Review of Ahead of the Darkness by Simone Nicole

Ahead of the Darkness

 

Ahead

From Goodreads:

It has been a long, long time since I’ve seen your little face, chérie. Not once did you visit. That really hurt; after all, it was thanks to you I was convicted. That’s not something you forget.

I thought it was time— a visit was due. Seeing as you wouldn’t come to me, I thought it only right I come to you. Sadly, you weren’t home, but your furry feline was more than accommodating . . . I’ll be seeing you soon, mon chérie. I’ll always find you . . .

For six years, a letter has dictated Amelia’s future. She’s running from a past that refuses to stop, always trying to get one step ahead. Amelia is clever and resilient, and refuses to slip up. Relying only on herself, she’ll be anything and anyone she needs to survive. But everyone slips up . . . eventually. You can’t always stay ahead of the darkness

****

Mia is on the run from her past. Hunted for the past six years, she doesn’t stay in one place very long, and changes her identity with each new location. She works jobs that pay cash to get by, until the next place she hides out in the open. Mia refuses to let anyone know the truth or form any real relationships. The result is a very lonely existence. And that loneliness is not just about companionship– Mia is alone with her fear, her sorrow and her secrets.

I really liked the way Simone Nicole handled this part of the storyline. I’ve read way too many books where the main character holds onto secrets of their past, and *YAWN* runs before anyone can figure it out. Usually something lame like– I’m poor. Or I’m unlovable. Or ______ <– insert zero self-esteem reason here.

Not so in this book. For Mia, keeping secrets is not just about protecting herself while on the run… every single person she’s loved has been killed by the very person who is after her.

Enter Drew

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Drew has a past of his own and recognizes almost immediately that Mia is hiding something, but he doesn’t push her. Their relationship slowly builds, and for the first time in so many years, Mia follows her heart. She lets herself wonder and feel and oh God, does this woman deserve some happiness.

The chemistry between Drew and Mia is crazy good! I also loved the pace, realistic dialogue and I LOVE ME SOME JULES!!! Jules works at the same bar as Mia. He’s hot, funny as hell  and is the cause of Possessive Drew. Yeah, I wrote that as a proper noun.

At one point while reading Ahead of the Darkness I realized that every single thing Drew said had me swooning. I can honestly say that’s never happened before. Drew is hilarious, has a killer accent and isn’t afraid to call Mia out on her crap. He’s also quiet. Reserved. And he watches. Again, I loved the way Simone built his character. It allows the reader to wonder– what’s he thinking? What will he do about this? And before long, we know…

There’s nothing or no one who will hurt his girl.

AOTD2

Oh God indeed.

Ahead of the Darkness is a fantastic debut novel by Simone Nicole.

star

It’s on sale RIGHT NOW for $0.99 on Amazon!!

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About this author


Self-confessed chocoholic and undiagnosed crazy person, Simone can be found climbing Himalayan mountaintops like a ninja, sky diving backwards and rubbing shoulders with billionaires. She is also full of crap, but can read backwards and upside down, the one plus of being dyslexic. Simone loves all things Disney and alcoholic, and is rarely seen not reading, writing or wearing lipstick, usually of the red variety.

Giveaway, Excerpt and Review of Semblance by Logan Patricks

Semblanceamazon

GOODREADS

SYNOPSIS:

Whoever said money couldn’t buy happiness has never starved a day in their lives.

My name is Aria Valencia, a third year classical music student at the university, and I was down to my last dollar. Some nights, I seriously considered working at the rippers just to make ends meet, but the thought of my dad’s spirit–God rest his soul–scowling at me while I danced up on some drooling degenerate was enough to turn me off the idea completely.

And then one night, chance came knocking on my door under the guise of the Midnight Society, a secret cabal comprised of the most wealthy and influential souls this side of the Universe. Their leader was a man named Shadow, who was equally enigmatic as he was gorgeous and, for some mystifying reason, had his dark brooding eyes focused on me.

Seduced by the promises of fame and fortune in exchange for a seemingly innocent request, I soon found myself drawn into a provocative world filled with both vast riches and unending lies and it didn’t take long for me to realize what being a part of the Midnight Society actually entailed: shiny things, sensual romance, and dead bodies.

Being with Shadow came with a terrible price, one that I wasn’t willing to pay. There’s a dark side to every love story, and this one was mine.

