Wednesday, March 4, 2015

BLOG TOUR and *RRBB REVIEW*: Stone Guardian by Paulina Woods

Fantasy Romance
Date Published: November 18, 2014

Element – Fire (Healer/Destroyer)
Royal House – Purple


Milcah was born to rule along side an evil mother. Milcah's father was taken against his will and forced to give up his seed to produce a child with unimaginable powers. At a young age she was taken away from the only home she knows and forced to forget, again and again.
Raised by a detached stepmother, Milcah learned to depend on herself and her best friend, Mary for support. When Mary suggest a vacation, with a scenic route, to the Grand Canyon Milcah believes she is finally getting the chance to see outside her small town. Packing a few things and climbing into her old beat up car, she never imagined she would find a new side of herself.

Lost on a back road, Milcah meets her destiny in a small town named Beacon. When her mind is unlocked, she finds she has a past that will lead to the salvation or damnation of the world.

This is book one in The Witches Amulet series.



EXCERPT:
“Damn it. How can I get lost with MapQuest? Stupid directions.” Milcah
bangs her fist against the steering wheel. Two weeks ago driving across the
country alone seemed like a great plan but now that she is actually doing it, not
so much. “If I had known driving was going to be more stressful than work I
would have flown.” After leaving Tucson, Arizona she had gotten lost on all the
small highways and now she is on a godforsaken two lane highway where she
hasn’t seen another car for ages, her phone refuses to get reception, and to top it
off there are storm clouds in the distance.
“Fuck me. I should have stayed home.” Something had told her to fill up at
the last gas station so she is going to be ok there, but she needs to find
somewhere to hole up until this storm passes. Getting stuck in the middle of the
desert during a thunderstorm in an older Honda is not a good idea.
After driving another twenty minutes, Milcah spots a sign announcing a small
mining town. Even small towns have hot food, hot water, and a nice warm bed.
Glancing back at the clouds, she ignores her misgivings and turns right onto a
small, barely paved road.
“Ouch!” Her left tire hits a pothole and she hears the bottom of the car
scrape. Milcah hopes the older car she is driving is made out of tough material,
she can’t afford expensive repairs. 
Like a horror movie, the road starts to look overgrown and all but
disappearing in some places. Milcah is sure the last time this road was paved
was when pavement was first introduced. But with storm clouds riding her ass,
there is no way Milcah is turning around. Reaching across to the passenger seat,
Milcah picks up her phone, hoping the closer she drives to the town the better
her reception will get. No such luck. Throwing her useless phone on the
passenger seat, she passes under a sign that reads “Welcome to Beacon”.
“Beacon of what?” Looking around at the empty streets, Milcah feels a chill
run down her spine. “This town should be named Forsaken.”
There is no other way to describe the sad, abandoned town. It has overgrown
grass on the sides of the road, buildings with blank empty windows and the only
sound is the shutters blowing in the wind. The town looks like it had been built
in the early gold rush years and then abandoned soon after. Turning onto what
she assumes is the main street, Milcah feels an oily sensation pass over her. It
reminds her of her dreams.
“What have I gotten myself into? I don’t think phones were invented when
this place was a booming town. There’s no way I am sticking around. I can
make it to the next town.”
Making a U-turn, Milcah slams on her brakes to avoid hitting…what the hell
was that? She knows it wasn't in the road a few seconds ago. Scared but curious,
Milcah studies the object. Standing at over seven feet tall, it can’t be mistaken
for human. A ghost? But a ghost of what? A little transparent, it has wings,
which reach from the middle of its knees and come to a point a little above its
head. Wanting to get out the car and investigate but knowing that’s when people
are killed in horror movies, Milcah presses the gas pedal, swerves around the
creature, and heads for the road out of town. Gripping the steering wheel Milcah
tries to stop her hands from shaking. What the hell was that? As she reaches for
her phone, again hoping it will work, Milcah feels her hand pass through
something warm. Glancing over, Milcah screams as she stares into the eyes of
the creature, now calmly sitting in her car. Hitting her brakes to avoid running
into anything and putting her car in park, Milcah turns in her seat to stare at it.
Milcah is able to make out more features, a heavy brow covering deep-seated
eyes, a semi-flat nose resting over plump lips. Though not a classic beauty in
any sense of the word, the thing still doesn’t look like a monster. Curiosity over
shadows fear and Milcah reaches out and runs her hand through the creature
again feeling the warmth and a slight tingle. Reaching for her amulet in a
nervous gesture, Milcah tries to remember what she has read about ghosts and
the proper thing to do. She doesn’t have any holy water but it doesn’t look like
the thing is trying to suck out her soul or kill her.
“I think I have read way too many supernatural novels and need to get my
head checked.” Milcah looks out the window, making sure she isn’t hanging
upside down after crashing her car. A car crash would go a long way to
explaining what is happening. She turns her attention back to what’s sitting in
her passenger’s seat. It seems to be studying her just as much as she is studying
it. 
It seems fascinated by the amulet Milcah is playing with and reaches out as if
to touch it. Moving the amulet out of reach, Milcah tries to figure out what she
is going to do. She is not a very brave woman and has trouble stepping outside
of her box but somehow, she feels like she is supposed to be right here, at this
moment. Looking at her amulet again, Milcah longs to be able to ask her mother
to explain what is happening.  Milcah glances at her phone again, hoping to see
it has reception. Growling to herself, she looks back at the creature to see he is
following the movement of her thumb as she rubs the amulet.
“What would Mary do?” Milcah envies Mary’s ability to believe in the
supernatural outside of books. Milcah believes in the goddess and to honor her,
humans need to take care of the world they have been given. She lights candles
during the full moon and reads her own tarot cards. She even went to see a few
mystics with her mother. Yet nothing has prepared her for what she is facing in
this small deserted town. She always believed people move on to the next cycle
and supernatural beings like vampires, werewolves, and gargoyles were
fantasies made up by humans to explain evils in the world.
Last year she had decided to see why she was having nightmares and a
psychologist told her she was suppressing memories from childhood. He
believed Milcah had been abused as a child and the dreams were her mind’s
way of dealing with the trauma. Milcah never told anyone about the visit and
never went back. Now she makes a mental note to call the doctor when she
returns home.
Help us. The sound of a deep male voice overlaid with many others causes
Milcah to jump. Shaking her head, Milcah tries to ignore the voice echoing
around her. Help us.
“I’m going insane,” Milcah grimaces. “I need to get to the next town.”
As soon as the words leave Milcah’s mouth, thunder rolls across the sky,
quickly followed by a flash of lightening. “Dang it. I cannot drive in a desert
rainstorm. What if there’s a flash flood? I have to think of something. I can’t
stay here.” The GPS is useless but Mary had been thoughtful and placed a paper
map in the middle console. After looking at the confusing lines on the map for a
few minutes, Milcah gives up and tosses it into the backseat. Crossing her arms,
she sits back and tries to think of another plan.
Help us. There it is again. Glancing over at the creature in her passenger seat
Milcah wonders if he’s pushing his voice into her head. Before she can ask him
the voice echoes again. Help us. With that last plea, something unlocks in
Milcah’s mind. Something akin to a memory surfaces and Milcah loses focus,
in the real world.




