Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Angel Eyes-- Shannon Dittemore

This book is far from what I expected… I’d a thousand times better!

I’ve read numerous angel themed books over the years, and I find they have one thing in common: The angels are basically humans with superpowers and wings. Now let’s be honest, people. Traditionally, angels are spiritual beings created to serve the Judeo-Christian God. I realize angels appear in just about any religion, but no matter what spiritual background you claim, angels report to a higher power. The current angel books on the market today seem to ignore this fact. But not ANGEL EYES.

Dittemore takes a unique stance of actually creating her angel characters with a higher power, in this case, the Judeo-Christian God of the Bible. She does a fantastic job staying true to the claims of scripture. In the Bible, angels are messengers and protectors. Not only that, but fallen angels, aka. Demons, are present as well. Above our own world lies a world of spiritual warfare in which angels, who still serve the God of the universe, fight the fallen, who serve the Prince of Darkness: Satan.

Dittemore does not shy away from what some may claim to be a sensitive subject. After all, whenever anyone mentions faith, people get all up in arms. But the truth is, we can’t create angels or God to be what we want them to be. Believing or not believing does not influence the truth. Though ANGEL EYES is fiction, Dittemore hits upon profound truths and uses her God-given talent to show a new generation of young readers the faith that obviously drives her. She expertly shows young people they don’t have to be paralyzed with fear, they have a God who loves them and who sends his angels to protect and guide them, and that even though we may not understand why bad things happen, God always has a plan.

Kudos to Shannon Dittemore for not being afraid to speak the truth no matter who may bawk at her faith.  I, for one, stand by her.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Defy by Raine Thomas

We're back with an excerpt from Defy by Raine Thomas. Can't wait to read this one! 

Seventeen-year-old Tate is about to make her parents’ dreams come true. Unfortunately for her, their dreams foretell her death.

Eager to explore more of the Estilorian plane and prove her abilities, Tate goes against her parents’ wishes and leaves the area of protection surrounding her home. Her choice puts her on a deadly path…one that leaves her alone, severely injured and battling for her life.

Her possible savior arrives in the form of Zachariah, a male who has removed himself from Estilorian society for more than fifty years. Fighting an unexpected connection to Tate, he must decide whether saving her life is worth destroying his.

As Tate struggles to find a way home, she ends up drawn into a dark Mercesti plot involving multiple murders and a powerful ancient artifact. With the unpredictable Zachariah as her only source for aid, she’ll soon find out if her abilities are strong enough to help her defy her Fate.

Excerpt from DEFY (Book One of the Firstborn Trilogy)
by Raine Thomas

Tate was sick and tired of the lack of faith in her abilities. How on the entire Estilorian plane could anyone know she would fail to protect herself if she’d never been given the chance to prove it?
Just as she opened her mouth to retort, she noticed her parents as well as her aunts and uncles stop their activities and look alertly toward the path leading from Uncle Gabriel and Aunt Amber’s house. They all instinctively moved into defensive positions and exchanged glances, and she knew they were sharing thoughts. Tiege also moved into a defensive position, standing in front of her as everyone gathered near them.
Tate watched as the class elders, Jabari, Uriel, Zayna, Malukali, Sebastian and Knorbis appeared on the path. Only the elders could find the enchanted location of the three homes without assistance, as they had been involved in creating the powerful protections. Tate wondered about the meaning behind their arrival. Because it hadn’t been announced, it surely meant something significant.
As curious as she was, though, she couldn’t help but notice that everyone’s attention centered on them and not on her.
Her parents and her aunts and uncles left the training paddock to approach the elders. Her cousin, Joshua, walked up to Tiege and nudged him with his elbow, and the two of them exchanged theories while they watched the adults converse. Tate saw her father look back at them briefly before turning his attention back to the elders.
Seeing her chance, Tate took a couple of tentative steps backward, closer to the forest where Quincy and Sophia had left. She glanced around to see if anyone noticed. When she confirmed that everyone was looking elsewhere, she took a few more steps away from them.
Was she really going to do this?
Her heart pounded. She looked to the forest. Then she glanced again at her family. She could prove to them with one little trip away from the protected area that she really was capable of taking care of herself.
She made her decision.
Making as little noise as she could and moving as carefully as she dared to avoid detection, she eased away from the group and slipped into the forest. With a silent farewell to her family, she hurried off to find Quincy and Sophia, her smile wide in anticipation of the adventure that lay ahead.

Brief bio: Raine Thomas is the author of a bestselling series of YA fantasy romance novels about the Estilorian plane, including the Daughters of Saraqael trilogy and the upcoming Firstborn trilogy. She is a proud member of Romance Writers of America and is a contributing blogger to The Writer's Voice. When she isn’t planning weddings, writing or glued to social networking sites, she can usually be found on one of Florida’s beautiful beaches with her husband and daughter or crossing the border to visit with her Canadian friends and relatives.

Check out the trailer!