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WHAT IF YOUR WHOLE LIFE WAS A LIE?
One Planet.
Two Worlds.
Population: Human … 7 billion.    Others … unknown.

When 14-year-old Char­lie Blake wakes up sweat­ing and gasp­ing for air in the mid­dle of the night, he knows it is hap­pen­ing again. This time he wit­nesses a bru­tal mur­der. He’s afraid to tell any­one. No one would believe him … because it was a dream. Just like the one he had four years ago – the day before his dad died.

Char­lie doesn’t know why this is hap­pen­ing. He would give any­thing to have an ordi­nary life. The prob­lem: he doesn’t belong in the world he knows as home.

He belongs with the others.

I found Talisman of El, by Alecia Stone, on NetGalley. Unfortunately I was skeptical because lately I have come across more than one young adult novel that just didn’t cut it. No I am not a young adult but I am young at heart so quite often I enjoy books in this genre. This book, thankfully, has put a major dent in my recent skepticism of new/unknown authors.

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Meet Vivian. She’s a 580-year-old vampire who exudes sex, has a talent for drama, and is passionate about two things: her human husband, Rafe, and their resort for the undead. Her ability to project physical illusions has created the perfect vacation spot a dark, isolated Alaskan hideaway where visitors can have their wildest fantasies come true. 

Vivian knows the best performance requires perfect timing, but the powerful vamp is put to the test when she discovers a corpse in a locked guestroom minutes before the next arrivals. Always cool-headed, Rafe hides the body, convinced he and Vivian can find the culprit without disturbing their guests.

Juggling the increasingly outrageous demands of their customers while tracking a killer isn’t easy. Will their poking and prodding give them the answers they need, or will it uncover secrets Vivian would kill to protect?

I have to admit I didn’t have a lot of confidence in this book. The vampire genre has been over done of late, and I find myself getting tired of reading book after book about typical blood thirsty vampires. Then I started to read, and to my delight this is not your typical vampire story.

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Demon-possessed siege commander, Dahoud, atones for his atrocities by hiding his identity and protecting women from war’s violence – but can he shield the woman he loves from the evil inside him?

Principled weather magician, Merida, brings rain to a parched desert land. When her magical dance rouses more than storms, she needs to overcome her scruples to escape from danger.

Thrust together, Dahoud and Merida must fight for freedom and survival. But with hatred and betrayal burning in their hearts, how can they rebuild their fragile trust?

Storm Dancer, by Rayne Hall, is a heroic fantasy set in what would appear to be the middle ages. Dahoud, a former siege commander, is sent back to his homeland to oversee the assimilation of a city racked by drought and desperation. Merida, a weather magician, joins Dahoud in a land she deems unprincipled and must decide where her future lays.

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Emily Ward is the author of Passages, Finding Fiona, and The Protectors series. One of her first stories featured a young girl whose doll came to life. The rest is history. She spent years writing mainly fanfiction (thank you, J.K. Rowling!), but has since ventured into originality. When it comes to fiction, she writes mainly young adult, contemporary, and fantasy. She also writes nonfiction, ranging from stories of her travels to thoughts on the Bible. Aside from writing, she loves reading, traveling, learning about God, sociology, religion, and Reeses sticks. Currently, she lives in Salem, Oregon with her husband Chris and their cats. Visit her website at http://emilyannward.com.

Hi, everyone! I’m so happy to be on this blog as part of my tour for my fantasy novel, Promising Light.

Promising Light is Book One of The Protectors series, and I have a few prequels, too. The series revolves around the Avialies, a shape changing family, and the Protectors, a group of noblemen who are trying to stifle magic.

I started writing Promising Light first. As I wrote it, I referenced quite a bit to Dar’s years in Shyra. I wanted to explore what happened when the curse was first cast ten years before Promising Light. I wanted to explore how the Avialies reacted. There was a lot of backstory that seemed like it’d be really fun to write.

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In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

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When marine engineer and very part-time spook Tom Dugan becomes collateral damage in the War on Terror, he’s not about to take it lying down. 

Falsely implicated in a hijacking, he’s offered a chance to clear himself by helping the CIA snare their real prey, Dugan’s best friend, London ship owner Alex Kairouz. Reluctantly, Dugan agrees to go undercover in Alex’s company, despite doubts about his friend’s guilt. Once undercover, Dugan’s steadfast refusal to accept Alex’s guilt puts him at odds not only with his CIA superiors, but also with a beautiful British agent with whom he’s romantically involved. 

When a tanker is found adrift near Singapore with a dead crew, and another explodes in Panama as Alex lies near death after a suspicious suicide attempt, Dugan is framed for the attacks. Out of options, and convinced the attacks are prelude to an even more devastating assault, Dugan eludes capture to follow his last lead to Russia, only to be shanghaied as an ‘advisor’ to a Russian Spetsnaz unit on a suicide mission.

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Grace began a secret courtship with Dar for the thrill of doing something against her father, the king’s general. She hadn’t planned on falling in love with him. When Dar suddenly leaves her, she searches for answers, reluctant to let him go. 

Everyone seems determined to keep the truth from her—until she’s kidnapped by Dar’s family. They’re shape changers who claim she can break a curse set on them ten years ago by the Protectors, a group of noblemen determined to stifle magic in the name of safety. 

Torn between two worlds, Grace isn’t sure who to trust. If the curse endures, Dar’s family could die out forever. But to help them, she’ll have to leave behind everything she knows.

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Emily Ward, author of Promising Light, sent me a copy of this novel and asked for an honest review, which is very easy to do when you really enjoy the book. Honestly, this young lady has done a fantastic job of telling the tale of a group of unique characters on a journey to save their way of life. There are no vampires or zombies, but you will find shape shifters, mind readers and a few other strange folk wandering the realms. With a little romance, a few battles, a few mishaps and a mysterious riddle the group of companions tries to complete a quest to rid a bloodline of a decade old curse  and, ultimately, change the course of the future.

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