Title: Happily Ever After
Series: Cinder & Ella #2
Author: Kelly Oram
Publisher: Bluefields Publishing
Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Sequel
Release Date: April 11, 2017
The end of one story is often the beginning of another. Hollywood heartthrob Brian Oliver and his Cinderella princess Ellamara Rodriguez have finally found love outside the digital world. But leaving their anonymity behind creates a whole new set of obstacles for the nation's new favorite sweethearts. With the stress of Brian's fame and the pressures of a new relationship weighing down on them, the It Couple quickly begins to wonder if they can hold on to their newfound joy, or if maybe happily ever after is only a fairy tale after all.
Book Links: (Amazon exclusive and in Kindle Unlimited)
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Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B06XWKRCS2
Scott closed his laptop, which was a sign that he was really serious now. “Like it or not, Brian, she is in this. Up to her eyeballs in it, in fact. She won’t be able to avoid it forever, and when it catches up to her, she’s going to have some real choices to make. If you don’t bring her in with you, then your management team—along with everyone else in town—will bypass you and go straight to her. Do you really want her to meet with people and make decisions without you?”
My jaw clenched. Hollywood people could be nice enough, but they were all sharks in sheep’s clothing. Ella was a strong, smart woman, but she wasn’t used to playing their game. No way did I want her having to navigate this business on her own.
“You’re absolutely right that your team will try to use her as much as possible. That’s why you should be there when they do. At least if you’re together, you can tell her when they’re trying to work her over.”
Damn him again. Why did he always have to be right? Letting out a breath of defeat, I scrubbed my hands over my face and then raked them through my hair. “All right, all right, fine. Let’s schedule a meeting with Ella. But not yet. After the holidays. After New Year’s.”
Scott’s posture eased up a little, and he gave me an apologetic smile. “I don’t think they want to wait that long. You guys are in the headlines now. You’re the biggest story of the year. With the movie releasing in two days, they want to take advantage of all this free publicity.”
I huffed in exasperation. “The Druid Prince is the biggest release of the holiday. The studio has put millions of dollars into advertising. How much more publicity does it need?”
“Not the film, Brian; you.”
“I don’t care about the publicity. I don’t want the attention.”
I shot to my feet with a groan and headed for my coffee again. It wasn’t as hot now, so I chugged it as if it held the answers to all my problems.
“You do want it this time. And so does Ella.”
I was still frowning, but I leaned against the counter again and gave him my full attention. He jumped on the window of opportunity but spoke cautiously, as if he was afraid I might explode if I didn’t like what he said. “How you and Ella deal with this attention will affect your future, and you know it. The world loves you guys right now. You’re a real-life fairy tale. People are dying to see the two of you living out the happily-ever-after you promised them.”
“Forget the world. I want that. But if the freaking media doesn’t leave us alone, no one will get that happily-ever-after, because Ella will dump my famous ass.”
Scott’s snort of disbelief was only mildly reassuring.
“She’s not like everyone else, Scott. She doesn’t care about the money, and my fame is a problem in her eyes, not a fun perk. She’s fragile. If this gets too crazy, she’ll throw in the towel. She’ll have to. And I’ll have to let her.”
“If you would just make a couple of appearances together, do an interview or two and a photo shoot, that would satiate the public, and things would die down.”
“Tell that to Kim and Kanye.”
Again, Scott spoke right over my cynical mutterings. “It would help you both in other ways, too. Ella is exactly what you need for your career. This relationship will completely erase your last year or so of debauchery.”
I cocked an eyebrow at Scott, trying my hardest not to smile. It wasn’t easy. “Debauchery?”
His cheeks turned a little pink, but he stood his ground. “Do you have a better word for all the partying and womanizing?”
I held his gaze a moment longer but then cracked. “Fine. Debauchery.”
“Right. And after a few appearances with Ella, as in love as you guys are, not even Kyle Hamilton will remember your previous reputation as an arrogant, immature playboy.”
My eyebrow went up again, and this time it was Scott who relented. “Okay, Kyle might. But no one else will; I guarantee it. You’ll be the mature down-to-earth A-list actor who chose to be with a physically-disabled woman when he could have anyone. You’ll be admired by all of Hollywood. And a man like that might just win himself an Oscar, whether he earned it onscreen or not—that’s simple Academy politics. Not that you haven’t earned it, but no one in the Academy would hesitate to vote for you. And no director will hesitate to consider you for a role in the future. Play your cards correctly right now, and you’ll be earning thirty million a picture for the Cinder Chronicles sequels and turning down roles you’d beg for right now.”
A year ago, that would have been a persuasive argument. “It’s not me I’m worried about. I’ll earn my A-list status eventually; I don’t need to use Ella to get there.”
“She might want to use this opportunity, though. You should at least explain to her what is going on and what it means for her. From what you’ve told me, she’s an extremely independent woman and isn’t going to want to live off of her father’s money forever, or yours. This could be a very lucrative time for her. It could help her with her future and even give her something to focus on. It could give her positive reasons for living with the fame and maybe help her make sense of how much her life has just changed.”
I shot Scott a glare, hating that last accusation, and got his Super-Assistant-Stare-Down again. “Like it or not, Brian, the moment you gave that Cinderella interview on The Kenneth Long Show, you changed her life. There’s no going back for her, so help her move forward. Help her make the best of a hard situation. Ease this transition for her by being straight with her. You know no one else will.”
I rubbed my head. All this thinking about the future first thing in the morning was giving me a headache.
“Sorry, boss, I know it’s not what you want to do, but it is what you need to do. I’d let you keep ignoring them and turn off my phone over the holiday if it wasn’t.”
My hands dropped to my sides as all the fight left me, and I met Scott’s gaze again, frowning. “Do you ever get tired of being right?”
