Friday, August 29, 2014

I HEART YA 2014: Girls Rule Character Interview & Sneak Peek: Against the Darkness (Cimmerian Moon, #1) by A.M. Griffin

Against the Darkness (Cimmerian Moon, #1)

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Synopsis: This one time, at band camp…aliens invaded earth. Sounds like a bad riff on an old joke, doesn’t it? Unfortunately for me and my friends, it’s all too true. I thought a mess like this only happened in the movies but, as I watch the alien ships hovering over the major cities, I suddenly realize I’m a thousand miles away from my Mom. From home. From safety.

Darkness may have fallen over the world, but I won’t let it claim me. I’ll do anything I have to get back to Michigan. Yet nothing could prepare me for what we find on our trek north from Tallahassee. There’s hardly anything the aliens haven’t bombed. Survival, at any cost, is the name of the game for the few people who haven’t been killed or captured. As if trying to stay free and alive isn’t enough, I think I just met the love of my life. And he’s just the kind of bad boy who’ll tear down the walls I’ve built around my heart—then break it.

Girls Rule Character Interview

TeamNerd Reviews: What would you say are your strongest qualities? What do you think makes a girl a total badass?
Sinta Allen: Killing aliens is my strongest quality. LOL. I think a badass girl is someone that when she fights, no one even notices her gender. She’s just a fighter. I don’t know if I’m quite there yet. I’m trying to get there, but I have a long ways to go. I’ve killed before and I no longer hesitate when I have to do it, but I have to perfect my craft and unfortunately that’ll only come with more killing.
TeamNerd Reviews: What’s a piece in your wardrobe you just have to have on you at all times and why?
Sinta Allen: The sheaths that I wear across my back to hold my swords. I don’t wear them when I’m underground, but I never go up top without them. If something happens I’ll need to bring them out and take care of my business. 
TeamNerd Reviews: How do you feel about A.M Griffin creating a series revealing your lifestory to the world?
Sinta Allen: I like it. I’d like it even better if she would leave out all the embarrassing stuff, like me pining away for Jason and my inner most feelings. But I like the idea of everyone knowing my story—our story. I don’t know what the outcome will be. I’m embattled in an alien invasion. I have to expect the worse. If I go, if any of us go, I’d like a remembrance of us somewhere. It feels good to know that we won’t be easily forgotten.
TeamNerd Reviews: If Against the Darkness (Cimmerian Moon, #1) became a movie and you could decide which actress would play your role, who would you choose and why?
Sinta Allen: I’d want a fresh face to play me. A newbie. Someone who the public wouldn’t be able to tie to another movie or have preconceived notions about. I’m not trying to be difficult in answering the question, but I’d rather if the moviegoers focused on the story of love and loss.
TeamNerd Reviews: What are the top five do’s to surviving an alien invasion?
Sinta Allen:
1.       Keep your eyes on the sky. They have spaceships and they’re using them to hunt down humans. We don’t know why or where they’re taking them, but it can’t be anything good.
2.      Learn to trust your gut. My gut has saved me more than once. When the hairs on the back of your neck begins to stand on end—run like hell.
3.      Learn how to fight. I never was a fighter before. In fact, I’d never had a fight in my life. My first ever fight was with an alien and I took off his hand.
4.      Make sure to have people that you trust and love at your back. It’s going to be hard and you’ll want to break down, but good friends will be there to pick you back up.
5.      Get a pet. I’m partial to dogs. I met Winston, a German shepherd on the way back home to Ann Arbor, Michigan. He doesn’t like aliens, he’s downright scared of them and he can sense when they’re nearby. We take him on all our missions and scouting trips. He’s a great asset. Plus he’s so darn adorable.
TeamNerd Reviews: What’s one of the most embarrassing moments you’ve had around your crush that you wish you could do over?
Sinta Allen: I told Jason that I liked him. Why was that so embarrassing you ask? Well, he was trying to tell me that we couldn’t be anything more than just friends and I misunderstood him. Yeah, cue red face.
TeamNerd Reviews: If you could have any band or artist come up with a theme song personally designed for your life, which band or artist would you want to come up with it? What would the title of the song be?
Sinta Allen: I’d want Eminem. He’s the only artist I think that could properly tell the story of what I’ve been through. Lyrically he’s great, with a little hint of crazy, which is good. You’d have to be a little crazy to survive an alien invasion. (I wonder if he survived or not? Oh, well) Anyway, I think the title should be, Don’t Let Them Get You. The story of my life.
TeamNerd Reviews: Let’s wrap this up with some fun questions to tease your fans with *wink*:
Sinta Allen:
Favorite weapon: Swords. I found a samurai sword in an old Army Surplus store and it has come in handy more times than I can remember. It cuts through alien skin like butter. *swish* In a pinch I can shoot a gun, but I hate the loud noise. The sound scares me a little.
Favorite cuss word (real or made up): Fuck. I don’t say it often, but I love saying it. Fuck that, fuck you, fuck this and if I’m really mad, fuck this shit. LOL
Favorite go to dessert: Oh, man why are you torturing me? We haven’t had chocolate since the invasion. I’d love a slice of double chocolate cake with the frosting piled high. Umm. Forgive me while I day dream.
Favorite sound: Silence. It’s been so long since I’ve heard pure silence. In Arrowwood compound there’s always some type of commotion. Starting at breakfast, there’s constant noise. During training we’re yelling and grunting. Down time are usually spent playing cards or another hobby. Even at night I can hear my roommates breathing and snoring. Don’t get me wrong, I love my new roommates, Lexi and Abby, but just once, I’d like to be able to enjoy silence again.


