Hey everyone, I’ve got a special treat for you because my reader squad is awesome and they have earned it!
In case you aren’t aware yet, in less than 2 weeks I’ll be celebrating the 2nd anniversary with a day-long Facebook event. It’s going to be awesome. We’ll be doing games and giveaways. We’ll have some exclusive bonus content. I’ll be revealing a BRAND NEW COVER for Cinder & Ella. (That’s right, the book is getting a makeover!) And of course this…
I will be announcing some big exciting huge awesome fantastic Cinder & Ella news during this party. If you want to know what it is, you gotta come party with us! (And I mean us because Brian Oliver himself is hosting the party and I know at least he and Ella will be there.)
Now… on to the DELETED SCENE GOODNESS!!!
You’re all getting this deleted scene today because I started a Thunderclap campaign for the 2nd anniversary event and I promised my reader squad if they got me to at least 100 supporters, I would give them this little gem I found on my laptop the other day.
A thunderclap campaign is like a social media flash mob. If you “support” my campaign, then you will be one of my mobbers. No sign up or creating any accounts is required, you simply click the support button for twitter, Facebook, or tumbler, (or all three if you use all three platforms). Then on the day my campaign is set for, a single post that I created about the anniversary party will get posted to all of my supporters’ profiles. Awesome, right? And EASY. Takes 10 seconds. SO, we reached out 100 supporters, but the more we can get, the bigger the flash mob and the more people hear about this awesome party and hear the awesome amazing huge fantastic announcement about Cinder & Ella.
If you’d like to join my social media flash mob and help me spread the Cinder & Ella news, you can do that here: SUPPORT KELLY
Thank you so much for all the support! Can’t wait to see you at the party! Until then, enjoy this deleted scene.
A little setup: A I was explaining to the Reader Squad in our Cinder & Ella read-along last week, the original first draft of Cinder & Ella didn’t have Brian’s perspective. It was told completely from Ella’s point of view. Needless to say, that version was lacking something. It took me a while to figure out what I needed, but once I added Brian’s POV, everything changed. It became a whole new book and was finally the story I’d been trying to tell all along.
When I added in Brian’s chapters, there were some scenes that had to be cut from the original draft that were told in Ella’s POV because with Brian’s POV in there they’d become repetitive. The following deleted scene is one of those instances.
If you haven’t read Cinder & Ella yet, I suggest you stop reading here!!!
This is the scene at FantasyCon that originally took place immediately after Brian and Ella met. I like it, but when I went back and was finding places to add Brian’s POV into the book, I decided we REALLY needed to hear his thoughts after he met Ella. We got to hear her thoughts while they were meeting, so it was his turn. However, since I cut to him, and he took us to the restaurant where he and Ella talk, the following scene was deleted from the book.
(also… this was like a RAW first draft. Like ZERO revisions… as in… not polished and up to my usual writing quality yet…please keep that in mind!!!)
The doors to the conference room where the panel discussion took place hadn’t even fully shut behind us before Anastasia stepped in front of me, a scathing look of pure hatred on her face. “What the hell was that?” she demanded.
“What was what?” I wasn’t trying to play dumb. I was just still too dazed to think straight.
“She means why did Brian Oliver look like he wanted to take you home and make you his eternal love slave?” Rob grumbled, grimfaced.
I blushed so hard it hurt.
“Because it’s him!” Juliette squealed. To me she said, “Can you believe it?”
Anastasia stomped her foot, annoyed that she was still in the dark. “Him who?”
“Cinder,” Vivian said with a dreamy sigh. Obviously she’d picked up on the connection too. “It all makes so much sense now.”
I watched realization hit Anastasia like a pile of falling bricks. “The Internet guy?” she cried. “Brian Oliver is your Internet boyfriend?”
“Why don’t you announce it to the whole convention?” Vivian hissed, ushering us away from a group of water sprites who’d been in line behind us to meet Brian, and were now obviously eavesdropping on our conversation.
When we got back to the main exhibitor hall, we stopped. Rob looked around. “Where to now, birthday girl?”