EXCERPT:

We visited four more temple ruins that afternoon. Though not as extravagant as Angkor Wat, each one was just as haunting and beautiful. The one that touched me profoundly was Ta Prohm, where an ancient looking tree seeped through the ruin’s walls creating a harmonious union between stone and root.

Two different elements of nature, fused into one to form one of the most breathtaking things I’ve ever seen.

I turned around and looked at Shadow, who was too busy examining the carvings on the stone walls to notice that I was staring at him.

We were two distinct entities in this vast universe ourselves—Shadow living in a world of money, power, and a haunting past which suffocates him daily. Meanwhile I was a simple girl whose life blood was filled with impossible dreams and musical sonatas. My future terrified me and my past was filled with bittersweet memories.

A week ago, the thought of being in a relationship with this provocative, but ridiculously handsome man was the last thing I wanted. Seeing the symbiotic union between the tree and the temple made me wonder if a love between Shadow and I could be just as beautiful and spellbinding?

I wanted him. God, I wanted him so badly.

I wanted these dates to be more than just a façade.

I wanted these moments we had together to mean just as much to Shadow as they did to me. I wanted him to look at me as I looked at him—as the person who captured his heart.

Purchase links

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Click on the image below to read an interview with Shadow!

Shadow pic..

REVIEW

What if there was a secret society whose members were the world’s top business men? What if that society had been around for centuries? You married from the society, children raised with the Fight Club mentality; First rule of The Midnight Society, don’t talk about The Midnight Society. Except your punishment isn’t an ass kicking, it’s death.

And what if you met a man who was the king of this society, and basically ruled the world? If you’re Aria– you tell him to go scratch because you want nothing to do with this crazy crap.

And she does, at first.

I loved Semblance. This novel is a fast-paced, suspense driven, page-turner. There was one clever twist after another. And just when I could breath a little sigh of relief… BOOM! I’m stunned and making — no-way-that-just-happened noises. Honest to God, I suspected everyone and figured out nothing! Every single plot twist is relevant, and dammit! my 007 inner fangirl was all about the society’s security.

I’m totally hot for both Shadow and Lincoln, but Aria? Now THIS is a strong, independent female character I like! As she tries to navigate this new world, she never loses sight of who she is, and her goals in life never change.

At one point a few of the members are outraged that she would even be considered by The Midnight Society. One member asks her about her family– what did her father (who is dead) do that was outstanding with his life? What was his greatest accomplishment? She answered, simple, “Me”. I love that.

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About the author

Logan discovered both love and heartbreak at the tender age of seven, when the pretty little blue-eyed girl next door stole his Kit-Kat bar and shared it with the bad boy from across the street. Devastated, Logan found solace by escaping into imaginary worlds he forged with words, creating kingdoms where the chivalrous knight always got the princess.

Twenty three years later Logan spends his days in a suit and tie, working for the government on matters of network security. However his thoughts never strayed too far from the incendiary nature of love — the passionate fire that’s both scintillating and dangerous. Obsessed with exploring the steamy and mysterious side of human nature, Logan continues to create worlds filled with thrills, mystery, and of course, sex.

Stalk Logan

Website

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Click on the image below to enter the Semblance Blog Tour giveaway

Grand prize: $10 Amazon gift card and signed copy

2 winners will receive signed paperback copies of Semblance!

2/24 – 3/04

Semblance Blog Tour

   

Interview With Shadow From Semblance by Logan Patricks

SEMBLANCE is on sale for $0.99!!

On Sale from Feb 10th to Feb 12th
AMAZON TOP 100 BESTSELLER!! 
#1 Bestseller in Gothic Romance!
#1 Bestseller in Romance Mystery!

Check out our 5 STAR review & Shadow/Lincoln hashtag fun here

Semblance Teaser 3

Fair warning– Kristin and I are obsessed with gifs lately. If you have one you must share– feel free to post that baby in the comments.

Kristin and I beta read Semblance for Logan Patricks. Beta reading is reading a copy of the novel, usually before it goes to the editor, and giving the author feedback. While beta reading we both commented on the same single sentence, “I turned around to see Shadow standing behind me, dressed in shorts and sandals and short-sleeved, collared shirt with a red and white checkered pattern.”

Kristin said– “In my head I see tablecloth.”

I said — “Um, no.”

Just wanted to give you a little background on the scene below.

*****

This is how I felt watching Kristin fangirl when Shadow’s car pulled up.

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Below is Kristin’s level of fangirl.

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Gabi– “Kristin! Get your sh#t in check, woman! God, you act like he’s Henry Cavill or something!”

