Friday, January 31, 2014

Review: Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen

Title: Lady Thief
Author: A.C. Gaughen
Series: Book Two in the Scarlet Series
Published By: Walker Children's (February 11, 2014)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Historical/Adventure
My Rating: 4.5 Stars!

Book Description:
Scarlet’s true identity has been revealed, but her future is uncertain. Her forced marriage to Lord Gisbourne threatens Robin and Scarlet’s love, and as the royal court descends upon Nottingham for the appointment of a new Sheriff, the people of Nottingham hope that Prince John will appoint their beloved Robin Hood. But Prince John has different plans for Nottingham that revolve around a fateful secret from Scarlet’s past even she isn’t yet aware of. Forced to participate at court alongside her ruthless husband, Scarlet must bide her time and act the part of a noblewoman—a worthy sacrifice if it means helping Robin’s cause and a chance at a future with the man she loves. With a fresh line of intrigue and as much passion as ever, the next chapter in Scarlet’s tale will have readers talking once again.

I fell in love with Gaughen's writing and her ability to weave a tale mixed with lore and enough new material to keep it unique and interesting after reading Scarlet. I felt like I had been thrown back into time, into a different place, a different country and a different lifestyle. One that is brutal and hard and not at all like anything we can even relate to. It was wonderful and fun and just perfect and she made it completely relatable and completely believable.

I have been eagerly awaiting the sequel and I have to say, even though I had high expectations for this one, it didn't disappoint at all, in fact, I think I might have even loved it more than the first.

Once again Gaughen knows how to tell a story, making you believe that you are there. That you can feel the dampness of England, smell the vendors on the street and hear the rich almost brash dialect of the peasants as they go about their day trying to make a living. 

Once again we are thrown right into Scarlet's world and even though it is harsh and cruel we don't want to leave it because those around her, her merry band of men, make it all worth it. Their loyalty and love for one another, make it all worth it.

Rob. Ah Rob. I didn't think I could love him more but I do, oh how I do. He really shined in this. He is there for Scarlet at every turn. He is the hero we have all come to know and love through the stories of Robin Hood of Locksley. The hero of the story. But Scarlet is no MarySue, she too is kick butt and fierce and every bit as much of a hero and savior as Robin. 

Gisbourne is as evil as ever and not only does Scarlet have to contend with being his wife but she has some new obstacles and villains to overcome as well. So much happens, so much is revealed and so much is still left to tell. While I wouldn't say the ending was a cliffhanger, it was brutal in the simple fact that I can't wait for the next. No, I need the next installment.

Gaughen has a way of transporting you back in time and making you not want to leave and not want the story to end. Harsh, brutal, cold, fierce but also beautiful and hopeful. 

I am so excited for the next book. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Review: Alienated by Melissa Landers

Title: Alienated
Author: Melissa Landers
Series: Book One in the Alienated Series
Published By: Disney Hyperion (February 4, 2014)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 3.5 Stars!

Book Description:
Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them. 

Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.

Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.

But when Cara's classmates get swept up by anti-L'eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn't safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara's locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class. 

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she's fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.

I'm not huge on sci fi but even so I had to pick this one up, the cover alone was just something I couldn't ignore. Throw in the fact that the synopsis sounded like star crossed lovers and the simple fact that this is a debut novel and you have something nearly impossible to resist. 

Did I mention that I am glad I picked this up, because I am and let me tell you, I wasn't so sure if I was going to love this even with all those pluses above I mentioned. I mean aliens? Yeah, you just never know what you are going to be in for.

I really enjoyed this. Even though there are aliens, more than anything it is a love story. A story about two people that overcome their differences (which, let's fact it are pretty huge) and learn to not only look past all the prejudices and become friends, but also to become more than friends, to really care about the other in a way they never thought possible, even when that means losing some of the people in their lives that they care about the most, just so they can be together.

