The Prologue for Renegade Saints Book 2- TWIST OF FATE

twistoffate

Happy New Year everyone!! I thought I’d give you amazing and beautiful ladies a taste of what’s coming in 2014.  This is the prologue for Twist of Fate.  it’s from my unedited manuscript, so certain things are subject to change.  Read on!

 

Prologue

 

Gone.  Dead.

The two worst four-letter words of all.  When someone you love so much chooses to leave you, what’s left?  Right now all I can feel is the hole inside of me, a big empty space that was reserved for Marissa for years.  Now she’s gone… dead.  Forever.  No take-backs,  do-overs, or second chances.

 

I haven’t slept for more than an hour or so at a time in over two weeks and it’s a struggle to move, much less go on.  I can’t stop wondering what her last thoughts were as she stepped in front of the bus that killed her.  According to the witnesses, she had absolutely no hesitation.  They say she was calm and smiling when she took her final action and that angers me.  Didn’t she care what she was leaving behind?  Didn’t she realize that the bus wasn’t just hitting her, it was hitting us all?

 

I wonder what the point of loving anyone is.  Why give someone so much power over you that losing them kills a part of you?  I fear that the parts of me that she took were the best parts; the things that I needed most in order to survive.  What’s left of me?

 

 

***

 

Several Months Later

 

You know what the best thing about going out every night and getting loose is?  The fact that I’m not genuinely attached to any of the new friends I’ve made and they sure as hell don’t really care about me.  It’s easier this way; less messy.

 

You know what’s even better about these new friends of mine?  The drugs they get.  Ecstasy, cocaine, Percocet, Klonopin… all the good things that make the pain go away.  Just a little bit to take the edge off is all that I need.  I know that there’s a line that I don’t want to cross, mostly because I don’t want my brother to worry about me enough to put me in rehab.  He’s already up my ass about my social life and the guys that I’ve been ‘dating’; he’d blow a fuse if he realized that I was taking drugs.

 

For my entire life I’ve always been that quiet, casual girl who didn’t get loud and never cut loose.  Now I’m free to do whatever I want, damn the repercussions.  The best things in life are exactly what you’d think they would be; sex, drugs and rock n’ roll.

 

Tonight I’m out with Jason, my sort-of-date and we’re at a club in Hollywood seeing some band that he swears will be the next big thing.  I wish that I could tell you that we’re great together in bed but I’d be lying.  We never touch each other at all unless we’re on X, so it’s not like this is some great passion.

 

The band on stage was just okay, definitely not the next best thing, and I giggled to myself when I realized that Jason must’ve been high as shit when he heard these guys the first time.  Swaying back and forth, I rocked to the beat in order to keep myself awake.  Whether due to whatever pills Jason had given me, the two tequila sunrises, 3 tequila shots  or the joint I’d smoked in the bathroom, I was downright exhausted and I stumbled as I hit the person next to me, again.  I was having more and more problems staying upright but I felt so good that I didn’t care.  When I got jostled by someone behind me, I couldn’t keep my balance anymore.

 

I laughed hysterically as I fell on my ass, then laughed harder when a strong set of arms lifted me up and started carrying me through the crowd.  This guy was hot and he looked familiar.

 

The faces of the people around me went by in a blur as I pointed at them and said, “Wheeeeeeeee.”  Keeping my head up was getting to be too much effort and I let out a chuckle as my neck gave up on the job and flopped back.  We were in a hallway now, away from the crowd and I had no idea where he was taking me.

 

From this angle, I could see that the guy carrying me was wearing a hat with a big S on it, and suddenly I clued in as to who he was.  “S. Ha ha. You’re Superman.  Where’s your web?  Do you live in a bat cave?”

 

Superman wasn’t happy with me, not one little bit.  Kicking open a door, he tossed me down onto a couch.  He seemed like he was one hundred feet tall as he stood next to the couch and glared down at me.  My pulse picked up speed when I realized that angry Superman was crazy fucking sexy.  Just looking at him made my mouth dry and my panties wet, and I wondered if he would be having his way with me on the couch.

 

Glaring down at me he snapped, “What the fuck is wrong with you?”

