Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Blog Tour: Light in the Shadows (Find You in the Dark #2) by A Meredith Walters: Review and Author Interview+ Giveaway


How do you keep going when you feel like your life is over?

Maggie never thought she’d see Clay again. So, she attempts to put her life back together after her heart has been shattered to pieces. Moving on and moving forward, just as Clay wanted her to.
Clay never stopped thinking of Maggie. Even after ripping their lives apart and leaving her behind to get the help he so desperately needed. He is healing…slowly. But his heart still belongs to the girl who tried to save him.

When a sudden tragedy brings Maggie and Clay face to face again, nothing is the same. Yet some things never change. Can the darkness that threatened to consume them be transformed into something else and finally give them what they always wanted? And can two people who fought so hard to be together, finally find their happiness? Or will their demons and fear drive them apart for good?

The thing about love, is even when it destroys you, it has a way of mending what is broken. And in the shadows, you can still see the light.

My Review: *5 Fantastic, Phenomenal, Heartbreaking, Emotional and Bittersweet Stars*

Thank you to A Meredith and Kim for putting together this awesome blog tour and for allowing me to be a part of it. It's by far my favorite blog tour to date! 

These books are just too incredible for words, it's hard to think about them without shedding so many tears. Tears of joy for the outcome of this beautiful story. Tears of heartache for all these beautiful characters had to endure. Tears of sadness for the very fact that this series is over, no more Clay and Maggie. Oh how I'll miss them so much. So. Damn. Much. 

I loved Find You in the Dark. Like LOVED it. I raved about it. I knew it was dark and disturbing when I picked it up. I knew it wouldn't be a fluff or fairy tale kind of story. But as I started it, I was so immersed in the story I didn't care. Clay was such a sick boy, he needed to be saved. And Maggie comes along and falls for him just as the rest of us had. He was mentally sick, yes. But underneath the illness and unstable behavior, he was just a boy trying to fit into the world. His parents didn't show him love, they were ashamed of him because of his illness. Let me talk about that for a minute....

What the f**k kind of parent tells their only child that they're an embarrassment and should be locked away so it doesn't have an effect on how THEY look to the public?? OH MY GOD! It's no wonder Clay was ashamed of himself and so fucked up. He had no support from the people who are supposed to love him unconditionally. They made him feel like he was worthless, a fuck up. Well, let me tell you....he was far from a f*ck up because in my eyes, he was strong and perfect. It wasn't his fault that he sick. F**king A those assholes wanted to send him away so they wouldn't have to deal with their son's mental instability. GAH, I'm furious. Just thinking about them makes me want to vomit and then gauge their eyes out.

That said, I won't go into FYitD because if you've read it, you know what happens. I don't have to go into that....though, I will say this book picks up where FYitD left off. Yes, there was a cliffhanger and I was DYING, DYING for the next one. And thanks to Walters and Kim for sending me an ARC of this amazing conclusion. I was so thrilled to get my hands on this gem. It was like a dream come true. I got into it right away and was again, immersed into the whirlwind rollercoaster of Clay and Maggie. It was worth every heartache and tear I shed, and believe me, I shed A LOT of tears. This book met every expectation I had and then some.

The prologue. Oh god, that prologue had me in tears. It was amazing.

"Forgive. Such a small word. Only seven letters but they carried the weight of the world. Seven letters between me and the one thing I wanted most in my life."

*wipes tears*

So Clay is in Florida at the Center getting help. He's been there for almost 3 months. And almost 3 months ago he tried to end his life. Maggie saved him but she had to let him go. He needed more help than she could give him. So now she's at home in Virginia trying to pick up the pieces of her crazy life and move on.

Only one problem....she can't. She loves the only boy who made her life worth living. He showed her how to live, even though he was so sick. When they were together and doing good, they were REALLY GOOD. But things took a turn quickly and it started to become too much for her. After all, she's only 17. How does one handle such a monumental circumstance? She did the best she could and she loved this boy with all her heart and soul, which is why she had to set him free. But she's struggling to let go completely. Deep down she knows they belong together.

"My love for this beautifully broken, yet slowly healing boy, made me strong.... My soul belonged with him, was so entangled in him that I was no longer a single being." -Maggie Mae Young

Tragedy strikes, sending Clay back to Davidson for a funeral. Ah, my heart. My heart was crying for these people. Especially Clay. So sad.

Clay and Maggie see each other for the first time in 3 months. 

"It was like every time we were together. Our bodies orbited around each other as if pulled by an invisible force that we had no control over. I wanted this. And I wanted to run from it. I wanted to pull her in and never let go. And I wanted to push her away."-Clay

"Seeing him again had only confirmed what my subconscious already knew. I would never move on from Clay. My soul belonged with him, was so entangled in him that I was no longer a single being." -Maggie

The two of them, together again, it was like nothing had changed. Yet everything had changed. But it was beautiful and heartbreaking. Real and hopeful. The whole time, I kept thinking, they have to be together. They have to be. But how are they going to make it work? I had so many fears for them. I was nervous, happy, scared and overjoyed at their reunion. The circumstance which brought them back together was so hard to see. I cried the whole time. Clay had suffered so much yet more shit piled on top and I was so scared he'd relapse. But god, he was so strong compared to FYitD. I was so proud of him. Not to mention, he had a great support...Dr Todd was fantastic in helping with his progress. 

