Tuesday, August 11, 2015

He's unforgettable. He's untameable. And unbreakable. He's Hawke.

Meet Hawke.

When people ask me how I come up with so many ideas for stories, I really don't have an answer. I want to say, "They fall out of the sky and land in my head." I never say that because it's unbelievable.

But it's the truth.

Hawke is a representation of a lot of things. Good, bad, evil, and darkness. He's not black, he exists in shades of gray. He's not a two dimensional character. He lives in three.

Shit, he lives in four.

I wanted to write a love story similar to ones I've written before, but distinctly different. In my experience, relationships aren't easy. They require work. And when one partner wants to give up, you're in danger. But when both want to call it quits, it's over.

When Hawke meets Francesca (AKA Frankie), that innate connection forms. But when he realizes he can't have her, he walks away--somehow. But can he stay away from someone that resonates in a tune only he can identify? She beats to her own drum, but what happens when her drum is the exactly the same as his own?

Relationships are hard. You fight. You cry. You break up. You get back together.

But can you stay together?

These characters fight for one another, but will that be enough? Or will the darkness in each of their hearts keep them apart? Will this journey make them?

Or will it break them?

A lot of my stories are autobiographical, if you read between the lines. This one is particularly close to my heart. Sleeping in my bed one night, I jolted awake because the story came to me and I felt obligated to write it. While my husband moaned and told me to go back to bed, I grabbed my laptop and spent the rest of the evening writing about Hawke, a character I can't stop thinking about.

"Francesca, I'm the kind of man you hate."

"I don't believe you."

"You should."

I haven't gotten very far in the story, but I already know it's a piece of work I'm most proud of. I live in different worlds with different series all going at once, and sometimes I need a break. Not a break from writing, ironically. But a break from those universes.

And now Hawke is my new obsession.

I have a feeling he'll be yours too.

Someday
Publication Date: 02/14/2016

Until next time,

E. L. Todd

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Only For You (Book One of the Forever and Always Series)


