It’s time! Best I’ve Read 2013 is here.
Be sure to check out the Best I’ve Read Blog so you don’t miss any of the great books & giveaways!
My first pick for Best I’ve Read 2013 is Just Ella by Annette K. Larsen. Honestly this is the exact type of book that I love to read.
Repost of my August 30th Book Review
Title: Just Ella
Author: Annette K. Larsen
Publisher: Self (but don’t let that scare you – pick it up anyway – this is proof self-publishing has a bright future)
Released: August 14, 2013
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.
Once in a while I come across a book that I fall in love with. That happened yesterday.
I got an email from Amazon a couple days ago with a “recommended” book – Just Ella by Annette K. Larsen. I looked at the cover and summary and was intrigued by it. It sounded right up my alley. I spent a while perusing the author’s website and fell in love with the author before even starting this book.
Read these paragraphs from her bio and tell me she isn’t the perfect match for the types of books I love to read:
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 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.
I just spent the day yesterday reading her book Just Ella. The kids had freezer burritos for dinner and chores went undone because this was one of those rare books where I just had to finish reading before doing anything else.
I help authors promote a lot of different books. Typically they come to me asking for help. But every so often I read a book and decide I am going help promote a book just because I want to. That was the case with The Reluctant Bachelorette by Rachael Anderson. That will be the case with this book. I’ll be pushing it because it deserves some attention.
So treat yourself to something wonderful. The author spent 7 years writing this book and it shows. It’s awesome!!
I’m a lover of cheesy romance but there is no cheese in this book. Seriously the author achieved her goal of writing something more than a cutesy love story. She has written an amazing book that has it all without anything inappropriate (no sex, no language not even any real innuendo or violence – it is squeaky clean and yet so romantic & wonderful). You can’t go wrong with this one.
Grab your copy for $4.99 on Amazon. It’s definitely worth the splurge!
If you have Prime you can borrow it for FREE!
Add it to your Goodreads Shelf now!!
Rating: 5 Stars – I Loved It & Recommend It to EVERYONE!
Content: Squeaky Clean
Source: Review copy
“Now, wait just a minute. You can’t just plunge into a pool of water.”
“Why not?” I should have said something cleverer, but I felt a bit scatterbrained, all thoughts having fled when Gavin’s arm went around me.
He made a noise of exasperation. “Why not, she asks. Because, Princess, what’s going to happen when you show up for your lessons completely drenched? Or, what happens when we both show up on the palace grounds completely drenched? I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to have to explain that to anybody.”
Unfortunately, he had a point. “Don’t call me Princess.” He had been so relaxed today, so willing to be himself and let me be myself. I hated that he felt the need to remind me of my rank. I was tempted to be angry and walk away but I also wanted to see how long he would keep his arms around me. Simply out of curiosity, of course.
If you haven’t read this book you should!!
Today Annette Larsen is here to share a Top Tens List with us!
Top Ten things that have made me scratch my head since publishing Just Ella
10. Being contacted by bloggers who wanted to review my book.
This was honestly surreal for me when it started happening. It had never occurred to me that I would be approached in that manner. I expected to have to beg reviews from people, or at least use heavy coercion. So this was a very happy head scratching moment.
I joined Twitter so I could connect with more people. I like Twitter. But the use of hashtags is lost on me.
8. Interview Question: “If your book was made into a movie, who would you want to play your characters?”
*I open Google, type in “young actors under 20.”* Because not a single actor or actress came to mind. Yes, I’m super caught up on pop culture…
I’m trying to get my book up on ibooks, but it is not nearly as easy as it should be. It’s even made me snarl at the computer screen a couple times. I’m so used to Apple being user friendly, that my experience with ibook author has left me befuddled.
6. Interview Question: “Are you a plotter or a pantser?”
*Open Google, type in ‘pantser’* This was the first time I had come across this term. For the record, there is no doubt that I am a pantser, through and through.
5. Men mistaking FB for eharmony.
I’ve had three men send me personal messages through my FB author page telling me they were interesting and asking things like “Do you have a good heart?” because that’s the most important thing to them. Umm…
4. Reviewer Comment: “Too much emotional pain.”
Really? Compared to many books out there, I’d say mine is down right cheerful.
3. Handlebar Mustaches.
Yes, I realize this has nothing at all to do with my book, but it certainly made me scratch my head. One day my husband decided that instead of shaving his entire face, he would leave himself a nice handlebar mustache. Some guys can pull that off; he is not one of them. It was creepy.
2. Reviewer Comment: “Great new twist on the Cinderella story.”
I can understand how someone might see the title and expect it to be a Cinderella spin off. But I find it funny that someone could get to the end of the book and still think that. There’s no shoe, no step-family, no fairy godmother, and the prince is a creep. Haha.
1. Reviewers mentioning that reading my bio was what made them buy my book.
Of course I was thrilled about this, but it surprised me that my rather hastily written bios for Goodreads and Amazon really struck a chord with people. Apparently, my reasons for writing clean romance, and my love and respect for Jane Eyre, are a couple things that I share in common with my readers.
So, there you have it! It’s been a fun journey, and hopefully I’ll be able to do it all over again soon (if only I can figure out how to finish book #2). And to any aspiring authors out there, I would say: put in the time and the work to make it great, and get it out there. It’s worth it.
For BIR2013 I have a copy of Just Ella to Giveaway
Print open to US only, Ebook open Internationally