 

“Whaddya mean waz wrong with me?  Waz wrong with you, Superman?  Why you no smile at me?  You’re perrrtyy.”

 

“What did you take?”

 

Ah, he was wondering what kind of drugs I would do.  I liked this.  Maybe he had more and he wanted to share.  “Coke, ecstasy, pot, Percocet, Kl-klon-klono-something, Valiummmmm, hash and one time I did ‘shrooms.  They weren’t good.”

 

“Jesus Christ!  You’re on all that shit right now?  Fuck, I have to get you to a hospital!  You need your stomach pumped.”

 

I giggled at him, pointing at his oh so serious face.  “Nooooo silllllly, those are the drugs I’ve done in the last few monthsssss.  I don’t need to be pumped.  At leas’ not the way that youuuuu think.  You’re hottt, Superman.  Wanna get nakkkkeddd and have funnn?”

 

Now he didn’t just look annoyed, he looked livid.  “Have a little fucking dignity, honey.  Just because I’m famous doesn’t mean that I’ll fuck every drunken bitch that throws herself at me.”

 

I nodded solemly before I burst out into giggles again.  “Of coursssseee! Superman would get a lot of assss, duh!  But wait… you’ve got Lucccccy.  Lucy Lane!  Is you cheatin’ on Lucccy?  You’re not so super after all,” I slurred.  “You’s a cheater.”

For some reason that struck me as being hysterically funny, and I laughed so hard that I couldn’t catch my breath.  The next thing I knew I was choking on vomit and Superman had to sit me up so that I could get the puke out.  That wasn’t so funny and I cried a little as I showered us both with an insane amount of tequila flavored vomit.  It seemed to go on forever and when it was finally over, I was being carried by Superman again.  I heard him snapping off orders to someone, something about security, my purse, and making sure there were no cameras.

 

Somehow he got me into the passenger seat of his car, and right then I felt really, really bad for him because the car was ridiculously expensive and I was covered in vomit.  Laying my head against the glass of the passenger window, I tried to get my wits about me.  I could feel myself coming down and it felt awful, worse than ever before.  When we pulled up next to a city bus, I burst into tears.  Great body racking sobs tore through me as I wondered if that was the bus that had taken Marissa’s life.

 

Poor Superman must’ve felt like he was riding with a crazy person, and I could tell that he was a little freaked out when he asked me why I was crying.

 

“Dead.  Gone.  She’s gone,” I cried.  “She just… she stepped out in front of a bus.  I don’t know how to live without her.”

 

It was exhausting to think about, and I cried my eyes out against the passenger window of his car until I had no tears left and everything faded to black.

 

I woke up feeling like absolute death, and when I opened my eyes, I pretty much expected to see the grim reaper standing over me.  Instead, I found myself staring at a beige colored wall in a bedroom that I’d never been in before.

 

Memories of the previous night assailed me.  They were all pretty hazy, but I definitely remembered vomiting, crying and making a fool out of myself.  The guy that I now realized was not Superman had brought me back to his house and given me an enormous white t-shirt to change into.  The last thing I remember is him making me drink some water before he tucked me into bed and told me that he was going to put my clothes in the laundry.

 

Sitting up, I found that he was asleep across the bottom of the bed on top of the covers.  Clearly, he’d stayed with me to make sure that I was really okay and that surprised me.  He’d been so pissed off at me when we were at the club, I couldn’t believe that he hadn’t walked away without a backwards glance once I started hosing him down in vomit.

 

He must’ve felt me moving because I was only staring at him for a minute or so when he woke up.  Sitting up, he rubbed his hand across his face for a minute before he looked at me.  When he spoke, he had a gravelly sexy morning man voice that made me want to jump on top of him.

 

“How do you feel this morning?”

 

There was really only one answer to that question.  “Stupid.”

 

“That’s an understatement.  The question is; did you learn anything from it?”

 

I hesitated to answer that because in truth, I wasn’t sure.  Had I?  Probably not.  In lieu of a real answer, I shrugged my shoulders.

 

Getting up from the bed, he stalked out of the room without a word.  A few minutes later he came back and tossed my now clean and vomit free clothes onto the bed.  “Here’s your shit.  It’s time for you to go.”

