Under A Million Stars by Rita Branches

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A while ago I came across this cover and immediately fell in love. But the book was not available yet, and instead, I downloaded the debut novel by Rita Branches. I read the book. I loved the book. I even wrote a blog post about the book. So when I was offered an advanced copy of Under a Million Stars, I jumped at the chance to read it.

Under a Million Stars is a sad story. The overarching theme of the book lends to a beautiful, but solemn read, filled with heartbreak and sadness. After performing at a piano concert, Charlotte Peterson is greeted with the news of a tragic accident that took away her family. Charlie is sent to live with family friends the Parkers. There is only one problem with this. Jacob Parker is the love of her life and her best friend, only he hasn’t spoken to her in two years. What follows is their story of re-connection and along the way, secrets are revealed the will change their lives.

Although I didn’t fall in love with this book quite as much as Painting Sky, it was a beautifully written story of loss and love, and the flashbacks to their childhoods give deeper insight into their relationship and the choices they made.

And the story is filled with some beautiful words.

I focused on my racing heart, threatening to explode in tiny sharp pieces inside of me. Maybe they would puncture some important organ. Bleeding to death right there on the floor would have hurt less than losing my heart. – Rita Branches, Under a Million Stars.

 My life didn’t just start to change three months ago. My heart might have shattered completely three months ago, but it had been breaking ever since Jacob pushed me away. The day he broke our friendship without further explanation had opened an endless crack. – Rita Branches, Under a Million Stars.


I think maybe the setting I was in didn’t match the tone of the book. I was in Fiji. The sun was shining. The pool was calling. I think that this book would be best enjoyed in winter, snuggled in a nest of pillows on the bed, hot cup of coffee . . . no, hot chocolate, in hand, raining splattering on the window. Yes. That would be ideal. Maybe then, I would have been more likely to forgive Jacob’s coldness and Charlie’s refusal to eat.

Under a Million Stars has a release date of August 8th, 2016. If you head over to Amazon and pre-order now, you will get it at the introductory price of 99c. Even though I’ve already read it, I’ve still booked my copy. We indie authors need to support each other and Rita is an author I’d definitely recommend supporting!

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Abby Wilder lettering

Forever Blue – Gif Images

I’ve had a lot of fun playing around with animated images for Forever Blue. Here’s a selection of some of the ones I’ve done.

Cover Gif
Animated Cover
Forever Blue title
Title Reflection
Rainy days
Rainy Days
Forever Blue Banner with Rain
Animated Banner


Book Cover
Lennon fire
Lennon Donnelly
Ruben water
Ruben Mitchell
Cara Sun rays
Cara Armistead
Judah dust
Judah Mitchell

Meet Cara in Forever Blue

Cara Sun rays
Cara Armistead

The last character to face the completely random list of questions that have nothing to do with the book is Cara.

What is your favourite time of the day?

Probably the morning. Although it may surprise people, I love watching the sunrise. It holds a lot of promise. Don’t tell anyone, though. It makes me sounds all happy and positive. I’m not.

What sound do you love?

Love? That’s a hard one. I can think of a few I hate. People chewing too loudly. People talking too loudly. People with annoying laughs. People who can’t sing, but think they can. But one that I love . . .  maybe that rustling sound the leaves make when the wind tickles them. Yep. That will do.

What is something you’ve always wanted to try but have been too scared to?

It’s not a matter of being too scared, it’s a matter of lack of opportunity. So nothing, I guess.

What is your favourite thing you’ve watched on Netflix?

Easy. The 100. Lots of kick-ass girls on that one.

Shark diving, bungee jumping, or sky diving?

I’d give all of them a go. Maybe start off with the bungee jump, though.

 Where would your dream holiday be?

Anywhere but Puruwai.

If you were a super hero or super villain, what powers would you have?

The ability to heal myself and others.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?

Hands down, a huhu grub. Tasted like peanut butter. Judah and I found one in the bush. I tried to get him to eat one too, but he was too chicken.

Are you a dog person or a cat person?

Depends on the cat and dog.

What is a song you know by heart?

Clean by Taylor Swift. Don’t judge. That girl is awesome.