4 Stars

First off, I really enjoyed the beginning where the author basically gives a synopsis of the series 'world', and how it became to be.  A fascinating mix of mythological characters is going to make for a great series!

This story mainly focused on Milcah (a lady) and her guardian gargoyle Jarod.  A very interesting way that Micah unlocked the secrets of the past in her mind and got into the storyline.

If anyone knows me, they will know one of my favorite creatures are gargoyles, so this was great!

One thing that threw me was the writing style.  It skipped around, and left me frustrated at times.  But I am glad I continued on.

I will be anxiously awaiting the second book of the series!

Romance Readers received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.




 

Paulina is a small town girl with big dreams. She is the second oldest of three talented siblings.
As early as three she was directing her family around acting out whatever current story was in her head. At four between her older brother and her, a whole universe was created which the younger siblings were introduced into as they were born.
Her natural ability to tell a story took her down many paths. She wrote plays, poems, small children books and short stories all before she entered high school.
When picking a career her councilor told her writing was a dying art and so she went to school for veterinarian science. Three years later she dropped out of university and enrolled in the local community college with a major in journalism
In 2008 she graduated with her BA in Communication/Journalism from Cal State Fullerton.

Life happened and her dreams were put on hold until 2013 when she started a review blog. This year her first book in her Witches Amulet series will be released. 


Website: http://www.darksideofromance.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Dark.Side.of.Romance
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/PaulinaShelf
Author Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/Paulina-Woods/e/B00PRXIFHA/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23357946-stone-guardian
Newsletter: http://www.darksideofromance.com/#!mailing-list/c1y6j





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2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review, love to hear where I can improve. I'm glad I found another lover of gargoyles.

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    Replies
    1. Also another giveaway link was sent out :-)

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