Sunday, November 23, 2014

WIP untitled–the beginning

DurangoCO-CClicenseI’m doing what I usually don’t and posting the beginning of the book I’m working on. This is an unedited excerpt that may change a bit before publication, but I’m enjoying the story and felt like sharing.

No title yet. From the second EMK Artists & Cottages book set partly in Durango, Colorado:

“You absolutely cannot put me on that story.”

“Oh, Gillian, relax. It’s just a story.”

“There’s no such thing as just a story and you know it, even if you are totally immersed in your high-brow editor job now instead of being another nobody lowlife writer like me.”

“Don’t get personal. I’m still your friend...”

“Then make someone else do it. Kevin or ... or Sally. Yes, send Sally. I’d love to see her wear her $500 Gucci shoes out in the dirt...”

“Gucci is handbags, not shoes.”

“I thought they were shoes, also.” Gillian had to pause in her rant to think a minute. “They are shoes, also. I know they are. I’ve heard her say it often enough. Anyway, send Sally.”

“Can you really imagine Sally doing that story the way it needs to be done? She’d laugh at the whole thing. That’s why I have her on pop culture stuff and not on real stuff. You wanted the real stuff, so go do it.”

“Real?” Gillian rolled her eyes and stuffed her hands into her cardigan pockets. “A big time hotshot went to live in the woods and you call that real? He’s an attention seeker. So what?”

“I don’t think so, not since he goes by a different name out there, which means he doesn’t want to be associated with his past life, which means it’s a story I want. Badly. I want this, Gilly. And I want it right. That’s why I’m sending you.”

“But ... but ... he’s a man. In the woods. Alone. What kind of friend would send a defenseless girl out to find a man alone in the woods who doesn’t want to be found?”

“Defenseless?” Karenne tossed her head back and guffawed.

“Okay, okay.”

“You? Defenseless? That’s the best thing I’ve heard in years. Come on, Gilly. That’s another reason I’m sending you. I never have to worry about you. You’d fall from a skyscraper and end up bouncing off some big fat guy and getting nothing but a scrape on your elbow. The poor guy might not be so lucky, but...”

“Real funny.” Gillian sighed and lowered into a chair across the editor’s desk. The friendship card wasn’t working this time. Maybe Karenne was right about every point she made, but still ... the woods. In the mountains. Where it was cold. And fall. And ... and dirty. With bugs and ... slithery things.

She shuddered hard.

Karenne leaned in over her desk. “I know you don’t want to do this and I know how you hate snakes and anything else that moves around outside that’s hard to see. I know, Gillian, but you need to do this. I can’t keep you in the ‘real stories’ department if you keep doing the TMZ kind of things...”

“That’s what sells. It’s what put my name out there.”

“And yet you just complained about this super bachelor millionaire recluse story, which is, I’m sorry to say, a step above your last two pieces.”

“You assigned them.”

“I wanted you to do more with them and you know that.”

Gillian sighed and let herself slump, which she rarely did. “The subjects didn’t deserve more time than I gave them and this won’t deserve much, either. So what? He got tired of ... whatever the hell you get tired of when you have a bazillion or whatever dollars and feel sorry for yourself for some ridiculous reason and went to do a Thoreau thing. So what? It’s been done.”

“Everything’s been done. You know that’s not the point. Go find your angle to make this different.” Karenne stood. “Not up for discussion. This is your assignment. Go do it. You leave first thing in the morning.” She handed a long envelope across the desk, her expression saying not to argue one minute longer.

So she didn’t argue. Gillian took the envelope she knew held her plane ticket and itinerary and forced herself not to sigh again. She half thought about stomping her foot but didn’t allow that, either. She’d worked too hard to become a professional.

And K was right. Her writing had slipped. Her interest had slipped. It just didn’t seem to matter anymore what she wrote about or how she wrote it. No one still read the actual paper and the paper’s website got few views, especially the “real stories” section. People wanted gossip. They wanted scandal. They did not want anything that made them actually think.

Why should she bother?

And yet she had to either bother, and to bother a hell of a lot better than she had recently, or she had to find a new profession. The thought of starting over, though, made her shiver all the way down her spine to her toes.

Maybe she was in a rut, but at least it was her rut and she was comfortable there.


In a rut.

What in the hell had happened to her?

She used to feel fire in her soul at the start of every new piece. The research made her near giddy. Going out and grabbing information people didn’t want found but that needed to be found was the biggest rush she’d ever had. At thirty-one, maybe that was pathetic. Still, it was something. Something she’d created.

It was something. But it was hardly enough anymore.

And now she had to go out, not only out of town, but way out of town into the middle of nowhere, into a world she’d escaped, to do a fluff piece about a rich guy and try to make it sound like a real story.

Life was just too grand at times.

