The Violet Hour: January 8, 2012

Friday, January 13, 2012

ARC Review – HALLOWED by Cynthia Hand

Kindle Edition, 320 pages

Expected publication: January 24th 2012 by Harper Collins, Inc.


Source: Harper Collin’s via NetGalley, for an honest review


“For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought.

Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face:

Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning. “

Cynthia hand is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. I recently read Unearthly, and got through it so quickly! I’m glad I had this book on hand to start. I am now, because of her work, a fan of angel books.

Hallowed is a fantastic installment that I believe I read even faster than Unearthly. Hand captured my attention throughout the entire story. I did not feel there were any lulls, and each piece flowed well with the next. There is a love triangle, yes. BUT it’s not overwhelming, or cheesy. I didn’t mind at all. It is more about the struggle of following your heart or following what you’re ‘supposed’ to do. We get some answers, some MAJOR revelations, and are left with more questions.

This was an awesome book. The characters have developed and I can ‘feel’ each of them as they go through hard times. While one part made me super sad, I loved the way Hand orchestrated it and had the ‘history’ to back it up. I will say that I smiled every time someone said “bring the glory”… it just made me happy. If you haven’t read Unearthly, I STRONGLY urge you to do so very soon. If you have, I will be bold enough to say that you will not be disappointed with HALLOWED.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


You probably remember by raving about Exiled, book one of The Protector series by M.R. Merrick. If not, here's the link to
my review. I LOVED the cover for EXILED. Loved!

Now M.R. Merrick is preparing to release the second book, titled SHIFT, and I am thrilled to reveal the cover!

(Synopsis below cover has a few slight spoilers, as it is the second book in a series… Just an FYI.)

Design by M.R. Merrick

Artwork by Julija Lichman 

Isn't it awesome?! Totally lovin' it, and can't wait to get my hands on it!

Review – UNEARTHLY by Cynthia Hand

Hardcover, 435 pages

Published January 4th 2011 by HarperTeen

ISBN 0061996165


In the beginning, there’s a boy standing in the trees . . . .

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she’s part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has apurpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn’t easy.
Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there’s another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara’s less angelic side.
As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she’d have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?
Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.”

I am new to the world of angel books. I think UNEARTHLY was my second venture into this particular genre. I’ve always been afraid of cheesy descriptions and metaphors, but Cynthia Hand quickly banished thoughts like that with this fantastic story. Her attention to detail and w

I love how UNEARTHLY began with Clara already knowing she was an angel-blood. We see some flashbacks of her discovery, but Cynthia Hand took a different route. Bypassing the whole overdone ‘OMG I’m a what?!’ angle  gave more time for developing the ‘meat’ of the story. I feel like we get so much more of what’s going on with the characters this way. We witness Clara receiving her ‘purpose’, and watch her world get turned upside down. New state, new school, new friends. None of which are easy. 

There was really not one thing I disliked about this book. Hand’s writing was smooth and engrossing. I love the way she described certain aspects of angel life, from their individual purpose, ‘glory’, and the threat, the Black Wings. It was so intriguing! Like Clara, I need to know more about Clara’s mother, and the secrets she’s hiding.  There is definitely pain and maybe some shame involved, but it’s just too hard to tell for sure. 

 I believe I read the last 200 pages in record time. The ending had such a ‘loose end’ feel to it. Clara did what her heart told her to do, but what does that mean for her life? I am THRILLED that I have the next book, HALLOWED, and can resume this story soon. I have so many questions that need answered, and my curiosity is at it’s peak. If you are like me and are leery of angel books, I totally recommend you try this one and see how it does for you. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Guest post by author Devri Walls

I am SO pleased to introduce you guys to a sweet-as-pie lady, and someone I have enjoyed getting to know. Devri Walls has graciously endured my constant pestering about the book she’s writing, and decided to give us an excerpt that I think you all will really like (I did!)

I had a beautiful, somewhat inspirational blog post (if I do say so myself) all written for Lindsay. And then I thought, you know, that is not what she wants. So, its going on my blog instead. And Lindsay is going to get what she wants, and that is a to get a peek at one of my characters, Emane.

See, a little while ago I was working on book two in the Solus Saga and was feeling a little guilty for the treatment of Emane. I tweeted something about feeling bad and dear sweet Lindsay came running to the rescue. She told me to send Emane over so she could comfort him. She took him in, patted him on the back and consoled his poor little heart. Come to think of it, she still hasn’t returned him yet. Its probably those smoldering blue eyes of his, can’t say that I blame her.

Ever since then she has been, not so subtly, hinting that she would like some more of Emane. And how can I say no to her? In an effort to oblige, here is a clip from my upcoming novel, Wings of Arian, scheduled to be released this Spring. In this scene, Emane has just nearly been incinerated by an allied dragon whose temper he managed to flare.

Aleric chased after Emane as he stomped back through the woods.  “Emane!” Aleric shouted.

“I don’t want to talk, Aleric.” He shouted back over his shoulder.
Aleric was beginning to tire of this game. The young prince refused to have an honest conversation with him and it was becoming a detriment to the cause. “Emane I need you to stop or I will stop you.” Aleric shouted forward. 

He hit a nerve. Emane stopped dead in his tracks, frozen, his shoulders rising and falling with heaving breaths. 

“Emane,” Aleric began.

Emane whirled around to face the old man. “You will stop me!” he shouted. “Of course you will, because you can. Because I am nothing but an insignificant human who can’t even do magic. I am useless, helpless and now am not even allowed my own free will.” He pointed accusingly at Aleric. “If I don’t want to talk, you will stop me. If I say something a dragon doesn’t like he almost sets me on fire. If I get too close to Kiora on an off day she blows me up. I can’t compete with this magic. Hell, I can’t even protect myself.” He turned to go before thinking better, whipping around red faced he continued. “Oh and I am suppose to be the Protector of the Solus, so you gave me a magic sword!” He yelled. “Which is useless if I am picked up, thrown, blown up or any matter of magical defenses, before I get within 100 feet of them. What do you want from me Aleric?  You have asked the impossible and don’t understand why I don’t want to talk?! All I have wanted to do since the day I have arrived is to tell you ‘I quit’, or that ‘I am in way over my head,’ but I can’t. I can’t because I am the prince. Because I have been taught since I was a little boy that we must fight, that quitting is not an option. But for what, so I can fight the un- winnable fight?” 

“Is that what you think this is?” Aleric asked. “Un-winnable?” 

“YES!” he shouted. “Aleric! Have you even listened to a word I said?” 

“Of course I have Emane, and I can understand how you feel. But I don’t understand why it is that you do not understand more history than you do.”

He threw his hands into the air “Really, Aleric, I just poured my heart out to you and you tell me that I need a history lesson!”

You do.” Aleric turned and walked away.

“Aleric, I am not coming!” Aleric kept walking “Aleric… I’m not!”

Aleric didn’t even flinch, he prodded his way though the forest without a glance backwards. Emane turned to walk in the opposite direction before his curiosity got the best of him. Turning back the other way he took off after Aleric.  

“Crazy old man.” He muttered as he shoved branches out of his way. 

Poor Emane really has had it rough. He has been asked to protect the only hope of his people in a magical battle, with no magic at all. It’s a good thing he has Lindsay to help him through this! 

WINGS OF ARIAN is a YA fantasy and the first novel in the Solus Saga, scheduled to be released in April. If your interest is piqued, don’t worry! I will be back to visit Lindsay soon with a little more, and cover art! For another small piece of the novel you can head over to KC Neals blog to take a gander at my guest post there, or at for my blog. You can also find me on Facebook and twitter@devriwalls or at

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