“Ugh,” Ana groaned. “We met Brian Oliver already. Can’t we just go home now? We’ve been here all day!”
I looked down at the instructions on the photo in my hand again and my heart wrestled with my head. Go home where it was safe and things could go back to normal, or stay and let everything change?
Could I really meet Cinder? Could we really be normal real-life friends now? Friends who did things together, and hung out at each other’s houses?
The word beautiful jumped out at me over and over again, and I remembered the look I’d seen in Brian’s eyes right before he’d written it. Had he really been attracted to me like Rob said? Could we be more than just friends now?
The idea of someone like Brian Oliver wanting someone like me was too insane to accept even if I could make my brain understand that he was the guy I’d known for years.
Vivian snapped her fingers in my face and then plucked the photo from my hands because I’d been staring at it. Her eyes got huge as she read the inscription. She pinned me with a determined look and wordlessly handed the photo to Juliette. Juliette promptly squealed. “Oh my gosh! We have to! What’s the Dragon’s Roost? Where is it? Find it on the map!”
Vivian was already looking at the map. “It looks like it’s a restaurant in the South hall.”
“Dinner!” Juliette shrieked. “He wants to take you to dinner! It’s a date! Ella, you have a date with Brian Oliver!”
“Juliette, stop informing the whole world!” Vivian hissed. “I’m pretty sure he wanted to keep it private since he wrote it like a freaking secret code instead of just asking her.”
Juliette immediately tried to put a lid on her excitement. “Right, sorry.”
Ana snatched the photo from Juliette and then gaped at me with scorn. “Are you going to meet him?”
Well, now that was the question of the hour wasn’t it?
“Of course she’s going to meet him!” Juliette said.
Anastasia looked as if she were about to scratch my eyes out. “Last night at dinner you said you wouldn’t want to go out with Brian Oliver. You’re here on a date with Rob!”
Juliette rolled her eyes. “Oh stop being jealous, Ana. You know exactly why she’s changed her mind, and you can’t blame her. Even Rob can’t blame her. Can you, Rob?”
[ROB REACTION… WHAT IS IT?]
She checked the time on her phone then scanned the large room for signs of the South Hall. It was all the way at the opposite end of the building. “Come on, we only have fifteen minutes to get her there.”
I let them drag me across the convention center without much fuss, but the second I saw the banner of a fire breathing dragon hanging over the restaurant’s normal sign, my heart tried to punch its way out of my chest. I froze, attempting to stave off the panic I felt.
It took everyone a few steps to realize I’d stopped walking. Vivian was the first to notice my absence. She whirled around frowning, but smiled sympathetically the moment she saw my face. I must have looked pretty bad. I felt sick and was starting to sweat.
“What’s wrong with you?” Anastasia asked. It was the first thing she’d said to anyone on the entire walk over. She was doing some serious pouting.
My eyes drifted back up to the restaurant. “I don’t know if I can do this.”
“Of course you can,” Vivian said.
Juliette just frowned at me as if I’d grown a third eye. “Why not?”
A crazed laugh bubbled up from my throat. “Why not? Because he’s Brian Oliver! He’s America’s favorite Bad Boy! He’s dating Kaylee Summers for heaven’s sake!”
Vivian snorted. “Oh, yeah, because that was obviously a healthy relationship.”
“Guys like him do not hang out with girls like me, Vivian.”
“But he’s Cinder! He’s your best friend.”
“Because he doesn’t know me!” I let out a long breath. “It’s different online. If I meet him now, everything changes. What if he’s disappointed and I end up losing my best friend?”
My eyes started to burn. I swallowed a wave of emotion but everyone realized how close I was to crying anyway. Ana rolled her eyes, but Vivian put her arms around me. “There’s no way he’ll be disappointed,” she promised, “but if he is, then I’ll be your new best friend and we can feed him to the flesh eating worms.”
I smiled a little at that and took another calming breath. It sounded good in theory, but it was still terrifying.
“The guy’s obviously nuts about you.” Juliette added. “He was flirting like crazy with you even before he figured out who you were.”
