ARC Review: Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor

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synWhen fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers. Trapped in the twelfth century in the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Along the way, her path collides with that of a mysterious boy who could be vital to her mission . . . or the key to Hope’s undoing. Addictive, romantic, and rich with historical detail, Into the Dim is an Outlander for teens.

review3.5/5 Stars 

***I recieved this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & HMH Books for Young Readers.

I was crazy excited for this story. Eleanor of Aquitaine is one of my favorite historical figures, so naturally when I saw this time travel set in the 12th century, I zoomed in on my favorite lady and HAD to have it. That being said, Into the Dim is an enjoyable read. Full of phobias, secrets, intrigue, danger, Tesla science, and romance, Into the Dim will keep you captivated and wanting. 

READ THIS BOOK IF:

  • You’re into historical fiction but the light kind. Diet edition. 
  • You’re intrigued by the science behind time travel.
  • You love accents.
  • Mysteries are your playground.

PROS:

  • Despite the first section of the book, I couldn’t forget the story. I wanted to know what happened, if Hope would rescue her mother, the budding relationship with Bran, the reason behind Celia’s vengeance, etc. There were questions that needed answers that propelled me forward. 
  • Diversity. I LOVED LOVED LOVED Phoebe and Doug. Their characters NEED to be explored. Phoebe is outspoken, crazy, wonderful, and Doug is a genius, a little nerdy, and all around adorable. Their romance, man, I lived for those scenes. Swoon. Collum. Why, oh why, wasn’t there more of him? I had my fingers crossed that the tiny spark brewing between him and Hope would manifest because, well, he’s strong, determined, passionate, and oh so serious. Heavy sigh. 
  • Hope is interesting. She’s bursting with knowledge, at little bit of a know it all because of her perfect memory, but still insecure and sheltered. Hope doesn’t know how useful and strong she can be because she gives into her phobias. She definitely grows on you. As she adjusts to her new life, she gains courage and opens up. She becomes stronger because of her troubles. Sometimes, there’s a wisp of lighthearted comedy between her and Bran that is engaging and endearing, though not often enough. 
  • The concept itself is wonderful. Rival time traveling families, Tesla science, artifacts, learning the times to collect bits of history. The tragedies. Oh, the earth-shattering, heart-breaking tragedies. 
  • The danger is heart-stopping intense. Sword fighting, anxiety, foreboding, it’s all there, keeping you on edge. 

CONS:

  • The balance is off. There wasn’t enough establishment of life in the 12th century to get a full picture. It was more about the actions of others. While there are threads of what it was like during the time, poor treatment of Jews, rise of the church, crime, etc., the magnificence that was Eleanor of Aquitaine was muted. 
  • Explanation of ley lines, Tesla science, and lodestones was weak. If I didn’t already know about ley lines and lodestones from other time travel novels, I would have been pretty confused. 
  • “Twists” were predictable. There are so many clues pointing to them that they feel obvious and it’s frustrating how long it takes the main characters to figure it out. 
  • Secondary characters were intriguing, unique, and I wanted so much more from them but their time was taken up by Hope’s obsession with Bran and her internal struggles with the “curse” of her eidetic memory and claustrophobia. 

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

Keep reading, 

Jordan

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Guest Post: Atlantis Quest by Gloria Craw

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Get ready for the exciting follow up to Atlantis Rising, dubbed An enchanting debut from a promising new author of paranormal YA by Kirkus Reviews.

After all they’d cost me, I thought I was done with the Truss clan. I was wrong. Nikki Dawning, my mortal enemy, has beenkidnapped, and I’ve been asked to spy on the Truss to find her. The pull between Ian and I has never been stronger, but he can’t help me this time. I have to rely on Theron, a bad-tempered cousin I didn’t know I had. To make matters worse, the people I trust have been keeping secrets.

I’m starting to feel like a weapon in a war I don’t understand. How far am I willing to go to protect the descendants of Atlantis and the common good when I’m not sure what the common good is anymore?

Only one thing is certain. If I’m the next Laurel clan chief, I can’t let myself be manipulated…by anyone.

CHARACTER SPOTLIGHT: IAN

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“That was one of the things that made Ian…Ian. He had confidence. He was only half kidding when he called himself the master. In his mind it wasn’t boasting; it was a statement of fact.

