Stolen by Melissa De La Cruz/Michael Johnston – Review, Interview & Giveaway
Heart of Dread series – Book #2
by Melissa De La Cruz & Michael Johnston
Release Date: November 18, 2014
Who is Eliza Wesson?
Months after Nat and Wes said good-bye on the shores of the Blue, Nat is learning how to control and use her new power. She and her drakon are the last of their kind—and she’s risked her life for their reunion. When she receives a mysterious distress call, she races to help, soliciting the guidance of her new friend, the beautiful and aloof Faix Lazaved of the Blue.
Still heartbroken over losing Nat, Wes is racing cars on a New Vegas racetrack while his team is scattered and lost. When he finds out that his sister, Eliza, is being held in the golden domes of El Dorado, he does what he’s best at—running to her side—and gambles on luck to see him through one more time.
Magic, romance, and danger collide as Nat and Wes become entangled in a dark new adventure that leads right to the heart of the mystery of their frozen, broken world. They soon discover that the answer to both their quests lies in the same question: Who is Eliza Wesson—what is she capable of, and why was she stolen from her family so long ago?
Stolen by Melissa Dela Cruz & Michael Johnston is the 2nd book in their Heart of Dread series. This is a YA Paranormal/Fantasy Dystopian storyline, with two wonderful leading characters in Nat & Wes. When Frozen, the first book in this series left off, they finally had found the promised land, Blue. Nat discovers she is the last Draykonrydder, with her own Drakon. She was where she belonged, to help protect Blue. Wes, with the promise that he would come back, walked away to return with his friends to live life on the edge; stealing to survive, and make ends meet. Wes does have a reason, as he has been looking for his long lost sister, Eliza, who was kidnapped 12 years ago.
The story picks up with Nat and Mainas, her Drakon battling the evil RSA, as they have done since they became a team. Only this time, her Drakon is hurt, and must go underground to heal, leaving Nat completely alone. She meets up with her trainer, Faix to guide her how to use her powers. During the difficult training on using her mental awareness to be able to do almost anything, she receives a telepathic call for help. Together, her and Faix leave Blue to try and find Liannan, a sylph and one of Wes’s team.
While they race to find Liannan, Wes and two of his friends are captured while looking for Eliza. It is here that Wes and Nat find each other again. The romance between the two of them lights up the pages, as we know how they feel about each other. Since this is YA, there are no sex scenes, but Dela Cruz and Johnston do a wonderful job showing their love. Will that be enough to keep them together?
The action is non stop, intense and very exciting. There are so many twists, betrayals, constant danger, and to tell you much more would be spoilers. The adventure revolves around Wes, Nat, Faix and the boys to find Liannan, and Eliza with all the enemies surrounding them. Expect the unexpected, when they reach their goal and all hell breaks loose. There a major game changer at the end, which is a cliffhanger that will keep us holding our breath until the next book. If you like adventure, fantasy, a magnificent story, and two great heroes, then Heart of Dread series is a must read.
Reviewed by Barb
Copy provided by Publicist
The Reading Cafe is thrilled to welcome back the wonderful Melissa De La Cruz. Today Melissa will be discussing her new release, Stolen, which she co-wrote with her husband Michael Johnston. Stolen is the 2nd book in their Heart of Dread series.
Let’s catch up with Melissa.
Hi Melissa. Thank you for taking the time to visit us again at The Reading Cafe, and to give an update as to what you have upcoming in 2014/2015.
TRC: For those who may not have read the first book, can you give a brief description of the premise of your Heart of Dread series?
Melissa: The Heart of Dread series is about a girl named Nat with a dangerous secret and a boy named Wes who helps get her to safety. Set one hundred years in the post-apocalypse New Vegas, the story melds fantasy and science fiction tropes to create a fast-paced and gritty story about two young people tossed together in a great adventure. In the first book, Wes helps Nat on her journey and in book two, Stolen, we find out more about their background and how the world was destroyed.
TRC: The Heart of Dread series is written by you and your husband, Michael Johnston. Can you please tell us your process in writing the book together?
Melissa: We talk a lot. Talk, talk, talk, talk. Then one of us will write something down and give it to the other to develop then we trade it between us until the book is done. Mike usually does a lot of the work in the beginning and I do a lot of work at the end.
TRC: Stolen is the 2nd book in this series, being released tomorrow. Can you please give us a brief description of Stolen?
Melissa: Stolen picks up a few months where Frozen left off, Nat is learning to use her power and Wes is reduced to driving in the death races in Vegas. Wes gets a tip about his missing sister and races to her, only to find himself in the same place as Nat. They uncover more terrible secrets of in both the fantastic world of Vallonis and the gritty world of the RSA.
TRC: You write a number of genres. Do you find it difficult to switch between genres?
Melissa: No. I love it. Keeping my work different is what keeps me going.
TRC: Your Witches of East End series is now in its second year on television (Lifetime). You have a wonderful cast on the show. I love Jenna DewanTatum & Daniel Di Tomasso together. How does it feel to see your characters come to life? Also, how do you feel the television series is portraying your storyline in comparison to the book?
Melissa: It’s awesome. Just a joy to see my characters on screen. Pure joy. The TV show has a different story, but it kept the heart of the book – the love triangles, the family dynamics, the small town, the mythology. I love it, I’m a huge fan. I’m devastated at its cancellation but I have other projects I’m working on that will hopefully be on television soon.
TRC: You have a new series, The Ring and the Crown. Can you please give us a brief description of this series, and how many books are you planning?
Melissa: The Ring and The Crown is an alternate historical fantasy set in the early 20th century where France and Britain have combined into one kingdom and Merlin has been alive a thousand years. It is about princesses, love, magic, betrayal, romance and sisterhood. I am unsure yet of how many books, at least three, maybe more, but that all depends on sales. Publishers want to see series selling or they cancel them too.
TRC: Would you like to share with us anything else that you may have upcoming in 2015?
Melissa: My big Disney Middle grade book is Isle of the Lost: a Descendants prequel – Descendants is the new Disney Channel Original Movie that comes out in August 2015. My book comes out in May.
TRC: Would you like to add anything else?
Melissa: We’re also currently developing The Ring and The Crown as a television show, so hopefully that will get picked up. We can only hope!
TRC: Thank you, Melissa for giving us an update on what we can look forward to in 2015, and we wish you the best of luck with Stolen.
If you want to learn more about Melissa, you can find her at the following links:
Melissa’s publisher is offering a hard-copy of STOLEN to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.
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7. Giveaway is U.S. only
8. Giveaway runs from November 17- 20, 2014