The screams.

I can’t get Ms. Burgess’ screams out of my head. Her screams are blood-curdling and loud. Every now and then a shrill cry bursts through and cuts through the air. I almost welcome the thought of the aliens hearing her and coming to get us. At least then she would be rescued from the Tanners.

It happened right after dinner. All three of them stood around her and declared her as their wife. Then before we could figure out what was going on, they dragged her, kicking and screaming, into one of the cabins and there was nothing we could do about it. Not with our hands tied behind our backs and ankles tied to together. And if that wasn’t enough, Holt had staked the ropes securing our arms into the ground.

Wade keeps beating his fists into the dirt. Even from where I’m sitting, I can see blood dripping from them. Ian is lying on his side, curled into a ball with his hands over his ears, trying to block out the screams. MJ is pulling at his ropes, trying to unearth the stake. Shayla and Mia are doing the same as me, crying hysterically. But I’m also rocking on my butt, holding onto my knees, praying that they let her go.

I don’t want to think about what’s being done to her. I just want it to stop. I’m also worried about the rest of us girls. They said they didn’t want anything to do with anyone not white, but I doubt it. They’re animals. They’ll turn on us too. Those will be our screams next.

Panic starts to replace the scary thoughts. I won’t go without a fight. I’m small and I know I won’t be able to hold them off for long. But I can’t let them take me to one of those cabins, but what’s to stop them?


I need a weapon. I won’t find a knife or gun, but a stick, I can get a stick. A sharpened stick will come in handy when the Tanners come for me.

I wipe my eyes on my shirt, clearing my vision. But even so, the tears are still flowing and I’m sniffling, trying to catch my breath.

Pull it together.

I scan the ground behind me, where I find the majority of sticks. They’re from the area that surrounds the cabins, probably kicked closer during the course of the Tanners coming to and going from the woods.

I twist, contorting my body uncomfortably. With my legs extended, I hook a handful of sticks with my shoes and pull them closer. More determined than ever, I do it again, pulling more sticks my way. By the time the Tanners come for me, I’m going to have so many weapons they’ll think twice before messing with me. I don’t know how I’m going to sharpen them into spears, but that doesn’t concern me right now. Surviving does.

That’s when I see it. A glimmer of movement to my right. I blink and what I thought was there is gone. I stare into the woods, wondering if the aliens have finally found us. I’m not going to yell out. I’m just going to let them come and take us. These sticks I planned to make into spears would slow the Tanners down, but aliens…no.

Just when I’m about to look away, I see it again.


I squint harder. Squinting, trying to make out what I see under the blackness of night and through the trees.

A t-shirt.

Into view steps a Caucasian boy…no a man. He’s young, maybe in his early twenties. His hair is hanging just above his eyes. I can’t quite make out the color, but it looks dark. He’s got something written on his t-shirt in bold block letters, but I can’t tell what. He creeps out of the woods and glances around.

What is he doing out here?

I can’t believe there’s someone else in these backwoods besides us.

As he comes closer, I can see him more clearly. “Booty Inspector” is what’s written across his shirt. I frown. That definitely seems like a poor choice of clothing for an alien invasion. Who would want to die with that written across their shirt?

He snaps his fingers, bringing my attention back to his face.

He mouths something that I can’t make out. I shake my head.

He creeps closer. I notice a few other things about him. Like the gun that he’s holding in one hand and some kind of knife in the other.

My eyes widen in understanding.

He’s here to save us.

I peer to my right and left. No one else is paying attention to him. I turn back to him.

“Where are they?” he mouths again.

I nod toward the cabin where Ms. Burgess is screaming.

“How many?” he mouths.

“Three,” I mouth back to him.

He nods and goes back into the woods.

No, I want to yell. Come back, don’t leave us here.

I’m about to do just that when he returns with another man, this one older, but similar looking. They creep closer to us, their eyes scanning everything around them. As they come closer I see the rifles strapped across their backs, the guns in shoulder holsters, the knives strapped around their legs and pistols in their hands. I want to cry.

If anybody can save us from the Tanners it’s them.

The tickle of a tear is on my cheek. I use a shoulder to wipe it away.

I don’t say a word as the younger one crouches behind me and uses his knife to cut through the ropes that bind my wrists. The other man goes behind MJ to do the same. I see him whispering something to MJ and MJ nodding in response. Once my hands are free, he moves down to my ankles and begins to saw away at the ropes there.

He glances up to me, his eyes focused squarely on mine. I have a hard time looking away and I think that’s his intention. “What’s your name?”

Instead of my name a cry escapes my lips.


A.M. Griffin is a wife who rarely cooks, mother of three, dog owner (and sometimes dog owned), a daughter, sister, aunt and friend. She’s a hard worker whose two favorite outlets are reading and writing. She enjoys reading everything from mystery novels to historical romances and of course fantasy romance. She is a believer in the unbelievable, open to all possibilities from mermaids in our oceans and seas, angels in the skies and intelligent life forms in distant galaxies.

Where to Stalk A.M. Griffin!

Stop by the I HEART YA 2014 Giveaways page to win copies of the first two books in the Cimmerian Moon Series!

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