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

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Review of Forever Blue – YA Books Central

Devourable

I was so excited to get another 5 star review for Forever Blue!

This time it was over on YA Books Central and it is one of their featured books.

When I write a story it is very hard to distance myself from it. Like all authors, I never get to look at it with fresh eyes. All the discards, all the changes in the story stick in your head and it is sometimes difficult to get an true overview. Beta readers’ feedback is invaluable, but getting reviews can often give you a fresh perspective. So I was squirming in my seat when I saw another review was up. And then I just about squealed with excitement when I read it!

It’s not often that someone ‘gets’ a lot of the things you try to achieve in a book, but Kelly St Clare, the reviewer over on YABC ‘got’ so many of the things I had hoped for.

Here’s my favourite selection from the review . . .

This book is devourable. Chapter point of views switch between four characters, flicking between present, future, and the past tense in such a way that we are left in no doubt of the Author’s expertise. We receive information to the buried truth like puzzle pieces, slowly seeing the bigger picture. Abby Wilder’s bravery in writing such a story speaks tellingly of her confidence in the craft and is to be commended.
The story can be read as a stand-alone, though the reader can see where a sequel would arise from. There are several hooks which build in ‘eyes glued to page’ fashion, until only a horrified wonderment is left in their wake. Once the cover is closed, the reader can expect to reflect back on the story in heartache, shock, and haunted yearning.

Final Verdict:
A beautiful, haunting, and confronting tale of truth and sacrifice.

Devourable!

Don’t you just love that word?!

To read the full review head over to YA Books Central.

Tomorrow is release day (not sure exactly what time due to the time difference,) and I’m rather excited.

If you’d like to order a copy of Forever Blue and see for yourself if the word devourable is earned, click here.

 

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Advanced Readers of Forever Blue – what did you think?

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On the 31st of May the giveaway of advanced reader’s copies of Forever Blue ended. It wasn’t a long giveaway but there were still around 100 copies claimed. Thank you to everyone who took an interest.

If you were one of the people who got a free copy, I hope you’re enjoying it! I love to hear what you thought. Please feel free to contact me by leaving a comment, or emailing on abby.wilder@outlook.com.

And if the urge strikes, I’d really love a review on Goodreads. It doesn’t need to be much, just a sentence or two letting people know what you thought.

As an indie author, it is often hard to get the word out about your book. The reach and the exposure of traditionally published books just isn’t available, (unless you have large sums of money lying around) so any review, even by word of mouth, is greatly appreciated.

If you missed out on the giveaway, or, if you’d like to support Forever Blue by pre-ordering a copy, please follow this link to the Kindle Store.

And remember, the first book in my Behind Glass Series is only 99c on Kindle. Check it out here.

I hope this post finds you well.

Roll on June 17th!

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