“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.” -T.S Eliot

The Measure Of Ella


“There is nothing stronger than a broken woman who
  has rebuilt herself.” 
  – Hannah Gadsby 


The islands frightened Ella with their uncivilized rawness. They looked like a place where anything could happen, a godforsaken outcrop at the end of the world.


Sea-faring chef Ella Morgan is an honest woman — until her life falls apart. When her dream of owning a restaurant is shattered by the death of her father and loss of her inheritance, she is suddenly alone in the world. Desperate for money, she signs on as crew for a Caribbean drug run, only to find herself fighting for her life in an underworld ruled by violent men.


Set in the Caribbean, The Measure of Ella is a dramatic story of love, murder, high-seas action, and the consequences of pursuing a dream at all costs. Like Patrick O’Brien’s novels, including Master and Commander, The Measure of Ellacaptures the breathtaking and perilous world of blue-water sailing. Like Girl on the Train, it unwinds with gripping suspense from a woman’s point of view. With its brave, strong, complex female protagonist at the helm of a high seas adventure, the novel is entirely unique.


Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA

December 15, 2019     1 PM

"A page-turning thriller set in the murky underworld of the Caribbean. The sailing life is beautifully rendered. A must for all who wish to enter an exciting new environment for an adventure."   

 – Michael Chapman, cinematographer, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull


Latitude 38 Magazine

November 2019


The Measure of Ella — Ella Morgan is a sailor crewing on deliveries in the Caribbean. She has a good heart, a dashing boyfriend, and a dream-in-process of owning her own seaside restaurant. It all goes to pieces in a hurry after her father dies and her boyfriend is shot dead in a smuggling scheme gone bad. Against everything she's ever been taught, Ella agrees to do a drug run with a skipper she trusts. Until that goes south, too. For us, the measure of good fiction is how long past our bedtime it keeps us up. On that count, The Measure of Ella had us bleary-eyed (in a good way) for several mornings in a row.    



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© 2019 by Toni Bird Jones