*digs in mommy purse and hands Kristin a brown paper bag to breath in*

Kristin — no response…

Shadow walks in the door and we both catch our breath. He’s wearing dark, worn looking jeans, and a red and white checkered shirt. We glance at one another, and only as best friends can– we know what the other is thinking… Shadow can rock red and white plaid. Also, Oh MY GOD! He’s so much hotter in person.

Shadow– Good evening ladies. I heard from my number one Canadian advisor, Logan Patricks, that you don’t care for red and white plaid.

Kristin — *clears her throat* That’s right.

Shadow– *raises a single eyebrow* Hm. I’m not used to anyone questioning my taste.

Kristin –Maybe you should, ah, remove that offensive shirt.

Gabi– Yeah. Ah, all I can think about is fried chicken at a picnic.

*Kristin gives me the, “you’re a total dork, don’t ruin this” stink-eye and kicks me under the table*

Kristin– I’m really thinking the shirt needs to go.

Shadow smirks, like he planned this. Like… like…

I’m so grateful for every button, and suddenly a picnic in the park is the way to go. When he pulls it over his shoulders and down his incredibly defined arms, I  bite back a groan. Kristin is not so lucky. She whimpers and snaps her pen in half.

Shadow tosses his shirt and sits casually in an armchair across from us. I both love and hate Aria right now.

Shadow– Now that we are all comfortable, shall we begin? I have business to attend to.

Gabi –As a member and the head of The Midnight Society I know there isn’t much you can share. Is there anything you can tell us about the society?

Shadow –Not unless you have a death wish. I don’t have to remind people of what happened to the last ‘outsider’ who learned about our business. If anyone wants to know more, you’ll have to discover it yourself. I don’t want any more innocent blood on my hands.

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Kristin–You were conditioned your whole life to one day be the leader of the Midnight Society. Given the relatively young age when this occurred, what was your biggest obstacle, if any, when transitioning from member to your position of power?

 

Shadow– Before the death of my parents, it had always been the pressure to succeed. Being schooled at the Academy, we were all conditioned to be faster, stronger, and smarter than everyone else. Everyone was working hard, while backstabbing each other in the process, to get to the top of our classes–a reflection of the competitiveness  required to climb the ranks of the Midnight Society. Even when you stood at the top of the mountain, there were no guarantees of how long you’d stay there. There’s someone always waiting to push you over the edge on order to claim your spot. 

After my parent’s death, none of it mattered anymore. Sitting on the Society’s throne has cost me far too much to be worth it.

 

Kristin–Your parents died when you and your sister were very young. Tell us about your relationship you had with Calisto as a child. And how did it change when you lost your parents?

 

Shadow– Calisto’s the only family I had, and as the man of the house, I felt it was my obligation to protect her from the ugliness of this world. It’s funny how a lot of times she ended up being the one taking care of me. She always was smarter than I was. I’ll always love her. She’s my blood. It’s programmed into my DNA.  

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Gabi —Since their death, you have been searching for the murderer. In some ways it seems that you could walk away from the society. At times, like you have a vendetta against the society even though you are their leader. Do you blame The Midnight Society for your parent’s deaths in any way?

 *can’t wait for this answer…

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Shadow — I don’t know who I blame for my parent’s death. Some days, it’s me. On other days, it’s the c0cksucker that put the knife to their throats. And yes, there are days that I blame the Midnight Society. My dad was a king on his throne, and it was foolish to think that there wasn’t someone lurking in the shadows, seeking to take his place. It’s only a matter of time before someone comes after me as well.

 

Kristin– A lot of the traditions in The Midnight Society seem a bit archaic by today’s standards. What, if anything, would you hope to change to make the Midnight Society more relevant in today’s modern world. And what traditions would you not see changed?

 

Shadow — It’s hard to shake the old traditions of the Midnight Society, especially since the first doctrine of the Society was drafted back when swords and sandals were still in fashion. The main tradition I’d like to see changed is the entire “born-into-royalty” bullsh*t. A useless t*t will always be a useless t*t, no matter what their last name is. Lincoln was the first member of the council that broke free of the stigma behind “last names”, using his smarts and wits to earn his place in the Society’s elite circle. We need more people like him. We need new blood.

 

Gabi — If it wasn’t about bloodlines, who would be your choice to lead the society? *cough* Lincoln *cough*

 

Shadow — Abraham. It always should have been Abraham.

