I guess January is typically about goals and goal-setting, isn’t it? I’m sort of OCD about where I’m going, what I’m doing (today, tomorrow, next year…). I’m a Plotter with a capital— Well, you can see the capital right there. But the truth is, this past year has seen many of my goals stack up like a line whose leader stopped without warning…and honestly, that’s pretty much how I felt.
I won’t go into the whys. We all have our behind-the-scenes (and sometimes in-front-of-the-curtains and on-the-front-lawn) dramas, right? What really matters is that my 2014 goals weren’t met. My latest release, TEACH ME, the first in a brand-new Southern romantic suspense series, ended up coming out a month later than I’d originally planned. My next release, TRUST ME (book two, of course!), Will come out a month later than planned. (I’m seeing a pattern here.) The third book in the trilogy? Well, let’s not talk about it yet.
The point is, life obviously took me in a direction I totally hadn’t planned on, with goals and lessons I’d had no intention of learning or meeting when New Year’s Day 2014 made its debut. And yet, the goals I have met this year—launching a brand-new indie career, seeing my books in print, growing as an author and businesswoman and yes, mother and wife and friend—took me places I’m so thankful for. I saw my husband’s phenomenal support when things got rough. I learned to do things I didn’t think I was capable of. And best of all, I wrote books that blew MY mind, much less readers’ minds! That is a great year. All of those things I “planned,” those would’ve been great too, but the adventure of life is sometimes best when we go off-road, isn’t it?
Really, that’s what we as romance writers do in our stories as well. We take characters who (typically) know where they’re going and what they plan to accomplish, and we give them an unavoidable detour that comes with hard lessons and personal growth and, most importantly, the added benefit of taking them straight into love. How beautiful is that? And how much we could learn from the “imaginary friends” we get to hang out with every day. Because conflict is inevitable and life is hard, but love is healing and a future awaits us beyond the goals we accomplished (and even the ones we didn’t). Going into this bright New Year and writing down all of those bright, shiny new goals, I hope I remember that. Maybe the most important goal really isn’t to do this or that or the other thing, but to live and live fully. I think I’ll put that at the top of my list.
How about you? What did you accomplish last year that wasn’t part of your original plan? What do you hope to do this year that might be a little different than last?
A woman determined to heal…
Shy researcher Jess Kingston spent the last eight weeks recovering from her ex-boyfriend’s brutal attack. Body healed, she’s ready to put her life back together—except her ex isn’t ready to let go. She won’t cower in a corner while Brit tortures her, but she’s powerless to fight back.
A man determined to resist…
Ex-military security specialist Conlan James avoids commitment like the plague. His job, his Harley, and the occasional one-night stand are all he needs, until the day he rescues Jess from a tense situation and realizes he can’t get her off his mind. He can teach her to protect herself, but protecting his heart is another matter.
A madman determined to win…
As the deadly game of cat-and-mouse with Brit heats up, so does the hunger between Con and Jess. Safety might be found in numbers, but in bed, all bets are off—and the wrong move could lead to heartbreak. Or death.
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Ella grew up in the Deep South, where books provided adventures, friends, and her first taste of romance. Now she writes her own romantic adventures, with plenty of hot alpha men and the women who love and challenge them. With a day job, a husband, two active teenagers, and two not so active cats, Ella is always busy, but getting the voices in her head down on paper is a top priority. Connect with Ella at www.ellasheridanauthor.com .
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