Under A Million Stars
Publication date: August 8th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Can a beating heart bleed from the shattered pieces?
Her heart cracked when her best friend walked away; it completely shattered when she lost her family in a tragic accident.
Now orphaned at seventeen, Charlotte Peterson is forced to live with her former best friend, Jacob Parker. Charlie, a talented pianist, desperately wants their loving friendship back, but something is holding Jake back. The more she spirals into the darkness of depression, the more she needs him.
Jacob vowed to stay away from her—no matter how much he still loved her. Armed with secrets that would have destroyed both of their families, he chose to end their friendship and walk away, which nearly killed him. As he watches the girl he once knew begin to fade away, however, he realizes that their relationship is more important than the truth he’s hiding.
Now it’s up to Jacob to put the pieces of Charlie’s broken heart back together—even if it means revealing the secrets he so desperately wants to protect her from.
Will Jacob find a way to bring back the carefree, talented girl he once knew, or is it too late for both of them?
These two weeks had been hell for me.
I didn’t know how I was going to pull this off for the eight months I still had left in this hell of a town. My parents didn’t get me, and she was around all the time, suffocating me. My heart skipped a beat every time I heard her voice, and it doubled in speed when she was near me. I wouldn’t be able to stay away, I knew it. She was breaking my heart all over again.
I heard her at night, when she thought everyone was sleeping. I just sat on the floor, resting my head against the wall, and listen to her cry and throw up every other night.
I stayed there like a jerk, as if I didn’t give a crap about her or her feelings, but I cried. I missed her. I wanted to hold her at night and tell her that everything would be alright, but I couldn’t. I promised I would stay away—I couldn’t hurt her, anymore. I pushed my knees to my chest to hold myself together and to keep me from crumbling. Sometimes, I had to place my closed fist against my mouth, so she wouldn’t hear me sob. I wished she would have, though. I wished she would have opened the door and saw me sitting there, caring about her, suffering like she did.
My mom was getting suspicious about me. She knew about her, or at least that something wasn’t right. My face, the permanent dark circles under my eyes, and my lack of appetite wasn’t normal, though. I was okay, before her parents’ accident—I had started to pull myself together.
This night was especially bad. She stayed in the bathroom for hours. I had been on the other side, hearing her cry and wishing I could take it all away.
I was starting to get really scared for her. I left before my parents woke up, unable to face them and those disapproving looks, anymore, like I wasn’t doing anything right with my life. They wanted a perfect son and they didn’t have one.
I was in no condition to go to college—I couldn’t even imagine myself being closed behind four walls for another four or five years. I needed something to take my thoughts away—something that would fuel me with adrenaline. They wouldn’t approve of the plans I’d been making. They’d hate them, in fact, but I didn’t care, anymore, I just needed to get away.
Rita Branches is an independent YA (young adult) author who enjoys spending every free moment (when she´s not reading) writing emotional stories. Visit: http://ritabranches.wordpress.com/
When or at what age did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I always loved to read and build up stories in my mind, but I started writing in high school.
What is the earliest age you remember reading your first book?
My mother always read to me, since I can remember, I suppose I started reading those children’s books as soon as I was able to. In English (my first language isn’t English, for those of you who don’t know), it was Harry Potter. I couldn’t wait for the next book to be available in Portuguese, so I bought it in English and realized it was easy to understand, so I started reading more and more in English.
What genre of books do you enjoy reading?
Right now, it’s New Adult and Young Adult (which is what I write) but I read almost anything.
What is your favorite book?
It’s difficult to say. I went to my goodreads’ favorite’s bookshelf for this question and I have 67 books there and I try to be selective with the books I put there. The firsts that come to my mind are: Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma (really depressing but beautiful), The Host by Stephenie Meyer (like the whole concept of that world), A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks (it’s Nicholas Sparks, I don’t need to mention it’s depressing). Harry Potter, of course.
But the most well built and that I felt was not understood, was Hunger Games, I think it’s much deeper than people think, I watched the last movie (I read the books long ago) and kept linking the story to what’s happening now in the world, with the refugees, with the world leaders… and I think the public didn’t understand what was under the romance (which is next to nothing and very well done, realistically speaking).
You know I think we all have a favorite author. Who is your favorite author and why?
It’s the same with favorite books, it’s hard to say. I think J. K. Rowling is brilliant, and for the reasons I stated above, Suzanne Collins is as well.
If you could travel back in time here on earth to any place or time. Where would you go and why?
Have you watch documentaries on the health problems? The lack of hygiene? I’m kidding – but not really. I like to visit historic places and imagine what it would be like to live there in the past, but I can’t say I would like to live in the past – I’m more curious about the future.
When writing a book do you find that writing comes easy for you or is it a difficult task?
It depends on the day, there are days I can’t write a sentence that sounds right. When I finished Under a Million Stars, I wrote 10k words in one day and it came out perfectly (even though I went to bed with sore eyes).
Do you have any little fuzzy friends? Like a dog or a cat? Or any pets?
Two amazing dogs, both rescued from the street.
What is your “to die for”, favorite food/foods to eat?
I love sushi and pasta.
Do you have any advice for anyone that would like to be an author?
Write, write, write, the more you write, even if it isn’t a story you wish to publish, writing, like with everything in life needs practice. You’ll get better with each paragraph. Then take a chance and publish it. Don’t get stuck on the idea that no one wants to read your stories.
Author website: http://www.ritabranches.com