Blog Tour and Giveaway: Light in the Shadows: A. Meredith Walters

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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.

Find You in the Dark (book 1): Amazon/B&N/Goodreads
Cloud Walking (novella 1.5): Amazon/B&N/Goodreads

Kim's rating: 5 out of 5 stars

"Think, Clay. Think really hard. The thing about the shadows is that they're not all darkness. You need to have light to have shadows. So just look for it. " 

I read this series all in one weekend. And Wow what a journey! These characters are so real and so raw that you cannot help but be immersed in their struggles. In Find You in the Dark, you saw how toxic and destructive the relationship of Clay and Maggie became. You know they loved each other and needed each other, but it was not healthy due to Clay's instability and Maggie's need to save him. They were in over their heads and needed more help. And it ended in a traumatic situation that left them all reeling.

In this book, we see the after math. Clay is in treatment trying to get his life together and deal with his issues. Maggie is heart broken and depressed at home. They are miserable apart, but cannot be together. You can feel their anguish, their guilt and their pain. 

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.

Oh, that's right, because I still hung onto the hope that my broken knight would gallop back into my life and sweep me off my feet. I never claimed to not be delusional. 

When Clay must return to Virginia, you are just waiting on baited breath to see how they will react to seeing each other again. It is nerve wracking, agonizing, and emotional.  No one really knows what the fall out will be. Clay is trying to so hard to use his new coping skills and do the right thing. Maggie is unsure and tentative. But eventually they cannot stay away from each other. 

But their situation is still messy and realistic. This couple has challenges, demons, and issues that are not easily fixed. Clay's issues do not miraculously disappear and they face situations that ruined them in the past. Even when things are going well, you cannot help but feel like there is something under the surface that will bring the whole thing crashing down around them again. But through it all, you see a maturity and strength growing in both Maggie, Clay, and their relationship. And their commitment to each other and to change is admirable. But at the same time you have to wonder if they will ever be able to conquer all of their problems. 

Instead, I clung to my girlfriend. The person who had always been my light in the shadows and who continued to love me even at my worst. Who reminded me that everyone deserved love, even me.

Life with Clayton Reed would never be sunshine and roses. It would be lots of shadows with intermittent light. And I was beginning to figure out ways to appreciate the light when I saw it. Because that darkness was still there. It most likely would always be there. We were working on it though, together. And that was saying something. 

I feel like I was put through the wringer. I went through a gamut of emotions and was highly invested in this couple. It was intense, raw, heart breaking, nerve wracking, heart warming, and beautiful all at the same time. 

Their friends Rachel and Daniel were a big part of this story as well. I enjoyed seeing the continuation of their relationship after their novella Cloud Walking. They continued to be a source of support and willing to provide a dose of reality when needed. Her relationship with her parents is delved into more. And his Aunt Ruby and her partner Lisa are an integral part of this book as well. 

This book was the perfect ending to this amazing series. It encompassed a variety of conflicting emotions and made you feel every single one of them. I loved having alternating POVs with Maggie and Clay and really understanding their insecurities, fears, and depth of feelings. It is a story of love, devotion, healing, forgiveness, and hope. I know these characters will stay with me for a long time. 

Thanks to A. Meredith Walters for providing with me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Tammy's rating: 5 out of 5 stars

**Please note, this series deals with mental illness, emotional abuse, and cutting.**

"The fact that I love her is the reason I can't go turning her life upside down anymore. I won't fuck with her like that again. She's been through enough because of me."

This series is very near and dear to my heart, the story line allowed me to connect on a very personal level with our characters. Clay and Maggie's roller coaster ride of emotions and events is one I know all too well. Mental illness. Destruction of yourself and everything around you. Checking out. Feelings of regret, sorrow, self-loathing, and desperation to find the light. Hope. Love. Inner peace. Light in the Shadows touches it all. Prepare yourself for the raw emotionally intense read that will have your emotions taking a spin on that ride with them. In my humble opinion, I feel this sequel is written to perfection, and the ending...wow, it was beautiful! It may even be a tad bit better than Find You in the Dark.

Mental illness is very very real, and there is no easy fix. It is not a choice; it is also not a lifestyle someone settles into because they are lazy or to weak to strengthen their character, as so many people choose to believe. As the author shows us in this series, it is a very dark disease that slowly eats at you, and those around you; it tears your world apart, flipping it every which way. It attacks your mind, your self-esteem, and the way you view every little aspect of your life. It affects your emotions, your thoughts, your normally rational behaviors, and it also affects the way you act around or treat others. You find you act in the heat of the moment and not everything you do can always be washed away with an apology as Clay learns one too many times. Neither Maggie nor Clay is too blame, but the journey well that isn't an easy one. Maggie and Clay learn this first hand with their relationship as they struggle to stay out of the past and move forward with their future. They must both learn to let go of their co-dependent ways, if they have any chance at a "normal" relationship and not one based off pattern.

"My memories of Maggie Young had proven complicated. My crazy, fucked up mind had succeeded in twisting my beautiful girl into something that caused me complete and total anxiety."

That little voice in your head pulling you under is not always an easy one to fight, and I am so proud of Clay in this book! My heart filled with so much pain and joy for him. I loved seeing him grow with his struggles and beat back the demon and I cried when it all became too much. I also smiled through my tears when you began to see Clay grow before your eyes and mature with the situations handed to him. Most of all I LOVED seeing him admit to himself and Maggie that he needed help, that he could not do this on his own. He was not strong enough to overcome his struggles without the help of his meds, therapy, and the support of her unwavering love and their friends. Clay’s struggle and his attempted success were heartbreaking and it was so beautifully moving all at the same time. Their story is so emotionally investing and intense. Darker in nature, definitely not your typical happily every after/romance.

"Maggie wasn't the boogeyman. She was my light. My reminder of what I wanted in my life. Of what I strove to have again."

This disease is tricky with its ups and downs. You may have good days, good weeks even (making you believe and feel as though you are better, you finally conquered it.), but the bad ones are always waiting around the corner. Life is a roller coaster for everyone involved and just like Maggie and Clay there is a feeling of helplessness and defeat on both sides. However, in the continuation of their story I found that their struggles were not as all over the place as we witnessed in book 1. For me I found this book to be lighter, although no less intense. Both Clay and Mags grew so much with their interaction between each other, in their own skin, and in their love. Light in the Shadows was more about Clay and Maggie seeking a new beginning, a new healthy way to move forward while still loving each other beyond belief. Their relationship became about them growing learning to cope with Clay's disease as individuals and as a couple.

"I'll support you and you will support me. We'll learn together what a healthy and functional relationship looks like. Because as I am right now, I know I can't give that to you. And I want to give that to you. Because I want my life to begin and end with us together."

I absolutely adored that the author presented us with both Clay and Maggie's point of view in this book. I think for me reading Clay's thoughts as he fought to overcome his initial action to shut down and cut off the pain made the storyline more intense. I connected on a much deeper level in this book with him. His struggle became more real and his success even sweeter. There was nothing fluff about Clay and his life, it was total darkness until he found his one shred of light, Maggie (a 17-18 year old girl who fell so head over heels that she refused to give up on the one boy she knew she would love for the rest of her life).
Thanks to A. Meredith Walters for providing with me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

A. Meredith Walters Facebook/Blog/Twitter/Goodreads

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 

Tour hosted by Kim Box Person at Shh Mom's Reading
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1 comment:

  1. I didn't read your review because I haven't read Book 1, but I want to read this soooo bad! I have to get through other books first. You know how it goes. <3


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