I didn't go into this knowing it wasn't a stand alone and although there is no mention anywhere (yet) that there will be a sequel, with the way it ended it only leaves me to believe that there will be one, which I am happy about because I think there is more story to tell about Aelyx's planet and world and even with what will happen to Earth later on. 

This was a good read, one that lets you completely get away and just have some fun reading something purely for enjoyment, some romance and a plot unlike others out there right now.

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Blog Tour Book Review and Guest Post: See Jane Run by Hannah Jayne

Title: See Jane Run
Author: Hannah Jayne
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Sourcebooks Fire (January 7, 2014)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Mystery/Thriller
My Rating: 4 Stars

Book Description:
I know who you are.

When Riley first gets the postcard tucked into her bag, she thinks it's a joke. Then she finds a birth certificate for a girl named Jane Elizabeth O'Leary hidden inside her baby book.

Riley's parents have always been pretty overprotective. What if it wasn't for her safety...but fear of her finding out their secret? What have they been hiding? The more Riley digs for answers, the more questions she has.

The only way to know the truth? Find out what happened to Jane O'Leary.

About the Author:

Hannah is the author of the UNDERWORLD DETECTION AGENCY CHRONICLES from Kensington books and the upcoming young adult thrillers TRULY, MADLY, DEADLY and SEE JANE RUN available from Sourcebooks, Inc. When she's not battling the demons of the Underworld or tackling a murderer at Hawthorne High, Jayne kicks her feet up in her San Francisco bay area home and attempts to share couch space with two enormous cats.

Now that you're here, kick up your feet and stay awhile...


What Secrets Did Hannah Keep As A Teenager:

I don’t know what it is about being a teenager but something happens between twelve and say, fifteen. All of the sudden your simple life is thrown into massive confusion, secret missions, and bizarre campaigns. It’s like you’ve been dropped into some James Bond movie and your job is to keep every secret ever.
That being said, I kept a lot of secrets as a teenager. Some were benign: my actual weight, the fact that Sara really did get perms to get her “signature” curls, the knowledge that Kevin and JC made out in the closet at that one party in October. And some that weren’t the kind of secrets I should have kept—like that that Pam kept vodka in the water bottle she sipped from at school, that Jess’s boyfriend thought she was eighteen (because he was twenty-nine), that my boyfriend was so jealous he called me every hour and freaked if I didn’t immediately answer.

The small secrets—weights, perms, crushes, whose kissing who—were silly and fun and a part of high school and being a teenager. Those are the cool spy secrets, the ones you tell late at night and pinkie swear never to repeat—“Omigod! They made out in the car in front of my house?! Those are the ones you’ll remember for twenty years and taunt your old high school friends with later—“Hey, remember when you swore that you and BJ were going to get married?!”

The other ones—the secrets that make you feel weird or anxious or scared—you’ll remember for twenty years, too but not for the same reasons. Those are the ones you’ll keep remembering and keep thinking, “I should have told someone,” or “I could have done something.” Those are the ones that if you did tell, or at least refuse to keep, can take you from super spy to super hero even if it means betraying a trust. 
Sometimes a secret isn’t meant to be kept. Sometimes that plaintive whisper in your ear could be someone screaming for help. Except for the one about my actual weight. That one I’m taking to the grave.

This is one of those mysteries that is a constant back and forth, up and down with the single question, are they innocent or guilty?

One minute you are sure it is the latter, only to read another chapter and sure that you were wrong and the first was the better answer.

What you don't realize as the story progresses isn't are they innocent or guilty but rather the more important questions of, what in the world did they really do? 

Are they as evil as they seem? Can they be trusted and it not them, then who can be trusted? Can anyone be trusted at all?

If there is one think you can say about Ms. Jayne's writing it is that she knows how to write a good mystery. One that will constantly keep you guessing and on your toes.

You start to wonder if the main character isn't crazy and there really isn't a mystery at all or if simply no one can be trusted and no one is innocent.

