About Blue Hearts of Mars by Nicole Grotepas:
Note from author: Blue Hearts of Mars has been selected as a quarterfinalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest. Longer excerpts are available through the ABNA page on Amazon. Reader reviews and ratings are welcome and encouraged. Seventeen-year-old Retta Heikkinen is in love with a boy--a thoroughly gorgeous, captivating, and mysterious boy known as Hemingway. The situation is rather ideal: he likes her, she likes him. There's just one little problem. He's a blue heart, an android. Being in a relationship is its own complicated mess, but how long can a forbidden love last? Soon Retta discovers a secret that could destroy the uneasy truce between the blue hearts and humans, which makes life under the domes on Mars possible. Would exposing what she knows make things better or worse? And how can she know for certain without exposing the secret?
EXCERPTS of AWESOME:
“What would you do if there weren’t all the rules? The law? Your father?” he pulled me close.
“I don’t know,” I said, trying to think about it more, but I felt like I was fighting against a current, trying to swim upstream, like at the indoor water park with the lazy river. I went there a lot when I was a kid because there were only a few places where we could see that much water all at once. I learned to swim there, which was scary, because most of my experience with water was in a shower, and that only lasts two minutes.
Hemingway rested his hands on my hips. I could feel his fingers pressing against me through my shirt—they were hot.
“Is it the rules that make you do something? Or is it yourself?” he asked. His breath was warm on my face and it smelled like closeness. Like being inside someone. Like I could smell the scent of his heart. The walls of his lungs. It was intoxicating.
“I—I don’t know,” I whispered.
“Would you kiss an android? Or would the rules stop you?”
His eyes were alight. I felt like I was staring at the heart of a galaxy and I remembered the first time I stared into his eyes. I didn’t have an answer to what he asked. At least, I didn’t know how to speak. I closed my eyes and let myself fall into his lips.
In the fiction sections, there were wax models of famous characters, like Sherlock Holmes holding an old magnifying glass up to his eye, Romeo and Juliet in a loose embrace, and Genghis Kahn.
Hemingway laughed at the wax figure of Genghis Kahn.
“What?” I asked.
“It’s just, well, you know, right?” he prompted. I shook my head. “Genghis Kahn was real. Not a fictional character. He was a Mongolian tribal leader. It’s just funny that he’s on display here as though he belongs to the fictional world.” He was standing next to the figure, which was dressed in robes and holding a sword.
“Maybe they didn’t know?”
“Yeah. Perhaps it’s an oversight. It just seems disrespectful to reduce him to standing among the fictional characters.”
“I’m sure Romeo and Juliet don’t mind. They’re probably wishing he’d come along and slaughter their families so they can be together,” I said with a laugh, touching the puffy sleeve on the Romeo statue.
“Poor kids. Their world just didn’t understand them,” Hemingway said, making a tsk-tsk sound and leaning toward Juliet’s face. “She looks so real.”
“Kind of creepy.”
“The world never understands love, does it?” Hemingway said, giving me a meaningful glance before strolling away from the Romeo and Juliet display. I caught up to him.
“Not from the perspective of literature. But maybe that’s just because drama makes a better story,” I said.
About the Author:
Nicole wrote her first fantasy novel in 7th grade on her mother's old Brother typewriter. It was never finished but it strongly resembled a Dragonlance plot and she's forever wondered what happened to the manuscript and Tonathan--the handsome elven protagonist. After living in Nashville where she worked as an editor, she returned to the Utah desert where she was raised. Nicole now lives near the Wasatch mountains with her husband. She writes and raises her son and three cats full time.Find and Follow her on: Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Website / Blog
Signed Copy of Cinder & Blue Hearts of Mars (US only)
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