1

Penelope sat across from me in the small café on Fifth Street, a petite coffee shop that had the best coffee I had ever tasted. Michael Buble’s voice sang in the background, and the soothing melody immediately reminded me of an elevator or an Olive Garden, since both places always played his tunes. Penelope drank from her coffee and said nothing for several moments as she organized her thoughts. I wasn’t sure why she asked me to meet her there, but it seemed important.
The dim lighting of the café complemented the dark strands of her hair that reached past her shoulder. The color of her locks reminded me of my own, except mine were a slightly lighter shade, and her skin tone was also similar to mine. She was wearing a dress I let her borrow, the one I bought on clearance at the mall, and it fit her just as well as it fit me. She and I were the same size and height, which was convenient when we wanted to borrow clothes from each other. Penelope was a beautiful woman who was also successful and intelligent. Every man’s dream, really. I wasn’t surprised that Sean was so infatuated with her. How could he not be? If I were a guy, I would want to get with her too, as odd as that sounds. I leaned back in my chair and waited for her to speak. The stilettos I was wearing were making my feet sore, but I ignored the discomfort. I had to wear them all day at work, so I knew I should disregard the pain. We exchanged a few pleasantries about our jobs and our new workout routine at the gym, but nothing of any importance. I could tell how nervous she was by the odd small talk. Normally, she and I were laughing together constantly, making jokes about things only she and I understood. That usual jolly banter was absent that day. Patiently, I waited for her to address the real reason why we were having that meeting—without Sean.
“Scarlet, let me start by saying this,” she said as she played with the ring on her right finger, a plain band with her initials carved into it. It was the ring Sean gave her months earlier. She fingered it with shaky hands. “Sean is a great guy—one of the best that I know. I care about him very much.”
I felt my heart race in my chest as I listened to her words. I had given break up speeches my whole life, death blows to the heart, and I recognized the message immediately—she was dumping Sean.
“He and I have just grown apart,” she said quietly. “I don’t see this going anywhere and—I’m leaving him.”
I stared at her for a moment. “What do you mean? Sean has already brought you to his family estate in Connecticut. He is completely committed to you in every way. How can you not see it going anywhere?” I tried to hide my anger, but I couldn’t help it. This was making so sense whatsoever.
“It’s difficult to explain. Our relationship—”
I held up my hand to her. “There is someone else, isn’t there?” She stopped caressing the ring on her hand and met my gaze. I could tell by the shape of her expanded eyes that my assumption was right—she was already with some other guy. “How long?” I asked.
She shrugged her shoulders. “A few months, maybe more,” she said.
I took a deep breath, controlling the anger coursing through my body. I hadn’t been in a fistfight since high school, but I definitely wanted to knock her out, right in the middle of the café. If she wanted to leave Sean, I couldn’t stop her. That was completely her decision, even though it’s absolutely idiotic, but to cheat on him and fuck some other guy was unforgivable. “Are you going to tell him?”
“I wasn’t planning on it,” she said simply.
“He has the right to know.”
“It will kill him, Scarlet. I am already breaking up with him. Is it really necessary to tell him I’m leaving him for another guy?” She tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and revealed the diamond earrings that Sean bought her for Christmas. The sight made me want to punch her again. Sean treated her like a goddess. I don’t understand why any woman would leave him. He was one of the most handsome men I had ever seen. He was also intelligent, fit, successful, and came from a wealthy family. Every girl wanted to jump his bones.
“Then why did you tell me?” I asked. “What makes you think I won’t tell him?”
“It doesn’t matter if you do,” she said. “That’s for you to decide.”
I looked down at my steaming chai tea latte, which I no longer wanted because of the overwhelming bile rising in my throat. It made me want to vomit. Sean was my best friend and I couldn’t believe she was doing that to him. I could only imagine how much it would crush him. We had been through break ups together before, but I knew this would be different. It would completely shatter him to pieces. I wasn’t looking forward to cleaning up the mess. “When are you going to do it?”
“Tonight.”
“Why are you telling me first?”
“You are his best friend, Scar. I know he’ll need you. Sean will be too upset to talk to you so I thought letting you know beforehand would make it easier on him.”
“How thoughtful of you,” I said sarcastically. I rolled my eyes at her then looked out the window. I knew Sean was at work, enjoying the beautiful summer day in Manhattan, completely oblivious to the death blow that was coming his way in a few hours. A few weeks earlier, Sean and I went to pick out an engagement ring. After hours of searching, he finally designed the custom ring that he deemed worthy of his future bride. He hadn’t even paid it off yet. I couldn’t hide the ferocity in my voice. “You are making a mistake, Penelope. Sean is a great guy—the best I’ve ever known. I can promise that you’ll regret this. Whoever this other guy is doesn’t compare to the man Sean is—not even by half.”
She nodded. “You’re probably right.”
“He is going to propose. I even picked out the ring with him.”
“Well, it’s a good thing I am doing this now then—before it’s too late.”
“It is too late, Penelope.”
Penelope said nothing for a moment. Her fingers returned to the ring on her right hand, fidgeting under my intense stare of hatred. I used to like Penelope, and not just because she was perfect, but because Sean loved her so completely. She made him happy—and now she was going to kill him. If there was anything that I could have done to stop it from happening, I would have. I knew Sean really loved Penelope. I mean, really loved her. Even though I hated her with every fiber of my being at that moment, I knew I needed to try to convince her to change her mind. Sean would never forgive a girlfriend for cheating on him, but for Penelope, he might make an exception. That’s how much he loved her.
“Why don’t you think it over for a while?” I asked. “You’ll regret it if you don’t.”
“No,” she said as she shook her head. “I love someone else.”
“And you don’t love Sean anymore?”
“Of course I do,” she said quickly. “I’m just not in love with him anymore.”
“What an original line,” I mocked.
Penelope sat there quietly for a few moments. The room suddenly became silent and Michael Buble’s voice disappeared on the sound system. I looked at Penelope and she looked at me, clearly uncomfortable sitting so close to me. It was an awkward moment. Our friendship was over. I couldn’t hide the anger on my face and I felt my lips pressed together tightly in a scowl. I shook my head slightly as I replayed the conversation in my head. She was an idiot.
“Well, I should get going then,” Penelope said as she stood up.
I didn’t move from my seat. “Yes, I think you should.”
She stood there, waiting for me to rise and give her a hug, something that we used to do when we were friends. But she was just a whore in my eyes. I couldn’t believe she was doing that to Sean—he deserved so much better than her. I didn’t move from my seat. I didn’t even look at her.
“Goodbye, Scar.”
“Have a good life, Penny.”

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Wandering Caravan (Forever and Always #8) is Available June 10!

            After the honeymoon, the caravan finally moves to New York City. Sean takes his rightful place as the leader of the company, alongside his brother Mike. Cortland joins the team as a valued member. Everything fits together perfectly.

