Wednesday, May 21, 2014

#Giveaway ~ Taking Angels (The Angel Crusades #1) by C.S. Yelle ~ #Review #Excerpt ~ #Paranormal

Taking Angels by C.S. Yelle
(The Angel Crusades #1)

Publication date: March 26th 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Book 1 in The Angel Crusades Series by CS Yelle

Britt Anderson went along with everything the doctors said for nearly four years, but she was still dying at eighteen. The cancer had won leaving her without a future, without any options, and without control. No control, except for how she would leave this world. As Britt tries to end her life by going into the frigid waters she realizes her mistake. She struggles to get back to shore, to cry out for help, but her atrophied muscles are useless and the frigid water steals the breath from her chemo-scarred lungs. Despite her father’s attempts to reach her, she flies over the waterfall.

When Allister Parks finds Britt’s fragile body on the riverbank something calls out to him. Ignoring the warnings of his sister, Allister brings Britt back from the edge of death. The only problem is that an Eternal like Allister isn’t allowed to touch those who have already passed from this world. It is forbidden; an infraction punishable by death.

As Britt relishes her new cancer-free life and senior year of high school, her very existence threatens Allister’s place in this world. Allister struggles to keep Britt a secret from the Eternal Council and out of the hands of the only Eternal who already knows the truth: the one who stole her guardian angel.

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C.S. Yelle was born and raised in Grand Rapids, MN, the “almost” middle child of six.  He attended Grand Rapids Senior High School where he enjoyed music and sports.  He received his BS in Chemistry from Mayville State University, Mayville, ND in 1987.  He taught 7-12 Science and coached for six years in several North Dakota schools and currently works as an Executive Account Manager in the Water Treatment Industry where he has been for nearly seventeen years.  He is the father of four and grandfather of one.  He writes novels, screenplays, and an occasional short story.  He has been writing seriously for over ten years and plans to continue until his fingers are unable, maybe longer.  He currently resides in a Minneapolis, MN suburb with his wife Jennifer and their rat terrier, Holly.

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Wow, this book was absolutely amazing! I mean, amazing in a big way. I never read a book quite like this, I did not really know what to expect, and am so glad I read it. I was hooked from the first few chapters, and it kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the whole book. I was neglecting my family and animals, as I could not tear myself away from this book.

I loved the main character Britt, she is such a strong girl, and she grew so much in this book. I love all the revelations we find out about her. I also just love Allister, he is the ultimate male there is, that is until Gabe came along about halfway, and there is some major tear-jerker moments, I mean big time. Right now after finishing the book I am still reeling from that last few chapters.

We are not left with a huge cliffhanger, but a bit of one. I am so upset at what happens with Gabe, I have no idea of his fate. I can’t tell you too much about him as it could spoil it for you.
I love the concept of the Eternals, it was a new one to me, and really loved it. We still have the angels around, and the Eternal who is killing innocent people by stealing their guardian angel (which lives inside a person in this) and kills them.

I liked the mystery around Britt, on why she seems to draw people to her, and how they just feel the pureness in her and come to care for her fast. Even the one who tried to kill her is drawn to her, as is Gabe.

I love Britt’s 3 best friends; they are a great support for her. Her parents really impressed me on the understanding they have on the changes with Britt and why she needs to do the things she does.

I can’t stress enough how awesome this book is. One of the best I have read in a long time, It was written so well too, and just the right amount of questions at the end to make you want the 2nd book now, but not enough of a cliffhanger to make you mad, lol.

I highly recommend this book, and give it 5 huge stars out of 5.

Cover review: I give the cover 5 out of 5 stars too. It’s done well, and fits the book. It attracted me some, but more important it didn’t turn me away like some covers will.

I was given a copy of this book by the author for my honest review.