While waiting for this one to come out, along with the first Artists & Cottages novel, how about checking out my Dancers & Lighthouses books? I’m doing a giveaway for the print set of the first three on my website on the NEWS page.


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Pieces of Light: meet Emma


Emma perused the flyer in the break room. Ballroom dance classes. No partner needed. Could she get the school to pay for the classes if she turned around and taught it to her fifth graders? She supposed not since she wasn’t a PE teacher. And how many fifth graders would want to learn ballroom dance? Most were too hooked to their booty shaking vulgar lyric stuff she’d never allow. Not at that age. Ballroom dance could be good for them. For posture. For grace. Health. She needed it for her own health, for her stamina.

The thought of doing it just for herself pulled at her, even if he’d laughed and said she was too entirely uncoordinated for dance. She didn’t think she was. And the idea of having something of her own for a change pulled at her hard. Why shouldn’t she? If she could arrange for someone to watch Patty that long...

With a sigh, Emma expected the fight of that would make it not worth the hassle.

Still, she thought about it through the rest of the day, through ten year olds giggling when they were supposed to be studying, through drumming history into their heads they’d forget through summer break.

It was nearly summer break. She should be able to insist on time off for herself at least twice a week. Maybe she would do extra tutoring to pay for someone to come sit with Patty just long enough for two classes a week. Some responsible teenager should be willing, and capable enough, and looking to make summer dough.

Deciding to ask around the break room the next day, Emma sighed a huge inaudible breath of relief as the last bell rang and told them all to have a good night and to study...

Her voice trailed off. She’d lost them. They wouldn’t hear if it she said it, so she didn’t bother.

Could she choose which ballroom dances she wanted to learn? Not the Latin dances. Too sexy to do with some stranger who also ended up there without a partner, especially if she got stuck with another woman, which she figured was entirely possible. How many single men went to ballroom classes on their own? And of those who would, how many would she want to Latin dance with? A light shudder ran through her system. Maybe she’d get a video instead and teach herself on nights she didn’t have Patty.

Pieces of Light
is part of the Dancers & Lighthouses series.
Find it HERE

Pieces of Light: meet Fillan


Fillan tried to put his mind off work and onto the trail he was hiking at a near jog. Thoughts of Ireland streamed back into his soul as he looked out over the fauna of Cape Cod. And the girl. Had she come home yet? Had she bothered to notice he was away? He left without word. It was fair, Fillan figured, since she’d done the same. Purposely or not, she’d left him. She said she’d return, but then, that was a fair time ago. Last summer. She’d gone on an adventure, she said, she needed something new, time to figure herself out. How he hated that phrase. He knew he’d rolled his eyes when she said it, which helped nothing at all, of course, but he hated that phrase.

Time to figure yourself out. What was that, anyway? You were who you were, were you not? What was to figure out? How insipid did you have to be to not know, toward your later twenties, who in the hell you were yet? Or at least think you knew. What twenty-something didn’t at least think he had himself, or herself, all figured out?

An excuse, of course. She could have just come straight out and said, “Fillan, you’re boring me to tears and I have to leave you now.” He could respect that.

Turning the corner of the wood plank raised path out along the Cape, he got a nice glimpse of the Atlantic and paused, leaned his forearms on the weathered-wood railing, and watched seagulls dip and rise and make all kinds of racket. Noisy, raucous birds. He liked them about as much as he liked the figure yourself out phrase. Scavengers. Bullies, of sorts. He liked small quieter birds.

But then, he liked quiet. Peace. Calm. Boring, he supposed. She was right, whether she said it or not.

“Get a real job, Fillan, would you? What kind of a job is teaching outdated dances to elderly women who are there only to enjoy cozying up to sexy young men who are paid to be nice to them? It’s a boy’s job,” she’d said. “Get a man’s job. It’d be good for you.”

With a sigh and rolled eyes – and why not, since she couldn’t see it – he continued his walk-jog along the boardwalk.

Maybe later he’d go into the heart of Provincetown and wander the sidewalks, the shops, see what he could find not too touristy but reminiscent of Cape Cod to take back to his family at the end of the summer when real life would continue, when he’d have to make the choice to contact her again or not, to continue his “boy job” or change his path. Granted, it didn’t pay a lot. It had taken him forever to earn plane fare to the States to jump on the opportunity to teach ... different old ladies, American old ladies, instead of Irish old ladies.

Well, but they weren’t so much. Many younger women were coming to ballroom dance recently. That show on the telly, Fillan supposed. He hadn’t watched it. The idea of it buggered him. He bet they made good money, though, with their for-television “boy job” – but of course they were getting hand-picked celebrity students, not regular people who sometimes didn’t know their right foot from their left.

If it was bringing people into ballroom again, though, it couldn’t be all bad.

Pieces of Light is part of the Dancers & Lighthouses series.
Find them HERE

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Getting Fresh

My books, that is. Getting fresh new shiny covers.