 

Kristin –You have a reputation of being a player. But you are reaching the age when you’re expected to settle down. What qualities are you looking for in a partner?

 

Shadow — One that can accept all the messed up f*ckery that’s going inside my head at the moment. I’m also a sucker for a pretty smile and a golden heart.

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O.M.G!!!!

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Gabi –This may be a touchy subject (given recent events), how is Aria? Have you spoken to her? *evil eye*

 

Shadow — We’re done here.

*****

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To say that we need book #2 our my hands NOW is an understatement. What the hell!! Is up with that answer about Aria!?

I will totally throw a hissy if I don’t get my HEA!!!

****

Semblanceamazon

Whoever said money couldn’t buy happiness has never starved a day in their lives.
My name is Aria Valencia, a third year classical music student at the university, and I was down to my last dollar. Some nights, I seriously considered working at the rippers just to make ends meet, but the thought of my dad’s spirit–God rest his soul–scowling at me while I danced up on some drooling degenerate was enough to turn me off the idea completely.

And then one night, chance came knocking on my door under the guise of the Midnight Society, a secret cabal comprised of the most wealthy and influential souls this side of the Universe. Their leader was a man named Shadow, who was equally enigmatic as he was gorgeous and, for some mystifying reason, had his dark brooding eyes focused on me.

Seduced by the promises of fame and fortune in exchange for a seemingly innocent request, I soon found myself drawn into a provocative world filled with both vast riches and unending lies and it didn’t take long for me to realize what being a part of the Midnight Society actually entailed: shiny things, sensual romance, and dead bodies.

Being with Shadow came with a terrible price, one that I wasn’t willing to pay. There’s a dark side to every love story, and this one was mine.

Genre: Dark Romance Mystery and Suspense
Date of Sale: Feb 10, Feb 11, Feb 12
Sale: 80% off $4.99 for $0.99

Giveaway and Contest Winners!

The winner of:

Under Different Stars by Amy A Bartol

Vain by Fisher Amelie

Beauty From Pain by Georgia Cates

A Different Blue by Amy Harmon

Undertow by Amber Lynn Natusch

Trust in Me by J Lynn (Jennifer L Armentrout)

Is Diana Doan!! She was notified by email.

The winner of any ebook up to $10.00 or a Amazon gift card is Esther!! For her Brennus lovin’ entry!

CONGRATS to the winners!!

Giveaway, Contest, and Some Fun with Brennus!

Ohhhh, 2014. Bring me Iniquity as fast as you can…

That last teaser Amy posted was AWESOME! Almost had me thinking about the dark side…

darkside

I’m a bacon fan too, Luke. But I’m talking about a different dark side…

Brennus ecard

What say you TEAM REED!?!?

“Dat is me aingeal dat ye’re breakin’, Valentine,” –Brennus  (Kristin: That was pretty bad-ass)

Leave to Kristin to research and come up with a totally hot Brennus quote!

I… I… I…

What do we make of all these teasers, ladies?

More importantly, Team Reed sistas, will Evie’s wings react to his? Does that battleaxe tattoo glow when she’s around? We already know the axe sings to Evie. And even hearing Brennus described from Russell’s POV, I’m all– he’s hot. Grrrr.

New mysterious characters

 “You must be Brennus,” Djet says behind him. Brennus’ eyes narrow as he straightens to face Djet. 
      “If I must,” Brennus says pleasantly enough, but his anger is recognizable to me. “And ye must be Emil.” Fallen angels move in closer, surroundin’ Djet protectively, while their eyes focus on the back of the room by the doors. Behind me I hear click, click, click, click, click, click…hundreds of Gancanagh fangs engagin’ at once.
     “How do you know that name?” he asks Brennus. 

(DOH! He’s Emil!)

Xavier and Evie

“Xavier’s soft tone does something to me. I want to hide beneath it, wrap myself in it like a blanket and rest.” –Evie

Reed and Evie

                   “My hand stills. I panic. Time could change us, like it had with Xavier and me. I feel like my heart unravels, but I don’t let him see it.” –Evie

Brennus and Evie

“His energy spreads through me, first from my heart, through the roadmap of my veins, to places I never wanted Brennus to go. I gasp as my body involuntarily curls toward him like a flower to the sun, for the pleasure of it.”  –Evie

Produces a lot of questions. And if I’m being honest, I’m half-crazed after these teasers. I. Cannot. Wait! Speaking of questions, check this out. This blog gets quite a few hits based on the craziest Google searches. Anything in (this) are my comments.

