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!

Purchase Under a Million Stars

Add to Goodreads

Visit Rita Branches’ website

Find Rita on Facebook

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Find Rita on Twitter

Follow Rita on Amazon

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Painting Sky by Rita Branches

I often lament how difficult it can be to get people to read self-published books. There are so many excuses that can be thrown at self published authors, deserved or not. While I pondering this, I realised that I am guilty of the very thing I was complaining about. The majority of the books I have read have been traditionally published. I guess I get sucked into the same marketing powerhouse as everyone else.

So I have decided to change that. I am going to actively look for new books to read which have been self published.

My criteria is simple. If it appeals to me in the same ways as a traditionally published book, I will read it. In other words, it could be a stunning cover, an appealing blurb, well placed marketing, a review on Goodreads, or, best of all, word of mouth. If I like the book, I will post a link on here to ‘My Indie Carousel’. It won’t really be a review, more of a reading recommendation. So if you’re like me and looking for new reads, watch this space!

The first book that came to my attention was Painting Sky by Rita Branches.

Painting Sky

Can you guess why? That’s right. The cover.

Actually, the way I stumbled across it was via a Facebook post that was a cover reveal for Rita’s upcoming novel, Under a Million Stars. I saw the cover and and fell in love. I didn’t know anything about the book, but I knew I wanted to read it.

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With my new endeavour to read more self-published books in mind, I desperately hoped this book had been self published. It was! Unfortunately, the book wasn’t released yet, but I did found out she already had a book out with an equally stunning cover.

Painting Sky is a beautifully written romance story in the New Adult genre. It is told from the perspective of the main character, Jane. Jane is moving out of her family home to attend college where is she studying art. She moves into a house with her boyfriend, Cody, her brother, Ryan, and Cody’s older brother, Keith. Romance ensues. The story is compelling, and although it follows a somewhat traditional romantic plot, it manages to come off as unique.

Here is the blurb, taken straight from the author’s website:

Book one in the Painting Sky series – it can be read as a stand alone.

Nobody ever said life was easy…

People pleaser, Jane Skylar wants nothing more than to earn her art degree, start her life, and bask in the bliss of living with her boyfriend.

But things don’t always go as planned…

Struggling with her creative side, Jane finds herself in turmoil, often confiding in her roommate – another, more talented art student, Keith Hale. Keith just so happens to be her boyfriend’s older, brooding brother. After a devastating breakup, Jane turns to Keith for comfort. But when the lines blur between roommate and lover, Jane’s life becomes more complicated than ever before.

When Keith’s past comes back to haunt him, their lives all get turned upside down, forcing the truth to surface. Now Jane must fight for what she wants–even if it hurts everyone she loves.

The thing I found exciting about this blurb was the previously unnoticed, ‘Book one in the Painting Sky series.’ It’s part of a series! Brilliant! That means there is more to come. In the meantime, I will have to wait until August to get my hands on her next book, Under a Million Stars.

If you, like me, are taken with the amazing covers of Rita’s books, you can find more info in the links below.

Purchase Painting Sky

Add to Goodreads

Visit Rita Branches’ website

Find Rita on Facebook

Find Rita on Instagram

Find Rita on Twitter

Until next time,

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