Monday, 7 April 2014

Book titles, serious research, and getting hitched

So many exciting things to update you about! Since my last post, life has been pretty exciting around Darkins HQ.

First up, news on my first book with Mills and Boon. Avid readers of the blog might know it as 'Food Glorious Food', as 'Will and Maya', or, because I'm lazy and madly in love with my heroine -- usually, just good old 'Maya'. But the wonderful folks at Mills and Boon have put their heads together and come up with the beautiful, swoon-worthy title: Frozen Heart, Melting Kiss. Needless to say, I LOVE it. This will be hitting bookshelves (real and virtual) from September 2014, so watch this space for more details.

In other news, they have also just okayed my proposal for my second book, currently untitled, but known around these parts as 'Beach Bum'. I have some serious research to do now, scouring interior design mags for coastal cottage ideas (VITAL to the story), checking out beautiful seascapes, and with any luck a trip to the beach to smell the sea air, listen to the seagulls and taste the fish and chips. Life as a romance novelist -- it's torture all the way ...

And as if that wasn't enough excitement, I lived out my very own HEA last month and tied the knot with my long-suffering boyfriend. I now feel well qualified to rule that married life is pretty bloody wonderful, and intend to introduce as many characters as possible to the institution.

All in all, 2014's proving to be a pretty spectacular year, and we're only in April. Can hardly wait to see how the rest of it pans out!

Much love

Ellie
xxxx

P.S. Will you forgive the blatant self-promotion if I point out this fantastic 5* review of Hiding from Hollywood by Coffee Time Romance? You will? Well, thank you very much! http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/BookReviews/hidingfromhollywoodbyelliedarkins.html#.U0J2-ag7t8E

Friday, 7 February 2014

More amazing news

It seems like 2014 is the year for Incredibly Exciting Events, and I have one more item to add to the agenda ...

Yesterday I received a call from Mills & Boon offering me a contract for my next book .... and the one after that too!

I'd spent the last few days with half an eye on my inbox after sending through a revised manuscript to the editor at Mills & Boon, but I was actually feeling pretty relaxed about it. After going through several rounds of feedback and revisions I was really happy with  my story, knew that the editors were enthusiastic, and that I couldn't have worked harder on it. So when I received an email from my editor asking if I was free for a phone call, I was quietly confident.

I tried to stay calm, reminded myself of the questions I'd want to ask about contracts and deadlines and schedules -- if the news was good -- and waited for the phone to ring. But as soon as the words 'two-book deal' were mentioned all pretence at cool flew out the window! I pretty much gushed for the rest of the call -- but at least had the presence of mind to put a bottle of champagne in the fridge!

I'm (obviously!) absolutely overjoyed at this news, and can't wait to share Will and Maya's story with you all. Publication's scheduled for September 2014 and I'll keep you posted with everything that happens between now and then. In the meantime, I owe an enormous THANK YOU to Alexia Adams, my long-suffering critique partner, and Flo Nicoll, editor extraordinaire at Mills and Boon, both of whom saw the potential in Will and Maya's story, and helped me pull it into shape. And to my family and friends who read drafts and delivered tea, food, mince pies and wine when I was bashing away at the laptop -- THANK YOU!

Now I guess it's time to get back to my notebooks and keep scribbling!

Ellie
x

Monday, 3 February 2014

The Warehouse Part 3 FREE STORY

Have you been wondering what happened to those poor chaps we left handcuffed together in a warehouse? Read on for Part 3 of The Warehouse ... (or catch up with Part 1 and Part 2)

The Warehouse
Part 3
'Help or ... not help,' she wondered out loud. Just then she heard the screech of tyres as the car took a corner too fast.

'I'm going to go out on a limb and say "Not help."’

‘Right, well then, let’s…’ She pushed back against him and shuffled her feet beneath her. ‘Stand on three. One. Two…’ On three they stood, still back to back, and the cuffs pulled up her wrists. It was bad enough that she was handcuffed to her ex. That he was a good foot taller than her added another dimension to her pain.

‘We could try and run,’ he offered, hesitantly.

‘We could. We’d fall flat on our faces and likely be killed. But we could try.’

He snorted. ‘Right. And sarcasm’s got a much better chance of getting us out of here.’

The tyres screeched again, closer this time, and the heavy thrum of the engine told her they didn’t have time to waste.

‘We could hide,’ she suggested.

‘I don’t know about you but I can’t see a thing. We’ve got no idea where we could hide, what they’ll be able to see when they get here.’

‘Then we’ve got no choice. We have to face them.’

She kept her voice steady and hard as she said the words, as she acknowledged the truth of them, her heart sped slightly, and she felt a prickle of adrenaline under her skin. Behind her, his fingers twisted until they were touching hers, and she resisted the temptation to take comfort from that. She couldn’t go there, not again. If she could only get through this by relying on him, then she wasn’t sure that she wanted to.