This review is also at Goodreads and Amazon. ( likes are appreciated )

Excerpt of part of Chapter One

A rush of fear gripped me. What was I thinking? I wanted to live, I wasn’t a quitter. I wanted to fight until I couldn’t fight anymore. But the realization that my choice in the matter was gone hit me as I slid into the current, my head above water for a split second before the sounds went muffled. My silly hat with the big brim pulled away from my hairless head.
I expected them to try and reach me, hoping they would be too late. Now, I prayed that they would come. Paddling with all the strength in my atrophied muscles, I fought the current. It tugged, hard, and carried me away. Mom screamed and Dad shouted right as a loud splash hit the water upstream.
I opened my eyes in the hazy water as a dark shape darted past, too late to catch me. I hit something hard and was airborne, the sound of the falls rumbling in my ears. The feeling was like nothing I’d experienced before. The air and the water mixed to frothy foam and then I plunged underwater again, the sounds going muffled. My body hit the rocks and debris at the bottom of the falls, jarring me and forcing the warm air from my lungs to be replaced by cold, crisp lake water. Spinning over and over I lost my sense of up and down as the churning water kept me lurching from side to side. My head throbbed and my lungs bucked. The water pulled me along and soon black spots filled my vision. The spots spread until the blackness enveloped everything. Then, the pain was over and the next stage of my existence, if any, began.

