Tag Archive | Escaping Darkness

Book review: Lights of Aurora by Theresa McClinton

Hi all!

I am super excited to review the second book in the Stone Legacies series by my fav author/friend, Theresa McClinton!. Just to clarify, Escaping Darkness is a novella in the Stone Legacies series and that’s why Lights of Aurora (which technically is the third book) is called the second one.

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A long time enthusiast of things that go bump in the night, Theresa began her writing career as a journalism intern—possibly the least creative writing field out there. After her first semester at a local newspaper, she washed her hands of press releases and feature articles to delve into the whimsical world of young adult and new adult paranormal and contemporary romance.

Since then, Theresa has been married, had three terrific kids, moved to central Ohio, and was repeatedly guilt tripped into adopting a menagerie of animals that are now members of the family. But don’t be fooled by her domesticated appearance. Her greatest love is travel. Having traveled to over a dozen countries and explored dozens of U.S. states—including an extended seven-year stay in Kodiak, Alaska—she is anything but settled down. But wherever life brings her, Theresa will continue to weave tales of adventure and love with the hope her stories will bring joy and inspiration to her readers.

Summary of the book

LOA

Tagline: The darkest lies lead to the sweetest truth

After the discovery of her ancient Maya bloodlines, eighteen-year-old Ashley Coreandero is faced with a daunting responsibility. She must protect the stone of Muuk’Ich while Sarian, the underworld general, relentlessly drives her to the brink of insanity.

As the winter solstice approaches, it brings an onslaught of unexpected side effects. Ashley must seize control over her supercharged powers, while dealing with the overwhelming suspicion that her boyfriend, Arwan, is hiding a secret so dark it could destroy them both.

With the arrival of a surprise houseguest, Ashley’s deepest fears about Arwan are confirmed. And when middleworld deities intercede, the group of gifted Maya descendants are confronted with hardships they never saw coming—including an enemy more deadly than they have ever faced.

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned—but when that woman has no soul and a taste for revenge, they will need the powers of every surviving ancestor simply to stay alive.

My review

What can I say!. Theresa has charmed her way into my heart yet again with her creative storytelling talents. Ok, lets start at the beginning. The cover is absolutely mesmerizing. The color combination is beautiful and it is one of the best covers I have seen.

In the beginning, I didn’t really know why the book was titled so. But towards the end, I understood. The lights of Aurora is a very significant thing in Mayan life. The story begins right where it left off without any further ado. The pace is really good. Arwan is ever so hot and we get to know more about him, which I loved. There are twists and turns along the story and that makes it an unputdownable book.

One negative though is that at times, certain dialogues were repeated (inorder to show the depth of the emotion e.g. an argument). I found that bothersome and felt like “Come on, get on with it, will you?”. This is probably nit picking but I gotta say it all yeah?. There is more character development in this book when Ashley becomes more comfortable with her powers, Hawa is not her irate self and Jayden.. oh well he still remains a “Grade A a$$hole” (author’s words not mine!). I love the way, the winter solstice and the Lights of Aurora is explained. When reading, everything is explained in such a way that no questions arise in your mind. That means the author has gone to great lengths to make sure her readers are completely satisfied. As always, this book too is very well researched. I simply cant wait for the next book in this series. The ending makes you want to know more and more.

Seriously, the way she writes, Theresa makes me get right back to the book as soon as I finish the chores or should I say, I rush through the chores just to get back to the book. I don’t think many authors have successfully induced that effect on me. This book gets a 5/5 from me which by Goodreads standards means ‘it was amazing’!

Links to this book

Amazon * Goodreads *

How I received a copy!

An e-book copy of Lights of Aurora was given to me by the author herself, for review purposes. All opinions are 100% my own and a free book does not change that!

Love,

Naz 🙂

Book review: Escaping Darkness by Theresa McClinton

Hiya guys!

Today I am reviewing Escaping Darkness, a YA fantasy/paranormal romance book, second one of The Stone Legacies series by Theresa McClinton :). More on the Author:

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A long time enthusiast of things that go bump in the night, Theresa began her writing career as a journalism intern—possibly the least creative writing field out there. After her first semester at a local newspaper, she washed her hands of press releases and feature articles to delve into the whimsical world of young adult and new adult paranormal and contemporary romance.

