Paperback Launch Day Blitz: Song Of The Fireflies by J.A. Redmerski~Bianca's Review, Excerpt and Giveaway
I received an ARC courtesy of the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Song Of The Fireflies has earned it's place as one of my favorite books EVER. As an avid reader, I look for books to make me feel. Well I didn't just feel this book, I LIVED it. I didn't just read this book, I EXPERIENCED it. This earth shattering, heartbreaking, yet beautiful story took me under it's spell. I am forever ruined because of this book. Every book I read from now on will be compared.
“...but love isn’t always roses and rainbows and butterflies in your stomach. It’s equally cruel and painful and the world’s worst villain.”
Bray and Elias were childhood best friends. As they grew older, this friendship blossomed into love. While Bray is reluctant to try anything other than friendship, Elias is persistent in proving to Bray that their love is so strong and that to be together is inevitable. Soon after, Bray allows fear to get in the way and live pulls them a part. Four years later, Bray returns to the love of her life, Elias. While older, their connection has never been stronger. One night, something happens, and it spirals into an adventure where they are on the run. Throughout this adventure, their love is tested. Secrets are exposed. Their lives are never the same.The Bray and Elias you meet at first, are different. If you think you know what will happen, you have NO idea.
“I can love a lot of people… But I could never love anyone the way I love you.”
The love between Elias and Bray is unlike anything I have ever read. Their bond goes beyond anything measurable. Their love knows NO boundaries. Their love goes places where love doesn't go. I don't think soul mates even begin to describe them. Their all consuming love is felt through every moment in their story, during the good and the bad times.
“I love you, Bray… I love you more than you will ever know.”
“How is that?”
“Because I would do anything for you… You just don’t realize yet what ‘anything’ truly means.”
“I love you, too, Elias. More than you could possibly ever know.”
“How is that?”
“Because I’d never ask you to prove your ‘anything’.”
To love with a love like Elias and Bray is something that most people dream about. This raw and genuine story will leave you breathless, speechless, and at times emotionally spent. Your heart will ache. This is not your average hearts and rainbows story. This love is dark. It is cruel. It is beautiful. It is real. The writing style immerses you in Elias and Bray's story. I said goodbye to real life as I became so engrossed in their story. It is days later as I write this review and I am still reeling over it. I haven't cried over a book in a long time. Song Of The Fireflies went where many books dare to go, but are unsuccessful. LIVING this book reminded me of my love for reading. The writing is breathtakingly beautiful and flawless.
“What I want is to be with you. That’s what I want. It’s all I’ve ever wanted.”
In darkness, there is always light. Light drives away the darkness. How much can that light withstand? Elias and Bray are characters that will be with me for a long time. Their dark, heartbreaking, passionate story is one that I will probably never forget. Elias? He loves Bray beyond words. He loves wholeheartedly and with conviction. He is the epitome of loving someone despite their faults. Love perseveres. Love always wins. In all things, choose love. Thank you to the author for writing such a deep, thoughtful, beautiful story.
Edit: It has been MONTHS since I've read this book. And it continues to resonate with my heart.
When I made my way back to the top, I found Bray wasn’t sitting near the edge of the ridge where I had left her I moved farther out into the clearing with our blankets draped over one shoulder.
“Bray?” I said, looking around.
I brushed it off for a second, thinking she was probably just taking a piss behind a tree somewhere, and I set our blankets on the ground.
But then I got a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.
I walked quickly toward the edge and looked over. My heart started to bang against my rib cage. I peered down as far as my sight could penetrate the darkness, but took a step back upon realizing that if she had fallen there was no way I’d be able to see from way up here.
She had to be somewhere around close by. She had to be.
“Bray?” I called out again. “Where the hell did you go?”
Still no answer.
Panic set in quickly. I stood there as still and as quiet as I could for several long seconds in case she was coming through the woods, but I heard nothing. I arranged both hands around my mouth and shouted, “BRAY!” and my voice echoed through the wide-open space. But still nothing. I felt sick to my stomach. She wouldn’t have left like that way out here. And if she did, I would’ve seen her on the path coming down as I was making my way back up.
I ran toward the tree line, searching for any sign of her, for another path she might have taken. I refused to believe that she had fallen off the edge.
