Wednesday, June 5, 2013

VBT: Escaping Darkness by Theresa McClinton ~ Review and giveaway

escaping darkness

Escaping Darkness

She may have spent years in an asylum, but that didn’t make her crazy–just fearless.

Dropped in Moscow with her friends on an impossible mission against underworld forces, Tara is left to her feelings of overwhelming inadequacy. Her boyfriend is a healer, her best friend is “the Guardian,” and everyone else is a powerhouse of awesome strengths. The only thing she has been able to contribute are her memories, which has left her with nightmares of her time spent at the mercy of the evil Sarian–who everyone has gone to fight.

Alone with her emotions, Tara finds herself falling into a city of depravity and corruption. And amidst all this evil is a young man with an agenda of his own, who leads her down a road that will either prove she is a hero at heart, or drag her into a world she’s always feared.

He wants revenge, she wants redemption. And in an underground rings of missing girls and bloody sacrifices, only the fearless can survive…

Purchase it from Amazon.

Here's an excerpt:

Tara’s eyes shot open. She quickly sat up, finding her arms tied in front of her with thin rope. A streak of terror arched in her chest, only to slightly dim when she realized she wasn’t bound to the chair anymore.

Unfortunately, her position hadn’t greatly improved. She stared into a dark basement—or what she assumed was a basement—considering the scent of mold and other foul odors.

“Hello?” She managed to push herself to her feet. “Is anyone in here?

“Shh!” Fingers fumbled against her leg and tugged on her pants. “Sit down,” a girl whispered. “Before they come back and see you’re standing up.”

Tara lowered herself to the floor. “Where are we?”

“Shut the fuck up,” snapped another older sounding voice from somewhere to her right.

Tara startled and scanned the pitch-black space. She inhaled the smell of sweat and urine, and what she could only identify as old food. The sounds of scratching, coughs, and gentle whimpers came from every direction. “How many people are here? Where are we?”

The younger voice beside her whispered. “I’m Amy. There are lots of people here, so shut up before you get them mad at all of us cuz you’re talking.”

Tara stayed quiet, if for no other reason than to process what had happened.

She must have missed the transportation stage while she was passed out. And she wasn’t at all in control of the situation, unlike the plan. She ground her teeth.

Malachi. He stabbed her in the back. She pulled her knees to her chest. It was her fault for falling for his story. She thought she could trust him when she saw the raw pain in his eyes. Being all too familiar with that same feeling, she jumped at the chance to get these girls out of here.

Someone coughed, and from the other side of the room she heard a sob. There must have been a dozen girls around her, but it was impossible to tell without any light. With her hands tied together, she managed to search her pockets one at a time. Shit. Malachi had taken her phone.

She hung her head. There had to be someone who knew more than she did. “Does anyone in here know where we are?” Tara asked in a hushed voice.


Tara glanced around. “We have to try to get out of here.”

“They’ll kill us,” someone from the far end of the room said with more conviction than Tara expected. “Some of the girls have already gone missing.”

“Missing isn’t the right word,” another girl said. “Jesus. Their screams...”

Author Theresa McClinton

A long time enthusiast of things that go bump in the night, Theresa started 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 features articles to delve into the whimsical world of young adult paranormal romance.

Since then, Theresa has gotten 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 stepped foot on the soil of over a dozen countries, traveled to sixteen U.S. states—including an extended seven-year stay in Kodiak, Alaska—she is anything but settled down. But wherever life brings her, she will continue to weave tales of adventure and love with the hope her stories will bring joy and inspiration to her readers.

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The Stone Guardian

When myth becomes reality, reality becomes a nightmare.

Like any other teenager in America, Ashley just wants a normal life. But growing up in an orphanage for the insane is anything but normal. After endless therapy and increasing medication, her nightmares have only gotten worse.

Probably because they’re not nightmares.

When Ashley’s mysteriously abducted, she finds a reality even less normal than the orphanage. And she discovers something else—she’s no ordinary orphan. Faced with enemies thought to only exist in fairy tales, Ashley discovers she possesses a powerful Maya bloodline. She’s the daughter of an ancient Maya Guardian, whose duty is to protect the Stone of Muuk’ich, an enchanted relic blessed by the gods. But first she must get it back from Sarian, a power-hungry demigod who slaughtered the last guardian—Ashley’s mother. Without the stone, all will be lost.

When she meets Arwan, a hot Belizean time bender, his delicious olive skin and dark eyes make her feel a little less alone. But his gentle whispers and reassuring touch might not be all they seem. How can she balance love and duty when it’s up to her to prevent the rising of the underworld? Especially when the guy she loves might be its crown prince…

Purchase it from Amazon.

Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 6/11/13

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My Thoughts:

This book was different from the Stone Guardian. I found it to be sad and emotional. It dealt with child abuse, drugs, and human trafficking. I must admit that I had many issues with Tara at the beginning. I felt to some extent like she was having a pity party and needed to put on her big girl panties and get over it. I felt that it added to the over all story and I am glad that I read it but I hope the next book is just a tad more upbeat. I don't know if I could deal with more darkness.

Eventhough this story was darker, it was still very compelling and it kept me turning the pages to see what was going on. I knew there was something special about Malachi but I didn't put it together until the end.

I thought Peter was terrific. He was so sweet at the end especially. He is most definitely book boyfriend material! ;-)

This book has quite a bit of darkness but it is well written. It also has action, mystery, and some romance.

