Just Ella by Annette K. Larsen
A Proper Romance
Ariella was only looking for a distraction, something to break up the monotony of palace life. What she found was a young man willing to overlook her title and show her a new and vibrant way of life. But when her growing feelings for Gavin spiral out of control and clash with the expectations of her station, she will discover that the consequences of her curiosity are far more severe than she’d imagined.
I watched in helpless horror as two guards hauled Gavin to his feet and dragged him from the room. My voice was frozen, unable to protest as another guard took hold of my arm, leading me upstairs. From the confines of my room, I stared into the darkness beyond my window, hoping to catch one more glimpse of Gavin. He was gone, and I wondered if he would have been better off if he had never met me.
I write clean romance. Why? Because that’s what I love to read, but over the years I’ve discovered it’s quite a challenge to find good clean romance. I believe it’s a genre that many people are looking for and too few authors are writing. My first novel, Just Ella, took me many years to write because I wanted it to be more than just a cutesy love story. I wanted it to have depth, to feel genuine. Hopefully I succeeded, but you’ll have to be the judge.
Praise for Just Ella
“I fell in love with this book. Treat yourself to something wonderful. You can’t go wrong with Just Ella!” ~Inspired Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
“By far one of the best romance novels I’ve ever read. Pulls you in with great, likable characters and keeps you going with a sweet and exciting love story–plus a good plot to give it even more substance. Full of those tender moments you want to go back and read again, plus exciting moments, clever humor, and some suspense as well.” ~Jana Miller
“Annette Larsen writes a love story that takes time, is complicated, and yet still sweeps you up in the romance (without the cheese, thank you). It’s compelling and emotional and sweet and you will love every page.” ~Kimi
See my Review HERE.
Book Blast/Blog Tour Special
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I was born in Utah, but grew up in Flagstaff Arizona and St. Louis Missouri, the fifth of seven children. I attended college at Southern Virginia University and Brigham Young University where I studied English and Theater. I now live in Idaho with my husband and four children.
I have Charlotte Bronte to thank for the courage to write novels. After being bombarded with assigned reading about women who justified abandoning either their families or their principles in the name of love, I had the great fortune of reading Jane Eyre. And that was it: finally a heroine who understood that being moral and making the right choice was hard, and sometimes it hurt, but it was still worth it. After rereading it several years later, I realized that if I wanted more books to exist with the kinds of heroines I admired, then I might as well write a few myself. My books are about women who face hard choices, who face pain and rejection and often have to sacrifice what they want for what is right. The consequences are often difficult or unpleasant, but it the end, doing what’s right will always be worth it.
I believe there is no substitute for good writing or good chocolate. Fortunately, one often leads to the other.
Inside My Stormy Brain
I think best when writing. This is something that has been true for as long as I can remember. If I have a problem, a decision, or something that’s just bothering me, the best way for me to work it out is writing. So it’s really no wonder that when I want to get ideas flowing for a story—whether it’s the whole story, or just one scene—I have to sit down and write it out. I write down everything that comes to mind. And if two seconds later I realize that idea is ridiculous, I don’t erase it, I just write, “that wouldn’t work because…;” “That would be too cheesy;” “That wouldn’t fit her character;” “He’s smarter than that,” etc…
I ask A LOT of questions in my brain storming. When trying to get to know Lorraina better, I had this conversation with myself:
Why is Lorraina the way she is? What is her problem? What does she want?
Love, power, respect, people to like her/look up to her, parents’ approval, to know who she is?
Does she like her sisters? Envy them? Disapprove of them?
All of those questions help me to better understand my characters, to sift through possible motivations. It also gives me a chance to ask a lot of the questions that readers might have, and if I already know the answers, they will be included as a natural part of the story telling.
I also do little snippets of conversation when they come to mind. I usually won’t know when or where the conversation will take place, but dialogue helps me to get an idea of whether or not my characters’ chemistry will work, and whether or not the conflict that I have in mind will work. This is part of my initial brain storm for my second book:
In public he is confident, almost arrogant; in private he’s rather withdrawn, much less comfortable in a one-on-one setting.
She’s quiet in social settings. She always looks the part, but says very little. She becomes much more animated in private. She’s also very honest, quite blunt.
“It’s like you’re two different people.”
“I? This coming from the girl who says nothing when people can hear you and then spouts off anything that comes to mind when in private.”
“I’m trying to understand you.”
“What is there to understand?”
Now, that characterization didn’t work out; none of those ideas ended up being part of the story. But it’s important for me to not just assign personality traits for my characters, but to try to get to know them and listen to what they have to say.
So, there you have it. A little insight into how I wrangle my thoughts into something that makes sense.
Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.