Want to see them? Of course you want to see them! Why else would you be here? (You’ll have to forgive me for the sappy start to this post: time change and age and all takes its toll.)


So they’re only partly new. I couldn’t let go of my couples and their settings fully. I like them much better this way and I hope readers will, as well.

Appearance does matter. More than size. Or … well, maybe they equally matter.

Pier Lights and Shadowed Lights are both short novels. Pieces of Light is a novella, only 100 pages, and that’s 100 mass market sized pages. Don’t let the small size fool you, though. There’s plenty of punched packed inside those few pages. Many small things are very effective and often more powerful than large sized … um, books. It’s all in how you use it.

To announce the new covers, I’ve made Pieces of Light only $0.99 at Smashwords for a short time. You do have to use coupon code VT93E to get the 34% off regular price of $1.49, and it expires on November 14th, so don’t delay! It’s well worth your 99 cents and your bit of reading time if you love romantic stories with real characters and real-life situations and settings in contemporary times.

This series is also coming in print! They will only be available through Elucidate Publishing via direct order. They are mass market sized books, but they are not mass market printed. At least, not of yet.

Along with all of the other freshness going around, will soon have a bright and shiny new website to accompany this blog.

~~ ~~ ~~
In other news, the first Artists & Cottages book is well underway and the second is coming into being during Nanowrimo 2014 this month. I got a good start on it yesterday and my heroine is already in quite the predicament.

Here’s the Pinterest board for the first book.
And Here is the second.

I already have thoughts for the fourth Dancers & Lighthouses novel, as well as for a first in a new series. Better get off here and get writing!

Happy November to everyone!


Friday, June 27, 2014

Guest Author: Linda Acaster

The Bull At The Gate – Handling Characters’ Emotional Arcs

I’m happy to welcome author Linda Acaster with her take on Lights in the Dark as related to her newest release, book 2 of the Torc of Moonlight trilogy: Bull at the Gate. 

I’ve read the first two books of the series and recommend them highly for any reader who loves intrigue, history, and supernatural elements. A review for the books will be posted at Elucidate Publishing.

Welcome, Linda!
~~ ~~ ~~

The Bull at the Gate, Book 2 in the Torc of Moonlight trilogy, has just launched. (Click here for Buy Links)

LindaAcaster-BullatGateWith Alice dead, Nick has moved to York, a mediaeval city of crooked half-timbered houses and tight cobbled streets where Viking re-enactors thrill the tourists. But York was once a Roman colonia that garrisoned the Ninth Legion, and the Sixth Victrix, and the stains of older, sacrificial, deaths lay buried deep in modern cellars. When a female student disappears the police start asking awkward questions about Alice, and Nick finds himself a suspect. Why has an artefact from the Temple of Mithras appeared on his desk? Could Alice and the girl be trapped together, and if he frees the girl can he return Alice to him?

The Bull At The Gate is a cross-genre novel that fits into Romantic Thriller, Crime, Suspense, Occult, Paranormal Romance... No matter the genre, I am writing about relationships, about ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances and making decisions, and then standing or falling by the result. They take responsibility. They try to put things right.

The premise of the trilogy springs from British myth – a female water deity able to cross between planes: think the Lady of the Lake in the Arthurian legends. To modern connotations she was – is – an embodiment of Nature, of balance, which ticks to a slower clock than human beings. One particular deity, forgotten in the wilds of Yorkshire, is resurrecting herself. Neither good nor evil, she just *is*.

Because the deity is female, for balance across all three books my main character is male – Nick. In Book 1 he is a nineteen year old student who, like most of his gender and age, has no concept of his own mortality. Alice has borne losses in her life and tries to insulate herself from pain by remaining aloof. However, they are pledged by a force she senses but cannot see, that Nick comes to see but denies can exist. In so doing so, he sets them both on a path to disaster.

Despite its otherworldliness resonating in the background, the trilogy is set firmly in the real 21st century and readers can walk round York in Nick’s footsteps. When The Bull At The Gate opens it is three years after Torc of Moonlight closes. Nick does not stride from one storyline to the next as if nothing of note has occurred – he’s trying to emerge from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. He’s 22, been living again in the parental home, and a temporary job in York is his first step back into independence.

As the novel is primarily from his viewpoint I couldn’t label him as a sufferer because he doesn’t want to look the diagnosis in the eye. Instead I open with him experiencing some of the milder symptoms: interrupted sleep, sweats, panic attacks, low self-esteem... Not until halfway through the novel, when he is being interviewed by the police, is the label mentioned and his mental state questioned. Nick as portrayed is hardly regular hero material. Yet he is because he carries on regardless, and when the opportunity arises for him to put right the decisions he mishandled, he will not be swayed despite the toll it takes on his health.