He slid his hand over mine while our breathing slowed, and I laced my fingers through his. The two of us had been through a lot together. When I say a lot, I mean heavy-duty stuff…life-and-death stuff.

He didn’t shy away from telling me he wanted to be more than friends, nor did he let it get awkward between us when I resisted.

That was another thing that made Ian…Ian. He didn’t get embarrassed.”

INSPIRATION FOR ATLANTIS RISING SERIES

I was inspired to write the Atlantis Rising series after taking an anthropology class that focused on undersea archaeology. The lost island of Atlantis is commonly accepted as fiction these days, but I had a fun teacher who took a day to discuss some of the theories people once had about it. That class got me thinking about a highly evolved, extremely intelligent subgroup of people who had to assimilate into the human world when they no longer had the Island of Atlantis to live on.

Happy reading, 

Jordan

Spotlight & Giveaway: Did I Mention I Need You?-Estelle Maskame

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Release Date: March 1, 2016

Publishers: Sourcebooks Fire

[A] juicy romance…the star-crossed love affair of Eden Munro and Tyler Bruce is a global sensation!”

–Justine Magazine on the DIMILY series

“Maskame pays close attention to detail and, as a teen herself, clearly understands her audience… Many teens will relate to the emotional turmoil of blended families, child abuse, addiction, first love, jealousy, messy breakups, and generally, growing up.”

–School Library Journal on Did I Mention I Need You?

“Readers will root for them, like they would with Edward and Bella—the mutual attraction and need for one another is palpable. It rings of passion, excitement, and first love.”

–VOYA Magazine on Did I Mention I Love You?

“An edgy young adult romance with dark layers”

–The Examiner on Did I Mention I Love You?

“A believable coming-of-age story and an unconventional romance, set against a present-day California summer… . The fallout of divorce, the insidiousness of substance abuse and family secrets, and especially the pangs of first love drive this emotionally resonant tale.”

– Publishers Weekly on Did I Mention I Love You?

“Written in first person, Maskame’s trilogy opener is an excellent portrayal of a teenage girl’s life in the 21st century. Eden has to adjust to her blended family, try to feel pretty, be body conscious, and make friends, all while falling in love for the first time. She is someone all young people can relate to…Romance fans will be captivated by Eden and her journey to finding herself and true love.”

–School Library Journal on Did I Mention I Love You?

synLove has no rules.

It’s been a year since Eden Munro last saw Tyler Bruce: her stepbrother…and secret love. Although they swore to ignore their feelings and put their family first, Eden can’t help but feel excited when Tyler invites her to join him in New York City for the summer.

But it’s not like anything is going to happen. Eden is happy with her boyfriend Dean, and she knows gorgeous, green-eyed Tyler must have moved on as well. But as they spend the long, hot summer in the city that never sleeps, it becomes obvious that those old feelings are still there…simmering beneath the surface. Will Tyler and Eden be able to resist temptation?

Did I Mention I Need You? Is book two in Wattpad sensation Estelle Maskame’s DIMILY trilogy: three unforgettable summers of secrets, heartbreak and forbidden romance.

authestelleEstelle Maskame started writing at the age of thirteen and completed the Did I Mention I Love You? trilogy when she was sixteen. She has built an extensive fan-base for her writing by serializing her work on Wattpad. Fitting book writing between work, Estelle has amassed followers from all over the world. She lives in Scotland. For more visit estellemaskame.com

Book Site/Twitter

ExcerptMy heart skips a beat as my eyes scan the information signs above me. I should stop and figure out where I’m supposed to go, but there’s no way I can delay this any longer. I just want to see him already, so I sling my backpack over my shoulder and follow the people who have gotten off the same flight as me. But with each step, the more nauseous I feel. The more I realize I shouldn’t have come here. The more I believe this is a bad idea.

Of course it’s a bad idea, I think.

As if I’ll get over him by spending time alone with him. If anything, this is going to make it worse, harder. It’s easy for him. He’s probably long over me, and he’s most likely dating some cute girl with a New York accent. And then there’s me, the idiot who’s spent an entire year still thinking about him. I know that when I see him, everything I felt will come rushing back at once. I can feel it already. I can feel that same nervous feeling in my stomach that I always did whenever he smiled at me, and I can feel my pulse racing at the same speed it always did whenever his eyes met mine.

