I am so excited that WELCOME TO PLANET LARA by
Eliza Gordon is available now and that I get to share the news!
If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book, be
sure to check out all the details below.
This blitz also includes a giveaway for a signed finished copy of
WELCOME TO PLANET LARA and a couple eBooks courtesy
of Eliza and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance
to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
Title: WELCOME TO PLANET LARA
Author: Eliza Gordon
Pub. Date: April 8, 2021
Publisher: SGA Books
Formats: Paperback, eBook
About the Book
Lara J. Clarke is used to getting her own way. Motherless at ten and raised by her oft-absent eco-warrior/philanthropist grandfather, she lives the high life afforded by her seemingly bottomless trust fund.
That is, until Grandfather Archibald sheds his mortal coil in a very public manner, and Lara’s privileged life is set adrift, headed for a collision course with the gorgeous, private Thalia Island off the coast of British Columbia. According to the will, Lara will step into the role of Project Administrator, wherein she has one year to fulfill her late grandfather’s dream of a self-sustaining, eco-friendly, family-centered utopia.
The stakes are real: fail, and lose access to the family fortune—forever.
Convinced Thalia Island will be an extension of the heiress lifestyle she’s long led, Lara is surprised to find her new coworkers—and neighbors—aren’t as pliable as the underlings of her former life. Even with the hunky lead engineer Finan Rowleigh showing her the ropes, Lara quickly learns just how unprepared she is to trade her Louboutins for steel-toed Timberlands.
When a series of calamities reveals a sinister element undermining the security of the island and her residents, Lara and Finan must reach beyond their job descriptions to protect Archibald’s precious utopia from those who would do her harm.
And while keeping her late grandfather’s flame alight, Lara finds her own flame burning hot for a charming, kind man who wants nothing from her but her heart.
Praise For WELCOME TO PLANET LARA:
♥ “Eliza Gordon delivers a unique premise, delicious romance, and
plenty of intrigue. I loved it and can’t wait for more from Planet Lara!”
— Samantha Young, NYT and USA Today bestselling author
♥ “Smart, hilarious, and completely unpredictable,
Welcome to Planet Lara is your next must-read. West Coast Canada
Schitt’s Creek meets grown-up Nancy Drew for a riches-to-rags
adventure filled with murder, romance, mystery, and a heroine you
love to hate–until the moment you realize you just love her.”
— Suzy Krause, author of Sorry I Missed
You and Valencia & Valentine
♥ “I absolutely loved Welcome to Planet Lara! It made me
feel all the feels … what a crazy ride! Eliza, once again, brings
her characters to life with humour, heart and realness. I loved
every minute of it and did not want it to end! Cannot wait to find
out what Eliza has in store for Lara.”– Brandee Bublé,
children’s author (O’Shae the Octopus and Jayde the Jaybird)
♥ “I love it, and I CAN’T WAIT TO READ THE NEXT ONE. The
concept is amazing, and the eco-message is so timely and very
dear to my heart. [Eliza] has tackled so much, and done it with her
usual spunk and zest.”– Stephania Schwartz, author and editor
An Excerpt from
Welcome to Planet Lara
I don’t know why they have pickles on this table. My mom hates pickles. Hated. Past tense. I heard Rupert correct my grandfather when he mentioned my mother the other day—they were talking in Grandfather’s huge office lined with bookshelves and Louis XV Savonnerie carpets and giant windows the housekeepers complain about cleaning when they don’t know anyone’s listening, and Rupert referred to my mother in past tense. I wasn’t supposed to hear their conversation—that’s
why the outside door was closed. When it’s closed, I’m not allowed in. But I’m very good at hearing things I’m not supposed to hear because, like that kid in my class who always smells like wet dog says, I’m so scrawny, he could stuff me into his rolling backpack and throw me into the ocean and no one would ever miss me.
I’d like to think that someone would miss me. Only now that we’re speaking of my mother in past tense, I guess that’s one less person who would wonder if I’m floating out to sea, trapped in a rolling backpack covered in dog hair. Also, I’d like to think my English teacher, Mrs. Buck, would be proud of me for understanding the difference between present and past tense, even if her nylons on her beefy thighs scrape together when she walks between our desks and the sound makes me shiver.
Like I was saying, I’m scrawny, so two days ago, I snuck into my grandfather’s office and tucked myself into the antique liquor cabinet—he doesn’t drink so the cabinet is empty and the perfect place for me to hide when I don’t want his bossy housekeeper to find me because her job is to vacuum and change sheets and make Grandfather’s special food but now she keeps trying to hug me and pet my hair and her boobs squish my face and I can’t breathe, so she thinks I’m crying about my dead mom, my mom who’s only alive in the past tense now, but I’m not crying about my dead mom. I haven’t cried yet. I think that makes me the worst kid ever.
