Thursday, March 21, 2019

While I Was Away by Stylo Fantôme Release Blitz

You were in a car accident.

They say true love can last forever.

You hit your head, which caused your brain to swell.

Can span any distance, stretch across time, last beyond death.

The pressure against your skull damaged your brain.

Which leads one to wonder…

The damage left you unresponsive to most kinds of stimuli.

If you fall in love in your dreams,

And this unresponsive state is what's known as a coma.

Can you find that love when you wake up?

Full length Romantic Drama standalone.

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~  Available with KindleUnlimited  ~

Adele was babbling, she knew, but she couldn't stop herself. So she was thankful when Jones cut her off and yanked her close. He sat up at the same time, and before she even realized what was happening, he was kissing her.


The last time – the only time – they'd kissed, he'd disappeared forever. This time, she was determined to make the most of it. They both shifted onto their knees, arms going around each other, and when she gasped at the intensity of his hold, his tongue slipped into her mouth. She moaned and curled her fingers in his hair, praying the moment would last forever.

Ah, but this place is the anti-prayer. So shall you think it, so shall it not be.

Jones' hands had moved to cup either side of her face. He pulled away, then leaned back in for another slow kiss. Tried to say something, then kissed her again. Once more, and she could just feel it – it was the last one.

“I wish we could stay here forever,” he whispered, pressing his forehead to hers.

“Me, too,” she whispered back. He grabbed hold of her wrists and gently removed her arms from around his neck.

“But it can't be. You either go forward, or you go back. You can only stand still for so long, Adele.”

She didn't even know what he was talking about, and she knew he was right. The storm above them was getting worse. Something was coming. Eternity waited for no one, not even her, it seemed.

She squeezed her eyes shut tight.

“I tried, Jones. I tried to stand still with you. I tried to get caught in the now with you.”

“I know you did. And now I want you to try something else,” his voice was so low, she could barely hear it over all the thunder.


“I want you to concentrate. And then, I want you to open your eyes.”

She bit into her bottom lip and turned her head, brushing her nose against the side of his cheek so she could remember the feel of him. Inhaled deeply so she could remember the smell of him. Then she took an even deeper breath and did as she was told.

She concentrated on the ground below her. Listened to the storm raging above her. Felt Jones' body heat in front of her.

And she also remembered. Could hear her brother Ocean laugh in her ear, the sound made such rare appearances. Could picture her brother River standing in front of her, looking so serious and concerned. Could feel her brother August around her, giving her one of his big hugs.

The wind around them didn't lessen in intensity, but it did slow down. Or time slowed, she couldn't be sure. There was a terrific booming noise, followed by the sound of something ripping. At first, she thought it was the sky – the storm must have really been opening up. Then she felt a tremor in the ground under her, and she knew what it was.

The giant tree was finally tipping over. It groaned as gravity took hold of its weight and pulled it over the edge of the cliff. She could actually sense the roots being ripped from the earth as the tree made a swan dive.

And as the roots came free, they tore apart the face of the cliff. She could feel the ground crumbling away from her, could tell she was falling. Jones held onto her for as long as he could, but just as his arms were about to reach their limit, gravity took over once again and yanked her away completely.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This story blew me away. I didn't know what to expect going in and I loved what I got. Adele and Charlie start the journey at a co-worker’s birthday party. They've been in a long-term relationship but it's become stale. They both know they need to move on but making that first step, initiating that break up conversation. It goes so well they decide to leave the party and spend one last night just being them. Unfortunately, the night doesn't go as planned. A car accident leaves Adele in a coma. Charlie feeling guilty that he wasn't injured and that everyone keeps calling him her boyfriend. While Charlie and Adele's family sit by her side contemplating their lives’ directions, Adele is having an adventure of her own, where decisions will need to be made and hopes of finding her soulmate linger.

I loved this tale and take on what happens when someone is in a coma. It was nothing like I expected but everything I didn't know I needed. Stylo Fantôme knocked this one out of the park! An honest must read!

3.5 Baffling Stars

Excuse me for this incoherent review. In truth, I have no idea how to truly review the novel.

While I Was Away was most certainly original and unique, yet I wasn't blown away. There was just something that kept me from fully engaging with the story and the characters. There are many points-of-view, offering a different take on the world in which this takes place. Adele, her three brothers, her best friend, her boyfriend, and Jones. While not a large cast, all connecting to Adele, their stories are shown to add the depth to enrich the story.

