I am so happy to have this guest post from Jessa on the blog today! I love seeing how stories evolve from an original idea, especially since I’m currently writing a first draft. Enjoy!
by Jessa Russo
Publication date: April 15th 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Fairytale Redux
Cover: Blue Sky Design
From senior class president to dejected social outcast, with just the flick of a match.
After accusations of torching her ex-boyfriend’s home are followed by the mysterious poisoning of her ex-best friend, seventeen-year-old Holland Briggs assumes her life is over. And it is. But not in the way she thinks.
As Holland learns the truth about her cursed fate—that she is descended from the Beast most have only ever heard of in fairytales—she unites with an unlikely ally, good-looking newcomer Mick Stevenson.
Mick knows more about Holland’s twisted history than she does, and enlightening as it is to learn about, his suggestion for a cure is unsettling at best. Holland must fall in love with Mick in order to break the spell, and save their future generations from repeating her cursed fate. Having sworn off love after the betrayals of her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend, this may be difficult to accomplish.
Complicating things further for Holland and Mick, time runs out, and Holland’s change begins way before schedule. With Holland quickly morphing into a dangerous mythical creature, Mick struggles to save her.
Should they fail, Holland will be lost to the beast inside her forever.
Original Opening of DIVIDE
I wanted to share my original opening page with you, just to see how drastically a manuscript can change from inception to publication. If you’ve read DIVIDE, or even the blurb, you’ll see just how much my final redux of Beauty and the Beast deviated from my original plan. Holland went from being completely aware of her situation, and very much mirroring Belle from the Disney version, to being clueless about her impending fate . . . descending from a long line of women who hadn’t, in fact, beaten the curse.
My life was the stuff of fairytales. I’d grown up knowing all about the legend—I mean, heck, who hadn’t? Of course, my version was slightly different than anyone else’s and even worse than that, not actually a legend at all.
Your favorite fairytale was my own personal curse. My birthright.
Each woman in my family had beaten it. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be here, now would I? That should have given me hope, some reason to breathe. Just the fact that every woman before me had beaten the curse, had found love and fought the odds … that should have been reason enough to believe.
But I wasn’t going to beat it. There was just no way. I wasn’t a fool. I knew how it worked and what had to be accomplished, and frankly, I was failing miserably. It was almost my eighteenth birthday and I was still painfully single. Not sure why, exactly. Part choice, part circumstances, I guessed. I just … hadn’t found him yet.
And so I would be the first woman in my family not to beat the curse.
My dad’s voice came thundering through the house, all the way through the garage door; he was that loud.
I closed my book and laid it on the arm of the couch, jumping up to find him. I wouldn’t have to look hard—chances are he’d be chest deep under the hood of his ugly old Studabaker. His baby.
“What’s up, Pop?”
He reached an arm out and I handed him a red-orange rag, smeared with grease and God-knows what else. It matched his arms and I wondered if it would actually clean him, or make him dirtier.
“There’s my girl. Have you thought any more about the dance?”
Ugh. I couldn’t help the groan that resulted from the mention of the Homecoming dance. With only two weeks remaining, my chances at finding a date were slim.
“Papa, I don’t want to talk about it. I’m not going.”
“Surely there’s someone you want to go with?
About the Author
Jessa Russo believes in fairytales, ghosts, and Jake Ryan. She insists mimosas were created for Sundays, and that’s not up for discussion. She’s obsessed with the great city of New Orleans—where she’s collected too many beads to count, eventually married her sweetheart, and visited graveyards they don’t include on maps.
She’s loud, painfully honest, and passionate about living life to the fullest, because she’s seen how abruptly it can be taken away.
What began as a desire for reading and writing young adult paranormal has bled into stories of all kinds. From fantasy to pre-dystopian to erotic contemporary, Jessa’s stories always include romance, though she’s given up on pigeonholing her work into a category or genre box.
Jessa was born and raised in Southern California, and remains there to this day with her husband (a classic car fanatic), their daughter (a Tim Burton superfan), and a Great Dane who thinks he’s the same size as his Chihuahua sister.
ENTWINED, the final installment of Russo’s Ever Trilogy, will be released later this year, as well as an erotic romance written under the pseudonym Parker Jameson, so please stay tuned!
Jessa’s Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
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