Monday, October 28, 2013

Blog tour: Just Ella by Annette K. Larsen

Just Ella Tour

If romance is your favorite genre, grab a copy of today's tour book, Just Ella by Annette K. Larsen, and don't forget to enter the giveaway.

Just Ella by Annette K. Larsen
A Proper Romance
YA fantasy
Paperback/eBook, 300 pages
Published August 14th 2013 by Hidden Falls Publishing

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.

We both worked silently for several minutes until he spoke abruptly.

“I’ve been wondering something.”

I looked up to see him kneeling at the edge of the stream, peering over his shoulder at me. “What’s that?” I asked. He was very selective about the things he asked me.

“Do you remember the first time you realized you were royalty?”

I replied without giving it much thought. “I suppose I’ve always known.”

“There was never a moment when it hit you that you were meant for greater things than most people?”

His question was humbling and made me a little sad. Truthfully, I had never seen myself that way. Being royalty had become tedious and I often resented it, which was precisely why I was sitting out in the forest with him. “No, I never had a moment like that.” Strictly speaking, it was a truthful answer. I had never felt I was meant for greater things.

“You just always knew what you would become?”

I looked out at the forest. I wanted to answer his question, but found my answer difficult to put into words. I suppose it would be simplest to say I dreaded what I would become.


I focused on Gavin and tried to answer. “I suppose I have an idea of what I am expected to become, but,” I smiled to myself as I admitted, “I think I’ll end up disappointing everyone.”

There is something cool and special about reading re-imagined fairy tales. These classics which we loved as children have carved a special place in not only our minds but also our hearts. Since reading is not only subjective but also emotional, when I begin reading a beloved classic written by a contemporary writer, my expectations are high. Author Annette K. Larsen  really delivered with Just Ella.

Just Ella is an example of the classics done well. Clean, sweet, poignant, and featuring a strong princess who needs to rescue the prince, there are clever twists and turns made by the author to enable her to claim this version as wholly hers. Princess Ariella is determined, smart and honorable, the romance between Ella and Gavin pure and beguiling, I was taken by their tale.

There were times when the reader was told about characters and how they felt rather than showing us which took away from an otherwise delightful story. Also, the pacing was inconsistent at times, some scenes were cut short while others went on for too long. Since I was invested in Ella and Gavin's story, I continued, happy to find out what happens between them. There is plenty of tension between them and a love which cannot be denied, no matter what happens.

Just Ella may have the trappings of an old-fashioned romance with plenty of charm, while featuring a heroine with contemporary flair. This princess knows who she is and what she wants--not only for herself, but for her people. A trip inside this kingdom is sure to captivate the hearts of any reader, young or old.

Rating: 4

Cover comment:
Just like the story, sweet, colorful, with a few surprises.

Book source:
I received a promotional copy in return for my honest review during a blog tour.

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

Book Blast/Blog Tour Special

Grab your copy of Just Ella for just $4.99!

annetteAuthor Annette K. Larsen

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.

Blog Tour Giveaway 
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 11/5/13 

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an 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.

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