This is my second book by Jayne and I must say I am loving that she gives us something different and exciting in the YA genre. That it isn't the norm and things can't be explained away easily with the paranormal or fantasy but rather a good old fashioned mystery that keeps you thinking and constantly guessing.

I will continue to pick up her books simply because I know I will get one heck of a bumpy ride that will keep me gripping the seats to stay in and not get lost in all the chaos and madness of the characters and story. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Review: Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor

Title: Maybe One Day
Author: Melissa Kantor
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Harper Teen (February 18, 2014)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Contemporary
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
Zoe and her best friend, Olivia, have always had big plans for the future, none of which included Olivia getting sick. Still, Zoe is determined to put on a brave face and be positive for her friend.

Even when she isn't sure what to say.

Even when Olivia misses months of school.

Even when Zoe starts falling for Calvin, Olivia's crush.

The one thing that keeps Zoe moving forward is knowing that Olivia will beat this, and everything will go back to the way it was before. It has to. Because the alternative is too terrifying for her to even imagine.

In this incandescent page-turner, which follows in the tradition of The Fault in Our Stars, Melissa Kantor artfully explores the idea that the worst thing to happen to you might not be something that is actually happening to you. Raw, irreverent, and honest, Zoe's unforgettable voice and story will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.

I love a really good, gut wrenching emotional read that not only makes you cry but makes you think about how very precious life, family and friends are. A thought provoking story that gets under your skin and burrows deep into your heart. They can be tough reads but ones that after you have finally turned the last page and wiped the tears off your face, you are so thankful you read because you know you are a better person because of it. 

This is Zoe's story. This is Olivia's story. This is a story about a friendship so strong and so profound that really it isn't a friendship anymore but instead, that person has become family. The best kind of family, not the one you are born into, but the one that you created and choose yourself. The kind we all wish and long for and the kind that the lucky ones that do have it, know it and hold on to with all they are worth because they know nothing else will ever compare to it. That we are better people because of it.

I loved every single minute of this story. Olivia and Zoe were wonderful. They were true friends in every sense of the word. I couldn't imagine going through what they both went through but I know that if I did have to, that I would want a friend like they had in each other to get through it. 

I don't want to go into too much detail because really this is just one of those stories that you need to read for yourself and experience it for yourself because you won't know how you will react to it all until you do. 

If you are looking for something real and raw with just the right amount of heartache and thought inducing plot, then this is something you need to read. Yes, it has a hard subject matter, the big “c” word is never an easy one to hear but it is a real one. One that affects many people, friends and families every single day and it is a great reminder about living each day to it's fullest because we never know what tomorrow will bring.

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Monday, January 27, 2014

Blog Tour Book Review and Guest Post: Single By Saturday by Catherine Bybee

Title: Single By Saturday
Author: Catherine Bybee
Series: Book Four in the Weekday Brides Series
Published By: Montlake Romance (January 7, 2014)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Book Description:
She enjoyed her fake marriage…until she fell in love with her brother-in-law.

Catherine Bybee serves up excitement and dizzying romance in Single by Saturday, the sequel to Fiancé by Friday and the latest entry in her bestselling Weekday Brides series.

Karen Jones: The petite blonde married a Hollywood star, yet she’s the one who spends every day playing a part: the part of a happy wife. A year ago, she agreed to wed a famous actor to diffuse rumors about his personal life. Now, her divorce sits just around the corner, along with a five million dollar payout. However, as she prepares to exit her fake marriage gracefully, her drop-dead-gorgeous brother-in-law walks through the door…and into her heart.

Zach Gardner: Dark-haired, blue-eyed hunk Zach crashes Michael and Karen’s fancy one-year anniversary party, determined to meet the wife his brother hid from their family. But sparks fly the moment he and Karen see each other. When the famous couple decides to visit the whole Gardner clan, Karen must keep Michael’s secret under wraps in front of his questioning relatives…including Zach, the man who could be the real love of her life.