None of us are the sum of a single character trait, though one may become more dominant during different sections of our lives. Part of the reason for each book having one historical and two contemporary storylines running parallel is to reflect one another at an oblique angle, to emphasise the ambiguity of accepting any one stance as “the truth”.

LindaAcaster-TorcofMoonlightFor the trilogy to work, Nick, and to a lesser degree Alice, have to evolve as people across the three books. From the euphoria of youth in Book 1 to being riddled with regret and guilt in Book 2, when Book 3 opens – three years later for symmetry – Nick has empowered himself with both knowledge and belief, and self-knowledge and self-belief, trusting them to be his sword and his shield. Life, though, no matter the plane, is never quite that simple. If it was I wouldn’t have a novel.

“..a beguilding tightrope walk..” “Fabulous! Can’t wait for more.”

“..a crafted blend of Crime, Thriller and Myth makes the reader question their grasp of reality..”

If you’ve enjoyed this post please give it a Tweet (below).

Catch Linda Acaster on Website ¦ Facebook ¦ Twitter


Monday, June 16, 2014

Pieces of Light: The Story


A Cape Cod grade school teacher. An Irish ballroom teacher visiting for the summer. A little girl who needs a lot of guidance and understanding.

On the shores of Provincetown, Massachusetts, three independent spirits are brought together by unpredictable tides of rapid change. Emma has survived an unsupportive marriage while supporting her family. Fillan is trying to balance his passion for dance with the realities of obligation. Eleven-year-old Patty has been tossed around by her mother's inability to deal with her own life, much less her daughter's autism. When fate brings them together, they must determine whether joining their lifeboats will provide an even keel or throw them further off-balance.

~~ ~~ ~~
Pieces of Light is a novella, ~33K words, sensual and non-graphic
$1.49 from
Smashwords (get Kindle format here)
and soon at other ebook retailers

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Art … on Cover art. Imagine that.

3638-5x7lkhRemember the old romances? They tended to be rich and deep with all kinds of things weaved into the storyline. And their covers … were actual art. Drawn and painted.

Of course there was no stock art back then where cover artists could skim through and grab the images that looked right for the story. They had to really on artists. Many of them really did look pretty much the same and it wasn’t great art. Still, that was when I fell in love with fiction and with love stories. And art is in my blood.

I realize my covers are off the beaten path. No cover stock hunks showing their well-toned bare chests or buxom girls looking provocative appear on EMK books. Well, at least no real ones.

I like art. I like books with gorgeous photography, but even more, I like books with art covers. Watercolor. Oil. Acrylic. Even colored pencil. Done by skilled hands, those will catch my eye fastest when I’m browsing a bookstore in person or online. Maybe because there are so few of them recently. Maybe because I’m so into art. Maybe because I have a bit of a problem with looking at a real person on a cover and thinking I’m intruding on their life by picking up that book, even though I know they’re only models posing for a part.

Okay, EMK books look different than most romances. I fully acknowledge that fact. Maybe that’s a mistake. But I think writers must be true to themselves or readers will feel it.

So, my covers are artwork. Acrylic on watercolor paper. I like them that way. Even if they aren’t any bit more great art than those classic pre-stock art romances. They fit the storylines. They fit the character descriptions in the books. They fit the author.

Good enough for me.

The above painting in progress is for my next to come, a novella this time, which should be out before the end of May. Yes, it will have a couple in a romantic position when it’s finished. After all, there’s nothing wrong with hunky heroes and buxom (to whatever extent) heroines!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Ballycurrin Lighthouse–a story in a story

BallycurrinLighthouse-PeterGouldingDo you read the comments under blog posts? I do. Often. Not always. I’m glad I do often, though, because some of the best material can come from comments.

This is Ballycurrin Lighthouse near Galway, Ireland. It’s the setting for a short scene in my current WIP which is currently unnamed. Most of the story is in Provincetown, Massachusetts, but my hero is from Galway so using this neat little lighthouse I found on Pinterest is a nod to him. Of course the inspiration of the photo is never enough for me. I research. I research a lot more than I end up using. While Fillan, my ballroom dance teacher hero, is contemplating something (can’t say much – no spoilers), this little lighthouse, the only inland lighthouse in Ireland according to my research, plays a part in his thoughts.

The photo [©Peter Goulding] and the post about how Mr. Goudling, lighthouse explorer, got to this spot to take this photo were indeed helpful in story development, although this scene is a very small part of the story. A comment about a story that varies from the “official” story of why this inland lighthouse was built caught my attention even more. It could be a story itself. In the least, it had to have a place in Fillan’s story.

The truth of why something was done is often of very small consequence to novelists. What a little story or myth does to the imagination is paramount, though. The story is the thing. It’s often far more interesting than “official” fact and who knows, it could be actual fact. It doesn’t matter much. Fiction should make you think, wonder, imagine, expand.

What if?