Just as I noticed another path through the woods that seemed to head south and I started to go toward it, I heard footfalls in the leaves. I didn’t wait to see if it was her, I ran blindly straight into the woods. A skinny branch slapped me across the forehead on my way, but I didn’t stop.
Bray and I nearly crashed into each other.
“Shit, baby! Where the hell did you go? Scared the hell out of me!” I started to pull her into a hug, but something about her was off and I stopped. She didn’t respond or even raise her head to look at me.
“Are you all right?”
I took her hands into mine. Hers were shaking. Her whole body was shaking.
I cupped her face in my palms and raised her head so that she’d look at me. She was crying, and something in her eyes…I couldn’t place it, but it haunted me. I wondered if she even knew I was standing right in front of her. Her hair was messy, with pieces of leaves stuck within a mass of strands. Dirt was smeared across her left cheek. She looked like she’d been in a fight.
I touched her split lip, where a thin line of blood glistened near the corner. “Bray, you’re scaring me. What happened to you?” I shook her gently and then more aggressively when she still didn’t respond. “What happened? Talk to me!”
Her lips trembled and more tears seeped from the corners of her eyes. And then as if a floodgate had been opened, she started screaming through her tears, “It was my fault! Elias! Oh my God!”
“What happened?” I roared, scared for her and for myself, my heart about to burst through my chest.
Sneak Peek! The cover for The Moment of Letting Go!
He kisses me passionately for three brief seconds, his hands gripping the sides of my face, and we’re both breathless when he says, “I wanted to tell you about Landon. I wanted to tell you a lot of things, but I knew you had to go home and none of it would’ve mattered.”
I touch his lips with two of my fingers. “You can tell me whenever you’re ready. I’m here to listen, and I’m not going anywhere. There’s nothing you can say to scare me away. I won’t leave again unless it’s what you want. I still have four days left of my vacation and I want to spend them with you.”
“I want you to stay.”
“Then I’m staying.”
“What about after that?”
“We’ll figure it out.”
He gazes into my eyes, searching for something, I could never know what, but I think he finds it because his lips smash against mine and he kisses me hungrily. I feel my body being lifted into the air, my legs wrapped around his waist, and the air in the room hitting me as he carries me quickly through it, never breaking the kiss. In seconds I feel the comfort of his bed beneath my back and his lumpy pillows I missed so much, around my head.
We strip off each other’s clothes clumsily and Luke is on top of me before I can even catch my breath. But I don’t need my breath when I have his, and his kiss is deep and forceful and it alone makes my body dizzy with need.
By NYT Bestselling Author J.A. Redmerski
An Adult Suspense/Crime/Thriller/Romantic Suspense
Releasing March 5, 2014
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KILLING SARAI (Book, #1) is on sale for .99 cents for a limited time!
Fredrik Gustavsson never considered the possibility of love, or that anyone could ever understand or accept his dark and bloody lifestyleâuntil he met Seraphina, a woman as vicious and blood-thirsty as Fredrik himself. They spent two short but unforgettable years together, full of lust and killing and the darkest kind of love that two people can share.
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Cassia pushes herself closer when I thought she couldnât get any closer and urges me to look at her. Her right hand moves toward my face to console me, but I stop it, holding it at the wrist and pushing it back down.
âThe only one of us who should be talking about our past, is you,â I tell her.
Her doe-like eyes fall under a shroud of disappointment.
But sheâs not going to give up so easily.
âYouâve asked so much of me, Fredrik,â she says with such kindness, âbut when I ask anything of you, you turn me away. I only want to know this one thing. I donât care anymore about Seraphina, or the history you have with her. I donât even care what I have to do with it.â Her soft hand ends up touching the side of my face anyway, and Iâm not sure how she slipped it past my barrier. âAll I care about anymore is you, Fredrik.â She peers deeply into my eyes and ensnares my gaze, her face full of heartbreak and longing. âWhat are your demons trying so hard to kill?â
I push her hand away more forcibly this time.
âDo you remember anything?â I ask, disregarding her question altogether.
âStop,â she says with more intensity than I expected. âYouâre going to give me this.