About the Author:



This man was gorgeous, and if she were one to believe in instant attraction, her body responded to him with a fierceness she didn’t think possible. Maybe this was what the women gazing at Michael experienced that she did not. This wild thrill of discovery that led to possibilities only the big screen could fulfill.

Instead of letting her imagination get the best of her, Karen flattened a hand over her stomach and attempted to act unaffected. “Do I know you?”

The sex personified blue-eyed man stepped toward her. It took effort for her to hold her ground.

Sensing her unease, he held still, looked around the both of them as if noticing the caterers running about and guests arriving behind him, and said simply, “Zach Gardner.”

The smile on her face stayed. The name tickled at the edges of her consciousness. Memories flashed behind the veil of her mind until she narrowed her focus. “Michael’s brother?” she whispered.

Zach gave a small nod and swept his eyes down her frame. When his eyes met hers again, he masked whatever he’d been thinking, then he smiled and said, “And you’re the wife none of us have met.”

Not a lot shook Karen. She’d managed the role of Michael’s wife under the ever-present scrutiny of paparazzi, producers, actors, and fans . . . but the man standing in front of her did what no one else could. He made her question her decision to marry.

I love all of Catherine Bybee's work, but I must say, I think this is my new favorite, not just in the series but out of all her books.  I just fell in love with it. The writing, the story, the tender moments, the trust, faith, the love and friendship, the characters relationships with one another, all of it. 

I don't think I could of asked for a better read in romance nor a better read for this time of year to spice it up and get my heart pumping. 

I knew I wanted more of Karen and Micheal’s story after their appearance in Fiance by Friday but I wasn't expecting how much I would fall in love with both of them. And Zach, let's not forget adorable sexy Zach. 

I can't go into too many details but this read was rich in detail, romance, steamy hot sexual tension, love, friendship and learning to be a better person and help those around you. I really truly enjoyed every single minute of this and highly recommend this series to anyone that loves this genre. 

Not only can this be read as a stand alone but for those that do follow the series, we always get to see old familiar faces as well and see how they are doing, which is always so nice when as author does that.

I will continue to pick up Bybee's books without hesitation in the future because I know I will always get a heartfelt read that will make me sigh in happiness and put a smile on my face.

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Cover Reveal: Dream Boy by Mary Crockett and Madelyn Rosenberg

Title: Dream Boy
Author: Mary Crockett and Madelyn Rosenberg
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Sourcefire Books (July 1, 2014)
Genre: YA Fantasy

Book Description:
Annabelle Manning feels like she’s doing time at her high school in Chilton, Virginia. She has her friends at her lunchtime table of nobodies. What she doesn’t have are possibilities. Or a date for Homecoming. Things get more interesting at night, when she spends time with the boy of her dreams. But the blue-eyed boy with the fairytale smile is just that—a dream. Until the Friday afternoon he walks into her chemistry class. 

One of friends suspects he’s an alien. Another is pretty sure it’s all one big case of deja vu. While Annabelle doesn’t know what to think, she’s willing to believe that the charming Martin Zirkle may just be her dream come true. But as Annabelle discovers the truth behind dreams—where they come from and what they mean—she is forced to face a dark reality she had not expected. More than just Martin has arrived in Chilton. As Annabelle learns, if dreams can come true, so can nightmares.

 In this romantic contemporary fantasy, American teen-hood meets mystic folklore.

Like the small southern town where it's set, Dream Boy is edged by wilderness, mysticism and mystery. The bottle tree on the cover perfectly captures the novel's mix of dream and nightmare.

So what is a bottle tree?

Simply put, it's an ancient folk-magic practice intended to capture evil spirits. Southerners adapted the tradition—outfitting tree limbs with colored bottles.

In Dream Boy, the bottle tree creates a connection point between the real world and what lies beyond.

“We were beyond excited with how the cover turned out,” says Mary Crockett. “It was a serious thrill to see something from our imaginations become real. And not only real, but gorgeous.”