Part of me would love to write about the little “what if” behind this lighthouse that was left in the comments, but so far, my settings are mainly within the US. If it triggers anyone else to write about the lighthouse builder and his wife, I’d love to read it.

Find the original post and photo here. Thank you to Mr. Goulding for leaving permission to use your articles with acknowledgment.]

For other photos from the story and that inspired the story, see my Pinterest Board.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Read An Ebook Week


READ! an Ebook week

Have an Ereader, laptop, pad of some sort?
Looking for great bargains to load books on it?

This is Read an Ebook Week and you’ll find great bargains over at

Pier Lights by Ella M. Kaye… Including PIER LIGHTS. This week only and only at Smashwords, Pier Lights is absolutely FREE with coupon code RW100. No need to remember – it’s listed on the book page, just be sure to enter it at checkout.

Please consider leaving a review if you take advantage of this promotion, at SW, Goodreads, &/or whatever book site you enjoy.

Pier Lights is adult fiction, spicy romance, non-erotic. My guess is you’ll love Caroline and Dio enough to consider also checking out Delaney and Eli in Shadowed Lights. (This is not a series but they are both set in Lighthouse locations and feature dancers.)

CLICK on the book cover to find it.

ALSO, check out the music used in the novel:

[Authors: feel free to use the above Ebook Week image or find others at Read An Ebook Week 2014 Images]

Monday, February 24, 2014

Guest Author Nicole Zoltack and Blood Lust

Please welcome author Nicole Zoltack to It’s All O’Kaye. Nicole is here with her take on Lights in the Dark and her brand new Epic Fantasy Romance release: Blood Lust
~~ ~~ ~~

NicoleZoltackAs humans, we all have dark and light inside of us. We lie, we cheat, we steal. We hope, we dream, we love.

Within the world of BLOODLUST, barbarians are created from the union of humans and elves. For the most part, barbarians are far darker creatures than us humans.

Barbarians are fueled by their emotions, especially the darker ones. When they are engaged in battle, which given their nature is often, Bloodlust can be triggered, turning them into mindless killers. So when war seems inevitable and the chances of the barbarians surviving is bleak, Barbarian-Princess Ivy wonders if she should even try to save her people.

But then she sees some children. Despite fighting each other, they also show compassion and are helpful. There’s no ridicule or mocking. They train together and work together. It is these children who bolster Ivy’s faith in her people.

Even barbarians have some light and goodness in them, despite their darkness. Or perhaps because of their darkness? In order for there to be a shadow, there must first be light.

Will Ivy succeed in her goal? Will she ever prove to herself that she deserves to live? To love? Or will the one she contemplates giving her heart to betray her and trigger her Bloodlust? You’ll have to read BLOODLUST to find out!
~~ ~~ ~~


In a world torn by prejudice and hatred, six races struggled for supremacy.


Barbarian-Princess Ivy is unwilling to allow her father to provoke the other races into war and forms an unlikely alliance with Lukor the goliath to save her people from utter destruction.


Unbeknownst to her, Lukor blames the barbarians for murdering his sister and plans on sabotaging her goal.


Almost despite each other, they grow to respect each other on their journey to decode secret messages from the trolls. But nothing Ivy can do will prevent the war as her father is blinded by Bloodlust and incites it himself. Not even killing him and becoming Barbaroness can stop the tide. And when Bloodlust claims Ivy, forcing her to kill everyone in her path, she must make a choice to destroy even Lukor, who she may have started to fall for and him in return.
~~ ~~ ~~

Nicole Zoltack loves to write in many genres, especially fantasy romance. When she's not writing about knights, superheroes, or zombies, she loves to spend time with her loving husband and three energetic boys. She enjoys riding horses (pretending they're unicorns!) and going to the PA Renaissance Faire, dress in garb. She'll also read anything she can get her hands on. To learn more about Nicole and her writing, visit her blog.


Friday, February 21, 2014

Shadowed Lights–Chapter 1

Eli’s shoes sank into the damp sand as he stared out at the abandoned flooded house swept into Barnegat Bay. He should have gone out with the crew, his crew. Instead, he studied the structure from the shore. A beautiful home, former home, with an enclosed porch. One he could imagine living in, if it was farther from the water. At least far enough it would never get swept up and taken into gaping, consuming, drowning level water.

He had been told often that you could also drown in only a tablespoon of water, but the thought was so ridiculous, he brushed it off easily. As long as his feet touched something firm and his head was in the air where he could breathe, he was fine with water. He could wander the shoreline up to his waist, even up to his shoulders. And he could swim if he knew he could stand up and touch bottom. His parents had tried to get him out farther but panic always ensued and his father had to pull him back in. It frustrated the hell out of him, made him feel weak and ridiculous.

Dread knotted his stomach when his Indiana crew decided to come to the east coast to help with cleanup from Hurricane Sandy. Work was slow in his area. The idea of helping with cleanup sounded right. But ... the ocean.

