Blue Hearts of Mars Tour Excerpt and Giveaway

Hi, all, Sher here today with a book I hope to start reading as soon as I finish taxes. I’ve said that about the last three books, right? I’m going to have a reading party, and I’m going to get a lot of exercise taking this sweet YA SF romance around the block. The weather’s been beautiful here in panhandle Florida the last week, and I’m champing at the bit. While I race to finish taxes (so I can start my long reading walks again), read on. You’ll find a couple of excerpts below with a link to others. You can even vote on the entries for Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award!  And I can’t tell you how much I love this cover. Wait, yes I can.

 I love this cover!

Tour Schedule

Blue Hearts of Mars by Nicole Grotepas

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.


“Nothing like I’ve read before. A true original story! Everything is so well described. Now if they could make a follow up book and movie, that would be great!” ~Mrs. Z (Amazon)

“I was addicted to this book from the beginning. Life on Mars was very real and not at all a sci fi world I didn’t understand . . . I found myself rooting for Retta and Hemingway from the very beginning. Easy reading, couldn’t put it down and had it read in a weekend. Waiting for a sequel!” ~TNielsen (Amazon)

“The ending of this book is exceptional. While it was different from what I imagined, the way the author brought in a shocking revelation was amazing. I probably reread the last chapter 3 times letting it sink in and the meaning behind it. It was truly beautiful . . . I would love to see more of Retta and Hemingway!” ~Kat Meyer, (Goodreads)

“I love how the author populated Mars . . . so descriptive and comprehensive . . . I could clearly picture everything as if I was seeing the movie &/or was along for the ride. . . . Retta, the main character, is strong, opinionated, and a great champion for her cause.” ~Megan (Amazon)

“I had been in the worst reading slump ever and came across this on Goodreads and thought I’d give it a try. Well, I was pleasantly surprised on how funny and exciting and mysterious it was . . . Mei, Retta’s bff, had me laughing out loud quite a bit as well as Retta herself. I’d definitely hang out with those two.” ~Deanneluvbooks (Goodreads)

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

Here’s one excerpt that made me want to read them all.

   “I saw you at school,” I said, handing him his drink. He thanked me, still grinning, and took a sip without ever taking his eyes from mine. 
   He lowered the mug and wiped the foam from his mouth. “Really? Why didn’t you say anything?”
   I shrugged. “You were far away. We were in the cafeteria. Stuff like that.”
   He nodded as though he understood. “The elephant.”
   “The elephant in the room. Haven’t you heard that expression?”
   “No.” I shook my head.
   “It means there’s an enormous thing in the room with us, but we’re both pretending to not see it, and it’s silly because it’s as big as an elephant.”
   “Right, right.” I nodded. “What are we ignoring?”
   He leaned forward and took my hand, which was resting on the cold counter between us. “That I’m an android.”
   I pulled my hand away reflexively. I didn’t want to actually, and once it was out of his hand, I regretted it. I couldn’t give it back to him, though, because that would look stupid. I tried laughing, but it just sounded hollow. A frown creased Hemingway’s perfect cheeks.
   “I’m sorry,” he said, haltingly. “I guess—I must have been reading things inaccurately. I thought—”
   “No, no, it’s OK. Don’t apologize. It’s me, I’m the one who’s sorry.”
   “Why?” His eyes found mine, and there was this appeal in them, this hope. I couldn’t crush it. Because I wanted to encourage it. I want to encourage him. For some stupid reason. And not just because he’s beautiful and his eyes swallow me like a black sun sucks in light—because, well, I don’t know yet. Maybe that’s just it. Maybe I need to find out what it is about him that makes my head spin.
   I do, right? I mean, even though I tried to forget him, I never did. A week is a long time. Especially when you’ve only been alive for seventeen Earth years. “I—I like you.”
   “Like?” he laughed. “OK. I’ll take that. It’s a place to start.”
   “I know you’re an android,” I whispered. “But I don’t care.” What was I saying? I must be a complete idiot.
And excerpt two:

   He was more machine than man.
   Well, he was an android. Or a blue heart, as we called them—for their hearts that were blue and so, different from human hearts.
   A blue heart. No doubt about it. I mean, sometimes when I wasn’t paying attention, I caught myself staring at the tiny glowing neurons deep in his pupils. They flickered and brightened like stars out in space. Like the image of a galaxy. I felt myself drifting, sinking into his eyes.
   I guess his eyes were his tell—the thing that made it obvious he was an android. Otherwise I wouldn’t have known. Sometimes it was hard to see tells. Some androids got away with being human, while others lived with the discrepancy.
   I couldn’t help staring either way. When he laughed his teeth were perfect and beautiful. The fact that he was an android dissipated and there was a glow spreading out from my heart into my fingers and even into the tiny hairs on the tops of my toes. That’s how strong it was. Even my dead hair could feel it.

So, if this was enough to pull me off task, it might pull you off task too. Best start when you’re done with your chores. But first, read the author bio and enter the giveaway. That’s what you’re here for, right?

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.

Tour Schedule
Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash (Internationally)
Signed Copy of Cinder & Blue Hearts of Mars (US only)
Ends 4/19/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Before you go, please take a look through recent open giveaways. If you like fantasy and SF written for teens, you’re in the right place! Hmm, it’s been a while since anyone asked for a book review for younger children. Any takers? I love those almost as much. Seems I never grew up.

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Indie author-friendly freelance editor, children's book blogger for picture books through YA, kid lit, SF/fantasy lover with special fondness for middle grade, pun-loving SCBWI member, meter-maid for poetry and rhyming picture books.

One Comment:

  1. There’s nothing wrong with not growing up. I take pride in the fact that I never have and never will.

    I’m not into romance stories all that much, but I loved the writing in the excerpts. Wish I could write interior thoughts like that.

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