Madelyn Rosenberg agrees, “We're lucky we had such excellent people working on it—with designer Eileen Carey and Sourcebooks creative services manager Adrienne Krogh at the top of the list.”

About the Authors:

Mary Crockett is author of several award-winning books of poetry and co-author of a history of Salem, Virginia, her hometown. Mary taught writing at Roanoke College and served as director of the Salem Museum. She now lives with her family in an old house along Virginia's Wilderness Road.

Madelyn Rosenberg grew up 32 miles away in Blacksburg, Va. She spent a decade as a newspaper reporter before she began writing fiction. Her books include The Schmutzy Family and Canary in the Coal Mine. She lives with her family in Arlington.

Mary and Madelyn first met about 15 years ago co-teaching a creative writing class for teens.




Madelyn's Website
Mary's Website

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Review: Fates by Lanie Bross

Title: Fates
Author: Lanie Bross
Series: Book One in the Fates Series
Published by: Delacorte Books (February 11, 2014)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 3 Stars

Book Description:
What if your destiny was to kill the one you love?

One moment. One foolish desire. One mistake. And Corinthe lost everything.

She fell from her tranquil life in Pyralis Terra and found herself exiled to the human world. Her punishment? To make sure people’s fates unfold according to plan. Now, years later, Corinthe has one last assignment: kill Lucas Kaller. His death will be her ticket home.

But for the first time, Corinthe feels a tingle of doubt. It begins as a lump in her throat, then grows toward her heart, and suddenly she feels like she’s falling all over again—this time for a boy she knows she can never have. Because it is written: one of them must live, and one of them must die.

In a universe where every moment, every second, every fate has already been decided, where does love fit in?

I am a sucker for anything mythology related but even though I love the subject it is so nice to see a different spin on it.

The concept portrayed in this with the Fates, the Executors, the Unseen Ones and the other beings was truly unique and had a well executed plot. It kept me interested enough with the world building that I wanted to keep reading and find out more. This story didn’t' go the traditional route of the three fates but rather a whole league of them that help shape the lives of the humans on Earth (Humana), Corinthe being one of them that was exiled to Humana for a mistake she made years earlier. 

The fact that fate isn't always what we perceive it to be nor the idea that our lives are truly as “fated” as we think they are was a great one and one that left you thinking and curious about the world and beings in it. Their lack of understanding and compassion as well as their inability to understand that sometimes we are the ones that decide out fate was nicely done. 

Even though I never connected with Corinthe or Luc I did like them and appreciated the way the author portrayed their thoughts and feeling and their struggles as they both experienced what life and love truly have to offer together even though they couldn't have been more different in their raising and circumstances. 

The world Bross created was truly magical and slightly dark feeling with all the realms and beings, some willing to help Luc and Corinthe and others more set out to see them fail and help spread hate and suffering between the two worlds. 

I really enjoyed the underlying messages about love conquering all and saving us all. This truly
was an original and fun twist on the fates, their role in our world and the lives that they affect. 

The ending left this wide open for a sequel and I would like to see one come about, I think it would be interesting to see how it all plays out and what the author decides to do with Luc and Corinthe's fate (yes cheesy pun intended). 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Friday, January 24, 2014

Blog Tour Book Review and Giveaway: Mirror Deep by Joss Landry

Welcome to my tour stop for Mirror Deep by Joss Landry. This is an adult/new adult romantic suspense and the tour runs January 13-31st with mostly reviews.  Be sure to stop by the tour page for the list of tour stops.

Mirror Deep by Joss Landry
Genre: Romantic Suspense recommended for 16+
Length: 456 pages
Release date: Oct. 2012


Katherine Bonner with the golden eyes and a golden, enchanted life is well on her way to becoming a horse whisperer. Tall, athletic, she loves to ride, and she can usually exact good behavior from most wild steed, except from Pierce who bucks her at every crack of the whip.