Eli had never in his life been to the ocean and he hadn’t wanted to come, although he wanted to help. He wanted to work. He always wanted to work. Even when he was no more than ten years old, his greatest pleasure had been going to work with his father, mixing mortar and learning to apply it neatly and carefully. The praise he got for a job well done stirred his soul. Construction was in his blood. It was his life.

This... A shudder consumed him as he stared out at the vast blue green brown of Barnegat Bay, New Jersey. This was a whole hell of a lot of water. Unpredictable water. Life taking water.

An irony, he knew, even as he thought it. Water was the ultimate survival need. But like anything, too much of a good thing was still ... deadly dangerous.

A light chill in the wind echoed his chilled soul. Wet air. Indiana had its share of humidity, but it was nothing like this cool wet air that reeked of ... fish, he supposed. Seaweed. Dead things rotting. He’d always enjoyed fish dinners, particularly those deep fried all you can eat fish dinners presented by his local fire hall as a fundraiser. Now, after seeing the dead and rotting fish carcasses strewn along the beach, Eli wasn’t sure he could ever eat another fish.

A shame that would be. He enjoyed helping the fire hall. He always found a few people to take with him who hadn’t been and they often went back in following years and gave him a big thumbs up when they saw him there with a new group.

Possibly, once he got away from the shore and back home, he could let the current images go. He was good at letting go.

With a sigh, he headed back to the base. Maybe he could make himself go on out where he should have been.

Something under his foot threw his balance and, unable to let himself see that he stepped on something he didn’t want to even look at, he shoved it away with his steel-toed boot. It was hard enough to walk in the damp shifting sand in heavy boots. He didn’t need anything adding to...

“Hey, careful.”

Eli turned and found a girl with a messy wind-blown pony tail wearing jeans and a sweatshirt, both too big for her, coming at him. Not at him. At whatever he’d kicked away. She squatted to pick the thing up with gloved hands and examined it.

He couldn’t help his curiosity. “What is that?”

“A sea star.”

“Sea star? Is that like a falling star? Meteorite or something? Is it valuable?”

Brownish-green eyes met his. “It’s a starfish.”

“Now that I know. Why didn’t you just say that?”

“I used its real name. It’s not actually a fish. And yes, it’s valuable.”

“Okay. Did I hurt it?”

“It’s missing a leg. I don’t think you did it.” She crept over to where water lapped up against her old black galoshes and set the thing back in the ocean, then stood watching it.

Eli moved closer but not close enough to get water in his boots. “If it’s valuable, why are you letting it go?”

She glanced up at him as though he’d said two plus two equaled green. “It’s only valuable in the ocean, alive. Not if it’s dead.” Apparently satisfied the thing was happy and alive, she straightened and walked away.

Her attitude annoyed him. A tree hugger, he supposed. More concerned about animals than people. He could understand to a point, but to him, turning against your own kind was ... well, unforgivable. Maybe he was wrong. Maybe he wasn’t. He’d done his share of helping critters out of places they shouldn’t have been and driving them, in the cage he kept in his truck, out to a wooded area and letting them go. But if it came to a choice between human and animal, he wouldn’t think twice.

He supposed he liked people more than other people liked people. And he understood that at times, too. Lots of people just weren’t all that likeable.

Curious despite his annoyance, Eli followed. She glanced back. Probably scaring her, he figured, since she was alone and not many people were on the storm-littered beach so early in spring. “Hey, you said it’s missing a leg. Will it live that way or is it going to bleed to death out there?”

“They don’t have blood.” She kept walking.

“Serious? Okay look at me like I’m a moron again, but this is my first time to the ocean. I don’t know jack shit about sea critters other than fish, actual fish that live in freshwater ponds. I have friends who have starfish and sand dollars in their vacation collections, but that’s the extent of my knowledge.”

She stopped. “That’s cruel. It’s kills them, you know, to take them out of the water. That sea star can re-grow its leg and be fine but only if it stays in the ocean. It dies if you take it out.”

“Everyone takes them home if they find them, don’t they?”

“Not everyone.” She turned back and walked away faster.

He caught up. “I haven’t done it. Don’t get mad at me.” When she didn’t answer, he stopped and let her go on her way. Freaky girl. Not a girl, exactly. She had to be close to his age and he was pushing forty pretty damn fast. He didn’t have that much need to know more about starfish. What did it matter? He didn’t plan to take one home.

Cruel? Dead sea life was scattered along the beach. People hadn’t done it. Nature did it. A huge storm. It killed people, too. Eli had to wonder if she cared about that at all.

Shrugging it off, he headed back to work.