 

My jaw dropped in shock.  He’d taken care of me all night and now he was tossing me out on my ass?  Clearly, I’d overstayed my welcome.  Nodding my head I mumbled, “Okay.”

 

He turned to leave again before stopping at the door and pivoting to face me again.

 

“Does anyone love or care about you?”

 

I couldn’t see what business that was of his, but I figured that I owed him an answer considering the fact that he’d saved me from choking to death on puke and then never said a word about the fact that I got sick all over him.

 

“My brother and my best friend.”

 

He stared at me with such intensity that I felt as if he could not only read my mind, somehow he knew every single thing there was to know about me.  “Then my suggestion is that you take a break from your pity party and think about your brother and your best friend the next time you get so fucked up that you can’t walk. Then take that one step farther and remember how you felt when your friend walked in front of a bus and left you behind.  Guess what?  That’s exactly how your brother and your best friend are going to feel about you if you don’t get your shit together.  I don’t know if you’ve always been a quitter, but if you’ve got any fight in you, now’s the time to access it.”

 

He didn’t even give me time to formulate a response.  One second he was staring at me, the next he had turned and was out the door.  I walked to the bathroom in a complete fog and then I spent the next forty-five minutes sitting in his shower, crying.  Mr. Intensity was right; I was perilously close to doing myself some real harm that, in turn, would cause Dillon and Minnie pain.

 

After I finished showering, I quickly got dressed.  I breathed a sigh of relief when I found my purse sitting on the dresser in the room, and I knew that I had one more thing to thank my anonymous savior for.

 

When I left the bedroom and went downstairs I was greeted by a guy who introduced himself as, “Mr. Wilde’s personal assistant.”  He told me that he’d been instructed to see me home and I was more than grateful to get out of the house without having to see Mr. Intensity again.

 

The drive to my apartment passed in total silence, and it gave me plenty of time to remember what ‘Superman’ had said the night before about being famous.  Before I got out of the car, I asked the assistant who, exactly, Mr. Wilde was.  The look on his face was priceless.

 

“Gavin Wilde.  He’s the drummer for the Renegade Saints.  You didn’t recognize him?”

 

***

 

Mr. Intensity saved my life that night, no doubt about it.  I’m thankful that I never heard from or saw him again because that would be too mortifying.  Still, what he said to me about being a quitter had resonated deep within me.  After my adoptive parents died and we were told by their family members that they weren’t interested in taking custody of us because we weren’t ‘really family’,  my brother had held my hand tight while I cried and said one thing to me over and over:  “Cooper kids don’t quit.”

 

More than anything else, Gavin calling me a quitter woke my ass up.

 

***

 

 

They say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.  Whoever says that with a straight face should be bitch-slapped.  Lifting weights makes you stronger.  Drinking milk makes you stronger. Being beaten to a pulp and then raped by someone that I chose to date?  Surprise, surprise… THAT isn’t making me any stronger.  I am weak, ashamed, tired and lost without a map.

I can’t stand to look at myself in the mirror because my eyes mock me.  Yes, the man that I was dating is responsible for raping me, but don’t I bear some responsibility?  Didn’t I ignore my inner voice as it screamed at me to get away from him?

 

I’m shuffling forward everyday, pretending to live, but inside, I am nothing.  I am gone.  I go on for two reasons: my brother, Dillon, and my best friend, Dominique.  They are all that I have left, all that I will ever have.  If it weren’t for them, I’d peace out without giving it a second thought.  But, for me, that isn’t a thought that I can really entertain.

 

Anytime I’ve thought of doing something drastic for even one second, I’ve heard Gavin in my head.

 

“Does anyone love or care about you?”

 

That question, and the answer to it, keeps me here.  The darkness is out there and sometimes it beckons, but I turn my back on that and remind myself that I am linked to two people that need me.  I know for certain that neither of them could or would survive it if I made that choice.  Dominique would see it as an invitation to follow, and Dillon wouldn’t be far behind.

 

No, quitting life entirely isn’t an option.  Not for me, not ever.  But living, really living?  That’s not on my agenda.  I am what I always promised myself that I wouldn’t be: a quitter.

