved about the project. Since I wrote the original manuscript in 2010...yeah, it's been a while, and making sure the story felt as fresh and alive as it did the first time I opened a Word file and began to type was very important to me. ella sheridan, erotic romance, romantic suspense, native, onerepublic, inspirationAnd then came Christmas, and the gift that keeps on giving: music. Every book I write has a playlist; it's part of my writing process, and also a quick way for me to dive back into a book when I've had to put it on the backburner to meet deadlines on other projects (you can see a couple of my playlists for books here and here). Teach Me, being the first book I ever wrote, didn't have a playlist -- I was too new to know what my process was then -- so keeping it fresh has been a struggle. For Christmas, though, I received OneRepublic's new album, Native, and found the inspiration for Jess's story.

"If I Lose Myself" is a song about looking out a window. Sounds simple, right? (Don't most songs? :) ) But it's not. It's also about life and deciding who and what is important, about risking and refusing to give up. Have a listen:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGx0rApSk6w?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

See what I mean? In case you didn't catch them, have a look at the lyrics:

ella sheridan, erotic romance, romantic suspense, onerepublic, native, inspirationI stared up at the sun, Thought of all of the people, places and things I’ve loved. I stared up just to see With all of the faces, you were the one next to me.

You can feel the light start to tremble, Washing what you know out to sea. You can see your life out of the window tonight.

If I lose myself tonight, It’ll be by your side. I lose myself tonight... (oh) yeah, yeah, yeah.

If I lose myself tonight, It’ll be you and I. Lose myself tonight...

I woke up with the sun, Thought of all of the people, places and things I’ve loved. I woke up just to see With all of the faces, you were the one next to me.

You can feel the light start to tremble, Washing what you know out to sea. You can see your life out of the window tonight.

If I lose myself tonight, It’ll be by your side. I lose myself tonight... (oh) yeah, yeah, yeah.

If I lose myself tonight, It’ll be you and I. Lose myself tonight... Whoooooooooo

Take us down and we keep trying, Forty thousand feet, keep flying. Take us down and we keep trying, Forty thousand feet, keep flying. Take us down and we keep trying, Forty thousand feet, keep flying. Take us down and we keep trying, Forty thousand feet, keep flying.

(Lose myself) If I lose myself tonight...

There are a lot of other great songs on the album, but this one in particular spoke to me. (And yes, for those of you who are familiar with my books, this will be the theme song for Teach Me, just like Dirty Little Secret and Naughty Little Christmas have their theme songs. :) ) Do you have a song that inspires you, a "theme song," so to speak? What is it, and what does it make you think about?

Weekly Web Search: Ode to Colin Farrell

ella sheridan, damien, damien adams, colin farrell, naughty little christmas, dirty little secret, secrets, secrets to hide series, erotic romance, contemporary romance, loose id, christmasOkay, y'all, I couldn't resist. With the exciting news yesterday -- title and release date for Damien's Christmas story -- I had to point you in the direction of my inspiration for Damien. Colin Farrell is TO DIE FOR!!! He's beautiful, and the perfect inspiration for my bad boy in the bar, sexy boy in the bed, and sweet boy when he's holding his woman in his arms. (And he doesn't dance bad either. :) ) So have a gander over at Colin's official website, and while you're looking at all those pictures, keep Damien in mind. He'll be available for your "pleasure" on Christmas Eve in his very own book, Naughty Little Christmas!

http://www.colinfarrell.org/

 

Off We Go...

Forgive me a minute while I go all fan girl, not over a person -- although that's usually where I go with this -- but over a place. Ireland. Why? Because next week, for the very first time, I will leave the US for another country, namely Ireland. I can't tell you how excited I am, but I'll try. I!!!!!!!!!!!  AM!!!!!!!!!!!!!  EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So I thought I'd share some pictures of things I hope to see on my trip. Oddly enough, looking at the countryside of Ireland reminds me of the countryside where I grew up in the Deep South, though it also holds a mystic quality that fascinates and amazes me. Maybe y'all will enjoy the beauty of this country as much as I do.

Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

Ireland, travel, Ella Sheridan, Trinity College, trip

O'Connell Street, Dublin, Ireland

O'Connell Street, Dublin, Ireland, travel, trip, Ella SheridanChrist Church, Dublin, Ireland

Christ Church, Dublin, Ireland, travel, trip, Ella SheridanSkellig Michael, Ireland

Skellig Michael, Ireland, Ring of Kerry, travel, trip, Ella Sheridan

Blarney Castle, Ireland

Blarney Castle, Ireland, travel, trip, Ella SheridanWaterford, Ireland

Waterford, Ireland, travel, trip, Ella Sheridan

*Photos by William Murphy, amerune, geographic.org.uk