I’ve struggled for years to come up with a consistent routine. Working at home means there’s not a lot of rigid structure, and having two jobs means there’s a lot to juggle. Recently, though, I got some advice that has made a tremendous difference in my day:

First things first.

For me, a positive life means putting the most important things first in my day. When it comes to my work, the highest priority for me is writing, so after the family leaves in the morning, guess what I do?

Sit down and write.

When your schedule is hectic or chaotic, what’s your priority, the first thing you want to focus on in your day?

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Positive Life

Positive Life Image.jpg

Thanks to the totally fantastic Maggie Coughlin Worth and her common sense guidance, I’ve learned that a POSITIVE LIFE needs REWARDS.

I work a lot. My day job, though it’s from home, is full-time. Writing is also a full-time job, though the actual words on the page are a tiny fraction of that. So getting to run away from all the work and actually just write is a reward for me. Twice a year I give myself a retreat—and it is oh so wonderful.

Last fall I found a little cabin in the woods (NOT like the movie!), and this month, in celebration of our birthday, I took my sis Dani Wade there for a writing retreat. You can see from the pics that we had a great time! Writing, reading, plotting (and not just books 😉 ), exploring, wading. So much fun!

What about you? Where do you go to get away? What do you love to reward yourself with?


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More POSITIVE LIFE for May! Are you ready?

A positive life must include SLEEP! That’s what I’m learning. I always knew I didn’t feel good when I went low on sleep, but the past couple of years? I get the walk-into-the-wall, too-fuzzy-to-think, can’t-deal-with-life blues if I don’t rest. I feel so much better, clearer headed and able to, yes, be positive, if I just get adequate sleep!

I’m also learning that the kind of sleep you get makes a difference. Apparently not dreaming is a big deal—you’re not getting REM sleep. I rarely dream anymore, although I used to when I was younger. I’ve always been envious of authors who literally dream their stories up.

What about you? Do you get enough sleep, or are you one of those people who doesn’t seem to need much. (That’s NEVER been me! 😝 )


Positive Life

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Many people have talked this month about their “word for the year.” This is a concept I absolutely love, a way to narrow down your focus to one concept that you want to bring into your life. Too often we have 50 million goals and accomplish none of them. I like to focus in and actually get somewhere, LOL!

I have more than a word for this year, though. It’s a phrase: POSITIVE LIFE. I’m looking to inhale the positive and exhale the negative. Be happy with my life and my choices and my goals, and strip away the things that cause anxiety and stress and depression. What about you? Do you have a focus word or phrase for this year? Do you set New Year’s resolutions every year? I know I’m not the only one, and I’m hoping this year will be better and happier and more positive for us all!

Life After Christmas

Life after Christmas!

I don’t know about y’all, but I love Christmas — and I hate cleaning up after the holidays. Really hate it! Still, there’s something about getting everything put away, straightened up, and cleaned that speaks to a healthy start to the new year.

I’ve done the same with my goals and plan for 2018. Thanks to the fabulous Maggie Worth, I created a fresh plan for the year with goals that truly speak to me and support the life I want to live.

How about you? What’s your most important goal for the new year, or are you just winging it? (You pantser, you!)

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The contest this month is about gratitude, but not only because this is the month of the US Thanksgiving celebration. I’ve been thinking about gratitude a lot. I have so much to be thankful for:


* Wonderful readers—I have no delusions! There are so many choices out there for fantastic books, and to know that so many readers have picked up one of my books, read it, and loved it (and often read more) is a tremendous blessing in my life.


* A supportive family—I’ve been blessed with a family, including my awesome sister and loving daughter, who understand the long hours of writing and marketing, the frustrating blocks, the endless loops of nerves and “I don’t think I know what I’m doing’s.” 😝


* Fantastic characters—They’re deep, emotional, difficult, and always riveting to me. I couldn’t create meaningful books with characters that were anything less. I’m thankful these characters choose to reveal themselves to me (or, in some cases, that they choose not to reveal themselves and I have to get angry on their asses, LOL!). They make work worth it every day.