I groaned. “He flirted with everyone. It’s his job to be friendly with his fans.”
This time the scoff came from Rob. “That was way beyond friendly, Ella. The guy was seconds away from jumping over the table and punching me in the face just for standing next to you.”
As if Rob’s accusation hadn’t made me blush enough, Ana muttered, “You mean hanging on her. You may as well have peed on her.”
“Ana, don’t be such a bitch!” Juliette yelled.
“I’m not the bitch here! Ella’s been stringing Rob along for weeks because of her precious Cinder, and now she doesn’t even want to meet him!”
“Of course I want to meet him!” I snapped.
“Then what’s your freaking problem? Obviously he wants to meet you too or he wouldn’t have asked you to come.”
“I hate to agree with Ana,” Juliette said, “but he did ask you to meet him, and he didn’t have to do that. If you don’t talk to him, you know you’ll regret it for the rest of your life.”
I finally gave up. It was hard to keep fighting the idea when I wanted it so badly. “Okay,” I said, trying to calm myself down. “Okay.”
“Good girl,” Vivian teased and then gave my head a patronizing pat. “Go in there and win your man.”
“What about you guys?”
Juliette answered before Vivian could, and her wicked smile made me nervous. “We’ll just head home. You can take as long as you want. I’m sure Brian won’t mind driving you home in that beautiful Ferrari of his.”
For a second I was surprised to hear that Brian Oliver drove a Ferrari, because that was what Cinder drove too and what were the odds? Then I mentally smacked myself upside the head for being an idiot. It was going to take a while to get used to Cinder being Brian.
Then I realized what Juliette said and I freaked out all over again. “No! You can’t do that. Please don’t leave me! I swear I won’t be long. Can’t you guys just have dinner here too and we can all leave after? That way, if things don’t go well, I’m not stranded.”
“How could things possibly not go well?” Vivian asked. “There were so many sparks flying at that meet and greet I started to wonder if the panel discussion had it’s own fireworks show.”
I blushed at that but the knot in my stomach was too big to let her distract me. “He doesn’t about know me. I’ve never gone into detail about my accident. He doesn’t know I’m… I’m…” Monstrous. Hideous. Deformed.
I’d shocked everyone into silence. The looks on their faces ranged from pity (Juliette), to sad (Rob), to sympathetic (Vivian), and then of course there was Ana’s very satisfied smirk (bitch).
“You never told him?” Vivian asked quietly. “Even after all this time?”
I wanted to cry as I shook my head. “Cinder was the one person who I never had to talk about my condition with, so I didn’t. I didn’t think it would matter. I didn’t think I was ever going to meet him.”
Juliette shook her head. “It won’t matter,” she decided. “He’s going to love you anyway.”
Anastasia laughed. “Sure he is! He’s going to give up Kaylee Summers for you. It’ll be the real life version of Beauty and the Beast only backwards.”
Everyone yelled at her, but it was Rob that silenced her. “Shut up, Ana! I’m so sick of your shit!”
Anastasia looked so shocked to be yelled at by him that I wondered if any guy had ever dared do it before. Probably not. Only Rob didn’t stop there. “You want to know why I didn’t ask you to the dance? It’s because it doesn’t matter how hot you are, every time I look at you all I see is a cold-hearted bitch!”
All of us were stunned stupid. We were helpless to do anything but stand there and watch Anastasia’s eyes fill with tears. She stalked off without another word. I almost felt bad enough for her to chase her down, but I never got the chance. The second she left Rob whirled around and took my face in his hands. His touch was surprisingly soft considering he still looked so angry. It took him a minute to drop his glare, but the passion didn’t leave him. “You are beautiful, Ellamara,” he growled. “And I am jealous as hell right now because you are going to go in there, and make Brian Oliver fall madly in love with you. I have no doubt.”
Rob stared into my eyes as if willing me to believe him. Then he crashed his lips onto mine in a short but passionate kiss. When he pulled back he didn’t explain himself or apologize. He just smiled and said, “Go get him.” Then he gave me a gentle nudge toward the restaurant.