Book Launch – Tara Ellis and “The Heiress of Covington Ranch”

Book Launch – Tara Ellis and “The Heiress of Covington Ranch”

Please welcome a fantastic author to the site – say hello to Tara Ellis!

Author Tara Ellis lives in a small, rural town in Washington State set in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She enjoys the quiet lifestyle with her husband, two teenage kids, and several dogs. Tara was a firefighter/EMT, and worked in the medical field for many years, before committing herself to writing young adult and middle grade novels full-time. (She still dabbles in teaching CPR)

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Follow her at:

Twitter handle: @taraellisauthor
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And here’s her new book!
TheHeiressofCovingtonRanch_Ellis_EBOOK

Middle school presents a new kind of challenge for Sam and Ally, but also a chance to make a unique friend. When one of their teachers needs help, the three of them come together to lend her support.

Nestled in the woods that surround their homes, is Covington Ranch. An abandoned estate once used to raise famous horses, a family tragedy has left it forgotten and neglected. But someone has come back.

What does their teacher, a rich stockbroker, and a stolen ruby called The Eye of Jupiter all have in common? Sam and Ally vow to find out, and in doing so, start a chain reaction. It could either have dire consequences for those involved, or bring a broken family back together again.

You can buy it on Kindle or in paperback at Amazon!  And if you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, it’s FREE for you!

Tara’s got a great excerpt for us, too…

During the first week of school, Cassy has only worn two different shirts, with the same small jeans and worn out shoes. It was obvious she didn’t have enough food for lunch, and her health was suffering because of it. If her grandma is the only adult raising her, and isn’t well…that would explain a lot.

“Ally! Sam! We didn’t know you have this lunch!”

The loud greeting interrupts Sam’s thoughts, and she looks up to see two girls and a boy standing beside them. She recognizes all of them as classmates from the elementary school. Heather, the girl that called out, is now looking at them curiously.

“We would sit with you, but it looks like the table is already…ummm…taken?” she sneers, staring pointedly at Cassy, and making a show of looking her over from head to toe.

Cassy blushes furiously, and jumps up from the table, stumbling back a couple of steps. “I can sit somewhere else,” she mumbles, reaching down for her backpack. “I’m done eating.”

Sam clearly remembers a day back in the third grade, when Heather made fun of her for wearing boy’s tennis shoes. She had gone home crying, because they were her favorite sneakers, and the wider sizes fit her feet better. After a good talk with her mom, Sam got some markers and decorated them, to make them more unique. When the other kids at school all commented on the ‘cool’ shoes, Heather never brought it up again.

Now, Sam can’t stand to see the same defeated look on Cassy’s face. An uncharacteristic wave of anger washes through her.

“Sit down, Cassy!” Sam shouts, slamming her hands down on the table at the same time. Everyone jumps, and several nearby tables fall silent.

Uh-oh, Ally thinks, staring at Sam with wide eyes. She knows it takes a lot to get her best friend mad, but when she does…it’s best to get out of her way. Wringing her hands nervously, she watches as Cassy follows the order and sits down without a word.

“You’re right, Heather,” Sam states evenly, standing up. She’s a good three inches taller and even looks down on the boy, Kevin. “This table is full. I guess you’ll have to find someplace else to eat.”

Heather gapes at Sam in disbelief, her mouth open. When Sam doesn’t back down, she finally rolls her eyes and flips her long blonde hair over her shoulder. “Whatever, Sam. Have fun with your new…friend.

As the three of them walk away, Sam turns to Cassy. “Don’t worry,” she says loud enough for the retreating kids to hear. “They’re just bullies.”

Sitting back down, Sam realizes she’s flushed and suddenly sweating. Wiping at her forehead, she takes a drink of water and tries to calm down. The normal chatter returns to the other tables, but Ally and Cassy remain silent. When Sam looks up, she finds both girls watching her.

The girls sit there for a moment, regarding each other in a way that only close friends do. The experience has changed their relationship, much the way playing a sport on the same team does. They’re united now, and Sam just made it clear to the whole school.

“Well, that was interesting,” Ally finally whispers. It breaks the tension, and the three of them laugh.

 

 

Finally, we’ve got a great interview with Tara:

Who is your favorite author?

This is such a hard question! Throughout my life, I have drifted from one genre to another. I don’t have just one….but the two that always come to mind as master storytellers are Steven King and Dean Koontz. I have a long list though, and many of them write in the middle grade genre.

 

How do you describe your writing style?

I often compare my writing style to Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games), because of my YA trilogy that I completed before committing my time to my middle grade series. I try to keep my storytelling sharp and quick, with shorter chapters and plenty of opportunities to place a bookmark, for those with a short attention span. I feel that my books are easy to read, but are still well rounded stories.

 

Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?

I believe that reading is a healthy way to escape reality for a little while. All of my stories are sure to carry you away, but in a positive, uplifting way.

 

Have any of your characters been modeled after yourself?

Yes. To be honest with you, I started writing the first book in The Samantha Wolf Mysteries, The Mystery of Hollow Inn, when I was just sixteen. I was Sam, and my best friend, Lisa, was Ally. Because of this, the series has a very special meaning to me.

 

If you could exchange lives with any of your characters for a day which character would you choose and why?

Samantha Wolf. As an adult, who wouldn’t want to go back to those carefree, summer days when you could still live in your imagination?

 

What books have most influenced your life?

The Trixie Beldon series was huge for me. As I mentioned before, I feel that reading is a good way to escape reality. As a child, there were times that I really needed that. I read that whole series several times over and I believe, looking back, that I might have found myself in a much darker place if it hadn’t been for those good, positive stories.

 

If you could select one book that you could rewrite and add your own unique twist on, which book would that be and why?

The Maze Runner. I feel that its premise is genius, but I was left wanting so much more in the story. I’d love to take that plot and run with it! J

 

Beatles or Monkees? Why?

Beatles. Because as a young child, I spent many evenings choreographing dances to the Beatles with my aunt, in the basement of my grandparents’ house. Such good memories!

 

Who should play you in a film of your life?

I’m a bit of a control freak (and actor), so my first reaction is myself, but that’s not very creative, is it? Let’s see…did you ever watch the original series of Anne of Green Gables? Although I do not have read hair, the girl that played Anne has always reminded me of myself as a child. Her name is Megan Follows. I still chant, “It’s the bane of my existence!” at times. J

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