So I know I’ve asked you to share the people you’re thankful for in this month’s contest, but today, I want you to share what you’re thankful for. What else has been a blessing in your life?

Come visit me on my Facebook page and tell me what you're thankful for!

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November Monthly Contest

* * * November Monthly Contest * * *


We don’t spend near enough time in our lives saying thank you. Feeling grateful. We miss so many wonderful opportunities to make others feel appreciated and loved because we are so focused on the busyness of our lives, the demands, the stress.


I want to change that this month. For our November contest, I want to say thank you. I have such wonderful readers who have blessed me beyond measure with your enthusiasm, your encouragement, your caring words, and your fun and laughter too. I want to bless you in some small way to say thank you for all you’ve given me.


So this month, I will be giving away two $15 Amazon gift cards—one for you, and one for someone you are thankful for. Simply tag the person who has made you feel loved and appreciated in the comments below. On November 30th, I will draw a random name, and give you AND the person you’ve tagged each a $15 gift card! (and just in time for Christmas too. 😉 )


Thank you, thank you, thank you to all my wonderful readers! I wish I could spell out the ways you have enriched my life, but they are too many to number. I hope you and yours have a wonderful—and thankful—November!

Head over to my Facebook page to enter!


*** Likes and shares with your booklover friends are appreciated but not required! Contest ends NOVEMBER 30th. ***


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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!


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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?


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.





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?

Dani Wade Is in the House!

This is release week for my twin sis, romance author Dani Wade. Woot! Woot! Her latest release, BENEATH THE SURFACE, went live yesterday. And today, Dani is here to talk about the wonderful world of twins and how she used our experiences to make the twin sisters in Beneath the Surface richer, deeper characters. You can grab your copy of Beneath the Surface this week for only 99 cents. And be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of the novella that started it all, Dani's Snow Bound!

And now, welcome Dani!

~ ~ ~ * ~ ~ ~

As authors, we get asked all the time where our ideas come from and are they based on real things or people in our own lives. In the case of my new release, Beneath the Surface, the answer is yes.

ella sheridan, erotic romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, dani wade, beneath the surface, small-town secrets series

In an ordinary world, identical twins can seem mysterious—these rare Doppelgangers who've been bonded together since before birth. Two halves of a whole. But to me—there's little that’s mysterious about twins, because I am one. It's the natural order of my world, an everyday occurrence. If you’re new to her blog, you might not realize that Ella and I are identical twin sisters. We’ve grown up together, both married, both had children, both become authors. All of it seems perfectly normal, but there have been a few occasions where the out of the ordinary occurred.

The first I remember was in our early teens. Ella went in for a medical procedure that required contrast dye and had an allergic reaction to it. I sat unknowing in the waiting room, completely oblivious—then I started to shake. It was summertime. I wasn't cold. Not until later did I find out she had been shaking too.

There've been times the “incidents” have been stronger than others. As we grow older, we sometimes know when the other person is sick or sad. The most intense occurrence was a time when Ella was coming out of anesthesia—one touch and I thought I'd pass out. The nurse simply asked, “Are you two twins?” and led me to a chair.

Over time, the idea of this psychic connection grew until it became this in my writer’s mind:

ella sheridan, erotic romance, romantic suspense, contemporary romance, dani wade, twins, beneath the surface, small-town secrets seriesBeneath the Surface, Small Town Secrets Book 1

Too many secrets…

Hidden in a quiet town along the Tennessee border, a secret gathering exists where the privileged fulfill their darkest desires. One of their members initiates a desperate act designed to bring home his lifelong obsession: Emma Hartwell.

A past not forgotten…

Drawn back to her hometown by the psychic connection with her twin sister, Emma must fight the stubborn silence of those around her in her quest to find her missing sister. Colin McIntyre hopes to make up for his past mistakes with Emma by helping her, but his own ties to the Gathering might be exposed along the way.

Time is running out…

Exposure could be dangerous for his family, along with himself and Emma. Can they fight the secrets and lies to rescue Emma’s sister… and their own chance at life-long love?