Before you leave me alone down here another night, youâre going to tell me.â
The desperation in her eyes bores into me. I look away, only to look right back at her.
âPleaseâ¦,â she says.
A lump moves down my throat and settles somewhere in my chest. All ten of my fingers spear through the top of my dark, messy hair and I let out a miserable sigh of defeat.
I never talk about my past to anyone. Ever. I try not to think about it, but on some days that is as futile as trying not to breathe. It wasnât until I met Seraphina eight years ago that I learned to control it, that I became a much different man from the one who hunted shit stains like Dante Furlong, tortured and murdered them every other night, never feeling the satisfaction that I longed to feel with every kill. I was like a drug addict, always looking for a fix but never really satisfied enough to stop. Never satisfied at all, because I only wanted to do it more and more.
Seraphina helped me control the perpetual urges. She showed me how to release the darkness within me with quieter, cleaner methods so that I didnât leave a trail of bodies and evidence behind. But the biggest impact that Seraphina had on my life was making me feel like I had one. Because before her, I was just a speck of dust floating around in oblivion. I didnât know the meaning of happiness, or understand the thrill of pleasure or the hunger for excitement. I was just a shell of a man who knew only darkness and death, who only felt the emotions of anger, and hatred, and rage and vengeance.
But Seraphina, she was my dark angel, who came into my life and showed me that there was so much more to living than I ever understood. Ever since she left me in that field the night she set my house ablaze, Iâve been slowly but surely succumbing to my old life again, and I need to find her before I fall too far.
If I havenât already.
About the Author
Born November 25, 1975, J.A. (Jessica Ann) Redmerski is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. She lives in North Little Rock, Arkansas with her three children and a Maltese. She is a lover of television and books that push boundaries and is a huge fan of AMCâs The Walking Dead.
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I turn to Andrew again, waiting for him to spit it out. A cold breeze rushes through my knitted sweater, and I hide my hands inside the sleeves.
“You have five minutes to throw all of your stuff in your bag,” he says, and my heart is beating erratically before he finishes the sentence. He taps his wrist where there is no watch. “Not a second more.”
“This isn’t up for debate,” he says. “Go get your stuff.”
I just look at him, face blank.
My theory was right, but I didn’t want it to be. I don’t want to go on the road…I mean, I do…but it’s not right. It’s just not right.
“You have four minutes now.”
“But we can’t just leave like this,” I argue. “It would be rude.” I point at Asher. “And Asher just got here. Don’t you want to visit with—”
“I can visit my big brother anytime,” Asher counters. “Right now, I think you better do what he says or you might end up on the road wearing the same panties for a week.”
A few more seconds pass and I still haven’t moved. I’m in a state of mild shock, I guess.
“Three minutes, babe,” Andrew says and is looking at me with a serious face. “I’m not kidding. Get up there, throw our shit in our bags, and get in the damn car.”
Oh hell, he’s back to his old self again…
When I start to argue again, Andrew’s eyes get all feral-looking, and he says, “Hurry up. Time’s running out!” and he points to the house.
Finally, letting down my guard and going with the moment as much as I can allow myself, I glare at him and say, “Fine.” I’m only agreeing to it because I know he’s trying make things better. But I feel guilty as hell.
Disregarding his playful five-minute demand, I turn on my heels and walk very slowly back toward the house, purposely taking my time, partly my way of silently arguing the situation.
I push open the bedroom door, set my bag on the bed, and start stuffing everything inside of it. Then I go into the bathroom and grab our toothbrushes and various bathroom necessities. I yank our phone chargers from the wall and then my phone from the nightstand and chuck it all into my purse. I make my way around the room, hoping that I’m not missing anything.
Looks like Andrew already packed his stuff at some point and I never noticed.
Then I just stand here, scanning every inch of the place around me but not really seeing any of it. I don’t want to do this, but maybe it’s the right thing.
I hear the horn honk three times, and it snaps me out of my thoughts. Grabbing my bag, I swing it over my shoulder and grab my purse from the bed.
J.A. Redmerski, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author lives in North Little Rock, Arkansas with her three children, two cats and a Maltese. She is a lover of television and books that push boundaries and is a huge fan of AMC's The Walking Dead.
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