Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Falling Angels by Ami Blackwelder

Title: Falling Angels
Author: Ami Blackwelder
Series: Angelfire Chronicles #2
Genre: Angel/ Romance Suspense 
Publisher: Eloquent Enraptures Publishing
Release Date: June 1 2014
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print


Enter a World Where Love Knows No Boundaries. A World Where Boundaries are Manipulated. A World Where Manipulation Might End Everything.

After Ali Maney becomes Angelfire the stakes are raised and Dameon would like nothing more than her death. While Ali grows closer to Kian, they also find many differences that cause friction between them and after her best friends and brother are drawn into the angel wars, Ali will never look back until the war is over.

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My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First, I would like to thank the author Ami Blackwelder for giving me this book for an honest review. I enjoyed reading this story. Most the characters are well developed and written. I look forward to reading the next book in this series.

View all my reviews

Excerpt (Chapter One)
    “Kian! Catch me!” My chalk-white wings spun crazy in the gust of wind as I plummeted toward the soft grass in the park. Soft or not, I didn’t want my nose slamming into the green. I already dyed my hair a new color - blonde. I didn’t need a new nose too. 
     Plus, I wore a pair of new black skinny jeans and I couldn’t have grass stains all over my clothes. I had to get used to wearing tube tops, since the wings ripped a few of my blouses on my first attempts at sprouting them out of my back and flying. I also hated showing my belly. 
     Kian’s face grimaced in pain as he saw me heading straight for him. He rubbed his fingers through his copper hair in quick thought before his glowing amber eyes caught mine, which were of silver-violet hues. I still couldn’t get over the fact that every time I grew into an angel, my eyes morphed from their natural color of sea-blue into something spectacular. 
     Soon after my transformation, I asked why my eyes carried a silver tint. I thought only demons had that color. Krysta snidely explained the reason well. “You turned because of one of our own dying. Death and darkness makes the color silver.” Made sense, I guess. So now, my eyes would always be a reminder of an Angelfire loss. Now, I had to get over the fact that in five seconds flat, I might be one with the earth. 
     Leaping towards me, Kian’s celestial form expanded its wings and the force of my body pleasantly met with his instead of the ground. Moments before I felt his regal arms embrace me, a soft bounce of our chests told me he found me. Safe. Minimal damage. Other than a slight pinch in my stomach and a few feathers bent on the right side, I felt fine. 
     The right side of his mouth curled up in a smile as his pink lips rubbed mine. His winged arms braced my back as his hands and fingers caressed my neck. We floated upward toward the moon; two souls bound as one. Warmth from his angel-esque form felt as if I had curled up next to a fireplace with the one I loved. 
     Kissing, we forgot to care about anything else around us for a moment, because we had waited so long to be physical with each other. Lost in his eyes, I never wanted to leave the safety of his chest and the comforts of his wings. 
     However, life has a way of changing things.
     “Ali,” he whispered, “It’s time for you to use your gift.”
     I flinched. The mere thought of fire scared me. How could I propel the dangerous blaze from my fingers? 
     “No buts this time. This gift is your weapon. You’ll need it someday, because I can’t be with you 24-7, and we have Samuel’s life to look after now too.”
     The sound of my brother’s name caused my mind to return to the night when Dameon changed my life forever: the night he murdered Nathaniel, the night Samuel saw the angel world for the first time, the night I had been changed into an Angelfire. 
     “Yes, my brother.” He weighed heavily on me. After all, I drew him into this world and into this danger. “I have to do this for him.” 
     Kian twirled me as if I were a feather in his hand. I became completely weightless. “Are you ready?”
     “I think I finally am.” 
     My body dropped with his. Our wings went from undulation to retreat into our sides. Standing on the wet grass, I was reminded that it had rained just hours earlier. Good thing too, because it made sure everyone was indoors or had found shelter somewhere else while Kian and I used our powers.  
     “Just focus, Ali. You can do it,” Kian encouraged, his confident sunglow eyes on me. 
     A burning sensation rose underneath my palms. I could feel the heat as if standing over a stove, but every time I tried to push, nothing came out of me. I squeezed my hands, my forehead wrinkled and when I opened up, nothing. 
     “What am I doing wrong?” 
     “You fear the power. You’re afraid of what it might do, where it might go. The gift feels your fear.”
     “Then how do I get over it?”
     “The secret is to embrace your power. Look at where you want the flame to go and focus.”
     I closed my eyes and threw my hands forward, squeezing and releasing as my thoughts churned, but only my father came to mind. 
     “I can’t,” I cried and threw my hands to my forehead. I fumbled backward, but Kian grabbed my shoulder to steady me. 
     “What’s wrong?”
     “I know you, Ali. It’s something.” 