Here are few gems:

Are angels undead?

Fierce guardian angels (HELL YEAH!)

When do Evie and Reed have sex?

Why is Reed Wellington your book boyfriend?

An evil residue used by the foolish and the crazy

Shower scene in premonition book 4

Does Evie end up with Xavier? (that’s not even close to funny!)

Sic soul mate watching novel

Where did Zee’s southern charms go? (lol… what?)

Angel wings ripped off fantasy (too many of us wished Tau maimed???)

Book about half human half angel meets soul mate and falls in love

Zephyr angel character book Amazon

who is xavier in the premonition series (<– an angel I’m scared to death might steal Evie from my Reed and break his heart!)

Demon angels fighting GD angel tattoo

Will they make the Premonition Series into a movie? (WE WISH!)

Amy Bartol meet Reed

Gabi love death Brennus

Fantastic four fanfic Reed hurt dead

Hate Evie from premonition (Insert comment with profanity here)

gaping angellllll

Brennus viewing slave woman analyzation (seriously?)

I hate Brennus

Who did Gabi have a crush on? (Answer: Reed)

Kristin Reed Engaged (So jelly!)

Another machine like Evie

Why can’t Reed and Evie just be happy?

who should play brennus in premonition series

(good question. Let’s say Henry. And let’s say there was a scene where he finally accepts Evie will never be his. Whoa. )

henry pic close up

intuition by amy bartol reed’s phone call scene (😦 Reed….)

evie in private

I didn’t include the umpteen sex + Reed questions. lol

Anyway, I get a good laugh sometimes. It also makes me happy that so many people out there are researching my FAVORITE series.🙂

For the best updates go to Amy A Bartol’s website.

I read an interview she did on Vilma’s Book Blog during Vilma’s paranormal week. Awesome interview! In it Amy said she wanted to wrap up the series with Iniquity, and if she decided to continue it she would do it in secret. Release it, then tell the world. Fingers crossed that Iniquity is not the last book.

Here is the Premonition Series order:

Inescapable

Intuition

Indebted

Incendiary

Iniquity

BAQvZLeCAAIz03Z

 Amy wrote a dystopian novel, UNDER DIFFERENT STARS. Released Dec17th, 2013

Under Different Stars_book cover

I read it. Love it. At the top of my best of 2013 list!

Click here for my review

Let’s have a giveaway to celebrate being THIS CLOSE to getting our hands on book #5, Iniquity. Okay, maybe not this close, but we know it’ll be this year. In this giveaway are books by a few kick-ass authors. I’ve read them all and each one had a lasting effect on me.

CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

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Or this link: <a id=”rc-57739e8″ href=”http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/57739e8/” rel=”nofollow”>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>
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GIVEAWAY:

OPEN INTERNATIONALLY starts NOW! ends 1/26/14 at midnight EST

SIX EBOOKS!!!

Winner will recieve an ebook copy of:

Under Different Stars by Amy A Bartol

Vain by Fisher Amelie

Beauty From Pain by Georgia Cates

A Different Blue by Amy Harmon

Undertow by Amber Lynn Natusch

Trust in Me by J Lynn (Jennifer L Armentrout)

There will be MANY ways to enter this giveaway. BUT, in the spirit of “I’m about to lose my mind if I don’t get Iniquity in my hands Asap”…. let’s make this a little more interesting!

We’ll call it the What If Contest. A little side dish to the giveaway. One winner will receive any ebook of your choice up to $10.00.  Or a gift card. I will pick the winner randomly on 1/27/14. To enter this contest (separate from the giveaway & you can enter both), answer the following question in three sentences or less in the comments of this post:

What if Evie and Brennus ended up together? What would it take for that to happen? Some of you are reading this giving me the evil eye. That’s cool. If your answer is: I can’t even begin to imagine Evie & Reed not together. Okay.

I’ve asked a hardcore Team Brennus member:  “I think Reed had to die in battle.  It’s the only way for Evie to be at peace knowing she’ll finally be with Brennus, her true love.  She loved Reed but she couldn’t breathe without her dark king.” — Cristina from Cristina’s Book Reviews <– One of my favorite book blogs

I’ve asked a loyal Team Reed member: “Reed runs off with Kristin after realizing she, not Evie, is his soulmate.  Then and only then, will Brennus have my blessing to make Evie into whatever he wants.” — Kristin from Kristin’s Kindle Book Reviews <– My partner in crime & amazing reviewer who can’t see past her lust to take this question seriously😉

 And she said, “Reed and I would make fabulous babies together.”