He’d proved before that she couldn’t trust him; that the support and comfort he was offering now could – and likely would – be whipped away in an instant. The second it got hard, or scary, or awkward he’d be gone.

Again.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

The Warehouse Part 2 FREE STORY

It's time for Part 2 of The Warehouse, this time coming to you direct from the pen of Miss Iona V Andrew!

Follow the link if you need to catch up with what happened in Part 1.

The Warehouse
Part 2

'I'm not sure it really matters at this point. We always knew they had resources. I guess we just didn't figure they'd be this good.' 
She tried to peer into the gloom of the warehouse, desperate for any indication of what was out there. She could see the bare concrete floor extend into the darkness, two more sets of girders either side of them about 20 metres away. Above them the roof was too far to make anything out. No windows either, all she could sense was the huge space around them. Empty except for her, and her companion. She'd been trying not to let the cold get to her but the shivering was becoming harder to stop. Under her bare feet the concrete floor sucked all the warmth out of her body.she let out another sigh and watched her breath form a cloud in front of her. The anger was starting to give way to fear. It didn't matter how they got there or whose fault it was. All that mattered was how they were going to get out, before they both froze to death. 
'I can't stand much more of this. I'm cold, and I don't think I'm going to be able to stay awake much longer.' her voice had lost all the heat of her earlier rage. She sounded scared. She felt him tug on the handcuffs, trying to turn to see her. 
'Just hang on, they can't mean to leave us here to die. They would have just killed us before.'
She scoffed at his attempts to comfort her, but no sooner did the sound of her short laugh disappear into the silence of the warehouse than it was replaced with the sound of a distant car engine. 
Distant, but getting closer.

Feeling chilly yet?! Look out for Part 3 - coming soon!
Ellie and Iona
xxx

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Something a little bit different ... FREE STORY

A couple of months ago my best friend (the brilliant @ionavandrew) and I decided to see what would happen if we wrote a story together, passing a few hundred words at a time back and forth.

Iona writes gritty crime procedurals, I write people falling in love, so we handcuffed a couple together, chucked them into a warehouse and waited to see what happened!

Here's part 1 of 'The Warehouse' (from Ellie)...

The Warehouse
Part 1
She tugged against the cuffs and winced as the cold metal bit into her skin.

'Would you stop that?'
She directed an exasperated sigh at the voice behind her. 'And do you have a better idea for getting us out of here?'
A telling silence.
'No? Well good. Let's leave the ideas to me, shall we? Because the last brilliant thought you had got us here --' shackled back to back in an abandoned warehouse, with no food, no drink, and no hope of rescue. Bloody brilliant. She pulled harder at the cuffs, deliberately this time, pulling until they were tight against her skin.
'You've made your point.' This time the voice was thin, defeated. 'And I am sorry. I never imagined this would happen.' She leant her head back against the girder and let out a long sigh. How could he have imagined this. Before the moment that she was bundled into a van, a bag pulled over her head, her hands tied behind her back, she wouldn't have believed that this, that anything like this, actually happened in real life.
The rational part of her brain knew that it wasn't his fault. That the only people who really carried the blame for kidnapping her were the people who had kidnapped her. but she'd been angry with him for so long that it seemed more natural to be pissed at him than not.
'How do you think they found us?'

We'd love to know what you think! Part 2 (from Iona) will follow very soon :)

Ellie and Iona
x

Update: click here for Part 2

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Should All Romance Novels End with a Marriage Proposal?

I'm blogging today at my publisher's website - head over to -http://www.crimsonromance.com/featured/should-all-romance-novels-end-with-a-marriage-proposal/#sthash.EpRMuaTW.dpuf to check it out and leave me a comment!

Ellie x

Monday, 13 January 2014

It's here!

I can't tell you how excited I am to be able to finally announce ... HIDING FROM HOLLYWOOD is HERE!

The run up to today has been a combination of ridiculous excitement and sweaty-palmed nerves as I've gradually realised that those lovely, not so lovely and downright horrid folks who have existed in my brain (and the brains of a few trusted friends!) until now are going to be unleashed on the world.

I've loved spent the last two years with Abby and Ethan, working out who they are, making them fall in love, making them laugh, cry and *ahem* well, you know. I never believed when I was writing this story week after week, word after word, that one day I'd get to share it with the world but thanks to the brilliant folks at Crimson they're here! I hope you enjoy getting to know them just as much as I have.

The book landed on virtual bookshelves this morning, and hopefully those of you who preordered will have your copies sitting waiting on the ereader of your choice :) If you've not picked up a copy yet, it's available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.ukiTunes, and Google Play and other ebook sites. If you've read the book, I'd love to hear what you think of it - leave me a review on Amazon or Goodreads or contact me directly on Facebook, Twitter or by email. If you're a blogger or book reviewer and want a review copy of the book then drop me a line at elliedarkins@gmail.com.

Ellie
x