"There’s nothing weak in acknowledging when things are greater than you.” -Dr Todd

There were times he'd have a panic attack and had to calm himself, fight his demons because he so badly wanted to give in and give up, and cut himself so he wouldn't feel the pain anymore. But with the steps he remembered from treatment, he overcame the urge to give in. I was sooooo proud of him. His struggles were so real and heartbreaking. I felt everything he went through. I loved that we got his POV. Thank you Walters for writing it that way. I don't think I would have felt his heartache and emotions so clearly if we didn't have his POV, and to be honest, I wouldn't have felt so connected to him either. I actually don't think it would have worked at all without it. Some books are mandatory for both MC's POV and this was one of them. I cried when he cried, I felt happiness when he did, I felt his fears, sorrow, guilt, love, loss and grief so deeply that I couldn't concentrate on anything else while I was reading it. This book both shattered my heart yet healed my soul. 

I loved Daniel and Rachel so much in this book. At first they pissed me off when they kept urging Maggie to move on and get over Clay. I wanted to punch them in the face a few times. But I also understood they were just looking out for their best friend. They saw what she went through the first time. Hell, they went through it with her. I admire them for being such amazing best friends. But once things with Clay and Maggie started up again, they backed off. And then....Daniel made me cry.

“Look, man. I know I haven’t been the most… uh… supportive of you and Maggie. And I’m still not sure how I feel seeing the two of you all up in each other’s asses again. But, I know you’re a decent guy. So for now, I’m reserving judgment." “Okay, so that sounded way assier than I meant it to. What I’m trying to say, is I know you’re dealing with shit. A lot of shit by the looks of it. And for Maggie’s sake… well… and yours too, I won’t be the speed bump on your road to the candy castle or whatever.” -Daniel Lowe

He really tried to be friends and give Clay the benefit of the doubt. I loved him for that. It made my heart happy to see them getting along. Things between Maggie and Clay couldn't have been more rockier or intense. But when they were together, it was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. Maggie was so supportive and the fact that she agreed to go to therapy with Clay just made me cry with happiness for them. They wanted to really make it work this time. Clay went to great lengths to change and be the man he felt she deserved. Maggie went to great lengths to show the boy she loved with everything she has that she would support him no matter what. And she really grew in this one. She didn't stand down when he occasionally lashed out at her or cower to him. She stood up and made him see she wasn't going anywhere this time. It was just...perfect. Beautiful. God, I love them so much. These two endured so much yet they overcame it and came out stronger in the end. My heart is so full of emotion when I think about these books. Walters portrayed such a tough subject so real and raw, you could feel the realism in your bones. It was as if you were experiencing it yourself, which in a way you were. Walters has an amazing gift. 

I'll never forget this story as long as I live. Clay and Maggie will FOREVER live in my heart and I will take them with me to my grave and never forget them. I love them so much. I cried for over 30 minutes when I finished reading this book. I was glad to have read it and experience it, but was so sad to say goodbye to my favorite fictional couple.

The ending. Oh god, that ending had me in a weepy mess. So amazing and wonderful and bittersweet. Oh Clay, how I love the hell out of you.

“Over six years ago I met a girl who saved me. I didn't realize at the time, mostly because her attitude pissed me off, that she would become the most important thing in my life. But then I got to know her and when I was drowning, she became my air. In the cold, she became my warmth. In the dark, she became my light,”-Clayton Reed

Oh Clay, I'll never, ever forget you. You've ruined all other fictional boys for me. You'll forever be in my heart and I'll love you for all eternity. *wipes tears*

"For a guy who struggled with finding his place in the world, standing next to Maggie, I understood one thing on a very fundamental level. Wherever she went, whatever she did, that is where I belonged." 

If you haven't read these books, you really need to. I will recommend them for as long as I live because they are MUST READS. These books are phenomenal and it shows that love is above all the most important thing in life. Thank you Walters for writing such an extraordinary series that will forever live in my heart. 

About the Author
The New York Times bestselling author of Contemporary and Paranormal romance including Find You in the Dark, Cloud Walking and Bad Rep.