Hopping up on the scaffolding, he clipped a safety harness around his thighs and hips and headed up. Eli didn’t mind up. Up was fine with him. He had the harness. He had his well-toned muscles and strong hands. He had good common sense and quick thinking. And he loved the view from the air, higher than most would go. He often thought the biggest reason men joined construction, high rise construction anyway, was because they could, and would. And they were adrenaline junkies, he supposed.
~~ ~~ ~~   ~~ ~~ ~~

SL-cover-100p-5in When her sister loses her house to Hurricane Sandy, Delaney Griffin welcomes the family into her home. Months later, with five noisy kids and an overbearing brother-in-law threatening her sanity, Delaney spends much of her free time at the wildlife refuge, which also works as her refuge. Still, the lack of privacy, along with space to dance, her only passionate release, causes her debilitating social anxiety to escalate.

Eli Forrester has come from small town Indiana to Barnegat, New Jersey with his company to help restore the coast. A high rise worker who loves new people and new places, he fears nothing, except water. When he accidentally kicks one of the sea critters Delaney is trying to help rescue, he is drawn to the quiet New Jersey girl. Unwilling to take her cues to leave her alone, Eli is alternately put off and turned on by her odd behavior.

Under shadow of devastation, fear, and forced separation, Delaney and Eli search for their own rescue light.
~~ ~~ ~~

Shadowed Lights
Ella M. Kaye
75K words/ 175 pgs
$2.99 available at most ebook retailers
(see Books page for links)

~~ ~~

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Introducing Front Porch Romance author Elle Marlow

Please help me welcome Front Porch Romance author Elle Marlow. I’m glad to host her here this weekend and to be part of her Valentine’s Giveaway package. Be sure to join the giveaway at the end of the post. Pier Lights is included!

~Lights in the dark~

Interesting topic to dive into. I think I will use an example from Pour Me to approach my take on this.

Sometimes, in our darkest hour, all we need is the comfort of someone we love to carry us through.

Laying Carly back on her pillow, Cade began to remove his boots, take off his belt and shirt. He then settled himself next to her on the bed. Reaching out, he gathered her up in his arms. She awoke slightly, but it was enough for her to begin another round of hard racking sobs. In all his life, Cade never knew so much utter despair and helplessness.

It was well past midnight when she realized she was nestled safe in the arms of Cade McCormick. Her first reaction was to wake him. But the sight of him sound asleep captured her attention. She found herself gazing upon him, tracing every curve, every line that formed his face. Feeling her heart race, Carly also experienced fear. Fear of the unknown. Where is this going?


The Gambler’s Passion:

Beautiful Arizona Summers is determined to fulfill her mother's dying wish and realize her dreams-even if it means dancing at Bare Backed Belles, cheating at high stakes poker or running from a spray of bullets with a man she's given her innocence to. She'd do it all and over again to find love and keep her promise.

Jace Forrester gets a thrill out of living a double life. Preacher's son by day, card hustler by night. Always after the big win, he can't resist Arizona's ultimate challenge. He may lose more than he bargain for-his heart.


“Damn you’re beautiful, even in the morning,” he observed huskily. He watched as she blushed slightly. “You came with food. I love you,” she teased. He placed the tray on a table under the window, then he gazed at her seriously. “That might be nice to hear from you on a daily basis,” he whispered.

“Do you think it’s wise for you to be in my hotel room so early in the morning? People are going to talk, and what if they figure out our game?” she asked, as she reached for a cup of tea. He caught her by the arm then, and pulled her to him. “At this point, I’m not sure I care anymore, Arizona.”

He inhaled her scent. She smelled like sweet lavender and warm linen from her bed.

Buy Links:



All Romance:

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Pour Me by Elle MarlowPour Me:

Wanted: One Cowgirl Mommy

That was the ad right next to the bartending one. Carly wasn't sure she was prepared for either, but she was heading back to Arizona regardless. Running from her past and hopefully to a brighter future, Carly couldn't predict that all three would collide and force her to face her demons. And sexy cowboy, Cade McCormick would be to blame for all of it.

Cade had to be careful about the women involved in little Danni's life. A cowgirl was on the bottom of his list! But time has a way of changing hearts and minds roping the past together. Is his new bartender really the woman he thought he lost years ago? Did little Danni really place an ad to find her?

Excerpt 1:

Cade moaned and tightened his grip on her. She melted into him, savoring the passion unlike anything she had ever experienced in her past. Her body was on fire and just burned hotter as the minutes passed. When Cade pulled away, she almost fell into him.

His hands gripped her and steadied her on her feet, as he looked down on her with a heavy expression.

“I guess I overstepped the lines again. I keep losing my mind around you, Carly Stevens.

Excerpt 2:

“Sit down and eat breakfast,” Waylon ordered. Carly groaned, pushed a wild strand of blonde hair out of her face and sat at the table. He looked at her carefully.

“Who put a burr under your saddle?”

“After you left the Pass, all hell broke loose,” she mumbled, reaching for her coffee. Waylon chuckled then started coughing.