I wonder if it’s too late to turn around.

The group I’ve been following heads down an escalator, but I hesitate at the top and step to the side, lingering for a moment. Maybe this won’t be so bad. I am excited to see him, even if my nerves are outweighing my excitement, and I’ve been waiting so long for this that it’s stupid to be having second thoughts.

I’m just confused and my head’s a mess, but I’m here now. It’s time to see him for the first time in a year.

My grip tightens around the strap of my backpack as I step onto the escalator, and my heart is quite literally thumping against my rib cage. I wonder if the people around me can hear it. It feels like I’m having a heart attack, like I’ll collapse any moment now from an anxiety overload. My legs feel stiff, but somehow I manage to keep moving, somehow manage to get off the escalator and advance across the arrivals level.

I’m half looking for the baggage carousels and half looking for a pair of green eyes. Around me, I can see people hesitating, looking. People in suits holding signs. Families searching the crowds flowing off the escalator. I know exactly who I’m looking for. For a moment, I think I see him. Black hair, tall. But just as my heart’s about to stop, he draws a woman into his arms and I realize that it isn’t him at all.

My eyes return to roaming the concourse as I make my way toward baggage claim, still forcing my feet to move, however numb my legs feel. I’m stealing glances at the line of placards as I pass, taking in the last names and wondering why all those people are traveling to New York. My thoughts don’t last long though, because suddenly one placard in particular catches my eye. It draws my attention, of course, because I see my name scrawled on it in black Sharpie, each letter slightly out of alignment with the next one.

And that’s when I see him.

Tyler.

He’s slowly lowered the placard to reveal his face, and his grin and his jaw and the color of his eyes and the way one eyebrow slowly arches reminds me of some of the many things I used to adore about him. Perhaps I still do love these things, because now my feet are moving again. And fast. I make my way straight over to him, gaining speed with each step, my eyes locked on him and nothing else. My beeline forces the people around me to move out of my way, and now I’m running. The moment I reach him, I throw myself into his arms.

 

giveawayRafflecopter giveaway link for two signed copies of Did I Mention I Need You?

Runs 3/1-3/31 (US & Canada only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Keep reading, 

Jordan

Cover Reveal: The Angel Knights & The Chosen Knights by Mary Ting

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Michael and Claudia’s decision to move back to Crossroads was to keep their children safe, but they can’t escape who they are. Their children, Zachary and Lucia, were destined to be demon hunters—Venators. From the age they were able to hold a sword, they were trained to become the best and to ensure they would become leaders one day.

All is peaceful throughout the land until the Fallen and demons’ presences were felt in the between and on Earth. As the Venators investigate these locations, they will quickly learn how dangerous their lives are. Hearts will be broken. Teammates will lose their lives. And they will face obstacles which will test their faith.

As danger grows, the fear of fallen angels and demons regrouping has the Divine Elders on pins and needles. Now, Zachary and Lucia, along with Uncle Davin, must prepare themselves—mentally and physically—to live on Earth to investigate where the focal point of evil resides before it’s too late.

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When teens go missing in Hawaii, a group of demon-hunters—half human and half angel—disguised as high school students, must leave Crossroads, the place where they reside. In a race against time, they uncover the mystery connecting the missing teens, which dates back to the era of the Knights Templar.

However, when they discover one of the Templars passed down a book containing all the secrets and codes to finding a particular treasure, they soon realize this forbidden treasure needs to be found before Cyrus, the lord of the possessor demons, acquires it—a treasure which been safeguarded and hidden from him.

There is only one problem: the pages containing the clues leading to the treasure is missing. When the first page is found, Cyrus threatens to kill more descendants of the Knights Templar if it is not given to him by Friday the thirteenth. In the midst of threats and discovery, the demon-hunting angels find they are not alone when supernatural beings begin to reveal themselves. Can they put their differences aside and work together to solve the Knights Templars’ cipher? As they astral travel to the past, they witness a lot more than they have bargained for. And some things are better left unseen.

authInternational Bestselling Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.

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Read on, 

Jordan