A. Meredith spent ten years as a counselor for at risk teens and children. First working at a Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault program and then later a program for children with severe emotional and mental health issues. Her former clients and their stories continue to influence every aspect of her writing.
A. Meredith recently moved to England and is trying to get used to driving on the other side of the road, eating fish and chips and all things British

Interview With A Meredith Walters

     1When did you first realize you wanted to be an author? 
              I've wanted to be a writer since I was a little kid. I can’t remember a time I wasn't writing.      But I decided to devote myself to it full time after moving to the UK from the states. I had to wait a few months to get clearance to work and figured I’d take the plunge. And I’m so glad I did!
                 2. How long did it take you to write Find You in the Dark and did you see yourself actually publishing it? 
             I wrote FYITD in three months. I wasn't sure I was going to publish it, because I wasn't sure if the subject matter would turn people off. But I’m really glad that I did!
3. Are any of your characters based on actual people you know? 
     Not directly in this book. But the situations are completely based in personal experiences I've had with loved ones suffering from mental health issues and from working as a counselor for over a decade.
4. What is your writing style like if you have one? 
      I suppose it could be classified as gritty and raw. I prefer to write stories that are in your face and unapologetic. You won’t always like the situations or the characters but I try to keep them real.
5. Where is your favorite place to write?  
       I love my home office. When we were looking for houses, my one stipulation was to have a kick a** office to write. And this one checked off every single requirement I had. 
              6. What is the biggest challenge you have faced while writing? Did you ever get stuck or have writers block during any of the 3 books (novella included)? 
          I am a feast or famine kind of writer. I will either write like crazy, barely stopping to eat or sleep, or I will go weeks without writing anything. My “mojo” gets thrown pretty easily unfortunately and I had to work through writer’s block quite a bit with these three books.

   7. Do you ever plan to write outside of the current genre or are you set on Romance? 
          I’m not sure. I really love romance. Those are the books I love to read and those are the ones I love to write. But I do love paranormal and I've written a number of stories in that vein, so we’ll have to see where the wind takes me.

   8. Who are your inspirations? 
          My biggest inspiration isn't an author, but a collection of people. My clients, the amazing children and their families that I've had the honor of working with over the years have provided me my greatest inspiration. Their stories, struggles, successes are humbling and that is how my stories, particularly the Find You in the Dark series came about.

         9. What is the one thing you love most about writing? What is the least you love about it? 
            I love creating stories that mean something to me. I love being able to write a book that I would pick up read myself. What I love least? Editing and critiquing my own work. I tend to doubt myself a lot during this stage and there were moments where I almost chucked Light in the Shadows, sure that the whole things sucked. Thank god for my beta reader and friend, Claire, who stopped me! J

10. Do you find publishing a book to be easy? 
      Well clicking the publishing button is probably the easiest part. It’s everything else that goes into it that is difficult. When you put your book out there for people to read it’s like giving them a piece of who you are to see and either love or hate.

         11. What goes into writing a book and how do you ensure that it is complete? 
           I usually start with writing the end then work backwards. Then I structure the story around key elements I want to happen. It’s sort of like coloring in a picture at that point, I have an outline and where I want these characters to go. It’s just then a matter of connecting the dots. I re-read my book constantly while writing and I’m not sure how I know when it’s complete.  I could probably find things to change about each book I've ever written, so I’m not sure they’re ever “finished.”

        12. What is one piece of advice you would give to new authors who are trying to self-publish? 
         I say the biggest thing is to surround yourself with supportive and positive people. Negativity kills creativity and it’s important to have people you trust read your work and give you constructive feedback. Make sure before you hit publish it is a story you’d be proud to have people read.

  13. What do you like to do in your spare time?   
          I love to bake and read. But most of all I love to spend time with my daughter. She’s at that really fun age when she is becoming such a girly girl. So I spend a lot of time getting “makeovers” and having my nails done, LOL. 

  14. What is your biggest fear? 
                  Spiders. I’m an arachnophobe! I also have a huge fear of public speaking. I turn bright red. We’re talking tomato red. It’s embarrassing! 

 15. What is your favorite genre to read? 
Romance, followed by paranormal fiction

      16.What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your characters? 
          That the dark stuff in life really makes for a great story. I wasn't sure I’d even like where my story was going, but I ended up loving the tortured and angsty Clay, even as he drove me crazy!

               17. To any reader who hasn't read Find You in the Dark, how would you persuade them to give it a try? 
At the heart of this story is the tale of broken boy and the girl who wants to save him. It’s a story about hope and resilience and whether love really can make things better.

            18. Where did you get the inspiration from this story? Do you know anyone who suffered the same way Clay did? 
          I took a lot of this story from my experiences as a counselor. But I also have personal experience with both bi-polar and borderline personality disorders. I have been the support person for someone who won’t medicate and it’s a rough and exhausting road. 

 19. What were some of your favorite bands growing up? 
    I'm a huge classic rock fan. I grew up on Led Zeppelin, Motor-head, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Deep Purple. But I have to admit as I pre-teen I was as into pop as the next girl. New Kids on the Block was my very first concert.
 20. What did you want to be as a kid? 
I wanted to be a writer, a meteorologist, a psychologist, a vet. I think it changed weekly.

 21. Where can your readers stalk you? 
You can find me on Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter (AuthorAMWalters) or you can email me at
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. It’s been a pleasure and I wish you the best of luck in your writing and I know you will go very far!!! 

Contact A Meredith Walters

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You can win an Ebook copy of Light in the Shadows, here...


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