So tell me something special about your siblings today! One commenter will win a copy of Snow Bound, a Small Town Secrets novella.

~ ~ ~ * ~ ~ ~

And don't forget to grab your copy of Beneath the Surface to read more about Emma, Amy, Colin, and the secrets of Cadence, Tennessee.

Happy Thanksgiving!

happythanksgivingIt's Thanksgiving week here in the US, and the perfect time to remember the things I'm thankful for. It's been a difficult year for me, one filled with quite a bit of illness but also many, many highs like the release of Teach Me. Here's my list of the top ten things I'm most thankful for this year: 1. My family.

2. Being healthier than I've been all year.

3. Being a published author and realizing one of my life's biggest dreams.

4. Becoming a self-published author -- one of the hardest parts of this journey, but one that has taught me so much, not only about publishing and how to create a great book, but also about myself as a human being and how strong and determined I truly am.

5. My husband's support. Many authors go this journey alone or, worse, with active discouragement from their spouses. I'm blessed with a spouse who encourages me the whole way.

6. My creativity. This year I developed a severe soy allergy that left me with months of brain fog and inability to write. I no longer take for granted the ability to tell stories, to get into my characters and actually feel the joy of writing.

7. My readers! I've had the privilege of meeting and getting to know some truly lovely readers this year. I can't tell you how exciting and humbling this experience has been!

8. Rory Olsen, my editor and all-around encourager. Rory has been a godsend and a true blessing on this journey. I'm so thankful she was the one who read Dirty Little Secret over a year ago!

9. Being outdoors. There were periods of this year where being outside wasn't an option for me. Taking a walk is one of life's greatest joys, and I'm thankful that ability has been restored to me.

10. Books! 'Nough said. :)

I hope you all enjoy this week with family and friends, whether it's Thanksgiving holiday where you live or not. What are you thankful for?

Here's Your Sign 2

Y’all know I talk about my twin sister and fellow romance author, Dani Wade, all the time. It’s hard not to when you are joined at the hip, so to speak. What you might not have realized yet is that Dani and I share a bit of an odd funny bone. Last year, while traveling in Ireland, we began taking pictures of signs that made us laugh—some because they were silly, some because, if you have dirty minds like ours (hey, we are romance writers, after all!), look highly or even blatantly suggestive. Needless to say we found plenty, and we shared them with you. (Along with running commentary, of course; what would be the fun without that? ;) ) Last week Dani and I took another trip, this time to Savannah, Georgia. Gorgeous! We had an awesome time wandering the city, but it wasn’t all serious history. No, the people of Savannah evidently have as quirky a sense of humor as those in Ireland, and guess what?  We brought back evidence of it too! Wanna see? Okay! Without further ado, I give you: Here’s Your Sign 2!

ella sheridan, writer, author, romance author, erotic romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, travel, savannah, romance authors gone wild

I'm SOOOO glad we got the CENSORED version!

ella sheridan, writer, author, romance author, erotic romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, travel, savannah, romance authors gone wildNot a lot of good if it’s frayed, is it? O.o

ella sheridan, writer, author, romance author, erotic romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, travel, savannah, romance authors gone wildAs opposed to the sitting monk? The standing monk? The dancing monk?

ella sheridan, writer, author, romance author, erotic romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, travel, savannah, romance authors gone wildThis one speaks for itself, don't you think?

ella sheridan, writer, author, romance author, erotic romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, travel, savannah, romance authors gone wildThe sign says, "Late Church." It’s Southern Baptist! (If you’re Southern Baptist, you’ll get it; trust me… :p )

ella sheridan, writer, author, romance author, erotic romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, travel, savannah, romance authors gone wildWell of course it’s my pie; I paid for it!

ella sheridan, writer, author, romance author, erotic romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, travel, savannah, romance authors gone wildThis one kinda stumped us. What happened here? Did Debi quit? Die? Did Laurie bump her off? Forget her name is actually Laurie before she had the sign made with her supposed name, Debi? "Debi doesn't live here anymore..."