The corners of Scott’s mouth twitched. “Not really, no.”
First, the blurb everyone gets:
I love to read and I'm a ginger. I wrote my first novel at age fifteen–a fan fiction about my favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which my family and friends still tease me. I’m obsessed with reading, talk way too much, and like to eat frosting by the spoonful. I live outside of Phoenix, Arizona with my husband, four children, and my cat, Mr. Darcy. And we named his litter box Pemberly because it’s where he makes ten thousand (poops) a year!
The Fun Stuff:
1. I love to sing and went to college as a voice performance major.
2. I once competed in the Miss Michigan Teen USA pageant. (I did not win LOL.)
3. I’m a baseball fanatic. (Go D-backs!)
4. I broke my head as a kid and had to wear a hockey helmet to school as my cast.
5. I own my own 10-sided dice for role-playing that no one but me is allowed to role.
6. I’m left handed.
7. I am credited as associate producer for the independent film Amber Alert.
8. I live for road trips. Best vacation I ever took was a three-week coast-to-coast-and-back drive with my father.
9. The Backstreet Boys were my 1D in high school, and I was a total fangirl. I still have a whole collection of fan paraphernalia.
10. I took both golf and bowling classes in college to fulfill my PE credits. (I still suck at both.)
Where did you grow up? Tell us a little of your childhood. I grew up with two amazing, loving parents and a bunch of siblings that I only realized were amazing after I grew up and moved away from them. We moved around quite a bit, but I spent the majority of my life in Colorado, Michigan, and California. My childhood was crazy and chaotic at times but fun and full of love. I have no complaints.
What was it like living in Los Angeles right out of college? LA is crazy, and the film industry is rough. It was overwhelming for my husband and I to go there when we were so young, had never been there, and had no family within hundreds of miles. But it was an adventure. We learned a lot, grew up a lot, and have a lot of great memories of our time there.
Share with us one thing most people do not know about you? Umm… like I mentioned about in the fun facts, I modeled a little bit as a teenager and once competed in the Miss Michigan Teen USA pageant. Neither modeling, nor the pageant circuit was really my thing and I quit both pretty quickly. But it was an experience I’m glad I had. I got to do something that not many get the chance to do. I also learned that I belong behind the spotlight, not in it. LOL.
If you could pick one, which one of your books would you make a movie based on? Hmm. I think it would be a toss up between Serial Hottie and Cinder & Ella. Serial Hottie is just fun and I can totally picture it being done similarly to The Burbs, or Suburbia. A fun quirky murder mystery romance. I’d love it. But I’m also a HUGE sucker for anything Cinderella, and it’s always done so well in the movies. Seeing Brian and Ella on the big screen would be so awesome.
Do your family and friends read your books? Some of them. The ones who enjoy reading do. I never expect people I know to read my work, and I only encourage them if I think they will genuinely enjoy my stories. As a writer, I know not everyone is going to love my work, but my friends and family don’t always believe me when I say it’s okay if they don’t like my books. I’ve had friends read my books because they were curious but who don’t normally read the YA romance genre and then they felt really bad when they didn’t like it. It’s really okay. But it’s also fun when someone I know comes up to me and says, “OMG I finally read one of your books and I loved it!”
If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be? Uh… are there other options? Kidding. Well before this I was a stay home mom and it worked well for me. I’d also love to give musical theater a shot. Broadway would be fun!
What inspired you to write Happily Ever After?
Um…. Actually, that would be a who, not a what. Who inspired me to write this book was my personal assistant Karie. Lol. No really. I get so many requests for a sequel or an epilogue to Cinder & Ella. I never planned to write one, but then Karie somehow talked me into it. She reminded me how much I love Brian and Ella, and got me all pumped up to write them again. You all owe this book to her because I wouldn’t have written it if not for her.
What scene was your favorite to write?
Hmm, Well, without giving away any spoilers, my favorite scenes were all the ones where Ella and Brian got some time to themselves. The two of them have a bit of a chaotic life in the book, and those moments where it slowed down and was just the two of them are my favorite. I think that’s why you really get to see Cinder & Ella shine. When nobody’s watching them, it’s easy to see why they’re so perfect for each other and remember why we love them so much.
Who is your favorite—Brian or Ella? Pshhh. That totally depends on which one of them I’m dealing with and how they are treating me at the time. Kind of like my kids, it’s hard to play favorites, but well-behaved characters are usually higher on my list than the difficult ones.
What’s coming next? What are you working on now?
Well, those are two different answers. Right now, I’m not working on anything. I got very sick back in December, spent a lot of January in the hospital, and I’m still in recovery. That’s why Happily Ever After got delayed from its original Valentine’s Day release date. It’s been a hard few months on me and my family, and I’m not better yet. It’s going to be a long time before I feel like my old self again. Unfortunately, because of that, I’ve decided that I’ll be taking this entire year off from writing, if not more. There’s going to be a Kelly Oram shortage for a while.
HOWEVER, I do have some good news. I did have one other manuscript that was finished before I got sick and it’ll be releasing this summer. It’s called The Ghost of You and Me, and it’s a young adult drama romance. In grand Kelly Oram fashion, it’ll make you laugh, cry, and swoon. (Mostly cry this time.) It’s about a girl whose boyfriend died, and he comes back as a ghost a year later to take care of some unfinished business because he can’t find rest in the after life. Only his “unfinished business” seems to be setter his girlfriend up with his old best friend. This one’s a story about overcoming grief, finding redemption for past mistakes, and the healing power of friendship and love. The official release date is June 20, 2017 and it’s up for pre-order already.
Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen—a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which her family and friends still tease her. She's obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and likes to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, four children, and her cat, Mr. Darcy.
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