 

I survived losing the parents that adopted Dillon and me, survived years in foster care, survived the loss of my best friend to suicide and survived a walk on the wild side that almost destroyed me.  But this… this was a knock-out punch.  I was down for the count, and there wasn’t going to be another round.

An Announcement

loife

 

Truer words have never been said.  Thanks John Lennon!

I have good news and bad news.  I’ll give you the bad news first.

I’ve been trying- REALLY TRYING- to write book 2 of the Renegade Saints series, “Sinfully Hot.”

Here’s the bottom line:  

I HATE IT.

I cannot and will not EVER put something out that I don’t stand behind 100%.  This story is fighting me tooth and nail, and no amount of pleading, begging or foot-stomping on my part is making it come to life.  I’ve decided to scrap the entire thing and start from scratch.  

Having said that, I can’t even look at Cole, Devon and Ian right now.  So, I’ve taken a deep breath and have stepped away from the story.  As I’m sure you’ve just guessed, Sinfully Hot now has a big question mark over it’s date of delivery.

Now for the GOOD news!!

Leah’s story is pouring out of me.  Originally Leah was intended to be book 3 of the Renegade Series.  I am swapping her story for Cole’s which means Leah will be book 2.  I am already well into writing it and y’all…. It. Is. HOT.  I mean break out a fire-extinguisher and keep a glass of ice cold water next to your reading device hot.   I am madly in love with Leah & her man and I know that you will be too!!

Believe me when I tell you that I didn’t want to do this.  I really, really, REALLY tried to make Cole & Co. talk to me but they aren’t and I can’t force a story that I’m not passionate about.  I’m thrilled (seriously, you have no idea!! I could do a jig in the street) that Leah is talking to me- loud and clear!! Can’t wait to give you all Renegade #2.

More updates to come.  Thank you all for your patience- I love you ladies!!!

Picture Perfect is now an Amazon Best Seller!

Fabulous news dear readers! PICTURE PERFECT is officially an Amazon Best Seller.

My humblest thanks and most sincere gratitude is offered to each and every one of you for making that happen.  These stories come from my heart, and I love sharing them with you.  Having said that, even five books into this process, I am STILL a nervous wreck every time I publish.  Many, MANY people in the world today seem to live to be negative, and it’s commonplace these days to see people securing their positions in the bully pulpit.  When a self-published author makes the decision to press publish, I don’t think it’s possible to overstate how daunting that process actually is.  We do what we do because of a passion that comes from a positive place- it would be nice if everyone who read our books understood that.  I’ve been very lucky thus far to have wonderful comments and really constructive feedback, but I’ve seen some of the hate directed at other self pubbed authors and it breaks my heart for them.

On a different subject, I want to tell you all how much I am enjoying the feedback about Flynn’s Twitter-loving Gram.  I lost my grandmother over a decade ago, but she was the inspiration for Sylvia Rand.  Like Sylvia, my grama was a double-entendre loving firecracker of a woman who lit up whatever room she was in.  She made borderline inappropriate jokes, loved to laugh and was many bubbles off plumb.  The relationship that Sylvia and Mason have is my love letter to my grandparents.  Married for fifty years, they were always affectionate with each other and they never fought.  Ever.  They bickered from time to time, but they never actually fought.  They were partners, parents and best friends, and they always put each other first.  They were frisky in the way that I describe Sylvia and Mason, and that caused a lot of eye-rolling from their children and grandchildren.  Growing up, they reminded me a lot of the funny grandparents in ‘Sixteen Candles’.  Totally off-color (my grandmother A LOT more than my grandfather) but freaking hilarious.

My grandmother would have LOVED to tell people that I was an erotic romance writer, a thought that makes me laugh whenever it crosses my mind.  Like I said in the dedication of Picture Perfect, I’ve got an unusual family!  I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

Thanks again to all of you for being the best readers that a writer could ever have.  When I say I love you, I mean it!

xoxo

~Ella

“Picture Perfect” is out!

RSEF

 

 

I’m beyond thrilled to announce that Picture Perfect is now available!

Flynn and Tessa’s story is the first in the Renegade Saint series, and I loved writing it.