My Answer: Zee dies in a battle saving Reed’s life.

OMG. I just freaked myself out.

Explanation: I love Zee. Nearly as much as Reed. If Zee dies, I will blame Evie. I LOVE her, but no doubt it’ll be some battle trying to rescue her and dammit! She will no longer be good enough for Reed. *thinks of feather exchange & Zee’s never ending and absolute loyalty to Reed and Evie*

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!

**I will purchase all ebooks through Amazon.

GIVEAWAY + Happy Release Day! Semblance by Logan Patricks is LIVE!

 

Semblance

Amazon

Goodreads

For more info — visit loganpatricks.com

Whoever said money couldn’t buy happiness has never starved a day in their lives.  
My name is Aria Valencia, a third year classical music student at the university, and I was down to my last dollar. Some nights, I seriously considered working at the rippers just to make ends meet, but the thought of my dad’s spirit–God rest his soul–scowling at me while I danced up on some drooling degenerate was enough to turn me off the idea completely.  
And then one night, chance came knocking on my door under the guise of the Midnight Society, a secret cabal comprised of the most wealthy and influential souls this side of the Universe. Their leader was a man named Shadow, who was equally enigmatic as he was gorgeous and, for some mystifying reason, had his dark brooding eyes focused on me.  
Seduced by the promises of fame and fortune in exchange for a seemingly innocent request, I soon found myself drawn into a provocative world filled with both vast riches and unending lies and it didn’t take long for me to realize what being a part of the Midnight Society actually entailed: shiny things, sensual romance, and dead bodies.   Being with Shadow came with a terrible price, one that I wasn’t willing to pay.
There’s a dark side to every love story, and this one was mine.
SHADOW
Shadow pic..
What did I think of Semblance?
I loved it. This novel is a fast-paced, suspense driven, page-turner.
There was one clever twist after another. And just when I could breath a little
sigh of relief… BOOM! I’m stunned and making — no-way-that-just-happened noises.
Honest to God, I suspected everyone and figured out nothing! Every single plot
twist is relevant, and dammit! my 007 inner fangirl was all about the society’s
security.
star

CLICK HERE FOR A CHANGE TO WIN AN EBOOK COPY & AN AMAZON GIFT CARD!

Review of Under Different Stars by Amy Bartol, Character Profile + HUGE Giveaway

HAPPY RELEASE DAY TO AMY BARTOL!

Title:   Under Different Stars (Kricket #1)

Author:   Amy A. Bartol

Genre:  YA Dystopian

Goodreads

Under Different Stars_book cover

FROM GOODREADS:

All she wants is a home, but can she find one…UNDER DIFFERENT STARS Kricket Hollowell is normally not one to wish upon stars; she believes they’re rarely in her favor. Well versed at dodging caseworkers from Chicago’s foster care system, the past few years on her own have made Kricket an expert at the art of survival and blending in. With her 18th birthday fast approaching, she dreams of the day when she can stop running and find what her heart needs most: a home.

Trey Allairis hates Earth and doubts that anyone from his world can thrive here. What he’s learning of Kricket and her existence away from her true home only confirms his theory. But, when he and Kricket lie together under the stars of Ethar, counting them all may be easier than letting her go.

Kyon Ensin’s secrets number the stars; he knows more about Kricket’s gifts than anyone and plans to possess her because of them. He also knows she’s more valuable than any fire in the night sky. He’ll move the heavens and align them all in order to make her his own. When everything in their world can be broken, will Kricket rely upon love to save her under different stars?

Buy Under Different Stars

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Apple iBookstore

Kobo

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon Germany

Amazon Italy

Amazon France

Amazon Canada

Amazon Japan

Amazon Spain

Amazon Brazil

Smashwords

Excerpt:

Water swirls around me as I open my eyes. I shiver, realizing I’m in Trey’s arms. He’s standing chest deep in crystal blue water with Wayra pacing on the bank only steps away. Clutching Trey closer to me, my cheek remains on his shoulder. Watching a bead of water slip down his powerful neck, I hear Jax say, “She’s waking up.”

Trey, cupping his hand in the water, pours some of it over my hair. It drips down the sides of my face, cooling me. “Let’s get her out. I’ll get the visor and we can check her vitals.”

