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Cross the Stars FULL WRAP PAPERBACK
Title: Cross the Stars (Crossing Stars #1)
Author: Venessa Kimball writing as V. Angelika
Genre: New Adult/ Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 8, 2016
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Cross the Stars is the first book in a duet and a new adult contemporary romance set in the Middle East.
What would you risk for love? Would you cross the stars? Steal the moon?
She is American. A commoner, an outsider. Min barra. He is Jordanian royalty. A prince, already promised to another. And their worlds are about to collide.
A year shy of graduating from Georgetown University, Ella Wallace feels like she is losing direction. Having carved her own path through life, rejecting her family’s elitist influences, the last thing she wants is to waste time and prove her parents right. A happenstance summer-long program abroad offers the perfect opportunity to immerse herself in volunteer work, finding richness in family and purpose she has never experienced before.
Prince Rajaa bin Ammaar is returning home to Jordan from Georgetown University. His intent is to spearhead a refugee program meant to bring peace to his country. Amidst threats of civil war and revolt, Raj stands for his convictions, even when they challenge his family and the very culture he is preordained to uphold.
A chance encounter at a crowded party in D.C. brought Ella and Raj together for one fleeting moment – two people never thought to meet again. But it’s not until their diverse worlds collide in Jordan that they realize the power of their connection. With the refugee program as their reuniting bond, they must cross the stars and defy their clashing cultures to protect their forbidden love.
With the culturally rich Jordanian backdrop, Cross the Stars will take you on a journey into the geographical and cultural Middle East, the resilience of humankind amidst turbulent civil unrest, the parallel unrest of two lovers’ clashing fates, and the diversity they must challenge with every breath to keep their love alive.
This book is rated 18+ for explicit sexual situations and language.
This is the first book in a series. How many books will there be?
It will be a duet; only 2 books.
This intense love story between Ella and Raj crosses continents as well as extreme cultural differences with Ella being American and Raj being Middle Eastern and a prince at that. What type of research did you have to do for the geography, culture, the Arabic language, and the climate of crisis in the Middle East backdrop?
I spent many hours watching documentaries, reading article after article, studying maps, studying the religious and political states between the Middle Eastern countries and multiple history lessons on the Syrian conflicts and wars to get a feel for the setting Ella was entering being an average American. I am by far not an expert and would never attempt to be. The hours of research, while many, have barely put a dent in the richness of the Middle Eastern culture. Needless to say, I wanted to do this love story justice, get the environment, and language right. Translation is not easy and Arabic is a very complex language to learn. Having an Arabic translator edit the linguistics and colloquial uses of the language to suit Jordan as the core of the story was extremely necessary as I have used Arabic throughout the novel. That is just one aspect of how I wanted to have the reader experience this journey with Ella into Jordan. I wanted the reader to see everything she saw, experience everything she experienced ; the food, the cultural dynamics of her host family, the children she volunteered with, her first encounter with war, her encounter with Raj, a Jordanian prince. I wanted to immerse readers into the richness this story had to offer and over 100 hours of research was well worth making this experience rich for the characters, the readers, and myself. I learned so much from writing Cross the Stars and I know writing Steal the Moon will have me learning so much more.
Steal the Moon? Is that the title of the second book? If so, when will it release?
Steal the Moon, Crossing Stars #2, is the title of the second book and it will release late 2016.
Why have you chosen to write with a pen name? Venessa Kimball writing as V. Angelika.
I write Young Adult fiction as well. When I started the journey with writing Cross the Stars, I wanted to make sure to protect my young adult readers from explicit content in this duet. It could be very easy for a teen reader having read my YA books to look at this book and say, "Hey, that is the author of the Evan series. Maybe I should check this one out." Then they purchase it and are hit with adult content. Adding the V. Angelika as my pseudonym will be the separator from my YA and New Adult/ Adult novels, since I will continue writing in both genres.
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