Retta Heikkinen knows the unspoken rule of society: love between androids and humans is forbidden. A simple enough edict until Hemingway Koskinen spends an evening charming her with his intense gaze, bewitching smile, and sparkling conversation that hints at so much more than the usual obsessions of high school boys. Rules were meant to be cast aside, especially when love beckons.
If only it were as simple as being in love.
Trouble is brewing, not just for Hemingway--for all androids. Secrets have been kept, lies propagated, and Retta soon discovers that a frightening future awaits thousands of androids if she doesn’t do something to stop it. Worse yet, she will lose the one love she’s ever endangered herself for: Hemingway.
Excerpt“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.
Top 10 things Retta finds appealing in Hemingway
1. He has a calming presence. When Retta's with him, he feels stable despite all the crazy things that happen to him. Hemingway usually has a plan. He becomes an anchor for her, ballast against the winds of change.
2. He loves her, and well, that counts for a lot, since whenever two people both love each other, that's kind of special, isn't it?
3. He respects her.
4. He's interesting. There are loads of different races on Mars, but the androids are the most unique and Retta knows less about them than any of the others.
5. If she had to pick just one thing, it would be his eyes. They're intense and full of life in a way she's never seen (both literally and figuratively, for example, his tell—the swirling galaxies in his pupils).
6. He's strong without being a bulldozer. When Retta's dad ropes Hemingway into a discussion about the rights of androids, he stands his ground without being aggressive and rude.
7. She can be herself when she's around him. Probably because he's never made her feel like she's got a personality deficit. He reinforces who she is rather than trying to change her to fit what he wants.
8. He loves his mother. A good sign for how he'll treat Retta in the long run.
9. He always has something to say. They can talk easily and comfortably.
10. His hands are gorgeous and he smells delicious.
And well, she could name a million things, but ten will have to do.
Blue Hearts of Mars has made it to the quarterfinals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award!
Readers are invited to download the excerpts (here) and rate and comment on the entries. So please, if you want to contribute, download and rate Blue Hearts! Your support is incredibly appreciated!
Or purchase the full version of the book here: Amazon
Author Nicole Grotepas
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.
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Signed Copy of Cinder & Blue Hearts of Mars (US only)
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