Great Review and Answer to Question

There’s a great review of Dancing on Coals at the Romantic Historical Lovers blog today. Maybe someday I’ll get over the thrill of someone liking one of my books so much, but I can’t imagine it.

Kristin asked in a comment about the next book. I seem to still be caught up in Suttonland, so I think the next romance is going to feature Deborah, the oldest of the three girls Cal and Norah rescue in Beautiful Bad Man, and Webster Van Cleve’s son, who is still nameless at this point. I think Webster Van Cleve is the kind who would make his son a junior, but I’m not too taken with Web as a hero’s name. I need to think about it some more.



12 Responses to Great Review and Answer to Question

  1. June Breed says:

    I am sure I will enjoy the next book you have in mind but I would LOVE a follow-up to Eyes. I have now read many, many historical western stories but Eyes remains my favourite. Please, please Ellen. I would like to know much more about Cord, Anne and Tyler.

  2. reganwalker says:

    Well there’s always the middle name…like Webster Clint Van Cleve…I kinda like the name Clint for a Western hero. Just sayin’.

  3. Regan – I’ve been thinking along those lines. I feel like (leaving politics aside) Clinton shortened to Clint would be more likely, and there are names like Andrew that can become Drew. I need to go through my male names lists and see if anything sounds right for this guy.

    June – I seem to have lost a long reply to your post, so I’ll reconstruct here and hope the original doesn’t show up and look silly.

    I’ve never seen another novel in the characters of Eyes. However, I do see how Cord’s and Anne’s lives go for many years in the future. When I wrote Rachel’s Eyes my thought was to write more short stories like that, taking their story probably to the turn of the century or so.

    However, while I generally have no problem with reviews, good, bad or indifferent (after all the book that stands out in my mind as the most tedious thing I ever finished is a bestseller with great reviews), the reviews for Rachel’s Eyes gave me pause. I have “Short Story” in the title. The description starts with SHORT STORY and then has the word and page count. Yet, without counting, I feel the majority of reviews of the story says “too short.” I just have trouble wrapping my head around why someone who considers a story of that length too short buys or downloads it when it’s labeled like that as to exactly how short it is.

    So I’ve reconsidered the whole short story thing. Maybe I could write several more and hold on to them until I have enough for a collection that would solve the shortness problem, but like most writers I have more ideas than time to execute them. Time will tell, I guess.


  4. Barbara Wadman says:

    Ellen, Not that you asked, but I would request you NOT use Clint as a name for the main male character (dare I say “hero?”) in your next book. It just brings up images i would prefer not to have while I am reading. “Drew”, however, sounds quite right. Just a mention regarding “Eyes” I recommended this book to a friend and she bought it. Of course she thought it a great book. Then recently I was talking with my daughter-in-law who mentioned that she read romance books, something I did not know as she lives in MD, and she was saying she wished she could find a good romance as so much of what is out there is just too stupid for words. So, I went to Amazon and sent her a copy of “Eyes”. Well, I am now a great mother-in-law and you have a new fan who stayed up very late reading your book. I have “Rachel’s Eyes” that I downloaded long ago for free and loved it as it gave some insight into what was happening with Anne and Cord and their baby. I didn’t mind that it was short as it gave a lot of information. I especially like the short story that you wrote after “Sing My Name”. That short story gave me a much more complete ending to the story and let me know Carter Macauley received his just reward! I am always waiting for your next book, however, I would not ask you to hurry because I want you to take all the time you need to write another terrific book. Thanks for the hours of wonderful reading.

  5. Thanks for the input, Barbara, and for getting your daughter-in-law started with Eyes. That kind of word of mouth recommendation is the very best thing for any author.

