Friday, June 6, 2014

Against the Darkness: Cimmerian Moon by A.M. Griffin #giveaway #review @amgriffinbooks

5 Stars: Against the Darkness was an awesome book! It's the first book in a brand new YA science fiction series from A.M. Griffin. I'm not usually a fan of science fiction but I fell in love with it anyway. Sure, there are aliens and an invasion, but the story revolves around the need to get home.

After reading it I actually felt like the characters were real. The author had created a group of characters that were so different they made the story. The story had a great plot line that kept me reading for hours without a break. 

This is a must read book! Also, this book isn't meant for people under the age of 15 (there is adult language in the book). Have fun reading!

Buy Links:

Seventeen year old Sinta Allen has one objective, to get from Tallahassee, Florida to her mother in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Seems simple enough right? Wrong. Hostile aliens have invaded Earth—and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that we’re losing the fight. While the aliens bring devastation and destruction and take people away to God knows where in their spaceships, Sinta, along with some of her classmates must rely on their survival instincts, a little luck and each other if they want to survive the venture across the country. The last thing she needs is for Wade, her school friend and Jason, her rescuer, to distract her along the way.  

It shouldn’t be a problem with just seven of us.
“Even so, I hate us being out in the open.”
“It’s our best hope right now. That area has plenty of trees for cover. We can build shelter and blend in with the surroundings.”
I nod, affirming what Wade said. “It’ll be perfect.”
“We thought the last place was perfect,” Shayla mumbles.
There were forty people hiding in some woods by a residential area, I want to tell her. That’s not perfect. That was a disaster waiting to happen. I clench my jaw tight to stop myself from pointing out the obvious.
“What about food?” MJ asks. He puts up his empty hands. “When we left, we didn’t have time to get to anything, food or water. We had to leave everything, even our backpacks.”
Wade pulls his pack off his back and rummages through it. “I have a flashlight, four bottles of water, two sleeves of crackers, a lighter and Swiss army knife. Sin,” he says, looking over to me. “What do you have?”
I don’t have to pull my bag off to recite its contents. “Two bottles of water, one sleeve of crackers, four slices of bread and I have my knife tied to my sweats.”
“Awesome. We’re definitely prepared to head back to Michigan,” Ian says.
“What did you bring?” I ask him, since he’s still being a smartass.
He glares at me before turning the other way.
“Let’s get going. Our circumstance isn’t going to change by just standing here,” Wade says.
We let him lead the way with Mia and I following close on his heels. Shayla and Ms. Burgess are at our backs and MJ and Ian are behind them.
We move silently through what used to be the residential areas. Everyone is on edge, watching out for aliens that could come out from behind trees or what used to be buildings or houses. We also keep peering up, watching for their ships.
Under the cover of night, we go through the few houses that don’t threaten to topple on us. We search for anything that will help us survive. We don’t find any more bottled water, but we are able to find a lot of canned goods and, luckily, an opener. We load what we can carry in three plastic bags. We don’t take so much that the bags will slow us down and only take what is needed.
By the time we get to the lake, its well into the night. We scout out the best possible spot, somewhere with trees thick enough to hide us. Once we find our hide-out, Wade directs us to gather all the wood we can find.
After watching him make a stick shelter that’s only two feet high, we set out to make our own. We each pick spots along the lake, under a tree, and position the openings so that we can see at least two other shelter entrances. We don’t talk about what happened—about how we think everyone else is dead. We hardly talk at all, besides to help each other find sticks and build the hobbit huts that we’ll live in for the next two days.
It’s past ten p.m. before we’re finally done and it’s so dark we can barely make out what’s around us. We’re tired, mentally and physically. There’s nothing left to do but to rest and think about all we’ve lost.
I crawl backward into my shelter. I won’t be able to sit up. I’ll hardly be able to turn around or shift my position. It’s long enough so that I can stretch out. I’m so short that my shelter won’t appear out of place against the bank of the lake. The guys had to make theirs shorter, and have to sleep curled up.
Once I’m fully inside, I glance over to Mia’s shelter. We made ours facing each other. I rest my face on my hands and she does the same, watching me too. I watch her until her eyes finally close for the night. When I’m sure that she’s sleep I roll over onto my side. This position is just as painful as lying on my stomach. Trying to get comfortable on the cold ground with only a few tufts of grass sprinkled in among rocks, dirt and twigs is the least of my worries.
Right about now is when I again start to have my recurring wish for the gift of foresight. But I’m sure everyone in the world has probably wished for the same thing. At least then there could have been some kind of planning. The military could have been ready for the aliens’ arrival and mounted an attack. Not only that, but the government could have organized some kind of evacuation. Although I don’t know to where exactly.
How do you evacuate an entire country?
At any rate, the gift of foresight would have helped us all. Maybe, with it, my mother wouldn’t have forced me to go on the stupid field trip. I remind myself how I’d begged and begged her not to make me go.
But I bet she regrets it now, especially since I’m almost a thousand miles away from her during the worst possible time.
I know what I’m doing and I try to hold onto the feeling for as long as possible. If I’m mad at her then I won’t miss her as much.
Just as I have that thought, my eyes begin to water. Being mad at her usually doesn’t last very long at all. I can’t make it. For all it’s worth, I know she’s regretting she ever made me go and she’s missing me just as much as I’m missing her.