Fans of my Hart Family series will be pleased to know that since Flynn is Dominique & Delilah’s brother, you’ll get to see a lot of The Harts in this book- and you’ll also get some hints and updates about what’s going on with the family.

Publishing a book is exhausting.  The nerves! Oh, THE NERVES!  I’m half comatose right now because I slept hardly a wink last night waiting for the book to go live on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BS3J7F2

 

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/274836

 

The book is also available on Smashwords.  I’m still waiting for it to go live on Barnes & Noble, but it should be there soon.

A writers work is never done, and I’m hard at work on Dillon’s story.

I hope you all enjoy Picture Perfect as much as I enjoyed writing it!

 

 

A taste of Flynn

Marcus-Schenkenberg-Body-Pictures-4

 

** This is a part of my working draft- it has not been edited and is subject to change **

The roar of the crowd as the lights went down in the stadium didn’t fill me with joy the way it used to, and that pissed me off .  Where had I gone wrong?

I took the stage in a rage, mad at the world, mad at our management, mad at my band, but mostly, mad at myself.  I wasn’t the man that I wanted to be, and I knew that if I kept going the way that I was, my life wasn’t going to be worth shit.

I was aggressive as I grabbed the mic, but I was phoning it in.  I was in no mood to sing and was giving myself a pass in advance because I knew this wasn’t going to be a good show.

All that changed about four minutes in when I looked down into the front row and locked onto a pair of beautiful chocolate brown eyes.  The chick was young, but so beautiful she made my chest hurt.  She was singing along and smiling, and that made me feel like shit.  She was there to rock,  but I was trying to phone in a shit show.

Something about her, I can’t be sure what, had me sick to my stomach at the thought of  letting her down.  She deserved better than whatever pathetic version of myself that I’d become.  I used to care about the fans and the experience, but for the last few years all I cared about was drinking, fucking and being an asshole.

Staring into those eyes, I pulled my shit together and gave two and a half hours of a performance that was easily my best in years.  I sang almost exclusively to her, needing to bask in whatever the connection between us was. 

Unfortunately, she didn’t get any older during the show.  When it was over, it was over.  My guitarist ribbed the fuck out of me as we left the stage after the encore, asking if I was going to give “jailbait” a backstage pass.  I wasn’t that big of an asshole, and I shook my head in the negative.  “Nah man that would be too fucked up, even for me.”

Grinning at me he asked, “Was that girl your fucking Priscilla or what?”

His yapping was giving me a headache, and I didn’t know what the fuck he was talking about.  “Dude, what does that even mean?”

“Come on Flynn!  Priscilla Presley.  You almost went all Elvis over a teenage girl.”

His words embarrassed me, mostly because they were true.  After telling him to fuck off, I got blackout drunk to forget the impossible connection I’d felt to a fucking teenager.

The next day I woke up feeling like shit again, only this time, I took stock of my situation and was honest with myself.  I knew I had to change the way I was living. I couldn’t remember why, but I knew I needed to do better, to be better.  I hadn’t always been like a drunken robotic dildo.  I wanted to be worthy.  Of what, I couldn’t say, but the certainty that I needed to be had overtaken me.

I didn’t remember shit from the night before, but my band was happy to fill me in once I asked why everyone was calling me Elvis.  Nothing they said sparked my memory.  I could just barely remember eyes the color of melting chocolate, but that was all.

The name Elvis stuck for about six months but even with all the ribbing, I never got my memory back of the night that changed the path I was on forever.

Work in progress

Hello all!  Hope that you’re all ready for a fun and fantastic Valentine’s Day tomorrow.

I’ll be hard at work on Flynn.  Originally I thought that Flynn’s story would be out by February 25, but I just can’t do it.  I will not release the story until it’s just so, and I’m not there yet.  I will have him out by March 10th at the latest (I factored in time for editing).

I’m also hard at work on Dillon’s story and it’s coming along great.  I’m moving his “delivery” date from March to very early April.  It turns out that writing two stories at the same time is HARD.  In the future, I will focus exclusively on one at a time.  It’s too difficult to choose which story to go to at any given time.

I hope that you’re all patient but still excited to meet Flynn and Dillon.  They’re GREAT guys, and I can’t wait for you all to “meet” them!

 

xoxox

Ella