    Names really are tricky. For years I avoided what has now become one of my favorite mystery series – Robert Crais’s featuring Elvis Cole. A detective named Elvis just struck me as so unbelievably stupid and corny I couldn’t bring myself to try one of those books even though everything else about them sounded good. One day I got desperate for something to read, tried one, and became a fan. I still hate the name even though I’ve gotten used to it through the series. ~Ellen

  6. Barbara Wadman says:

    Ellen, I hear you as I, too, was reluctant to read about a detective named Elvis. Now Bob Crais’s books are among my favorites. I still have reservations about “Clint”! Barbara

  7. Anonymous says:

    It is so interesting how readers differ. For me, I prefer not to read a continuation/short story especially for an exceptional book like Eyes. When I am finished
    with a book which resonated within my soul, even weeks afterward, I don’t want to lose that experience. Reading a short story/continuation may tamper with the experience. Rather, I retread the book again and again…..ahhh, but differences make the world go round and round do they not!?
    Fortunately, anything you create will be top rated by me. If you are accepting opinions on male names one of my favs Elijah – a rarity I think. Wanted to name my son that when I eventually had children. However, I ended up marrying an Eli! So I had to change my mind-Gabriel and Isaiah were our winning names! Ok, enough rambling! Happy New Year!

  8. Hi Anon – One of the reasons reading reviews fascinates me is the insight to how different people see the same thing so differently. One loves, one hates, one remains indifferent. Maybe someday I’ll get used to it, but not so far.

    You give me a late Christmas present saying that Eyes resonated that much with you. Thank you.

    I like Eli too. There’s an Eli as a very minor character in Beautiful Bad Man, but that wouldn’t stop me using it for the hero in another book sometime. There was a Cal who was a minor and rather nasty character in Dancing on Coals. Afterwards I realized I liked the name a lot and couldn’t see any reason not to use it for a main character in another book. Probably no one but me remembers names of minor characters for long.


  9. Sharon says:

    Love all your books and have read them all! My favorite so far had been Dancing on Coals. I have just finished reading Sing My Name for the third time and would love to see a sequel (not a short story) on Beau and/or Roddy.
    As for names for your “up and coming” heroes I like Levi, Wade, Harley and Ezra.
    I have recommended your books to all my friends. Keep them coming!

  10. Hi Sharon – I’m pretty proud of Dancing on Coals. My intention was to write a NA romance that avoided all the cliches that make most of them pretty cheesy IMO, and I think I succeeded. So I’m glad to hear it’s your favorite.

    However, when it comes to heroes, Matt Slade still rings my chimes. Wouldn’t he make a great real life husband? I do intend to write stories for both Roddy and Beau, but of course they got pushed down the line along with everything else by Beautiful Bad Man popping out of my imagination and taking over, and now here I am caught up in the sequel to that.

    Right now the hero is Webster Van Cleve, III, and he’s called Trey. He’s had several names so far (the curse of Find and Replace making it easy), but I think I’m getting used to this one, and it allowed for a bit of dialog I liked.


  11. Grace says:


    I love your books. I had to carefully plan when I would buy them, because I couldn’t help staying up all night to read them. I had to make sure it was a weekend. I can’t wait for your next book to come out.

    Your characters in your westerns are such great people. The heroines are the best. They fit their times, but are independent women. They know who they are. The men are really great guys. They treat the women as her own person and aren’t jerks.

    I like the covers of your novels, “Beautiful Bad Man”, “Sing My Name” and “Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold.” They are really pretty, simple and sweet. A lot of romance novels have awful covers. Your covers fit your book.

  12. Hi Grace – Thanks for commenting. I’m glad you enjoyed the books that much and hope you like the next one as much or more.

    Thanks also for the kind words about the covers. You aren’t the only one who has said she likes them, but I also hear from people who don’t. 🙂 I’m sure they could be fancier, but I know much as I enjoy the sight of great male torsos, that kind of cover would be misleading as to how “hot” my books are. I hate and always have covers that show what are supposed to be sexy clinches. Maybe we women all do look like we’re being tortured when in the throes of passion, but the stupid looks on the female faces in those poses don’t lure me in.


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