Book Connection + Giveaway with Ella Martin

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Today we have author Ella Martin talking about some of her favorite YA love stories. Also included are a giveaway for The Stepsister's Tale, as well as some additional. information about Ella's own novel/series.
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There is something magical about retellings of familiar, well-loved stories told from an alternate point of view. Every character has her own backstory, and every character has her own dreams and desires. Though stories typically focus on one or two characters, in order for the entire cast to come to life, the supporting characters need to have something at stake, too. So my favorite alternate-viewpoint retellings not only change the focus but also introduce new characters to expand the universe.

When I first heard of THE STEPSISTER’S TALE by Tracy Barrett, all I knew was that it was the story of Cinderella as told by one of the stepsisters. Jane Montjoy and her sister Maude are from an aristocratic family, albeit one that has lost its fortune over the years, and we meet a very spoiled Isabella after their mother returns from a trip to town with a new husband. Right away, we realize Cinderella as we know it is marred by perspective. Perhaps the stepmother isn’t the evil stepparent, after all.

But what I love about this book isn’t the fairytale retelling. The way it borrows from Cinderella only serves to establish the story’s setting. What I loved was how Jane struggles with her identity. On one hand, she’s from one of the oldest, most noble families in the kingdom. But she’s also aware that her family is poor, that her grand mansion is in a severe state of decay. It takes all of Jane’s cleverness and ingenuity to keep her mother and sisters warm and fed, and you get a sense of pride from her when she shows Will, one of the boys in the woods, that her life in the huge house isn’t nearly what he or the rest of the country folk think it is.

There’s still a ball, and events leading up to it are intriguing. The prince isn’t nearly what he seems. The fairy tale as we know it ends very differently. And as Jane begins to recognize people for what they really are, she stops struggling with class distinctions and allows herself to be the person she needs to be.

The love story in THE STEPSISTER’S TALE is secondary. It’s really more of a story of survival. But the ending is more than satisfying, complete with a HEA that lingered with me long after I turned the last page.

“Annie calls it being stiff and shy. It’s just plain old rudeness. He’s not uncomfortable—he’s proud. Proud and conceited.”

― Tracy Bennet, The Stepsister’s Tale

Talia Nicoletti’s life has been turned upside down–and that’s probably an understatement. Her mother goes off on a business trip… and comes back married!

Her estranged father wants to be less estranged. And her best friend Jake DeSantos suddenly has a new confidante who Talia doesn’t want to like but kind of does anyway.

Talia has to unravel her tangled up emotions to figure out what she really wants. Does she want to accept her father back in her life? Can she trust her new-stepfather? There’s too much

hitting Talia at once, and she’s not ready to deal with any of it. The one person she can always turn to is Jake, and he’s being secretive and isn’t exactly available. And that hurts her more than she thought possible.

Talia hates that she’s jealous of the new girl in Jake’s life, especially since she can’t decide if she loves him … or if she loves him not.

Buy links for I Love Him, I Love Him Not:

You can also win a copy of Will the Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up? and I Love Him, I Love Him Not on Goodreads!

Tour schedule:

o February 8: Read. Sleep. Repeat. - Getting Over Garrett Delaney

o February 9: Cuddlebuggery - Better Off Friends

o February 10: Ageless Pages Review - The Stepsister's Tale

o February 11: YA Book Nerd - Guitar Notes

o February 12: On Starships & Dragonwings - These Broken Stars

o February 13: Read Love Write – Reaper

o February 14: The YA Club – Rebel Mechanics

About the Author:

Ella Martin is an award-winning young adult author and self-described “prep school survivor” from Southern California. With a keen sense for combining relatable teen characters with engrossing stories, her books blend aspects of romance, angst, and intrigue. Her Westgate Prep series of books tackles female friendships, quirky characters, and sensitive topics with equal tact.

Social media links:

Website | Goodreads | Tumblr | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Ella has graciously offered a copy of The Stepsister's Tale for a giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. What a creative and fascinating book which would be captivating and special. The author is talented and this feature and giveaway is wonderful. The review was excellent and peaked by interest. Thanks for this great feature. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  2. I read the stepsister's tale last summer and really liked it, I hope Tracy barrett writes more retellings like this one.


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