A Fairy Tale That Rings True

Yesterday, I was a guest blogger on Young Adult Promotion Central. My post was entitled:  A Fairytale that Rings True. I wrote this in conjunction with my new book, Banished.  Get Your Copy Here on Amazon Kindle. (If you don't have a Kindle, you can download the Kindle app on any electronic device for free.)

Here's the article:

A Fairy Tale that Rings True

            I have always been enamored with fairy tales. There’s something magical about having all of the pieces fall into place at the precise moment of True Love’s Kiss. But real life rarely works out that way. I wanted to write something that would have the magical feel of a fairy tale, but I wanted it to be real—so rich and vivid that you could almost make yourself believe that it was really happening.
Every time I read the traditional Cinderella story, I find myself asking:  What would happen if Cinderella didn’t fall in love with the prince? What if she fell in love with someone else? What if she loved him to the depth of her being? Would she have the courage to fight for that love, or would the pressure to marry the prince win out in the end?
I began to feel a kinship with Cinderella. I began to think her thoughts and feel her pain. That’s when I knew a great story was begging to be told. It’s that feeling of wanting something so badly, but you know you can’t have it. You think about it day and night—long for it, but everyone tells you that it’s beyond your reach.
That’s precisely how Elle Worthington feels. A silly accident puts her into a coma, and she wakes up in a hospital with no memory of who she is. She goes home to a stepmother who loathes her, a stepsister who resents her, and a workaholic father who’s rarely ever home.
She soon discovers that before the accident, she was dating Edward Kingsley, the golden-boy quarterback who’s madly in love with her. Everyone tells her how lucky she is to be with Edward, but for some strange reason, Elle is instead drawn to Rush Porter, her next-door neighbor—a brooding, reckless newcomer who’s too good looking for his own good! From the moment she sees him, he captures her attention and haunts her dreams, and he seems to know an awful lot about her. 
The harder Elle fights to rid herself of the feelings she has for Rush, the stronger those feelings grow. It’s like she can’t help herself; she’s inexplicably drawn to him, and the pull is so strong that she can hardly resist it.
When Elle goes to work for her eccentric aunt Adele who owns a chocolate shop, she begins to get a glimpse of another life—a magical life in which she was a simple peasant girl whose life changed forever the day she caught the eye of the prince. A girl who might have lived happily ever after had her heart not had other ideas. She becomes trapped between loyalty and duty—betrayal and love, and a forbidden attraction so strong that it has the power to destroy her.

All is not as it seems on the surface. Dark forces are watching and waiting to claim what they deem to be theirs, and the fate of a kingdom rests in the hands of a girl who cannot remember who she is or where she came from. 

Older teens and adults will love this sophisticated retelling of The Cinderella Story with a modern-day twist. 

Here’s an excerpt of Banished. In this excerpt, Elle is furious because her manipulative stepmother, Sera, forces her to stay home and do chores around the house while her stepsister, Josselyn, gets to go shopping.

“Stupid flowers! Stupid yard!” Elle plunged the spade into the earth, attacking the dead flowers and yanking them out. It felt good to vent her frustration, even if it was only at the beds. The more she thought about Sera and Josselyn, the madder she got. How could her father possibly be happy with that insufferable woman? Being around Sera made her wonder what her own mother had been like. Not like that horrible woman … she hoped. After she’d cleaned the bathrooms and mopped, she called her father, but he didn’t answer, so, she left him a voice message, asking him what time his flight was getting in. Being left alone with the likes of Sera and Josselyn was a miserable experience. Josselyn kept talking about how horrible Elle had been, but seeing as how she’d just told a bold-faced lie, it was evident that she couldn’t be believed or trusted.  Then another thought entered her head. A terrible thought that caused her heart to pound. A wave of dizziness enveloped her. Was it possible she was remembering things incorrectly? She swallowed hard, ignoring the way her palms had become sweaty against the spade. Mentally, she ran through the events of the past two days. She distinctly remembered doing those chores. She clutched the spade and thrust it viciously into the dirt. Again and again she attacked the dirt. I’m not crazy! I’m not crazy! She repeated the words over and over again in her mind, willing herself to go through the sequence of events from the past couple of days until her head ached.
She was finishing up the second flowerbed when she felt the sensation of being watched. She turned toward the house next door and saw a guy standing on the front porch, leaning against the column. Her eyes met his, and she could tell from his expression that she was supposed to know him. The fact that he was very handsome didn’t help matters. He was tall and lean with black wavy hair and eyes so intense that she could feel the heat of them from across the yard. Her heart began to pound. She couldn’t face trying to make polite conversation with him—not when her head felt like it was about to explode. She looked away, but she could still feel him standing there, staring at her. What? she wanted to scream. She looked at him again through narrowed eyes. This time, there was a trace of amusement on his face. She glared at him and was startled to see him chuckle. An unreasonable anger surged through her. She threw down the spade and stood, her feet squared. “What do you want?”
He raised an eyebrow. “Do you really have to ask … Elle?”
The way he spoke her name was almost a caress. The distance between them seemed to shrink, and she became aware of the way his shirt fell along his muscular chest, the strong curve of his jaw, the way his blue eyes sparked when he gave her the slightest hint of a smile. Confusion clouded over her. These feelings. Where were they coming from? She lifted her chin. “I don’t remember you,” she said with more certainty than she felt.
“Well, that’s mighty convenient.”
“What’re you talking about?”
He flashed a smile that disappeared as quickly as it had come. “I’m talking about this supposed memory loss thing, I’m just not buying it, that’s all.”
She clenched her fists to her side. “How dare you insinuate that I would pretend to lose …” She shook her head. “Forget it!” She started running up the front steps to her house. 
“You know me, Elle,” he yelled after her. “You know me!” she heard him say again as she went inside, slamming the door behind her. For good measure, she turned and locked it.
She ran her hands through her hair and leaned against the door. He was right. She did know him. Her heated reaction to him had come from some deep basic part of her—some primal part that she could never let out. She shuddered. Where were these thoughts coming from? She shook her head. Some primal part that she could never let out? She really was losing it. He was some random guy—a neighbor that enjoyed getting under her skin. That was all. Even as she thought the words, she somehow knew that he was more. An image of him, leaning against the column flashed through her mind. That knowing look in his eyes. That cocky attitude. She shut her eyes, willing the image to disappear. She may’ve lost her memory, but there was something about him that scared her—scared her to the core. And somehow, in a way she couldn’t understand, she knew that she must stay away from him. She went to her room and threw herself down on the bed. A nap was what she needed—a nice long nap. Everything would look better when she woke up. She closed her eyes and drifted off. It was in that moment, right before sleep overtook her, that she remembered his name—Rushton. His name was Rushton.

Here's a  Link to YA Promo Central where the original article was posted.