Pierce is top honcho in charge of the fifteen hundred acre ranch, Bonner-Willow. Although he owns a Master’s in business administration, he loves to be around horses. He considers himself more of a cowboy than a CEO.

When Kat becomes the bearer of unexpected news about her past from ex-convict, ex-lawyer Victor Horn, she wonders how she will ever find her roots and manage to put the pieces of her life back together again. She turns to Pierce, the dark hair and blue eyed hunk whom Kat believes, thinks he is God's gift to women.

Pierce reluctantly agrees to help, partly for reasons of his own. He worries about his lawyerly father being involved with Victor's murder. As Pierce and Kat travel to Chicago together, they walk right into a criminal investigation headed by two bumbling detectives. Kat makes a date with a potential serial killer, and Pierce, whose affection for Kat is slowly changing to one of deeper commitment, worries about her safety. Meanwhile, Kat bumps into a doppelganger she believes is stalking her, only to discover that no one else ever sees her.

Mirror Deep uncovers many twists and turns designed to keep the reader guessing until the end. Through all the action, Pierce remains by Kat's side. Will he be able to hide from Kat his mounting desire? Will Kat find who this look alike is and why she is trying to warn her? Does Kat follow a stranger to Paris, France simply to put miles between her and Pierce or to avoid the threat of a potential killer?

About the Author:

Joss has worked as a consultant for more than twenty years, writing copy for marketing firms and assisting

Blessed with four children and five grandchildren, she resides in Montreal with her husband, a staunch supporter, and enjoys spending her time biking, rollerblading, playing tennis and swimming. She loves creating stories, as she says that it fulfills her need to think outside the box.

start-up companies launch their business. She recently made the switch from composing copy and promos, to writing fiction and prose. She is developing her style through courses and the support of other writers. A recent graduate of the Long Ridge Writer’s Group, she is a member of the Romance Writers of America and is presently working on honing three other novels for publication.

Tour Organized by CBB Book Promotions

I love a good mystery, especially one that keeps me on my toes and constantly guessing. Throw in a little paranormal activity for good measure and you have a really fun, intriguing read.

I liked Kat and Pierce from the get go and even though this book all about the mystery, it has some good family elements and a sweet romance too and let's not forget the horses! I love that this had sort of a down home country feel to it as well as a very modern feel, in fact, at first I wasn't quite sure if this was a modern read or if it was set in earlier times it just has that sort of feel to it.

This was expertly done with foreshadowing and clues dropped subtly along the way of who the culprit was and why they did what they did.

I loved the tension and friendship between Kat and Pierce and the fact that even though they are both adults they both still had their parents very much present and accounted for in their lives (sometimes not always a good thing however). I am always up for a good romance that is based first on mutual respect and friendship and the mystery element was really just an added bonus that keep me guessing and turning the pages.

This was an enjoyable read that I really think anyone that loves both romance and mystery (or even one or the other) will enjoy. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author, publisher or tour organizer. I was not compensated for this review.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Release Day Event and Giveaway: Starcrossed by Brenda Hiatt!

Starcrossed, a Starstruck novel by Brenda Hiatt, is out now!  To celebrate the release we are happy to share an interview with Princess Emileia and Rigel Stuart as well as an excerpt from the book.  Be sure to stay tuned to the end where there's a giveaway as well!

 The Starstruck adventure continues…

 Marsha spent the first fifteen years of her life as a nerdy nobody before discovering her true identity as the long lost princess of a secret civilization. Now M is dodging extraterrestrial paparazzi while trying to keep the truth from her adoptive aunt and uncle and everyone at school. At least she can be herself with her boyfriend and literal soulmate, Rigel. Whenever they’re together, it’s easy to forget the responsibilities that will eventually come with her new status. But when a new boy arrives at Jewel High, everything M thought she knew about herself and her future is turned upside down. Now the very destiny that lifted her from obscurity threatens to tear her away from Rigel and their happy ever after. But when two planets conspire against you, where is there to run?