ella sheridan, writer, author, romance author, erotic romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, travel, savannah, romance authors gone wildCara Bristol, Cherise Sinclair, Lexi Blake, and Kallypso Masters walk into a pizza parlor... :D :D :D

And last but not least, a gift for my Lucky 13 Golden Heart sisters, especially Bonnie Staring:

ella sheridan, writer, author, romance author, erotic romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, travel, savannah, romance authors gone wildI certainly do need new cabana boys, and I'm willing to provide on-the-job training; just sayin’. *smirk*

I hope you guys have enjoyed this episode of "Here's Your Sign." :) If you want to see more of the funnies we saw in Savannah, walk your mouse over to HERE and click to visit Dani's page and the signs she's sharing. They'll provide even much more needed laughter for your Monday morning!

~ Ella

Tech Hubby

ella sheridan, author, writer, romance author, erotic romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, tech hubbyI've been married since 1995. I've always known my husband and I were opposites: I love books; he loves science tomes. I love rock 'n' roll; he loves Rush and trance. I like Big Bang Theory; he likes... Okay, we both share that one. The point is, my husband is very different from me, but I never realized just how valuable that could be until I started plotting stories that needed believable technology.

See, Tech Hubby keeps up with all the latest trends in science and technology. Part of that is necessity; he works in engineering in a city chockfull of engineers, so he's expected to know the latest advances. But he also just loves knowing the latest about computers and security and engineering and space exploration. As a long-time NASA employee, he knew astronauts, met with them daily, helped monitor space flights and experiments on the space station, and even now, many light-years from Houston, he craves information about Mars and the Hubble telescope and even commercial space flight. He builds his own computers and is always reading some new development in tech or communications or whatever makes my eyes glaze over. His degrees in physics and material sciences means he actually understands that information too, and when I ask him about satellite usage or how to fool computer programs or how to hack someone's phone or whatever, he can usually tell me. It's like having my very own expert right here at my side, except I get the added benefit of cuddling at night. :) Whenever I'm stuck, he's right there. It's awesome.

And no, I won't answer the question of what else he's an expert in. Pull your mind out of the gutter!


I won't share inside knowledge about hubby's antics, but I will keep you up-to-date with all the exciting things I've got going on these days (outside the bedroom, you naughty readers!). To get in on the action (haha! that just totally came out there; it really did!), be sure and sign up for my newsletter. I promise not to hold back any sexy PUBLISHING details -- or (not my husband) man candy. ;)

*Photo courtesy of Robert McGoldrick.

It's the Just a Little More Release Party!

ella sheridan, author, writer, romance author, secrets to hide series, just a little more, naughty little christmas, dirty little secret, loose id, erotic romance, romantic suspenseDouble the pleasure and double the fun -- wait, that was the Doublemint twins! But I do have double the releases -- and double the prizes! -- for you today, and it will be fun. My twin, Dani Wade, has a release today, Striking a Chord. And as you know, I have a release too. Just a Little More is OUT TODAY!!!

In honor of sharing a release day (as well as a womb for nine months!), we're having a release day party and giveaway -- a $30 gift card to Amazon or B&N PLUS copies of the first book in my Secrets series and Dani's Backstage Pass series. We're talking serious hottie goodness here, people! Be sure to check out the giveaway at the end of our blogs. And don't forget, the more you participate -- on my blog and Dani's -- the more entries you get to the giveaway.

So, what is Brad and Angel's story all about?

Six weeks ago Angel had it all—a brand-new master’s degree, an apartment with her best friend, Brad, and the chance to take their friendship to a whole hot new level. But on the night of their first kiss, a would-be rapist ripped her bright future apart. Stuck in a never-ending cycle of fear and depression, Angel is determined to find herself again, even if it means putting herself at risk.

Brad has loved Angel since he saved her from a playground bully in the fifth grade. But just as it seemed Angel’s eyes were opening to the true feelings between them, it all fell apart. When Angel disappears on the night of a freak snowstorm, Brad is determined to find her. And when he does, he won't let her hide any longer. It's time to wake her up—to a life without fear, and to a love that can heal the deepest wounds.