     My eyes swelled with salty tears, “It’s...it’s my father.” My chest rose and shrank several times with heaving breaths. Kian drew me into his strong form.
     “I’m here. You can tell me.”
     “He was a fire fighter. The fire, the smoke everyday just finally got to him, made his heart weak.” 
     “And he died.” Kian spoke with a low sound, a sound that told me he understood pain too.
     “Just like that.” The tears slipped down my pinking cheeks. 
     “You don’t have to be afraid of the fire, Ali.” Kian grasped my hand. With his other fingers, he wiped my tears. “The flames won’t take you too. You can control them, own them.”
     I had no more words, only heaps of emotions, I didn’t know what to do with. Fear and bravery competed with each other beneath my skin. An invisible battle waged, and then I heard the words that tipped the scales in my favor.  
     “Remember, Ali, this power came to you because of Nathaniel, because he is gone. Fire is a gift. Don’t let the flames die with him. Don’t let this gift die with your father. Both of them would want you to conquer your fear.”   
     I took in a deep breath, sniffled one last time, and nodded my head. As I turned from Kian, and entered into my own space, a space I knew would soon be the conception of a power so strong it could take life, I felt the presence of something magical. Maybe my father’s spirit? Maybe something inside of me changed?
     I focused on the air pocket five feet in front of me and a flicker in my eyes fixed Kian’s full attention on my hands. However, I no longer saw my dying father, but a ghostly father and a ghostly Nathaniel standing beside me. Glowing red-orange, my palms could have been mistaken for a star.        
     Then, as if I had been shooting flames all my life, the fire burst out from underneath my skin and rushed into the aimed pocket of air. The fire moved at my simple command, the orangey flames swirled and swiveled in the contained space, an area that had become, for a time, my fixation.  
     Then, just as soon as they had been born, they died. 
     “You did it, Ali,” Kian said matter-of-factly.
     “Yes,” I beamed, like a kid opening his Christmas gift, “I did.” 
     “Do it again, but this time hit the tree.” He pointed ahead.
     “No, Kian, that will cause a park fire.” 
     “It won’t. I’ll use my gift of ice to freeze it.” My eyes shot at him half uncertain that his plan would work.
     “Trust me.” I had to admit I completely did. 
     “Okay, here goes.” I flipped my palms up and felt the tingling of heat surge along my skin before the radiant flames shot across the grass and into the chestnut trunk of the tree. The bark lit up in crackles and the fire moved as if a forbidden dance. 
     Suddenly, a bolt of ice crashed into the tree, splinters of frost and bark blew left and right...but the flames, the chaotic motion of reds and oranges, shriveled into nothingness.  
     “It worked,” I tried not to sound doubtful it ever would. 
     “Again.” Kian could see the exhaustion in my face from flying, and then firing fire. The whole experience took a lot out of me, but he also wanted me ready for anything. The Were and Fanged demons wouldn’t hesitate to kill me. He knew it and I knew it. 
     “I’m so tired.” 
     “I know, but evening is our only time to practice and avoid being seen. You can do it, Ali. I believe in you.”
     I sighed, and then when I saw Kian’s elegant wings lift him into the air, I somehow grew the strength to push the image of my bed pillows from the forefront of my mind.  
     With a deep breath, my toes pushed me into the air and I floated, every time feeling as if the first. Then I grabbed onto Kian’s outstretch hand. Freezing. 
     “I need you to use your gift while flying,” he spoke with cold air clouting my face.
     I nodded and then let go of him to lift my palms forward. I had to do this, not only for myself, but also for my family. At any time the demons could kill Samuel to get their Essence back, or even try to get at him through Mom. I already lost my father. I couldn’t lose anyone else. 
     With two arms up and one leg balancing, I felt as if I belonged in a David Copperfield performance and if I hadn’t been the main attraction, I’d be the one in the audience making notations in my mind like, he is totally using wires! Wings are so fake! Except nothing about this could be more real, even though, sometimes I could hardly believe this angel existence myself.
     I focused on flying and not on plummeting to the ground as I had done so many times before. Harder than it looked. I’d been surfing only once in my life. A vacation trip I took with Dad and Samuel a long time ago. I remembered the waves under my board, and how they pushed me every which way and I remembered how unbalanced the world seemed at the time. However, surfing didn’t come close to the difficulties of flying. Every time I looked down, I became nauseous and whenever another gust of wind rushed past me, I lost my balance. 
     Still, I had to get over myself. Nathaniel would not be proud, and I owed it to my father and to my brother. If they could risk their lives every day as a fireman and a policeman to serve the city, then the least I could do would be to serve as AngelFire.   
     I managed to hover above ground without tumbling downward for several minutes and actually felt stable. Then I grew courageous and threw my palms into the pocket of wind that crashed past me. Fire lit up the sky. I went from magic act to circus performer, just like that. 