I heard a voice. Melodic and sweet; female I thought, but couldn’t tell for certain. The words indiscernible, the voice sounded urgent then stern; something I didn’t want to hear upon my arrival in heaven. I cringed.
Then another voice came, deeper but no less sweet. Calm and soothing it flowed on, pulling me with it. I longed for it to keep speaking, to fill my ears with its infectious happiness and joy. The voice I needed to hear in heaven. A much better welcome, I concluded.
I pried my eyes open but my vision blurred, showing me nothing but light and shadows. Blinking to clear them only made it worse. The voice touched my ears again, the deeper one. I took a deep breath, surprised by the wonderful odors of pine and lilac, the enveloping happiness consuming me.
I blinked again, beginning to see them as more than just shapes. Halos of blonde hair against the sun and a faint glow about them. They were angels, both of them. Even though my sight remained cloudy I could discern one female and one male as they stood before me; the collage of green starting to take the shapes of trees behind them. The familiar sound of the waterfalls and a rushing river drifted to my ears and mist wet my skin. How could that be?
“What have you done?” the female’s voice accused, her words finally clear.
“I don’t know,” the deeper voice said.
“You did something different,” she pointed out.
I frowned. What did he do?
“I touched her, but it didn’t work the same.”
“This is not good,” the female warned. “You touched her too late.”
“What are we going to do?” he asked.
“We? There is no ‘we.’ You touched her, I didn’t.”
Both faces turned to me again. The shapes became clearer as the two heads of hair came into focus.
“Don’t tell anyone, you have to promise,” the deeper voice pleaded.
“Fine, but if they find out, you’re on your own.”
I closed my eyes and everything began to jerk and twist as sirens sounded in my ears and the smell of antiseptic filled my nose, pulling me out of my peaceful dream. Opening my eyes, my parent’s faces lurched into my field of vision.
“She’s awake,” Dad shouted.
“Oh my God,” Mom cried. “Britt, can you hear us? Britt?”
I tried to sit up, but found my body strapped down making it impossible to move.
My parents vanished. A woman and a man stuck their heads over mine, one with a light attached to his head shining in my eyes, blinding everything else.
“Britt, you’re okay, but we’ve got you on a backboard so you won’t be able to move,” the man said, definitely not the musical voice from earlier.
“You’re in an ambulance in route to the Ely Hospital,” the woman explained.
“Can you remember what happened?” the man asked, lifting an eyelid and looking at my pupil.
“I drowned?”
“You nearly drowned,” the man corrected.
“Do you know where you nearly drowned?” the woman asked.
“The BWCA?”
“Good, good Britt.” The man smiled down at me.
I heard my mother crying and wished I hadn’t. Tears welled up and began to spill from the corners of my eyes.
“Britt, it’ll be okay.” Dad squeezed my hand lightly. “Everything will be okay.”
I’d survived but now the cancer would win, taking away my choice. My one chance to take control back and I’d chickened out.
“Don’t cry, Britt.” Mom comforted me. “You’re going to make it.”
I cried harder; the thought of lying in a hospital bed, nothing more than a husk of myself and withering to nothingness filled my mind.
We pulled into the emergency room entrance, the automatic doors whirring open as they wheeled me in. The two paramedics were on either side with Mom and Dad following close behind. The fluorescent lights beat down from overhead as we sped past.
“Oh great,” I sighed. “I’m home.”
We went into a room with two nurses and a doctor rushing in behind us, calling out directions to the paramedics. The doctor examined me while the nurses put an IV in one arm and a blood pressure cuff on the other. They attached electrodes to my chest and began switching on all the standard equipment until the room beeped and chirped, just like old times.
The doctor straightened from listening to my heart and lungs, his brows furrowed.
I looked up at him and he smiled.
Noticing my inquiring look, he nodded. “Sounds fine. Lungs clear, heart strong. Do you feel pain anywhere?” He continued to press his hands along my body, searching for breaks along my rib cage and then moving to my arms and legs. He pulled back the warm blankets the ambulance crew wrapped me in.
“No, I feel …” the thought trailed off. I didn’t feel any pain. None. Not the continuous aching of my muscles, joints, and bones from the cancer. Even more surprising, nothing hurt from the trip over the falls and the landing on the rocks below. I had to be in shock.
“She’s stable. Let’s get her to x-ray and see if anything is broken,” the doctor ordered. “If those come back clear, we can take you off the backboard and check you out further.”
They wheeled me out of the room with the monitors and IVs attached to hooks on the bed, the cords and tubes tapping against the side rails of the bed. I lay under the x-ray machine as it hummed above me, taking pictures and possibly reducing my chances of having children in the future, although the cancer would pretty much have seen to that already.
We returned to the room, passing the concerned faces of my parents as we rolled in. Seeing them reminded me of the worst part: the pain they continued to endure every day my future hung in the balance.
The bed jerked to a stop and the nurse clicked the brake on the wheels. The doctor stood over the top of me before the bed stilled and unbuckled the straps fastening me to the back board. With the help of the nurses they slid the device out from beneath me and eased me onto the soft mattress.
“Nothing’s broken,” he said with a smile. “How you managed that one is a miracle.” He stepped away to write something in my charts.
I lifted my head and looked at my body for the first time since going over the falls. My arms and legs, stomach and chest, looked … normal.
My mouth and eyes shot open. My body lookednormal. Not sickly, not post chemo, post radiation, but normal, not in the process of dying. My muscles were full and firm. My bones didn’t stick out like before, but were covered smoothly by healthy looking skin, not the pale white, almost yellow skin I’d come to expect.
“Mom, Dad,” I shouted, my voice on the edge of hysteria.
They rushed in from just outside the door, their eyes on mine, searching for my anguish, my fear. Their concern turned to confusion.
“Look at me,” I cried.
“We are,” Dad said, still concentrating on my eyes and face as his mind tried to justify what he saw and what he should see.
“Mary,” he said. “Look at Britt.” He placed a hand on her chin, moving it to look at my body.
Mom’s face first went white and then flushed red.
“Oh, Britt,” she gasped, rushing to me, sending one of the nurses sprawling. She put a hand to my head as she pulled me to her chest.
“I think your hair is growing.” She leaned back, her eyes wide, looking at my head.
I raised a hand to my scalp and, sure enough, the beginnings of new growth tickled my fingertips. Closing my eyes to my parents and their joy, the fading vision of the two angels floated in my thoughts. Why did they send me back? Was I not worthy? The way the angels discussed “touching” me made me feel uneasy, uncertain.
What did they do to me?

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