As Trey wades out of the pond with me in his arms, I try to lift my head from his shoulder. It makes me dizzy so I lay it back. It’s then I notice that I’m only in my bra and underwear. A blush creeps into my cheeks as I hug Trey tighter to me. Wayra meets us on the bank, draping a blanket over us. Trey sits down with me on his lap. He leans against a tree trunk holding me securely to his chest. Peeking at his face, he seems angry as he smoothes my hair back from my face.

Hurrying over with the visor that looks like grandma goggles, Trey sets them on my eyes. Everything is green as I gaze around at the water in front of us. Flashing green lights and readouts occupy the peripherals of the glasses, but the information is running faster than I can possibly read it.

“Ho!” Jax exclaims next to me.

Immediately, Trey’s arms tighten on me as he barks out, “What? How bad is it?”

“Naw, it’s not bad…it’s just…Kricket…” Jax breathes, like he’s in awe. “Look at this brain activity…it’s massive.”

“What do you mean?” Trey asks with relief in his tone.

Jax grins. “She’s lighting everything up. Look at her frontal lobe…it’s off the charts.”

“What does that mean? Is she healthy?” Trey growls.

Jax nods enthusiastically. “She’s healthy! We didn’t fry her with heat stroke, that’s for sure. Or, if we did, she’s got more brain activity than anyone I’ve ever seen to compensate for it,” he replies, sounding seriously geeked about it.

“Those things aren’t broken, are they?” Trey asks speculatively.

“No…here.” Jax pulls them off my face. “Wayra, come here.”

Wayra walks over and Jax puts the glasses on his eyes. “See! He’s normal, well, normal for him. See how it doesn’t light up in these areas?” he points out to Trey.

“Yes.”

“Now watch this,” he says, taking the glasses off of Wayra, he places them back on my face. “See? It’s like Christmas in Chicago with all those lights,” Jax says proudly.

“So that means she’s smart?”

Jax beams. “Yeah, she’s smart! She’s brilliant! There’s no telling what she can do.”

“If she’s so smart, why did she run until she almost popped? Why didn’t she just tell us she needed to rest?” Wayra asks derisively.

“Personality flaw,” Trey replies. “She’s going to show us that she’s not weak.”

“She’s sitting right here,” I murmur, pulling the glasses off my face and handing them to Jax.

Review

I’m so thoroughly impressed with this book that it’s difficult to put into words.

star

First, what is dystopia?

an imaginary place where people are unhappy and usually afraid because they are not treated fairly

Honestly, the world building and original ideas Amy came up with could easily put this book in either the sci-fi or fantasy genres. It was that well done. I’m all with my swoony romance… but I read just as much sci-fi and dark fantasy to say that I could put this novel up against any of the novels I’ve read.

Captivating from page #1, I want to know more, more, more! Why is she on the run? Where is her family? How is she surviving on her own?

This incredibly intense story unfolds at the PERFECT pace. From slowly discovering and accepting that she isn’t human, to figuring out who to trust, and plotting how the hell to get herself out of all this craziness.

When Kricket first arrived on Ethar (I want to go ga-ga over how they traveled, but I don’t want to spoil one of the coolest scenes I’ve ever read!), we discovered this new planet with Kricket. Amy described it’s beauty in such a way that I could vividly picture it; Redwood-like trees as tall as skyscrapers, weird and terrifying creatures, the night sky.

And, of course, it’s a totally advanced civilization. Their technology was incredible! Kricket couldn’t figure out half the gadgets. It was ALMOST as funny as Trey & gang trying to figure out the American slang Kricket used.

Yet, the society’s views on “class” and women is backwards. This is all unacceptable to Kricket. But, being the survivor she is, she bides her time, played nice, and formed alliances where she needed to.

I am so glad Amy picked the scene above as the excerpt for the blog tour. It was a turning point for me…

“Ho!” Jax exclaims next to me.

Immediately, Trey’s arms tighten on me as he barks out, “What? How bad is it?”

They put the medical visor on her while still on Earth. She checked out fine. But now, on their home planet of Ethar and “under different stars”, her brain activity goes crazy. Loved that twist! Had me wondering just how special Kricket was. Turns out– pretty special.

She is young but very mature, intelligent, and has a few gifts that help her go from pawn to player.

I fell in love with Kricket immediately. Despite the fact that she’s been in the foster care system since she was five and brutally abused– she’s so strong, compassionate, fiercely loyal to the only two friends she has on Earth, and is the definition of a survivor! BOOYAH!

She also has understandable and significant trust issues, and a deep-rooted fear of abondonment that comes out at times when she is desperately trying to be or remain independent.