Since then, Theresa has been married, had three terrific kids, moved to central Ohio, and was repeatedly guilt tripped into adopting a menagerie of animals that are now members of the family. But don’t be fooled by her domesticated appearance. Her greatest love is travel. Having traveled to over a dozen countries and explored dozens of U.S. states—including an extended seven-year stay in Kodiak, Alaska—she is anything but settled down. But wherever life brings her, Theresa will continue to weave tales of adventure and love with the hope her stories will bring joy and inspiration to her readers.

Summary of the book

Tagline: She may have spent years in an asylum, but that didn’t make her crazy–just fearless..

Dropped in Moscow with her friends on an impossible mission against underworld forces, Tara is left to her feelings of overwhelming inadequacy. Her boyfriend is a healer, her best friend is “the Guardian,” and everyone else is a powerhouse of awesome strengths. The only thing she has been able to contribute are her memories, which has left her with nightmares of her time spent at the mercy of the evil Sarian–who everyone has gone to fight.

Alone with her emotions, Tara finds herself falling into a city of depravity and corruption. And amidst all this evil is a young man with an agenda of his own, who leads her down a road that will either prove she is a hero at heart, or drag her into a world she’s always feared.

He wants revenge, she wants redemption. And in an underground rings of missing girls and bloody sacrifices, only the fearless can survive…

My review

I was so excited to finally read the second book in The Stone Legacies series. When reading the first book, The Stone Guardian, I had noticed how Tara (best friend of Ashley, who is the stone guardian), was the odd one out, simply because she had no powers. She was a mere human in the midst of powerful people like time benders, healers, dreamwalkers etc. How does she fit into the plot in the future?. I had wondered. So imagine my delight when Theresa based her entire second book on Tara, making her the star and giving her a proper place in the plot.

Once again, Theresa enthralls with her writing style. Especially in Chapter three, the raw emotions of Tara is so well captured, I just loved it!. Hawa is as ‘bad ass’ as before!. You simply can’t help but wonder what the heck is wrong with this girl??. The feelings in this book are tangible and the way Theresa writes, you feel like you are right in the book and those people are just within your hand’s reach.

In this book, Theresa touches on topics like drugs, child abuse and situations similar to human trafficking. She makes it clear in “A Word from the Author” that she does so, inorder to spread awareness of such grave issues. I felt that was very thoughtful of her.

A new character, Malachi, has been introduced this time around.  He is a very mysterious character and believe me, the more you read, the more you want to know about him. Why does he stalk Tara?. How does he appear out of no where?. Who is he?. Questions like this torment you to go through the pages faster. Theresa gives you details little by little thus keeping you glued to your seat.

In Chapter eight, Theresa introduces a neat twist, one that you never saw coming and surprise the hell out of you!. Towards the end of the book, I was moved to tears. My heart aches for those who had to go through a kidnapping situation and their families.

Even though this is a short novella, with 34,000 words, I would say, Theresa managed to keep it exciting and intriguing, with twists you wouldn’t even imagine!. Overall, I simply loved this book as much as The Stone Guardian, which I had reviewed back in Jan. I can’t wait for the next book, to know more about Ashley!

I give this book 5/5 which by Goodreads standards mean that ‘it was amazing’.

Links to this book :

Barnes & Noble ~ Kobo ~ Amazon ~ All Romance E-books

How I received a copy!

An e-book copy of Escaping Darkness was given to me by the author herself, for review purposes. All opinions are 100% my own and a free book does not change that!

Note: Don’t forget to check out the Escaping Darkness Book Blast and giveaway happening on this blog, right now, by clicking here.

Love,

Naz 🙂

Escaping Darkness – Book blast + Giveaway (US/International)!

Hello!

You guys know how much I love Theresa McClinton (Hint hint: I raved about her recently in my Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award post). Her second book, Escaping Darkness is here and this post is a book blast all dedicated to it.

Escaping Darkness

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Book Blurb

She may have spent years in an asylum, but that didn’t make her crazy – just fearless.

Dropped in Moscow with her friends on an impossible mission against underworld forces, Tara is left to her feelings of overwhelming inadequacy. Her boyfriend is a healer, her best friend is “the Guardian,” and everyone else is a powerhouse of awesome strengths. The only thing she has been able to contribute are her memories, which has left her with nightmares of her time spent at the mercy of the evil Sarian–who everyone has gone to fight.

