Friday, November 9, 2012

After Dark blog tour - guest post and review!

After Dark  by Emi Gayle

Genre: YA Paranormal
Book source: Received electronic copy to review
Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book description: What eighteen year old Mac Thorne doesn’t know will probably kill her.

In exactly eight months, five days, three hours and thirteen minutes, Mac has to choose what she’ll be for the rest of her life.

She has no choice but to pick. As a Changeling, it’s her birthright. To Mac, it’s a birthchore. Like going to school with humans, interacting with humans, and pretending to be human during the pesky daylight hours.

Once darkness descends, Mac can change into any supernatural form that exists—which makes her as happy as she can be. That is, until Winn Thomas, the biggest geek in her senior class figures out there’s more to what hides in the dark than most are willing to acknowledge.

In this first of the 19th Year Trilogy, Winn might know more about Mac than even she does, and that knowledge could end their lives, unless Mac ensures the powers-that-be have no choice but to keep him around.

My thoughts:  I love it when a book captures my interest.  I had begun to wonder if I was becoming a little burned out of the Paranormal genre, and to my delight, this book proved me wrong.

Mac is a very interesting character.  She isolates herself from her human classmates.  She is a changeling and has until her 19th birthday to pick which form of paranormal that she wants to spend the rest of her existence as.  Many in the paranormal community are not pleased that she is taking her time making the decision.  Changelings are born few and far between and are meant to rule.

While taking her time, she has the opportunity to work with Winn on a school project.  He has information that she wants and needs to understand herself and her place in the paranormal community better.  It is through this contact that she begins to feel something more for him.

There is also the problem that someone is trying to kill her.  It's not as if high school is difficult enough, add all of the above to it and it becomes even more confusing.

I also liked the background cast of characters, both human and non-human.  Some are downright humorous and others add a great compliment to Mac and Winn.

This is a guilty pleasure book.  I would recommend to 16+ because of some content that is for mature readers.

Guest post from Emi Gayle:

Balancing life and writing ... is it possible?

Yeah, it is. Not always easy, but possible. Of course, what in life is easy? Anything? Here is where the classroom goes silent and all students stare up at the teacher. See, nothing is easy. It’s impossible for everything to go right all the time.

If, however, you know that in advance, you can find time to do both. Like Mac, in After Dark. She’s a changeling who has to be human for part of her day and can be ‘whatever she wants’ for part of her day - in fact once darkness descends, Mac gets the life she really wants. 

Sometimes, we humans are like that. Once we’re done with work, we get to do what we really want in life. Or, once the weekend hits, we are free of ‘the man’ and can do what we want.

Then of course, all sorts of stuff gets in the way - like the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, cleaning house, doing hobbies, kids, etc. 

What we choose to do though is what’s either the most important or what’s most interesting (often the former, not the latter). So if we’re doing what’s most important, is writing important or is it ‘just a hobby’ to be done when there’s time?

See, setting aside time for the important stuff is really ... well ... important! For me, I set aside one hour a day solely for writing new content. I love that one hour and it helps me focus. Outside of that ‘anything goes’ and often does, with everyone else in my life taking priority.

That time for me though, is priceless and needed and like exercise - when I don’t do it, I feel worse than when I turned off the Internet and started to write.

So it all comes down to what’s important. To you. Is writing important? Exercise? Your kids? If so, you’ll find a way, to make sure you incorporate it into your daily life. And like my character Mac, who’s literally stuck for 8-12 hours a day in the one creature she doesn’t want to be ... she’s waiting for the moment she can do what she wants. Be like her. When you get that opportunity ... take it. You’ll be happier and that will leech into all other aspects of your life.


About Emi:  Emi Gayle just wants to be young again. She lives vicariously through her youthful characters, while simultaneously acting as chief-Mom to her teenaged son and searching for a way to keep her two daughters from ever reaching the dreaded teen years. 

Ironically, those years were some of Emi's favorite times. She met the man of her dreams at 14, was engaged to him at 19, married him at 20 and she's still in love with him to this day. She'll never forget what it was like to fall in love at such a young age — emotions she wants everyone to feel.

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