Recently Discovered Princess Grants Exclusive Interview
with Gwendolyn Gannett, Echtran Enquirer

I’m sitting here in a charming little ice cream shop in Jewel, Indiana, to chat with our newfound Princess Emileia and Rigel Stuart, the boy who recently saved her life when she was attacked by the dictator Faxon’s minions here on Earth.

Tell me, Princess, how did it feel to discover your true identity after being raises as a Duchas?

With great presence of mind, the Princess immediately shushes me. “Not so loud! And please, stick to English. I don’t want everyone in Dream Cream to freak out the way I did when Rigel first told me there are . . . people like us…living on Earth!”

Given the pains our Nuathan Ministry of Terran Obfuscation has taken to keep that secret, I suppose she has a point. I lower my voice as I continue.

Is that true, Rigel? Did the Princess ‘freak out?’

“Only for a day or so,” he replies. “Really, she handled the news like a champ—way better than I did when my parents first told me.”

So you were raised Duch I catch myself. Like a regular Earthling, too?

“Until I was ten, yeah.”

Back to my original question, Princess—

Please don’t call me that!” she interrupts me. “Not here. Just Marsha is fine, or M—that’s what my friends call me.”

Though it seems terribly disrespectful, far be it from me to disobey. M, then. How has your life changed since learning the truth?

“If you don’t count people trying to kill me, mostly for the better. I mean, back in August I was a complete nobody on the very bottom rung of the social ladder. Now I hardly get picked on at all—well, except by Trina, but that’ll never change. I even get invited to parties and stuff. Not that my aunt ever lets me go, but it’s still cool to be invited. But that’s not because of being, you know, who I am. Nobody at school knows about that.”

Unfortunately, this coincides with the rumors of her being mistreated by her adoptive Duchas family and the surrounding townsfolk.

Then why the change?

“Mostly because of Rigel. He’s pretty popular, what with being quarterback of our football team and just generally awesome. I’m just kind of along for the ride.”
“Not true!” Rigel interjects. “You’re the awesome one. It just took people a while to figure it out.”
The Princess laughs at this and claims, “Nobody would ever have called me awesome before—” She breaks off when Rigel raises his eyebrows at her.

Not wishing to pry, I move on. You must be dying to tell everyone the truth about yourself. Is it hard living with such a huge secret?

“Sometimes,” she confesses, “but when I think about what could happen if people found out, I’m a lot less tempted to say anything.”

And what was your life like, growing up as a—you used the word ‘nobody’ in a non-Echtran household? Was it difficult living in such primitive conditions?

She laughs again. “Since I never knew anything else, I never thought of my conditions as primitive. And it’s not like my aunt was ever actually cruel or anything, even if she isn’t always easy to get along with.”

All right, then, next question. Once a certain dictator falls, how do you see your future unfolding? Are you excited at the prospect of someday returning to the place you were born?

The Princess shrugs. “I guess so, though I have an awful lot to learn before I’ll be ready for that! All the stuff people will expect of me, I mean. Besides, I’m pretty happy right here in Jewel for now. For instance, I went to my very first Homecoming dance last week and it was amazing.”

Oh? With Rigel here as your date?

“Well, yes. He and I—”
“Went with a bunch of our friends,” Rigel butts in, cutting her off for the second time, something he’d never dare to do in Nuath, I’m sure.

This makes me very curious. You two have shared a few harrowing experiences since meeting and I’m sure that’s created a bond of sorts. (I notice they exchange a glance when I say that.) Tell me, just how close have you two become?

At this point, Rigel stands up, then the Princess stands, too. “We said we’d give you five minutes,” Rigel says, “and we’ve been here longer than that. You have your story. And please tell your readers she’s tired of being stalked, okay?”
The Princess is much more polite, but it’s clear she’s ready to leave, too, so I don’t detain them.