     The fire didn’t last long, because ice soon melted into the flames and then fell like rain, making the park seem like the next hot spot for a Harry Potter movie. 
     “You did it!” Kian grinned and threw his fluffy feathers around me. He engulfed me completely and I never felt safer than when I rested in his chest. His arms would always protect me. 
     It never felt long enough with him, but I needed more practice using my gifts. After all, New York depended on the Angelfire and me to keep them safe from the demons, and though a thankless job, where the human world never even knew what went on around them, I knew.
     After squeezing Kian tightly, I fluttered further up into the dark night sky and balled my fists before forming a mental picture of fire. I bolted toward Kian who still hovered above the ground below me and then released my palms in the opposite direction. Flames spread over the air like a forest fire, as if my mind moved the waves of sparkling color...and I guess my mind did. 
     I controlled the fire bursting from my hands, the chaotic movements of red as they mesmerized me, until Kian propelled two icicles, one from each palm, into my sea of flames. Within seconds, the ice swallowed the heat emanating from the flames, cooling my skin, until eventually, the very core of the fire itself extinguished. 
     We both stared at each other as if something otherworldly just took place, and in a way, something just had. His eyes reminded me of the fire in the sky, so brilliant and bright. I couldn’t take mine off of his. 
     “Ali,” the sound of his voice kept my full attention, “promise me something. Promise me, you’ll never get lost in this angel world. We lose too many to the other side for this rush of power. I can never lose you.”     
     I must have appeared dumbfounded. I never even contemplated the effects these kinds of powers would have over me. If anything, I felt afraid of them, not longing for more...but still, many like me, or maybe even better than me, had fallen vulnerable to the darkness and had been snatched up into the flock led by Azrael and Dameon. 
     My celestial eyes locked with his concern, “I won’t.”
     He drew closer to me, with wings flapping, and his bare chest damp with moisture from his melted ice. A shiver rushed through him from a gust of passing wind and his hands trembled. Hairs on his chest stood on end. “I won’t,” I repeated and tugged his chilled form into my warm breast, then I wrapped my wings around him. “You are all I want.” 
     His icy body absorbed my heat, the heat from my fiery hands. This warmth and those reassuring words could be my only solace for him. He saved my life during junior year and I felt I owed him more than just my loyalty. However, for tonight, this would have to be enough. 
     When the sun began to rise, we ended our practice as we had many nights prior and then we headed out of the park. We flew side by side until reaching my house and then I crept through the open window. Kian followed. 
     “I’ll come by late in the morning. We’ll go to the Angelfire house together,” Kian mentioned as an afterthought.
     “I’d like that.” I had wanted to go for sometime, ever since turning angel. Questions swirled in my mind that I knew only the house could answer. Answers only Sammael had, answers only the secret books held.  
     “I can see your mind racing. What is it, Ali?”
     I shook my head, “Nothing.” Actually, everything. I needed to know more about the Weres and Fanged demons and more about Azrael and Dameon. If I was going to help defeat them, I needed to know all I could, but I also knew the Angelfire house kept tight reins on all their secrets. 
     I would have to play this one well. 
     After giving Kian a soft kiss on the cheek, he pulled me closer and our lips met. His heavenly features and tender touch always left him unforgettable. No boy had ever kissed me before as he had, as if everything in his fiber poured out of him in that single moment just to be with me.  
     Climbing into bed, my wings collapsed into my sides. I hardly felt the transition anymore. I didn’t feel as exhausted as I once did when I had been human, but I still needed my sleep. Kian brushed my blonde hair as I closed my eyes and he eased my way into a dream. With him near me, dreams came easily.    

Author Information

Ami Blackwelder is a Paranormal and SciFi author. Her stories range from Tween & YA to Adult. Growing up in Florida, she graduated UCF and in 1997 received her BA in English and additional teaching credentials. Then she packed her bags and travelled overseas to teach in Thailand, Nepal, Tibet, China and Korea. Thailand is considered her second home now. She has always loved writing and wrote poems and short stores since childhood; however, her novels began when she was in Thailand.
 Having won the Best Fiction Award from the University of Central Florida (Yes, The Blair Witch Project University), her short fiction From Joy We Come, Unto Joy We Return was published in the on campus literary magazine: Cypress Dome and remains to this day in University libraries around the USA. Later, she achieved the semi-finals in a Laurel Hemingway contest and published a few poems in the Thailand’s Expat magazine, and an article in the Thailand’s People newspaper. Additionally, she has published poetry in the Korea’s AIM magazine, the American Poetic Monthly magazine and Twisted Dreams Magazine.

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Other Books in the Angelfire Chronicles 

 Dumah's Demons Book 1.5
Angel Codes Coming 

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