Title: Allusive Aftershock
Author: Susan Griscom
Publisher: Amber Glow Books
Release Date: December 18 2012
Editions/Formats Available In: Print and Amazon Kindle
What happens when a major earthquake changes life as you know it and the boy you thought you hated ends up saving you? Three times!
Courtland Reese is the guy everyone hates and makes fun of because … well, he is weird. He communicates with animals. Strange or interesting, seventeen-year-old Adela Castielle can’t quite figure out, but when he saves her from being trampled by her own horse, she begins to understand him a little better and wants to learn more about him.
But, Max—her best friend/dream guy/someday-to-be-her-husband-only-he-doesn’t-know-it-yet—hates Courtland with a passion. Adela wants to know why, except neither boy is talking.
When Max leaves her stranded in his parents’ wine cave with his worst enemy, Courtland, after what the experts are calling a “megathrust” earthquake, Adela starts to question her loyalty to Max as steamy kisses in a dark damp cellar only fuel her emotions with more conflict.
But does she really have time to worry about that when fire, destruction and mayhem surround her?
With no electricity, I could barely make out the two figures standing by the door to the cellar. If not for the half moon, I would not have been able to see them at all. I stepped up to them and realized they were staring up at the sky and my eyes naturally followed their gaze. I had never seen such an awesome sight. Without any city lights for miles and miles, the stars in the sky were unusually bright and plentiful. A truly beautiful sight.
“Wow,” I whispered, standing between Max and Court. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Court’s focus change and he stared down at me. There was something strange about the way his eyes bored into me, as if he could see into my soul. I waited for him to look away but he held his gaze on me while I pretended to marvel at the sky. I’d never seen him stare at me that way before and I got nervous. My fingers fidgeted with each other and I clamped two of them in my other hand to steady them. If I hadn’t known better, I never would have guessed in a million years he had injuries. His eyes stayed fixed on me with an intense tenderness I had never seen from a boy before. Maybe Courtland Reese wasn’t so bad after all. Standing between the two of them in all their glorious hotness had my stomach doing flip-flops. I knew it was wrong to think these things under the circumstances, but maybe my mind just needed the distraction … or confusion. I loved Max, but I was beginning to like Courtland too. Man, I was in so much trouble.
“I’m so sorry, Adela. I’m so sorry.” His soft voice barely registered in my ear while he stroked his hand over my head, trying to comfort me. I didn’t want comfort. I wanted to find my mom. I wanted her arms around me, rocking me the way she did whenever I became upset or sick. My legs buckled under me, and I collapsed to the ground. Max held on and sank down with me. We sat on the pile of my broken home. “I’m pretty sure she’s not here.” He continued, “I think she went to Sacramento with your dad.”
I sniffled, hoping Max was right. I knew we couldn’t search through this on our own. I just wanted to try.
I don’t know how long we sat there while I leaned against Max’s chest—could have been a few seconds, could have been a few minutes. It felt like hours. I dried my cheeks with the sleeve of my sweater but couldn’t lift my head from the comfort of Max’s embrace.
I thought about how I’d just used my sweater to wipe my tears and nose and sighed as I sniffled. Speaking softly into Max’s shirt, I said, “My mom would cringe if she saw me do that. She’d say, ‘Adela, stop, get a tissue. You’re going to ruin your sweater.’”
“Ah, you’re right, she would. Are you going to be okay?”
“No, but what choice do I have? I can only pray she’s with my dad and they’re okay—and hope Ambrosia and Aaron survived. We need to find them.”
“Right. First let’s find something for your hand.”
“Yeah, look.” He placed his fingers around my wrist, turning my hand over; blood covered my entire palm. I stared at my blood-soaked hand as if it belonged to someone else. “When did I do this?”
“You fell when you were running toward the sweater.”
“Oh yeah, right, I fell.” I shrugged. “There’s a lot of blood, but it doesn’t hurt.”
“It will once the shock wears off.” He found a small dishtowel under the ramshackle pile of debris in the kitchen area and wrapped the soft cloth around my hand, tying a knot at the backside. “That should be tight enough to stop the bleeding. Let’s go to my house. My folks can help us.”
I was just totally blown away by the story in Allusive Aftershock it was so detailed every scene was described so well yet left just enough for your mind to picture it and let the imagination flow to make the story your own. I have to say that this book is definitely on my list of top ten books I have read so far this year. I will for sure be making Susan Griscom one of my favorite authors. I will not give away anymore of the story but, I will say this if you haven’t read this book yet you need to make this one a must read on your list!