I really liked the first book and would suggest reading it before starting Escaping Darkness. I would suggest skipping this if you can't handle reading about drug usage, abuse, and trafficking. If you don't mind these deeper topics, then you may want to read this one, especially if you've read the first book.

I received an ecopy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. I honestly thought that it added to the series and was worth reading but it was far from my normal fun and flirty reads which I prefer. If I had read book one first or not liked the first one so well, then I would probably not have appreciated it very much. I don't know how to word what I am trying to say. The materials covered were too dark for me to say that I enjoyed it. Sorry, but who likes to think about those things? Did it add to the story? Yes. Did I read it till the end? Yes. Will I read the next book? Yes. If I was going to rate this, I'd probably give it a three and a half. It was well written, just not happy enough for my liking. My rating has to do with me, not any shortcomings of the book. I hope that I explained myself well enough!

Thank you for commenting! Don't forget to enter the Comment Incentive Giveaway. The link can be found at the top of the page!


  1. Don't worry you are perfectly clear and i can understand why this book didn't sit well with you or at least not as luch as it could have without these topics. i'm quite sure i would feel the same so the book is good but not for eveyone or at least not when you are feeling to down or too sensitive (it can also be just a moment after all)

    i'l really tempted by book 1 thought

    so thank you a lot for sharing your thoughst with us

    1. I figured you would understand me! Book one is very good and book two adds the character developement so it too is worth reading, just not when one is feeling down.

  2. Hey Brenda!

    Thanks for reviewing Escaping Darkness. It's been so interesting to see the various reactions to this book, though I knew upon writing it that it was the darker of the two. I wish I could right "light and flirty" but it's an aspect I struggle with, as "gritty and real world" seems to just push though in my writing no matter how I try to word it. lol.

    Peter was a breath of fresh air in this book! I totally agree. He's major book boyfriend material, as many, many of my readers have said. I'm so glad you enjoyed Escaping Darkness, even though it was darker than The Stone Guardian.

    If it makes you feel any better, Lights Of Aurora (book 3) is much lighter--more like The Stone Guardian in content. And I'm actually super in love with Lights of Aurora. I can't wait to share it with you guys!

    I'll be hanging out online, talking to you and your readers if anyone wants to stop in. :)

    1. Thank you for understanding that I had a hard time with the contents and not with your book. As always, I enjoy your writing style I am just one of those people who pretend to live in a bubble where everything is happy happy happy. :D I don't even watch the news anymore because of all the bad things happening everywhere.

      This story needed to be told for us to understand Tara better and for her character to grow.

      I knew before hand that the material would be of a darker nature but I felt compelled to read it regardless. I couldn't skip it and I am glad that I didn't.

      I am really looking forward to the next book. Especially now that I know it's back to what I'm used to. Thank you!!!!

    2. I totally understand what you mean about the content. That's specifically why I am sure to voice a warning to my readers in "a word from the author" before the story begins. I would never want to make anyone feel uncomfortable, but there are certain stories that just need to be told--just like you said. Tara is truly an amazing character. Strong and brave, though damaged and in need of rescue.

      I'll be sure to keep you guys posted on the release date for Lights Of Aurora. :)

    3. thank you a lot for sharing this with us^^ now i have to read this^^ ( oki only book 1 at the moment since i'm too sensitive right now but i do want to understand the character i read about so i will finish by reading book 2 too

  3. Great thoughts. I enjoyed reading them
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  4. I've definitely been wanting to read this series but I'll have to make sure Im in the mood where I can handle the depressing read. I usually dont mind reading about the dark sensitive issues but you have to make sure that it doesnt stick with you.

    1. I have that problem. I tend to carry it with me no mattter the emotion portraited in the book. Whether it is happy, sad, angry, anxious, etc... I tend to ponder on the books that I read for a while. That's why I try to avoid troublesome topics. :-) I couldn't pass this one up though!

    2. I tend to have that problem too. So when I read ones with these issues usually I have to read another book at the same time. So I can go back and forth. It seems to make it easier.

    3. It's really interesting to hear you guys chatting about this, and I love to hear these things from readers. Thanks for chiming in and sharing your opinions and thoughts!

    4. .. i share the same trouble but i can't read two book at once i need to finish one before starting on the at teh moment i'm trying to find lighter reads or pne that are more adapted to my situation so i don't out even more pressure on myself^^ ( like my mother says: why reads a book if it make you sad" simply because it wasn't the right book at the right time^^ bhut i can't miss a book simply a character died or something
      ( though when my mother saw in which state i was while reading a mermaid's kiss, she had to step in^^;; which i'm grateful for)

  5. Even though the excerpt was dark and foreboding, this sounds like an intriguing series. Thanks for sharing.

  6. +JMJ+

    I agree with everyone that you explained yourself well, Brenda. Sometimes a book can be technically well written and still not be a reader's cup of tea. =)

    Your thoughts on Tara are my thoughts on a lot of young heroines I've read lately. Although I am drawn to dark books for the emotional catharsis that often comes with them, I think I'll pass if I won't really like the main character. =/

    1. so true enbrethiliel... i need to feel some connection with teh character to enter the adventure and sometiems i'm surprised... i started the october daye series ( dark urban fanatsy) at first it seemed too dark for me but i've become addicted because the character is attaching ( and there is tybalt that gives some humour) so the dark part started to fade in eth second plan for me or simply ùy mood is different than while reading book 1

  7. Sounds like a dark yet interesting book. Not sure if I'm going to read it or not, though your review does encourage me.

  8. this series is one of my favourite, it's too bad that you didn't like it much :c