~ ELLA GRACE ~
Maidens, we are extremely excited to have here with us the talented Ella Grace. We are getting for the release of MIDNIGHT SECRETS, which is a must read, the first book in her Wildefire series. You may know her better as Christy Reece and her Last Chance Rescue series. Please help us welcome her to UTC today!
Hi Ella, welcome to Under the Covers! We are very excited to have you here today celebrating the release of MIDNIGHT SECRETS.
I was very excited about this series from the moment I saw the cover (hehe) and after reading the book, I can’t wait for more. Can you tell our readers a bit about Midnight?
Thank you so much! I’m delighted to be here.
Midnight, Alabama has a population of around 1500 people and is located in the southern part of the state, not far from Mobile. Rich with history and traditions, it was founded in the late 1800’s by five families out of Mobile. The weather is steamy and the residents are friendly but can be downright nosey, too. They love to gossip almost as much as they love their college football. On the surface, Midnight appears to be a quaint, charming and uncomplicated little town. Looks are deceiving. The town is filled with secrets, lies, murderers, and adulterers, but also includes fun and slightly off-centered characters along with a few rednecks. It’s also home for some strong, sexy men and courageous, determined women.
MIDNIGHT SECRETS read a bit like a small town romance with the suspense element entwined. Also, it’s a second chance romance. Love that! Why did you choose to introduce the series with this trope?
First , I adore reunion romances. Several of my Christy Reece Last Chance Rescue books are reunion romances. There’s just something about rekindling a lost love that makes me smile. I love second chances!
I’ve wanted to write a story set in my home state for a long time. I had originally planned for this to be a spin-off series from the Last Chance Rescue books, with one of the operatives coming back to her hometown and solving her parents’ murders. When my publisher decided they wanted something unattached to LCR books, it changed the story.
And small towns fascinate me. Everyone thinks they know each others’ secrets but there’s always a few that stay hidden until something unexpected happens. When Savannah Wilde comes back to put her former home up for sale, she never anticipated learning that the deaths of her parents was a huge lie and cover-up. Nor did she expect to fall back in love with the man who’d broken her heart ten years before.
It was very interesting to see the growth of both Zach and Savannah. I fell in love with them from when they were teenagers. How do you think they’ve changed?
I think Savannah changed the most. She was shy, bookish and naive. As an adult, she’s gained confidence and is no longer an innocent. She has to be tough to handle her job as an assistant district attorney and her broken heart has made her wary. She doesn’t trust easy.
Zach became stronger and even more heroic, in my opinion. He returns home a war hero and as police chief, he’s determined to make Midnight a better town. However, he’s far from perfect. Years ago, he made a major mistake and lives with that regret daily.
You are well known for your novels as Christy Reece! How would you say your writing as Christy will be different in your Midnight series as Ella?
Christy Reece books are dark, gritty, and sexy, with some incredibly evil villains. They’re very plot driven. The main characters are focused on rescuing victims and in the midst of their operation, they fall in love or fall in love again. Ella Grace’s books are character driven, concentrating more on the romance and relationships of the characters. They still have suspense and mystery but both are more subtle than my Christy Reece books. And both series have plenty of steam.
Did you have to do any special research for this book? Is there anything that stands out?
Having been raised in Alabama and back living here again, I felt qualified to create an authentic southern atmosphere. However, small town politics wasn’t something I knew a lot about. Fortunately, I had a wonderful gentleman in South Alabama who was a former mayor of a small town, much like Midnight. He was incredibly kind to give me all sorts of advice on the dynamics of small town politics, police procedure, and a thousand other nuances and features that enabled me to build the kind of southern town I wanted Midnight to be.
What would you say is your favorite thing about Zach and about Savannah?
I adored Zach’s sense of honor and responsibility. He took on so much at such a young age. He was forced into maturity and had to do a lot of things he wasn’t proud of but had no choice. Taking care of his younger brother, Josh, was his number one priority.
I loved Savannah for never thinking she was better than anyone else. Her family’s wealth and status in Midnight never made her feel superior or different. She saw Zach as her equal. His humble background meant nothing to her and she was infuriated for anyone to insinuate that Zach wasn’t good enough for a Wilde girl.
The series will center around the Wilde sisters. What can we expect in book two, MIDNIGHT LIES?
MIDNIGHT LIES is Samantha (Sammie) Wilde’s story. Former cheerleader and homecoming queen, Samantha is a homicide detective in Atlanta. Near the end of MIDNIGHT SECRETS, you’ll learn that something devastating is going on in her personal life. Quinn Braddock, the hero of MIDNIGHT LIES, is a doctor in Atlanta and one of the sexiest men I’ve ever created. I fell in love with him. And once again, there are murders, lies, secrets, and plenty of steam.
