By Hilary Thompson
Amazon | Goodreads
The people need Justice, but she’s not listening.
One hundred years before, the Great Sickness reduced the world to three cities. Now the community of Asphodel is trapped underground, waiting for the prophesied maiden of Justice to return and save them from their Fates.
Sixteen-year-old Astrea is supposed to be this savior – too bad for them she isn’t a believer. Trea fights against her false destiny: she rebels against her family and friends, then refuses her arranged marriage to the charming but deceitful Lexan. Learning her life is in danger, Trea is forced to trust Lexan – until she discovers a power she never knew she had, and one he already knew he did.
As betrayal closes every door, Trea decides she must submit to her stars and accept her fate. Then a handsome stranger offers her an unexpected escape and the chance to create her own destiny.
1. In the first draft, Astrea’s name was Estera, which is Spanish for “star.” Astrea still means star, but it’s the Greek version, which I thought was more appropriate, given the use of mythology throughout the series.
2. Astrea’s red hair is a good, easy symbol for her fiery nature, but really, I’ve always been in love with red-haired heroines. My first and always favorite is Anne Shirley, from L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables.
3. Astrea’s family is one of the few families in Asphodel who only have one child – it’s customary to have two or three. But there is a story behind that…
4. Astrea gives her teacher, Brenn, a lot of grief. But she would have a really hard time making it through the day without his support. She trusts him and relies on him more than her own parents, because he’s the only adult who seems to give her the truth. He fights for her to know things that her parents want to shield her from.
5. A lot of redheads seem to have striking green or blue eyes, but I chose gray for Astrea, to complete the symbolism of fire and ash.
1. I feel closest to Lexan’s character. We’re both Libras, so we share a similar view of the world. He struggles with perfectionism, fulfilling others’ expectations, and occasional depression – just like me.
2. Lexan’s name is the only one I actually created, from the random recesses of my brain. All the other names were found by searching on baby name websites!
3. Lexan always calls Astrea by “Trea” in his thoughts, but he isn’t yet comfortable using the nickname in person. He feels that they don’t know each other well enough for him to use a nickname.
4. Lexan relies on his mother and sister more than anyone else. He’s the baby of the family, but he’s also the head of the family, now that his father is dead and Aitan has married. It’s an interesting combination.
5. Lexan’s famous “halfway smile” or “crooked smile” was inspired by Ian Somerhalder’s similar smile – and Somerhalder is actually who I picture for Lexan’s sly older brother, Aitan!
Lexan’s Pledge [A Starbright Secrets Novella]
Author’s Note: this is not a full-length sequel to Justice Buried. It is a short novella telling Lexan’s side of the story!
There will come three…
A child of peace, born in a place of war.
A child of right, born in a place of many wrongs.
A child of lawfulness, born in a place with no laws.
The secrets of Asphodel continue to spill as Lexan tells his side of the story. Lexan has been pretending for so long that he barely remembers why. All he knows is that it’s getting harder to be the image of perfection that everyone expects. With Keirna plotting murder, Saloman having visions, and Trea throwing tantrums, Lexan just might be ready to risk his world for the chance at a better one. Available now on Amazon!
Hilary Thompson is an independently-published author who released her debut Young Adult novel, Justice Buried, in January, 2014. Justice Buried is the first in a dystopian fantasy series incorporating mythology and astrology, with the second full-length title due later in 2014.
She also teaches high school English, which gives her some insight into her target audience, and helps her maintain a thick skin.