Overall, I’d say our Princess seems surprisingly content with her new identity and especially with her knight in shining armor, Rigel Stuart. It will be interesting to see how things progress there once she’s called upon to take up the position she was born to—but I’ll leave that story to my colleagues in Nuath, who will be on the spot to witness it firsthand. 


 “Hey, did you hear there’s a new transfer?” Debbi Andrews asked the moment I sat next to her in Geometry class.
Petite and blond, Deb was my second-best friend after Brianna Morrison, though lately it seemed like the two of them were closer to each other than to me. Not that I could blame them, between the time I spent with Rigel and all the secrets I couldn’t tell them.
“Really? Two in one semester must be a record.” I grinned over at Rigel, who’d been the new kid at the start of the school year. “Boy or girl?”
“Boy. I haven’t seen him yet. I think he’s a junior or senior. Natalie said—”
The teacher cleared his throat then and Deb had to shut up. I was sure I’d hear more later, from Bri if not from Deb. New students were a huge deal at our little rural school.
Sure enough, the new guy was the first thing Bri talked about when we met up with her in the lunchroom a couple hours later.
“Hey, Rigel, looks like you’re off the hook for the basketball team.” Bri had been pestering Rigel for days to try out, egged on by her father, who was on the coaching staff. “This new guy, Sean, is just what our sucky team needs, according to my dad.”
“Sean?” Deb asked eagerly. “So that’s his name?”
I glanced at Rigel, who looked more relieved than curious. I, meanwhile, was having a mild deja vu moment, remembering when Bri had been all excited about the wonderful new quarterback we were getting—Rigel.
“Yeah, Sean O’Gara,” Bri told Deb.
“So, is it true he’s from Ireland? That’s what Natalie told me this morning.”
Bri nodded, her long, dark curls bouncing. “That’s what Dad said, too. I didn’t even know they played basketball in Ireland! But apparently it’s huge there.”
“Ireland? Really?” I glanced at Rigel again, remembering something he’d told me a while back, and saw he looked a little more interested. 
“Yeah, he and his family just moved here last— Ooh, that must be him!” Bri broke off to point.
Of course, we all looked. The new guy was definitely tall enough to play basketball, maybe three or four inches taller than Rigel. He was fair bordering on pale, with bright, copper-colored hair. Very good looking, though of course he couldn’t compete with Rigel in that department. Who could?
“Let’s go say hi,” Bri suggested, already heading his way. “You know, welcome him to Jewel.”
It looked to me like plenty of people—mainly girls—were already doing just that. Again I was reminded of Rigel’s first day, especially when I saw Trina Squires—cheerleader, flirt and bitch extraordinaire—saunter up to to the newcomer. Rigel and I followed Bri and Deb, since it seemed the nice thing to do. We were maybe halfway across the lunchroom when both of us stopped cold to stare at each other.
“Do you—?” Rigel asked.
I nodded. “I feel it, too.” It was the brath—the weird, almost electric vibe Martians sense when other Martians are nearby. Like what I’d felt from those two tourist women yesterday.
Sean O’Gara was one of us.

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Brenda Hiatt is the author of nearly twenty novels (so far), including traditional Regency romance, time travel romance, historical romance, and humorous mystery. She is as excited about her new STARSTRUCK series as she's ever been about any of her books. In addition to writing, Brenda is passionate about embracing life to the fullest, to include scuba diving (she has over 60 dives to her credit), Taekwondo (where she recently achieved her 2nd degree black belt), hiking, traveling, and pursuing new experiences and skills. She is an active member of Romance Writers of America, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and Novelists, Inc, an international organization of multipublished novelists, where she served as President in 2006. For the past dozen years, Brenda has also collected data on writers' earnings, which she shares at her website, You can also find Brenda on Facebook, Twitter (@Brenda_Hiatt), Tumblr, Goodreads and Wattpad.


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