“What did Cade McCormick do this time? Pull your hair or smash manure down your shirt?” He continued to laugh as he sat an enormous amount of eggs and grits on a plate and place it in front of her.

“Christ, you’re gonna make me fat and kill me with all this food,” she exclaimed.

“It hasn’t killed you all these years, I think you’ll live,” he reminded her with a shake of a spatula. “So answer my question. What did Cade do?” he asked as he turned back to the stove.

“He kissed me. And not the nice, brotherly kind of kiss, the man practically tasted my liver with his tongue.”

She noticed Waylon didn’t turn around.

Really? Well, it seems like that boy has some new tricks up his sleeves.”

Carly squinted. “What do you mean, and aren’t you shocked?”


“Why not?”

“’Cos that kid has had it bad for you since he first laid eyes on you, thirty five years ago.” Carly had food stuck in her throat and she wasn’t sure she was going to be able to swallow it down or just choke it up.

“Wha-a-t-t?” she finally managed.

“Hell, you got on his nerves all right, but he was always lookin’ out for you, always sneaking peeks at you. I thought you knew.”

Carly’s words came out in a hoarse whisper. “No.” Then as if struck by lightning, Carly sat straight up and waved a fork at Waylon.

“This was your idea! This whole trip to Arizona, you found the ad, you told me about it, and you convinced me! You knew!”

Buy Links:




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Happy Valentine’s Day from author Elle Marlow
and Front Porch Romance.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Social Anxiety is…

Blue Lights in the DarkA hidden, menacing creature sticks its many-layered tentacles through sinew and tissue and bones and blood, gripping fast without warning, without reason, without caring about the outcome: the racing heart and palpitations, the hot red cheeks, the stress sweat oozing from places that shouldn’t sweat…

Social Anxiety Disorder is real. It’s vivid. It’s more widespread than most of us have any idea. And it’s terrifying and confusing. It’s severely misunderstood, even by those who suffer through it every day of their lives.

There is hope, though. As most things, it can be managed.

First, it has to be unhidden.

~~ ~~
He stepped closer. “Tell me what you’re thinking.”

“Too much to possibly... I don’t have near enough words, or the right words, to possibly explain... Eli, I...” She touched his face. And she tried to speak but faltered.

“Yeah. Me too.”

Her expression changed to add curiosity.

“Del, I have never in my life even half thought I’d remotely consider leaving home, for good, that I could leave my family. Never. For anyone. And I still...”

“You don’t plan to.”

“No, but... I don’t know. Would you?”

“Maybe. If it ever came to that. It would have to be worth it, though. Moving... I have trouble just packing for weekend trips. It would be hard...”

“On your nerves.”

She nodded, searching his eyes for his reaction.

Eli lowered his face, brushed his nose against hers, lingered, taking her in, letting her decide... And she closed the distance, teasing his lips for what felt like the longest time with a soft hand on his chest, again under his jacket, under his flannel shirt. After a long soft kiss, he moved his lips to her ear. I would sure as hell try to make it worth it for you. He didn’t say it aloud. Too soon. She was still too skittish. But too soon or not, he wanted to take her home. “So, do you know how to cast?”

“Of course. And I think whoever catches the biggest fish should make the other one clean them all.”

“You know how to gut and clean fish? Thought you were only in the rescuing business.”

“Rescue can mean a lot of things, Forrester.” She gave him a grin and strutted over to claim one of the poles. “All the things I know how to do might surprise you. One benefit of not wanting to ask others for help. You just learn to do it yourself. I’m good at a lot of things.”

[Excerpt from Shadowed Lights, coming February 2014 –unedited excerpt, do not copy]
~~ ~~ ~~

Dealing with someone with social anxiety disorder can be rough, since it is hard for anyone to understand. It takes a special person…

On Twitter? Follow the progress of Shadowed Lights and more bits of “Social Anxiety is…”
Ella M. Kaye on Twitter

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Shadowed Lights–Cover Reveal!

When her sister loses her house to Hurricane Sandy, Delaney Griffin welcomes the family into her home. Months later, with five noisy kids and an overbearing brother-in-law threatening her sanity, Delaney spends much of her free time at the wildlife refuge, which also works as her refuge. Still, the lack of privacy, along with space to dance, her only passionate release, causes her debilitating social anxiety to escalate.

Eli Forrester has come from small town Indiana to Barnegat, New Jersey with his company to help restore the coast. A high rise worker who loves new people and new places, he fears nothing, except water. When he accidentally kicks one of the sea critters Delaney is trying to help rescue, he is drawn to the quiet New Jersey girl. Unwilling to take her cues to leave her alone, Eli is alternately put off and turned on by her odd behavior.

Under shadow of devastation, fear, and forced separation, Delaney and Eli search for their own rescue light.


Expected Release Date: February 2014
Elucidate Publishing
[spicy contemporary, adult fiction]