Sound good? Well, what are you waiting for? Get your copy of Just a Little More at Loose Id OR All Romance ebooks. And FINALLY on AmazonYou can run right over and get your copy of Angel and Brad's story just in time for the July Fourth weekend (and plenty of reading time).

But what else were we doing today? Oh, right! ;) It's time to PAR-TAY!!!

Dani AND I are celebrating today -- with a DANCE PARTY! I'm sharing the songs that played through my head while Brad and Angel's story flowed through my fingers. And when you've explored them all, guess what? Dani has her playlist over on her blog today! You can hop over there and get even more boogie on. ;)

If you've followed my releases, you know I have a theme song for every book. For Just a Little More, I have a heroine badly in need of protection, and I have a hero whose entire being is centered on protecting and caring for those he loves -- and he's loved Angel a long, long time. There was no more appropriate song than this little gem nestled on Daughtry's latest release: "I'll Fight."


As much as I love my hero and diving in to his pov, the idea for this book came to me not from Brad's side but Angel's. I didn't even realize she belonged to Brad until later; I only knew her name was Angel and that she needed help desperately. The kernel that became Just a Little More was sparked while listening to Nickelback's "Lullaby."


I had the Goo Goo Dolls latest album, Magnetic, on repeat for most of the drafting process for Just a Little More. One song in particular helped me envision Brad and Angel's relationship, the feeling that they were best friends, each other's worlds, and ready to face anything as long as they were together: "Slow It Down."


One more? Okay, one more! Though this book deals with some tough issues, by the end Angel has found her way back to who she really is, not the person fear made her. And because Thrice is such an important part of this series, of course I ended the book there. What was the ultimate dance par-tay song for Brad and Angel to dance to? From Magnetic, here's "Rebel Beat."


ella sheridan, author, writer, erotic romance, romantic suspense, BDSM romance, romance author, Dani Wade, twin authors, striking  a chord, backstage pass

It wouldn't be a par-tay without some prizes, now would it? Dani and I have a joint giveaway going. What do you have to do to enter? Simply leave a comment, on my blog or hers, telling us your favorite party song. Your comment enters you into the giveaway. A comment on both of our blogs enters you TWICE. Like me on Facebook OR sign up for my newsletter and get ANOTHER entry (or TWO if you do both!).

What are we giving away? A $30 gift card to Amazon or B&N, and the first book in both of our series! You have until July 5th to enter! We'll post the winner July 6th.

And thank you! Joining us for our double release day makes it so much more fun than partying alone! Now get over to Dani's blog and boogie. ;)

~ Ella

**All ebook formats are available at Loose Id. All you have to do is download the format appropriate for your e-reader (or your computer, and they even tell you which format you need on their FAQs page), hook your e-reader to your computer, and drag and drop the file to your e-reader. Easy peasy, even for me, and I'm no technical genius. ;) I will update as new formats become available, so check back. As soon as Amazon, ARe, and Kobo go live, I'll have it here.

Funny Friday: Parents...Oy!

Today is my son's birthday -- YAY!!!! In honor of the thirteen years I've spent parenting him ( :D ), I thought I'd share some seriously spectacular parenting fails when it comes to technology. I love the Autocorrect fails posts, but here's one on Buzzfeed directly related to parents. It's funny stuff like this: enhanced-10306-1400786609-5

There's tons more funny stuff where this came from. And don't stop halfway -- the last entry is...jeez...hilarious.Kinda reminds me of my grandmother... :)

26 Reasons Why Parents Shouldn't Be Allowed to Have Phones

by Dave Stopera


~ Ella


Presidents Day

ella sheridan, president's day Yes, today is Presidents Day here in the US. And yes, that means Hubby is home from work today. And yes, that means he's distracting me terribly, which is why there isn't a "real" post up today. ;) Not unless you want me to wax on about how distracting hubbies can be, but then he'd only interrupt and distract me some more and I'd never finish, so... You get the idea! I hope you and yours have a great Monday!

~ Ella