Monday, April 20, 2015

REFT by Libby Austin ~ Review


An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. ~ Newton’s First Law of Motion

Brandon “Brand” Carmichael’s life was the stuff dreams were made of…too bad it was an illusion. As a guitarist for Inert Motion, Brandon traveled the world, performing with his brothers in all but blood. He never stopped moving all the while his mind played in a never‑ending loop. Now outside influences have changed the band’s course, leaving Brand’s life void of the balance he craved. Once again, his dream had become a recurring nightmare. Brand coped the only way he knew how; retreat into solitude.

Û The acceleration of an object as produced by a net force is directly proportional to the magnitude of the net force, in the same direction as the net force, and inversely proportional to the mass of the object. ~ Newton’s Second Law of Motion

Magdalena “Layna” Delacroix had achieved the long sought goal of her Ph.D. in Psychology, but success came at a high cost: over one hundred thousand dollars in debt. After being presented with the opportunity to fulfill her desire to help someone in the aftermath of tragedy, along with earning enough money to clear her debt and start a psychology practice of her own, Layna had to balance the means against the outcome. Could she be the force to stop the downward spiral of someone who refused to seek help?

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. ~ Newton’s Third Law of Motion

Neither Brand nor Layna expected the reaction they had to one another. It was the opposite of everything they sought.

Could Layna live a lie while pushing Brand to live in the truth?

Would Brand forgive her for committing the one unforgivable sin he couldn’t overlook?

Or was he branded by destiny to be Reft…




I have read some of the reviews that REFT has been receiving.  I cannot disagree with them more. Readers complain they want something different, yet when they get it, they complain. Readers say that they want authors to step outside the box, yet when they do, they complain. When authors write their stories, they write what the characters tell them to write. It is not just the author's story, it is voice of the characters. Every decision that the character does, the readers are not going to agree with it. Just because YOU may do something a certain way, doesn't mean the character will...or should.

In Reft, you will meet Brandon “Brand” Carmichael.  Brandon's life changed in a matter of minutes. One choice he made, affected every one he loved. A decision that he regrets every day of his life. His actions affected everyone around him.  In reality, when you stop and think, we cannot change what we have done, we can only live with the decisions we have made and more forward.  

Brand stumbles upon Magdalena “Layna” Delacroix in the hallway of his apartment. They are neighbors.  The two of them begin to spend time together and Brand finds himself enjoying her company.  Brand's life has been in a downward spiral, and he has refused to seek help? For years he has been struggling with life itself.  People around him are changing, relationships are changing, and Brand can't handle it.  So when he meets Layna, it was like a breath of fresh air.  

Layna wants to start a psychology practice of her own, but what lengths will she go to in order to make it happen.  When she sees Brand struggling, will she offer to help?  What lengths will she go to help Brand?  

Like I said above, we all make decisions, some that others may not agree with. Whether it is decisions we make for ourselves, or decisions our parents make. When we make the decision, we always think it is best for that particular situation.

Brand was struggling with demons, demons that were eating him alive. Brand actually held a warm spot in my heart. I wanted to see him realize that he was worthy of living. Worthy of being happy. Worthy of loving. 

Layna has made a few decisions that have affected several people.  She can only hope that if they backfire on her, those who love her will be able to forgive her for them.  Layna was able to force Brand to show a side of himself that had been lost for some time.  The two of them deserved to be happy. Could the two of them be happy with each other? Will their pasts affect their future? Can the two of them leave their pasts behind them?  Decisions... Decisions..  And like Newton’s Third Law of Motion - For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.




I faced Brand’s parents. The guilt of knowing I’d failed my best friend resting heavily upon my shoulders. There was nowhere else to turn. Brand had steadily declined over the last tour. None of the other guys in the band could figure out what was going on with him either. The more we tried to include him, the more Brandon withdrew; the more he withdrew, the more erratic he became. It seemed the only time he functioned was when we were on stage.
Rubbing my hand over my head, I confessed, “We just don’t know what else to do. We thought it was drugs or booze, but we could never catch him doing it or find it hidden anywhere. Then we thought maybe he was going through groupies”—I grimaced at the thought of talking to my friend’s parents about their son’s sex life—“even though that had never been his thing before, but he wasn’t taking anybody back to his room and he wasn’t going out. He’s not eating or working out. He’s lost weight.” I sighed and looked down, focusing on the pattern in the rug. “With the tour ending and him going home by himself, we’re worried.” Looking up, I met their concerned gazes. “And in spite of feeling like I’m narcing on my friend, I’m here because he needs help and I don’t know where else to turn or what else to do.”

Peter and Sarah exchanged a knowing glance before turning their eyes back to me. As her husband squeezed her hand, Sarah asked, “When did you start to notice Brandon’s behavior changing?”

I shook my head and said, “That’s just it, it was like BAM—all of a sudden he just wasn’t the same. Then Danelle pointed out that he started acting like an ass to her when she and Ty started to get serious, and he’s gotten worse as the rest of us have settled down with girlfriends and wives and stuff.

“It doesn’t make any sense. He always got along with Danelle when she was our publicist, so I don’t get why he would suddenly be a jerk…” I trailed off as I thought back over the past couple of years.

Sarah’s worried gaze found her husband’s once again, and he swallowed and nodded his consent. It was time.


One day some words came to mind, so I wrote them down. Soon the words became sentences, which formed paragraphs, which, in turn, formed chapters. Before long, those few words had become a book.

When I’m not reading or writing, I’m a wife, mother, and business owner. I’ve lived on both coast and few places in between, but as born and raised Southern girl, I’ll always believe there’s no place like home.


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