Monday, February 11, 2013

Passionate Reading

    Last year, I belonged to a Facebook Mommy Group that posted a link to the 50 books every child should read before entering Kindergarten. Being the ambitious, over achieving mom that I am, I set out to meet this goal. The last thing I wanted was for my son to enter kindergarten unprepared.  

    Keep in mind, I read to my son on a nightly basis. I wasn’t intimidated by this 50 book goal, at all. Bring it on! In fact, where was the list of books to read before first grade?  

    As I continued my research, one of the articles suggested that the parent should be a reading role model for the child in order to create the lifestyle. I liked to read and even though I made the same excuses so many people made -- I’m too tired or I have no time-- this was my kid.  

    This article challenged me to sacrifice myself in order to help my child develop a healthy love of reading. Parenting, after all, pushes you into selflessness, even when you fake it. Therefore, I needed to give up some time in front of the TV and read. My goal was extremely reasonable, one book a month.  

    By October, I had read over 60 books. I’m not exaggerating here. In fact, I’m probably downplaying it. I became passionate about my reading. According to some, I was obsessed. I rolled my eyes at them. Obviously, they didn’t understand.

    Thank God for Facebook and the wonderful community of like-minded passionate readers. It was here that I met Claire Contreras and had the privilege of beta reading There Is No Light In Darkness.

    Here’s my Goodreads review.
There is No Light in Darkness (Darkness, #1)There is No Light in Darkness by Claire Contreras
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've had a love hate relationship with reading for years. Usually, the love portion wins out, but then there are long seasons of hate or perhaps the better word is indifference. I suppose this is typical of most people. We make excuses on why we can or can't read. We're busy, tired, and let's just face it, have other things to do. These are all legitimate reasons, but having a preschooler at the time, I wanted to set the example of good reading habits and made the goal of reading one book a month. I picked up a very popular series and was hooked and became what I can only describe as a book junkie. I couldn't get enough. This lead me, of course, to connecting with likeminded and spirited people who would devour books and have the need to discuss the experience. You could say, I read alot -- to the tune of maybe two or three books a week -- and discussed it even more.

So what does any of this have to do with There Is No Light In Darkness? Probably everything. As an avid reader, English major, and networking with other readers, Claire Conteras and I became Facebook friends. And I admit this publically because you may consider my review to be biased. Honestly, I suppose it is. After all, I've been involved in and part of the process for several months. I've seen the hardwork, the labor of love, and the novel come to life. From the first draft to the fourth draft, I read, re-read and read it again. The joke has been that I've read the chapters more than anyone. I've followed the journey of these characters -- that oddly invaded my thoughts, and only oddly because I have my own characters to deal with -- and loved every moment of it.

Blake Brennan is a strong female protagonist. Having suffered a horrible childhood trauma that would leave most people withdrawn, bitter, angry and unable to attach to others, Blake has a wonderful emotional resiliency. Having lost her family of origin, she is adopted, unofficially, into a new family. Blood ties are irrelevant. They are family. But don't think that those traumas haven't affected her. They have. She loves but doesn't admit it to others. Until she does, experiences freedom in her admission until her fears might not be as unfounded as she thought.

Blake is also determined to uncover the truth of that fateful night where she was taken from her home, seeing her mother lying in a pool of blood and her father carried out. Vivid dreams reveal the past memories the subconscience holds. She forms relationships with people that may lead her to the one person who she believes holds answers, ellusive Mark Lewis, the attorney who handles her estate. As the dreams and reality collide, Blake learns truths that forever shake her foundation. She leans on her family, and primarily Cole Murphy, to guide her, support her as she tries to reconcile what she has learned with it's value to her present life.

Cole Murphy can relate to Blake. They've had a connection since the first time they laid eyes on one another. Personally, I had a connection with Cole as well. Cole Murphy is one hot, sexy and swoonworthy male character. I have an unhealthy attachment to Cole. I want to marry him and get jealous when others claim him. I have to be reminded that he's fictional. And that thought saddens me. Cole oozes sensuality from his first introduction to the very end of the book. If that wasn't enough, Cole has a badass edge with a heart of gold. Just the right combination, the right words, the perfect touch, and well, I sigh and get tingles. I love him. But back to the book and not my experience with Cole. This isn't one of those "insta-love" connections. There's more to it. Maybe, it's Cole's abrupt abandonment by his father when he was dropped off at Maggie Parker's home when he was four years old. The feeling of having lost your family and the need to control and find answers. That could be it. I refuse to give any more spoilers. And leave you with this last thought on Cole Murphy. I love him. He's mine, back the hell away from him, or this is going to get ugly.

Nothing is accidental. Don't discount any detail as being redundant or accidental. These are pieces of the puzzle that has yet to be solved. Let the theories begin.

There Is No Light In Darkness is a must read. Download a copy and get reading. Meet these characters and let me know what you think.

View all my reviews

If you’re looking for a good book to read, pick up There Is No Light In Darkness.

What am I reading: The Bronze Horseman, by Paullina Simons. I’m only at 48% in the first book. I LOVE it. Great book!

What am I writing: As soon as I get 100 likes on my Facebook fan page, you’ll be the first to know.

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