Hello, everybody! How is 2014 treating you all? I'm very sorry that I haven't been present here in a while, but I had other responsibilities that had to be attended to.
But I'm back now, and I am so excited to be able to start off this new year with Theresa McClinton! She has honestly been one of my favorite authors I've interacted with since Gabby and I started this blog a year and a half ago (can anybody else believe it's been that long?!), and I'm so happy to be a part of this tour! She organized it herself, you know. So everybody give a big round of applause to Theresa! Yay!
If you've ever interacted with her, it's easy to see how much fun she is, and she loves to talk to readers, so please leave her a comment, even if it's just to say hi! You may even win a copy of Lights of Aurora for doing it!
One more thing! Lights of Aurora is the second full-length novel in the Stone Legacy series. The Stone Guardian is the first (my review is here if you're interested), and "Escaping Darkness" is the novella that falls between them (review here).
And for the duration of this tour, both Lights of Aurora and "Escaping Darkness" are only $.99! Click on the graphic below to go buy the entire series on Amazon!
And now, on with the tour!
Lights of Aurora by Theresa McClinton
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.
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.
Wait, what did you say? You mean Lights of Aurora isn't just about Drina and the many ways in which she whops "foolish boys" over the head with her stick of condemnation? But.... but.... I like Drina.
Luckily for me, there is no shortage of my favorite character in this novel. Or her much adored stick-whopping. In all seriousness, I am really glad that Drina played a larger role in this book than she did in The Stone Guardian. She has a very special relationship with Arwan, and I think that really helped Ashley once his big secret was finally revealed to her.
So that secret. I'm not sure how much of a secret it was supposed to be, especially because it was mentioned in the synopsis for The Stone Guardian, but hey, props to Ashley. Aside from the whole trying to kill him part (and to be fair, you didn't really know it was him), you handled it like a champ. You were nice and understanding when he told you to your face, and then you were royally pissed when you found out about his little omission. As you should have been.
Even after that, you balanced the two extremes I see too often in books after the leading lad screws the heck up. On one end you have "IM'MA TEAR YOUR #$%^& HEAD OFF!!!!!!" and on the other is "Oh, but honey bear, I still love you, we can work this out, I'll never ever let you go!" Neither of which I'm too fond of. Ashley, though, she did a pretty good job. That was especially important to me, seeing as how I still like Arwan a lot in spite of his "secret." She even stopped Eadith (who you will meet for the first time in this book) from charring his head off, which I thought was pretty classy.
The only thing I have a problem with in the Ashley-Arwan area is how quickly things switch up near the end of the book at the temple. Right now I'm going to chalk her sudden change in emotion up to the combination of the magic, fancy lights and Renato's incredible powers of persuasion, but I would have appreciated being able to actually read the process of her changing her mind back around there. Then again, I have a very strong feeling that's going to be a rather important topic of conversation in the next book.
Speaking of that area, how about I talk about the "surprise houseguest" mentioned in the blurb? Well, I suppose I can't actually tell you who that is, but I can at least say something. The houseguest is a she, and if you read The Stone Guardian, you have met her before, but before you get too excited, no, she is not Drina. Though to be honest, the thought of Arwan always being in the same house with Drina, ready to be whacked on the head at any moment by her, does make me really happy. Maybe she could even be turned loose on Jayden! Now that would be fun!
Briefly, now that I've mentioned Jayden, I would have liked to have read a little more from his perspective. This book was understandably more focused on Arwan and Ashley, and while I do appreciate that there wasn't an overwhelming amount of emphasis placed on the whole love-triangle thing, I do like hearing from Jayden. He's a great character.
Now, what was I talking about before the Jayden interlude? Oh, yes, the houseguest. To be honest, I didn't really like her attitude. I suppose I can understand where she's coming from, but I think it was a little rude of her to expect to have her opinion always be the most important, especially considering the fact that she's just now showing up. But I'm not supposed to like all of the characters because that would make the book boring, which it most certainly is not!
My only real complaint (which sort of relates back to what I was talking about before about the temple) is that I don't think there was enough time for the characters to just reflect. The story seemed slightly rushed, and because of that, I wasn't able to really immerse myself into the minds of the characters as much as I would have liked to. There was definitely a lot of action, but I don't feel like I was as in touch with some of the finer details as I was in The Stone Guardian and "Escaping Darkness."
Overall, though, this was still an excellent addition to the series (I was particularly fond of the scene in the sporting goods store), and I can't wait to find out what happens next! Darn you, cliffhanger!
And my favorite quote, which is from Arwan's point of view after he and Ashley come out of the caves:
A deep growl caught his attention, and he tilted his head to see speckled paws slowly pass. He tilted his head further to see a jaguar peering down at him with yellow eyes."Foolish boy," spat an old woman's voice from out of sight. Hasty footsteps on wet ground grew louder until a woman with wrinkled skin and graying black hair loomed over him, blocking the big cat from sight. Her hands perched on her hips, she seemed angry rather than concerned.He furrowed his brows, his vision blurred. "Tia Drina?" He tried to focus, unsure if she was a hallucination or not. She lived in Belize. They were nearly twelve hours away from her village near Renato's home.The woman held a stick in her hand and waved it in his face with her lips turned into a scowl. "I will build a fire, t'en beat you."He exhaled, and his muscles relaxed against the cool, drenched earth. Without a doubt, it was Drina.
Well, who else did you think my quote would be about? Of course it's about Drina!
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