ATTENTION BOOK LOVERS!
Say Goodbye to Forks and Hello to Vaalbara!
The fans of Twilight are, of course, waiting for that Part I and Part II of “Breaking Dawn” to be unveiled and then…the spotlight will fade from ‘Forks’ and the world of the beloved ‘Cullen vamps’ and werewolves (with Taylor Lautner’s fantastic abs). As I have reviewed, interviewed, and listened to readers galore out there, I have noticed that a trembling is beginning in the limbs of many and a frightening feeling has come over all of Meyer’s fans like a pall of death. Yes, she will write again. BUT those diehard soulless romantics with the hard-to-see canines are fading into the twilight and a new hero, heroine, and ‘destiny’ is needed to fill that huge void.
Thankfully…there is a world about to be born in the realm of fiction that is based on a young girl who is immensely bored with normalcy. And she – as well as the readers – is about to take the ride of a lifetime that will involve romance, warriors, beauty, love triangles, action, adventure, mystical and fantastical scenarios.
In a new, much-anticipated release from Precious Gems Publishing – Vaalbara: Visions and Shadows is about to conquer the YA market (and, yes, there will still be abs galore). Aislinn is our heroine – Ryan our hero. Yet, all readers should know that those are the names that will only be spoken in the normal, everyday world of high school. Aislinn is famous for her sarcasm. In fact, this writer found her to be a soul mate considering that sarcasm (as Jon Stewart has shown) is really the language that America best understands. Aislinn is normal, per se, but she has always felt like there was something far grander out there for her that she could feel in her soul, yet could only talk to her friend, Sid, about. Sid, a true sloth with the ultimate attitude will also become a favorite of ALL readers.
Always being a girl out of place, Aislinn blushes, stutters, feels odd – basically, she’s your typical teenage girl. But this truly fantastical secret that is held within her heart, brain, and soul is something that creates the nightmares that disturb her waking life; frightening dreams that feel so realistic she can barely breathe at times.
Her life begins to change rather quickly when a new student named Ryan comes to town, and this handsome stranger sparks feelings in Aislinn that she never knew she owned. Her sarcasm is the way she gets through life, but as this new “heartthrob” continues to follow her around, Aislinn begins to notice some odd quirks about the ‘new guy’ that feeds her with more than just sarcastic lines. Ryan speaks as if he’s from another time and place, and the stories he unleashes upon Aislinn have her monumentally confused. Is the guy crazy? After all, most ‘hotties’ are; their egos, alone, have grown so large they can barely balance themselves enough to smile and chew gum at the same time, let alone be normal.
As readers become drawn in by the overtones of a huge romance in the making – with trials and tribulations that vamps and werewolves have never even seen – facts are uncovered that show Aislinn the dreams causing her sleepless nights and painful days are actually…quite real. The names change as Aislinn leaves herself behind for Alchera – the girl she always was; and she follows Ryan, her actual guardian named Raighne who has been sent to bring her back home.
The waterfall is the passage gate, and after stepping through the stunning, monumental scenery, Alchera soon finds herself in Vaalbara, her homeland. Here, the sarcastic girl and her friend ‘Sid’ must figure out a way to survive the ultimate job that Alchera was apparently born to do.
Going from living a life with no one who cared about her, Alchera suddenly receives a warrior sister who is SO un-accepting of Alchera that she can’t even imagine how they came from the same mother; to inheriting yet another sibling who actually roams in the realm of angels; to discovering her parents – complete and utter strangers -who know far more about Alchera than she would like. Dealing with this whole new ‘family unit,’ Alchera is thrust into a world that was already ‘set up’ for her to live in – to train in – and to go on a journey that may just tear her apart.
As Raighne stays by her side and focuses on being her guardian and her beloved, Alchera must soon contend with Adeth – a monstrous immortal who will do anything to make sure that Alchera’s journey does not succeed. And, Carter, the monster’s son, who – in a twist of fate – goes from torturer to confidant in the blink of an eye. The only man who seems to understand Alchera’s dreams and heartaches, and will do anything to help her.
The romance is beyond thrilling, and the ultimate decision of who Alchera SHOULD be with, versus who she wants to be with, will have readers panting over every page. On top of everything else, the journey to find a group of truly ‘chosen’ people, will have readers wondering how on earth Alchera and Raighne will survive.
The YA market, as we all know, is saturated with the stories of vampires; authors wanting desperately to imitate or duplicate the ‘vamp family’ everyone fell in love with and stood beside from twilight to a breaking dawn. But as ‘Forks’ recedes into that good night and Vaalbara steps into the limelight, readers will be rewarded with characters who are so interesting, funny, fresh, and mouth-wateringly DIFFEREN’T from all the other titles out there right now, that the YA audience will be beside themselves with glee.
Michelle Horst, the fantastic author of Vaalbara: Visions and Shadows, began with a very simple feeling that built into a monumental craving to bring the world these amazing and unforgettable characters. The scenes are so vibrant and in-depth that they practically jump from the page and enter the reader’s mind. The romance is so new and unusual – the ‘love triangle’ so different – that young adults and adults are going to end up fighting over ‘whose the best hero’ once again. The dialog is fun, fast and mind-bending, drawing in every reader. From watching Alchera fight the strange forces growing inside her own heart, and doing her best to stay away from the Land of Shadows; to spending time with her wit and charm as she speaks with Sid and tries to figure out what on…Vaalbara…is going on – readers everywhere will see this brand new YA as a huge triumph! Humor, drama, romance, adventure – this book has it all. AND, the best news is that this is the FIRST in a monumental series that will have fans running to download this exceptional read in droves – just waiting to vote on who will be the best actor to play Raighne on the ‘big screen.’
This writer reads over sixty books a month, and after being inundated with YA fiction over the past few years, I have to say that Michelle Horst has finally NAILED a new world, new characters, and presents a fresh voice.
So…although the hearts will break as ‘Forks’ and the ‘Cullen family’ disappear, readers should know right off the bat that a new dawn is breaking in the world of fiction – and that breathtaking path leads straight to Vaalbara!
We’re going to be talking about THIS one for a LONG time to come!
Until Next Time, Everybody.
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