The opener resonated with me, knowing exactly how Adele and Charlie felt in that moment. I experienced it in the middle of a restaurant, while sharing a meal, feeling as if reality was the dream, and I wanted to wake up and not be there with that person anymore.

Rendered comatose from a car accident minutes after breaking up with her boyfriend, Adele draws the reader on a trippy journey. While many will probably find this a beautiful portion of the story, I need to be honest. After a few 'trips,' I started skipping it to get to what was happening in reality. Not because I'm not a fan of the fantasy, but because it was too... perfect.

Truth be told, I missed the emotionally stunted train wrecks I'm used to reading – never thought I'd admit that, to be honest, always begging for a more mature take in books.

Adele is PERFECT.

Jones is PERFECT.

Adele's brothers are perfectly flawed in a way that makes them interesting, as is her best friend. That's what I was missing, were the flaws. I was torn because I enjoyed Ocean's storyline more than Adele's, because it felt 'real.' Even after waking and finding Jones, it still had a fogginess of anti-reality cast over the story, which took away from my enjoyment.

Charlie is shipped as being a good guy, but it only made him look like a spineless coward, along with the co-worker looking a bit predatory – wish them luck in a relationship predestined for failure due to the shady beginnings. What type of woman befriends someone to get 'close' to their significant other? Good luck, Charlie – you're going to need it. Even if it wasn't 'cheating' it still left a nasty taste in my mouth. Had nothing to do with the relationship ending/beginning and everything to do with how those who see themselves as nice guys generally aren't. Be a man, grow a set, and stop gaslighting the brothers for protecting their sister's honor, because you're too nutless to be honest. What crappy brothers would they be if they didn't say anything when catching their comatose sister's boyfriend macking on her coworker in the hospital parking lot? Sure, we readers know, but the brothers didn't. Upon waking, perfect Adele gaslit her brothers too, wanting them to apologize for defending her against someone they saw as spineless. Not mind-readers, just saying...

That is my issue in a nutshell, the perfect Adele, Charlie, and Jones got on my nerves, as the rest of the imperfect cast shined brightly, because I found them interesting. Even the predatory co-worker was shown as being good, heart in the right place, to make Charlie happy. The rest of it felt too quick, instantaneous in the emotions before they had time to develop, to a fantasy genre degree. Ocean's storyline overpowered Adele's with the realism, overshadowing what was to be the beauty of the story.

I do feel bad for writing this review, as I warned it would be incoherent. I wanted to like it – I tried. I got what Fantôme was attempting to create, and I'm sure it resonated with many readers, but for me, it missed the mark.

I won't forget the novel, that's for sure.

Stylo Fantôme is one of my favorite authors, and this story had its good points and its bad points.

Let’s start with the positive. I really enjoyed the first half of this book. Charlie and Adele have decided that maybe they aren't meant to stay together forever (I really love how they handled this). Together, they agree that this is the end – there're no dramatics or rage. Unfortunately, their last moments together involve a nasty accident.

While in a coma, Adele experiences a new life complete with new places, people, and Jones. I love the world within a world! I felt like I was transported to a fantasy land, or maybe an LSD-fueled dream, but it was still very interesting. I like how the author went between the dream-world and the real-world. I absolutely LOVE Adele's brothers and her best friend, Zoe. They add an element of reality and richness, rounding out the fantastical elements.

The second half of the book was okay, but I don't want to give anything away. I will say that I thought it felt rushed. I didn't feel the real-world build-up I was hoping for. Having said that, I absolutely LOVED the ending.

Overall, this was an emotional story and I found myself laughing out loud and even crying a few times. For a story that I found only okay at times to make my cry, it must be a good story. I love all of the characters and would love a follow-up story on the rest of the brothers.

Crazy woman from a remote location in Alaska (where the need for a creative mind is a necessity!), I have been writing since... forever? Yeah, that sounds about right. I have been told that I remind people of Lucille Ball – I also see shades of Jennifer Saunders, and Denis Leary. So basically, I laugh a lot, I'm clumsy a lot, and I say the F-word A LOT.

I like dogs more than I like most people, and I don't trust anyone who doesn't drink. No, I do not live in an igloo, and no, the sun does not set for six months out of the year, there's your Alaska lesson for the day. I have mermaid hair – both a curse and a blessing – and most of the time I talk so fast, even I can't understand me.

Yeah. I think that about sums me up.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of While I Was Away by Stylo Fantôme to read and review for this tour.

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