Alone with her emotions, Tara finds herself falling into a city of depravity and corruption. And amidst all this evil is a young man with an agenda of his own, who leads her down a road that will either prove she is a hero at heart, or drag her into a world she’s always feared.

He wants revenge, she wants redemption. And in an underground rings of missing girls and bloody sacrifices, only the fearless can survive…

Excerpt

Rays of morning sun crept through the windows of Tara’s hotel room. She was already awake, frozen in bed and staring at the entrance. Harsh whispers echoed from the hall paired with rushed footsteps on the carpeted floors beyond the door. She gripped the blanket, her heart pounding in anticipation.

She flung the covers aside and hurried across the room. The knob rattled followed by several sharp pounds. She peered through the peephole before swinging open the door. Renato rushed in with a limp Hawa hanging in his arms.

“Oh my god! What happened?”

Renato laid Hawa on the bed. Black hair spilled over her face as she moaned.

Peter stumbled into the room, his eyes glossed over with sleep. Renato glanced over his shoulder and waved him over. “We need your help.”

Tara’s chest tightened while she stared at them. “Where’s Ashley?” Renato glanced at her and then back to Hawa without a word. Tara stepped forward, a knot forming in her stomach. She gripped the bedpost, her legs beginning to feel like mush. “Mr. Renato, what happened to Ashley?”

“She’ll be fine,” Peter said while examining Hawa’s bandaged leg. “I don’t sense any breaks or fractures. No lesions.” He stared up at Renato. “What the hell happened?”

Renato paced, rubbing the five o’clock shadow that darkened his chin and jawline. “Sarian was much stronger than we anticipated. When Ashley tried to retrieve the stone, he somehow sensed her, even with the masking spell.”

Figures. Tara knew it was bad news when that witch offered to help. She hated the idea from the start, but being outnumbered and a girl with no abilities to contribute, she thought it better to keep her mouth shut and let Renato and Ashley make the final decision. The masking spell could have been a dud. For all they knew, Contessa might have wanted Ashley dead to take her stone. The witch only helped to get revenge on Sarian in the first place. Who knows what other motives she had. Tara still wasn’t sure of the extent of the stone’s power, but since every underworlder seemed to want to get their hands on it, it had to be capable of some unworldly things.

“Who healed Hawa?” Peter asked.

“Contessa. At her home.” Renato glanced at his watch. “We arrived back less than an hour ago.”

“Well, it looks like she did a decent job.” Peter laid the back of his hand against Hawa’s forehead. “No fever. I think she’s just exhausted. We should let her sleep.”

Tara let go of the bedpost, anger peeling away her layers of patience. There was no way she’d let them keep ignoring her. With her fists perched on her hips, she glared at them. “If someone doesn’t answer me in the next two seconds, I swear I’m going to flip the hell out.” They both stopped and stared at her. Tara swallowed. “Where’s Ashley?”

Anger was as good as any other emotion right now—better even, since it kept her blood rushing fast enough to prevent her from passing out if the news was grim.

Renato gave a deep exhale. “Tara.”

The way he said her name sucked the heat right out of her body.

She wound her fingers into her mess of red curls. “Oh God. What?”

“Please don’t panic,” he continued. “She is not hurt.”

Tara exhaled a calming breath and gestured toward the door. “I’m gonna go talk to her.” When she took a step forward, Renato stepped to the side, cutting off her path. She stared up at his tight face. “I’ll be right back. I just want to go see how she’s holding up.”

“Tara.” But when he said her name the second time, his tone hadn’t changed, and the look in his eyes told her something was wrong. He ran his fingers through his hair, smoothing it down. “She’s not here.”

“What do you mean she’s not here? You said she’s all right.”

“Yes, that’s true.”

Tara shifted her weight. “Well, where is she?”

“She and Arwan left to get Jayden back.”

“Back?” Tara scanned the room. In all of the chaos, she hadn’t noticed Jayden wasn’t there. “Is he pulling another stunt to win Ashley over?”

“I don’t think that’s what’s going on this time,” Peter said.

“Sarian is stronger than we realized.”

“But…” Tara shook her head. “I don’t understand.”

“Jayden was killed in battle.”