            Cortland loves Monnique, but her past scares him. After being engaged to her boyfriend of five years, she left him without a word and refused to tell Cortland why. Paranoia descends and he fears Monnique will do the same to him, even after he proposes.

            Ryan struggles with his insecurities as a tattoo artist. Janice comes from a respectable family, and she’s traditionally educated and perfect. Is he good enough for her?

            Janice feels pressured to tell Ryan the truth about what happened between her and Sean. Scarlet is insistent that she just drop it and leave it in the past. But when Ryan finds out another way, the cat’s out of the bag. How will he react? And if Monnique finds out, how will she react?

            Another loveable and hilarious installment of the Forever and Always Series, The Wandering Caravan follows the progression of the unorthodox family, no matter where they go. 

AVAILABLE JUNE 10.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Giveaway! Two $25 Amazon Gift Cards

Thank you for all your support in the launch of my new novel, along with my new pen name.

I will be giving out two $25 Amazon Gift Cards to two lucky winners. Here are the rules if you wish to enter.

Don't worry, it's pretty simple...

All you need to do is request a free copy of Under My Thumb, read it, and post a review on Amazon and Goodreads.

Yep. That's it.

Enter your link to the review in the Rafflecopter. I will announce the winners on June 16th.

Thanks!

"May the odds be ever in your favor.

E. L. Todd

Here is the link to the rafflecopter

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4c94661/ a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, February 28, 2014

Flight of Life Reviewer $125 Visa Giveaway

Visa Gift Card Giveaway for Flight of Life Reviewers


As a thank you to all of my loyal reviewers, I'm giving away a $125 Visa Gift Card.

Just paste the url to your Amazon review in the rafflecopter below. It's that simple. Winner will be announced on 4/15/14.

And here’s the synopsis of the novel.

Everyone is good. Sometimes they just do evil things. 

Despite the loss of his parents, the torment he suffers in high school, and the fate of the entire world weighing on his shoulders, Calloway still believes that life is worth living – even if it isn’t.
A mysterious glowing orb and a picking knife – gifts left behind by his father – somehow hold the key to Calloway’s destiny.  But what are they for?

An ancient race known as the Hara-Kirs seek to harbor the essence of all humans, and now they have their sights on Calloway.  Constantly looking over his shoulder, Calloway doesn’t understand why he’s being followed and, more importantly, why he hasn’t been killed. The Hara-Kirs have had plenty of opportunities to claim Calloway’s life, but have since left him spared.  

Calloway’s journey leads him to the ominous Kirin book, which, with the help of his two friends, opens a portal to another realm known as The Anti-Life.  What waits behind the portal is a darkness that Calloway can’t even fathom. But an even stranger prospect has unfolded: could Calloway’s father still be alive after all – as a Hara-Kir?  And if he is, what does that make Calloway?

With the help of his two friends, they decode the ancient text and investigate the portal that leads to the other side. The Anti-Life. During their research, Calloway realizes his father may not be dead after all. But if he isn’t, where is he? Why would his father abandon him? Did he ever love Calloway? His friends suspect his father was actually a Hara-Kir, which was how Calloway received the gifts, but Calloway refuses to believe it. His father was a good man. He’ll prove it.
Weston, the girl that Calloway immediately feels connected to, is the leader of the White Wing, a group of warriors that fight against the Hara-Kirs. But she doesn’t trust Calloway. All the information works against him. If his father was a Hara-Kir, what is he?



Thursday, January 16, 2014

Mature YA Novel by Kristina Renee

Mature YA Romance by Kristina Renee


Safer Outside, Book One of the Outside Series

When Liz moves to a new high school, she hopes for a fresh start. School is her escape from the violence at home and her only hope for breaking the cycle of 
poverty she was born into. Trying to shield her siblings from her stepfather's fury gets harder each day so when she meets Logan, she thinks it will be a 
harmless distraction from the fear. 

She's Wrong. 

Logan has the resources to change her life but at what cost? Her relationship is the best thing that ever happened to her but it could also be the worst. If she's 
not careful, she may lose everyone that's important to her. But it's hard to be careful when you're fifteen and in love. 

For readers 16+
Kristina Renee was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. She married her high school sweetheart after college and they have two sweet and adventurous sons. She spends her time chauffeuring her kids around and doing technical marketing but when she can escape, she loves reading, writing and editing. Learn more at www.KristinaReneeBooks.com
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