Do you have a favorite quote from this book?
I have many favorites but here’s one that really stuck with me. These are Zach’s thoughts the day after he saved Savannah from being attacked at her senior prom. She invited him for breakfast and he’s standing on the front porch of the Wilde mansion, calling himself a fool for coming but unable to turn around and leave because of how she made him feel.
In his whole life, he’d never had anyone refer to him as a hero. He’d been sneered at, laughed at. Had people call him everything from bastard and sleaze, to the town slut’s son. Had even seen people cross the street to avoid him. The very idea that even for a moment someone as pure and sweet as Savannah Wilde could consider him a hero amazed him. The temptation of experiencing that feeling again was hard to resist.
If you could collaborate with another author, who would it be?
Stephen King. He’s brilliant and so wonderfully twisted!
If you could write a warning to others for yourself what would it be?
Reader beware: Bumpy roads and tears ahead but continue on for a sigh inducing HEA.
Any upcoming projects you are working on that you can share a bit with us?
Yes, I’m putting out my first self published book in a few days. CHANCES ARE, A Last Chance Rescue Novel. I’m thrilled to be able to continue the LCR series through self publishing. This is the story of Angela Delvecchio, LCR’s researcher and Jake Mallory, a former military man and ex-Chicago cop, who is now an LCR operative. They’re out to trap a serial killer and Angela is just his type.
She is his dream come true. He is her nightmare.
Angela Delvecchio has always dreamed of being an LCR field operative. As LCR’s main researcher, she’s helped rescue victims, but always from the sidelines. Until now. Last Chance Rescue has been asked to assist the authorities in apprehending a serial killer terrorizing London. Angela knows this is her time and her mission.
After the murder of his wife, Jake Mallory stopped believing in anything good. Now, as an operative for Last Chance Rescue, he’s found a new purpose but he’ll never let his guard down again. The beautiful and much too vulnerable Angela is a temptation like no other—one he dare not take. Hearing that she’s going to be an operative is a surprise but Jake is stunned to learn her first assignment will be to bait and trap the Red Rose killer. Assigned to be her partner, Jake knows he wouldn’t have it any other way. He failed the last woman he cared about…he won’t fail Angela.
Angela thought going undercover as an exotic dancer would be the toughest part of the job and Jake thought keeping his hands off his partner would be his biggest challenge. They were both wrong. Taught to expect the unexpected, Angela faces events she never anticipated and Jake must allow the unthinkable. Now it’s a fight for survival because evil has more than one face and to stay alive, death may be the only option.
And we always like to know what our favorite authors are reading. Anything good you’d like to share?
I have several I’m in the middle of and thoroughly enjoying: On my Kindle, I’m reading Dangerous Secrets by Lisa Marie Jones and on my bedside table, I have Laura Griffin’s Snapped, No Easy Day by Mark Owens and Kevin Maurer, and Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell.
Thanks so much for letting me hang out at Under The Covers!
Thank you for stopping by! And we hope everyone picks up a copy of MIDNIGHT SECRETS coming out April 30, 2013!
For fans of Maya Banks, Allison Brennan, and Lori Foster, a thrilling new romantic suspense novel from Ella Grace
AT THE STROKE OF MIDNIGHT, THE HEAT BEGINS
On a hot southern night, with a storm on the horizon, a family is shattered. Three beautiful daughters—Savannah, Samantha, and Sabrina Wilde—go on with their lives, each significantly changed, as they bear the memory of the murder-suicide that killed their parents. For years, they have stayed away from Midnight, Alabama. Until Midnight calls them home.
Savannah is the first one back, when a grueling case in Nashville leads the young prosecutor to seek shelter in the quiet of the once grand Wilde mansion. But when she finds letters casting doubt on her family’s dark, shameful past, she realizes that peace in Midnight is a shallow façade and sinister secrets lurk beneath the surface. Zach Tanner, once the town’s bad boy, is now the new police chief and still has a wild hold over her. Zach can feel it, too, but he hurt Savannah once. As teenagers, they broke every rule together. Now it’s his job to keep her safe, even though he isn’t sure who her enemies are—or which ones might be his own.
About the Author
Ella Grace is the pseudonym for NYT Bestselling author Christy Reece. Ella’s Midnight series is based in her home state of Alabama. The first book, MIDNIGHT SECRETS, is scheduled for release April 2013 and includes steamy romance, mystery, and suspense set in the small fictional town of Midnight, Alabama.
Ella is generously giving away a signed copy of MIDNIGHT SECRETS.
Open to everyone!