This is an exchange between Kricket and Trey:

“It will take a very hard, very determined personality to survive what is ahead for you without help.”

“Got it,” I growl through clenched teeth, anger flaring up in me at the sympathy in his voice.

“You’re tough?”

“I’m stone.”

“Stone can be broken.”

Tilting my head toward him, I meet his eyes. “Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine. I’m used to holding on to nothing as tight as I can.”

I was so emotional by this point, I had to set my Kindle down for a while after I read that. This poor girl. Pushing away the only 3 people she knows on the planet. Why? Because she refuses to accept help. Worse! Be pitied. It’s not even about having a wall of protection… she’s got no wall. It’s raw. All of it; Pain, abuse, multiple disappointments, being just another number is the system. And this is why I absolutely love Amy’s writing– Instead of giving up and wallowing in it all, Kricket keeps it fresh. A reminder. She uses her past to build HERSELF up and strive for a better future.

That said, accepting help and depending on Trey is setting herself up for another blow. Plus, she can take care of herself.

Up until this point they shared a few tender moments. But it was this part when Trey’s professional, all-business military badass front came down a little. Said a different way, he likes her. A lot.

Did someone say badass?

I’m going to get my swoon on because, well, I have to.

Character Profile

Trey Allairis: Mr. High-ranking Cavar military alien badass!

“Request permission to carry her down, sir.” Wayra says, staring at me.

“Denied,” Trey scowls with a clipped tone…

*Rawr*

That’s right, Wayra–you fool. Request denied! It’s just so delicious. On top of Trey’s all-around alien hotness, with his black hair and violet eyes, these military commands took it to another level for me… “REPORT!”, “DENIED!”, “ENGAGE!”, “POSITIONS!”  *oops, that last one was me….😉

Trey in his tripped out, camo gear that changes with his environment like a chameleon! Flanked by Jax and Wayra! Guns poised on their shoulders– ready to kick some serious ass.

***Just a little side note here: OMG! Even the way Trey used voice command on his military vehicles was hot***

Trey

Yes. He’s hot–literally– his alien body holds it’s warmth even in freezing water. *shivers* Yeah… time for a snuggle session.

First sight

“…My eyes pause for a moment on his neck, seeing thick, black tribal tattoos covering one side of it… But I lose my breath when my eyes connect with his. His irises are a lovely shade of violet, a similar color to mine.”

As Trey gets to know Kricket, his one-track “I must complete my mission” mind starts to shift. Just enough to see her as more than a mission. Just enough to wonder if it’s not just the Alameeda that she needs protecting from. And just enough that, for the first time in his life, Trey may very well risk it all… for Kricket.

Kyon smirks. “She’ll be the death of us both. I’d be doing you a favor by pulling the trigger. Don’t you know that you should eliminate what you can’t have? She’s a priestess. She’s in your head, Trey.”

“My head, my heart, my blood,” Trey responds immediately.

“That’s unfortunate for you, because she belongs to me. I own her…”

Moving on to Jerkface. I mean Kyron.

Talk about a delusional, self-absorbed, entitled ass!! OMG! The ways I hate this guy! Yes, folks, Amy created another villain we will all love to hate. I just know he’ll make a real play for Kricket’s heart in future books. That and one of Kricket’s abilities is to be able to tell when someone is lying. So when Jerkface says, “I have feelings for you.” She knows he speaks the truth. UGH.

author pic

AUTHOR BIO:

I live in Michigan with my husband and our two sons. My family is very supportive of my writing. When I’m writing, they often bring me the take-out menu so that I can call and order them dinner. They listen patiently when I talk about my characters like they’re  real. They rarely roll their eyes when I tell them I’ll only be a second while I finish writing a chapter…and then they take off their coats. They ask me how the story is going when I surface after living for hours in a world of my own making. They have learned to accept my “writing uniform” consisting of a slightly unflattering pink fleece jacket, t-shirt, and black yoga pants. And they smile at my nerdy bookishness whenever I try to explain urban fantasy to them. In short, they get me, so they are perfect and I am blessed.

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BLOG TOUR GIVEAWAY:

1st place: KINDLE FIRE + ebook of Under Different Stars

2nd place: Kindle Cover + $50 Amazon Gift Card

3rd place: $50 Amazon Gift Card

GIVEAWAY Under Different Stars

GIVEAWAY CONDITIONS:

Giveaway administered by Amy A. Bartol

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