Justice Buried by Hilary Thompson – Blog Tour Stop with Giveaway

Justice Buried
By Hilary Thompson
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.

Excerpt: Justice Buried and Lexan’s Pledge

These two excerpts show a scene first from Astrea’s point of view (Justice Buried), then from Lexan’s point of view (Lexan’s Pledge). They have been arguing, and the argument continues in public, while dancing.

I love these scenes so much because both characters are right, and both are wrong. Seeing the events from each viewpoint allows a rare moment for the reader, when you get to make up your own mind about who Astrea and Lexan really are. I hope you enjoy!

– Hilary



My feet are swollen in their slippers, and strands of hair cling to my neck. As I sparsely listen to Pallis and his friends, I glimpse Lexan on the dance floor, holding a different girl each song. Every one of them looks a bit star-struck, relaxing in his arms. I’m only struck only with an overpowering annoyance.

Isa is right – he does take me for granted.

I wonder what the people think of their chosen couple – if they notice how he ignores me and I despise him. My cheeks flush, angry with new energy. He rounds near me, and I block his path.

“May I?” I ask the girl, but glare at Lexan.

He barely falters as he seizes my waist and hauls me into the crowd. I’m flustered by his enthusiasm, until I notice his eyes. Sparking. And his lips, pressed into whiteness.

“What exactly are you doing?” He nearly spits at me.

Until this second, I haven’t realized Brenn is training my mind as well, teaching control over my fiery reactions. I force a calm I do not feel.

“I didn’t expect you to be jealous of my dancing. After all, you-”

“I’m not talking about Pallis, you idiot!”

I stop dancing, my hands trembling to sting his sneer away. “Excuse me?”

He only pushes my resistance aside, easily forcing me back into the rhythm of the music. He leans closer, his breath hot and fierce in my ear. “Why would you ever challenge Keirna? Has Brenn taught you nothing?”

We are on the other side of the room from Isa now, and I see her grinning at me. She probably thinks we are playing nicely, and that she is to thank for it. I’m disgusted with myself for even trying to talk with Lexan. He can go to Hades.

Then it registers that he knows about my training with Brenn. I swallow my fire.

“I just asked her a question. People do that.”

“Not with Keirna. Aitan says nobody questions her. Ever. She’ll ruin your life, Astrea.”

“No, Lexan, you will ruin my life,” I say, shoving him away roughly. I cannot handle another lecture today.


A few times I spot Trea giving Pallis the time of his life. And a few times she sees me watching and glares.

She must care about something. What in Hades is it? Then a realization breaks through and I forget to dance for a second. The girl in my arms blinks up at me, startled, but I just smile halfway and shrug, stepping back into the rhythm.

She cared about the woman, and the punishment. Was that because the punishment was too strenuous for the crime – it wasn’t just? Perhaps the fallen star inside her memory calls for justice like the one inside me calls for balance?

Maybe she’ll talk to me if I do something to balance the injustice of the shopkeeper’s plight. But that hope flees as soon as it came: anything I could try would be viewed as a direct attack on Keirna’s authority. And therefore punishable.

Trea will be lucky if she avoids any sort of retaliation from Keirna after questioning her in public. Anger begins to wind through my body as I think about how little she cares for her own safety – and therefore for Asphodel’s future. If she can remember the fallen star she once was, then she’s trying everything to deny who she really is.

She isn’t a believer, and that suddenly makes me furious with a raging sort of despair. Who cares if she doesn’t get a choice in this nightmare – none of us do. My father didn’t have a choice. My mother didn’t have a choice. Firene didn’t have a choice.

Trea isn’t as special as she thinks she is.

Suddenly the girl in my arms stops short, tripping over her feet, and I realize Trea is standing in front of us, blocking our progress.

“May I?” Trea directs the question to the girl, but she’s glaring at me.

My own anger is now so strong I can barely see, and I don’t waste a second before hauling her amongst the dancing couples, even though my body takes the time to notice how small she feels against me. She seems a little unsure of herself – an emotion that she’s obviously uncomfortable with.

But that doesn’t make me feel bad for her. Whatever charm I brought with me tonight is summarily gone.

“What exactly are you doing?” I bite out the words.

I see the rage pass over her face, but then she masters it and answers me calmly. Which only makes me more furious.

“I didn’t expect you to be jealous of my dancing. After all, you-”

“I’m not talking about Pallis, you idiot!”

She stops dancing, and I see her hands trembling slightly. “Excuse me?”

I put on my asshole half-smile and force her back into the rhythm of the music. The crowd is loud tonight, but I lean closer to her ear so no-one can hear us.

“Why would you ever challenge Keirna? Has Brenn taught you nothing?”

“I just asked her a question. People do that.” Her tone is flippant.

“Not with Keirna. Aitan says nobody questions her. Ever. She’ll ruin your life, Astrea.”

“No, Lexan, you will ruin my life,” she says then, and I’m not sure what hurts more: the jagged edge of her voice or her soft, rough hands pushing my body away from hers.

I stand alone on the dance floor, watching her take Pallis’s hand and try to pull him into a dance. He laughs and says something I can’t hear. My body feels abruptly drained and wilted. I don’t even feel like I could make it home right now without leaning on someone.



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!

About the AuthorHilary 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.


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