She felt like someone had kicked her in the chest. “What?” She gasped, her bottom lip quivering with her voice. She had known Jayden almost as long as Ashley, and even if they weren’t as close, he was her friend. She swallowed past the ache in her throat.

Peter took her hand.

“She and Arwan rushed to Guatemala,” Renato continued. “To the caves of Naj Tunich.”

She tightened her grip on Peter’s hand while suspicion crawled over her. “Ashley hates caves. Why would she want to go there?”

“Ashley was determined. I attempted to convince her it was a dangerous, reckless idea, but she insisted. She and Arwan traveled to the caves to find Houn—the Guardian of Souls. She has the insane thought that they can get Jayden’s soul back in time.”

Tara pulled away from Peter, grabbed Renato’s collar, and jerked him forward. “Are you trying to tell me that my best friend is going to meet up with the Grim Reaper?”

Renato stared down at Tara’s fingers clenching his shirt.

She let go of his collar. “I want proof. Ashley wouldn’t just take off like that. Not without telling me first.”

Renato straightened his posture while smoothing out the wrinkles in his clothes. “I managed to rent a cold chamber for Jayden’s body in the local morgue.” He paused, watching her skeptical stare. His lips pressed tightly together. “If escorting you to see his body is the only way to convince you I am being honest, that is certainly an option.”

Tara took a step back. “Oh my God. You’re serious.”

“Unfortunately, yes. If Ashley and Arwan cannot retrieve his soul before Houn places it, the morgue is where Jayden’s body belongs. Either way, we need to preserve it the best we can.”

“Preserve?” She choked on the word and slowly lowered herself to the mattress beside Hawa’s feet.

Peter tucked a curl behind Tara’s ear. “It’ll be all right.”

She wanted to believe him, but something in her gut told her it wouldn’t be that simple. “Jayden’s dead and…Ashley didn’t even say goodbye. What if—” Her breath caught in her throat. “What if I never see her again?”

PRAISE

Paranormal Romance Guild gave Escaping Darkness 4 stars!
Click here to read the review.
BUY NOW!

Barnes & Noble ~ Kobo ~ Amazon ~ All Romance E-books

Author Theresa McClinton

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A long time enthusiast of things that go bump in the night, Theresa began her writing career as a journalism intern—possibly the least creative writing field out there. After her first semester at a local newspaper, she washed her hands of press releases and feature articles to delve into the whimsical world of young adult and new adult paranormal and contemporary romance.

Since then, Theresa has been married, had three terrific kids, moved to central Ohio, and was repeatedly guilt tripped into adopting a menagerie of animals that are now members of the family. But don’t be fooled by her domesticated appearance. Her greatest love is travel. Having traveled to over a dozen countries and explored dozens of U.S. states—including an extended seven-year stay in Kodiak, Alaska—she is anything but settled down. But wherever life brings her, Theresa will continue to weave tales of adventure and love with the hope her stories will bring joy and inspiration to her readers.

Book Blast Giveaway!

THREE WINNERS

Win an ebook of Escaping Darkness, an ebook of The Stone Guardian in a format of your choice and a $50 Visa Card, through the Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The ebook part is international while the $50 visa card is US only.

The Stone Guardian

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The Stone Guardian is the first book of The Stone Legacies series.

Tagline: When myth becomes reality, reality becomes a nightmare.

Like any other teenager in America, Ashley just wants a normal life. But growing up in an orphanage for the insane is anything but normal. After endless therapy and increasing medication, her nightmares have only gotten worse.

Probably because they’re not nightmares.

When Ashley is mysteriously abducted, she finds a reality even less normal than the orphanage. And she discovers something else—she’s no ordinary orphan. Faced with enemies thought to only exist in fairy tales, Ashley discovers she possesses a powerful Maya bloodline. She’s the daughter of an ancient Maya Guardian, whose duty is to protect the Stone of Muuk’ich, an enchanted relic blessed by the gods. But first she must get it back from Sarian, a power-hungry demigod who slaughtered the last guardian—Ashley’s mother. Without the stone, all will be lost.

When she meets Arwan, a hot Belizean time bender, his delicious olive skin and dark eyes make her feel a little less alone. But his gentle whispers and reassuring touch might not be all they seem. How can she balance love and duty when it’s up to her to prevent the rising of the underworld? Especially when the guy she loves might be its crown prince…

Click here to read my book review!

Love,

Naz =)