Yeah—I mean, yes, since Rupert won’t allow me to say yeah—so I was in the cabinet and I heard Rupert say we needed to refer to my mother, Cordelia Josephine Clarke, in the past tense. “It will be easier for Lara if we don’t give her hope that her mother will be returning.” Rupert—I call him Number Two, like that character in Austin Powers, a movie I wasn’t supposed to watch but did anyway because one of the housekeepers invited me to her daughter Madi’s ninth-birthday sleepover because she felt bad for me that I never get to go to sleepovers. So I went, and Madi is basically my best friend now, but the housekeeper and her husband drink a lot of wine that comes in a box and they play their country music really loud. The biggest difference from the Number Two in the movie and Rupert Bishop is that Rupert doesn’t have an eye patch and he hardly ever laughs or smiles and even if he does smile, he’s like a hundred feet tall so I can’t even see up to his unsmiling face most of the time.
“They didn’t find a body, Rupert. They found the wrecked plane, but no Cordelia. What if she made it? What if someone in that god-awful jungle has her?”
Through the slats in the square cupboard door, I saw Number Two shake his head and look down at his shiny brown loafers. One of these days, I’m going to take a black marker and color the tops of his shoes so he can’t shine them anymore. I’m also
going to cut off those stupid tassels and use them as fishing lures.
“Sir, this is the best course. Do not cancel the memorial. Plant the tree, give Lara some closure. Let her move on. She’s only ten. Still young enough to have a satisfactory life wherein her memories will fade, even in the face of this tragedy. It’s not as though she’s spent a lot of time with her mother anyway.”
My grandfather’s face hardened for a minute, that look he gives when he’s about to blow his top, his chin jutting and eyes narrowed.
“Pardon me, sir. I overstepped.” Rupert folded his hands behind his back. He’s not wrong, though. My mother hasn’t been around for a long time. She works a lot, or so she says. When she’s home, it’s all fun, fun, fun, like she’s trying to make up for the next time she leaves a note on my nightstand covered with Xs and Os and smiley faces and promises of trips to zoos and museums and amusement parks and my favorite ice cream shop when she gets home.
Rupert told me once that my mother’s first love was her airplane. And even though she named it Lara, after me, I have always known that Lara the plane was more important to my mom than Lara the human kid.
My grandfather, unlike me, has cried a lot since the men in black suits showed up a week ago and asked for a place to talk privately. Rupert’s comment has made my grandfather cry again. Maybe I will forget coloring his shoes and just drop them all—his entire collection of fancy, tasseled loafers—into the pond in the back with the koi.
Cordelia was my grandfather’s only daughter. His only child, actually.
I am his only granddaughter.
Archibald Magnus Clarke the First, and only, was almost an old man when Cordelia was born. Her mother left her behind, just like Cordelia left me behind.
I haven’t cried yet. Maybe I will later.
But there are pickles on this big stupid table, and Cordelia hated pickles. And everyone in the room—all these faces I’ve never seen before—are looking at me like they’re expecting me to burst into tears at any moment.
Instead, I pick up the plate of pickles of all varieties and whistle once with my fingers tucked into my lips like Madi taught me. Once I’m sure I’ve got the room’s undivided attention, I launch the plate overhand, anticipating the satisfaction that will come when the glass hits the de Gournay papered wall and shatters into a thousand pieces and stinky pickle juice seeps across the bamboo floor and into the fibers of the eighteenth-century Persian rug we’re not supposed to wear our shoes on.
Except at the same moment, this tall, lanky kid steps into the plate’s trajectory and the heavy crystal hits him instead with a dull crack!
Everyone in the spacious, light-filled room gasps. The kid, stunned, looks in my direction, big brown eyes wide, not quite sure what just happened. And then blood spills down the side of his head and he slumps to the floor into the pile of pickles and juice, followed by grown-ups freaking out and the big-boobed housekeeper barking orders at some other member of the house staff to get the first-aid kit and then Rupert’s bony but well-manicured hand is around my arm and he’s pulling me out of the solarium and forcing me down onto the soft, carpeted steps in the main foyer.
“What on earth possessed you to do that, young lady?”
I look up at him and am surprised when tears sting my eyeballs. I didn’t mean to hit that kid.
“My mother hates pickles. If any of you guys even knew her, you’d know she hates pickles.”
Past tense, Lara. Your mother hated pickles.
Rupert kneels, his joints cracking even though he’s not even that old.
A commotionbehind us draws our attention. Two parents huddle around the tall boy who is again on his feet. They pause just long enough for me to look at the kid, a bloody cloth pressed against the left side of his head and face.
“Sorry,” I whisper.
He nods once, and they leave.
Then I start crying, and I don’t stop for a year.
About the Author
A native of Portland, Oregon, Eliza Gordon (a.k.a. Jennifer Sommersby) has lived up and down the West Coast of the United States. Since 2002, home has been a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia. When not lost in a writing project, Eliza is a copy editor, mom, wife, bibliophile, Superman freak, and the proud parent of two very spoiled tuxedo cats.
Eliza writes stories to help you believe in the Happily Ever After; Jennifer Sommersby writes young adult fiction. Her debut, Sleight, was published in 2018 by HarperCollins Canada, Sky Pony (US), and Prószyński i S-ka (Poland). The sequel, Scheme (called The Undoing in Canada), is out now!
Follow Eliza on social media or go to her website at http://www.elizagordon.com and sign up for her newsletter.
Giveaway Details: International
will receive a signed finished copy of
WELCOME TO PLANET LARA, International.
will receive an eBook of
WELCOME TO PLANET LARA sent by