I sniffle back the trickle of liquid that’s making a trail from my nostril and across my cheek. Tears fall in fat drops from the corners of my eyes. I’m crying so softly that I doubt anyone can hear it.

About the author:
A. M. Griffin is a wife who rarely cooks, mother of three, dog owner (and sometimes dog owned), a daughter, sister, aunt and friend. She’s a hard worker whose two favorite outlets are reading and writing. She enjoys reading everything from mystery novels to historical romances and of course fantasy romance. She is a believer in the unbelievable, open to all possibilities from mermaids in our oceans and seas, angels in the skies and intelligent life forms in distant galaxies. 

Author Interview:

1.      In your opinion, what makes a great hero?
I think heroes don’t necessarily start off being a great person—or even a hero technically. They’re thrust into certain situations and constantly make the right decision. A great hero is someone who is honest, forthright and at the pivotal minute where they can do bad or good, they make the conscious decision to take the high road, even if it’s not the most popular road to take or even if they don’t have anything to personally gain from it.

2.      Do you prefer strong women for heroines, or the ‘damsel in distress’ type?
Strong. The women I write about may have at one time been a damsel in distress, but by the time the story starts out all of that is in the past. Their whining days are over. LOL. My female characters tend to be a little “fighty” too. They don’t mind picking up a weapon or two and their tongues are just as sharp as the knives they like to wield.

3.      What do you do when you’re not writing?
I have 3 kids so most of my time is spent at sporting events or taking them to or from some type of other event. I love to travel so I’m known to take my fair share of vacations in and out of the country. I also love to read. Since writing my reading for fun has fallen to the side, but I’ve made a conscious effort to read more this year and so far it has worked! Oh, and I watch mindless television; Squidbillies, King of the Hill, Family Guy, Bob’s Burgers, American Dad and anything else that doesn’t require me to think much.

4.      Who are some of your favorite authors?
I LOVE Dean Koontz. I stop whatever I’m doing and read his new releases. I love his style, the way he can get the reader wrapped up in the story is a great talent. I like Gena Showalter and her angels series, Nalini Singh and her angels (I sense a theme here), Kresly Cole and her Immortals After Dark series, Sherrilyn Kenyon and her Dark Hunter’s series and Joey W. Hill’s Vampire Queen series. I think only a handful of those I mentioned are suitable for minors. LOL

5.      Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what type(s) do you lean towards?
No music for me. I have to listen to the voices in my head and “see” them as the scene unfolds. I know a lot of authors can listen to music but I think my muse wouldn’t like competing for my attention.

6.      Do you have anything in common with your characters?
I’m a strong woman and that’s why I tend to write about them. I wouldn’t be able to connect with anyone weak or someone who wouldn’t take charge of any situation she was thrust in. The other thing I have in common with my characters are the love at first aspect of their relationship. I met my husband in high school and for us it was love at first sight. I remember the first time I laid eyes on him and how it made me feel. Nothing can beat that feeling. While my characters experience love at first sight, it really doesn’t mean that love comes easy for them, it hardly comes easy for anyone. Just because you recognize the person you want to spend the rest of your life with doesn’t mean that it’s the right time to commit or that committing is easy—enter turmoil.

7.      What are you currently working on, or what’s on the horizon?
Currently I’m working on the third book of the Cimmerian Moon series. After I finish this one I plan to release the last two books in the series (Book #4 and Book #5) in 2015, closing out this series. I’m not sure if this will be the end of my adventure into writing young adult books, only time will tell.

8.      What’s the strangest (neatest, coolest, etc) thing you’ve ever done?
I went zip lining in the mountains of Jamaica before. It was the scariest thing that I’d ever done. My knees were literally knocking together. My sister took pictures of me and in every picture I have the look of sheer panic on my face. It’s hilarious now, but it wasn’t at the time.

9.      What was your favorite subject in high school or college?
In high school I was part of the pep squad and drama club. I really enjoyed those two activities. I never considered myself as a very outgoing person, but I think back on it now and realize that I had a lot of guts to constantly get in front of the entire school to dance and act.

10.  What made you want to write YA?
I write *cough* erotica and my kids were complaining that they’d never be able to read any of my books. One day I just decided to write something they could actually read and even talk about with their friends. I think I’m more excited about this series than they are.

11.  What is your favorite genre to read/write?
I love science fiction and paranormal. So I say those two, but I also love regency romance. Give me a book set in the 1800’s in England or the Highlands of Scotland and I’m hooked.

12.  Are you a plotter or a pantser, or a hybrid?
Normally I would say pantser. I just sit down and write and usually find out my characters secrets the same time the words hit the page. It’s crazy because I’ll be talking to myself while I write saying, “Why is she/he doing this?” and my husband will say, “Because you’re making them.” That’s not true! The characters all have a mind of their own. It makes for a very interesting writing experience. It’s only when they veer way too far off course that I need to make some kind of outline to get them back on track. The characters usually aren’t too happy about that and still find a way to have a runaway script, but hey, at least I try.

Thanks for having me!