Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Review of Crossroads and Between by Mary Ting plus a giveaway from LateBloomerOnline


Just in case you haven't read Mary Ting's first book, Crossroads, here is the Goodreads synopsis:

Claudia Emerson has a good friend who shares the same first name and last name. That friend unfortunately dies in a tragic accident during homecoming dance. Claudia is distraught at the loss of her friend, but is even more disturbed by her dreams, which seem to take her to another place called Crossroads. Unknown to her, Crossroads is like a second heaven, a place between heaven and earth. It is where the souls of humans in comas or near death experiences may wander. Where, Claudia meets Michael, a nephilim, a half angel, half human, whom she often meets in her dreams. It turns out that this isn’t her first visit to Crossroads, which is an enigma for no human can ever travel there until Claudia.

Now the fallen and demons are after her, suspecting she must be special and it is up to Michael and the other nephilims to protect her. Her dream becomes a nightmare as more secrets are revealed, about who she really is, and the true identities of the people she loves most. Can Michael fight his growing feelings for Claudia and protect her as a guardian angel should?

And my review as posted on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes And Noble

Wow! This book is totally left open for much, much more, which is exciting because I love books in a series! I can't wait to see Claudia open up and blossom into the full being she can be! I think there is way more to Austin's story than is given in the book. I see a great triangle brewing here. If you remember, Gamma said she sent someone to watch over Claudia and Michael didn't know that! I can not wait to learn more about the Alkins, Michael's friends. I want to know so much more about their personalities and see how they show themselves when they are on Earth. It seems this is the only place they can let themselves "shine" and fall into old habits that they don't remember they had! Michael seems to be a rebel by following his own instincts while trying to be a good leader and follow the laws of the Royal Council. He is torn by what he should do and what his half human heart longs for. As far as the fallen are concerned, as we all know, if one leader dies, there is always another to take his place!
I have read a lot of books about angels and heaven, but not in a fiction setting. It's nice to see that Mary blends from the "real" to the fictional heavenly worlds very smoothly. It is wonderful to be reading a fictional book about a subject I enjoy researching and believe in with all my heart and soul!

Here is my favorite excerpt from Crossroads, page 218:

"...You are my gift.  I never dreamt that I would feel this way.  You make me feel human again.  You make me smile.  You make me laugh.  I've broken some Divine Commandments, but I don't care because it doesn't feel wrong to me.  How would something that feels so right be so wrong?  I will treasure every second we have together, even if it's for a short period of time.  These happy memories you are giving me are worth it all.  I promise to protect you and even lose my soul if I have to.  I will not lose you to Aden or anyone else.  If that happens, I will have lost myself."
As said by Michael to Claudia

And now, Between!

As the alkins head back to Crossroads, Claudia leads her normal life; but not for long. Having a special soul, Claudia attracts danger, and she soon finds out who Gamma asked to watch over her. The Twelve, known as Divine Elders on Earth, are very much involved when they find out that Aliah, one of the God’s first angels, escaped from the Abyss when the gates were opened by Aden. Needing Claudia’s soul to escape the only place Aliah can reside–a place between Heaven and Earth–he sends his demons in search of all Claudia Emersons on Earth. Taking her soul will enable him to be released from Between and cross over to Crossroads, which would give him immense power. As more secrets are revealed Claudia learns about the venators—nephilim, demon hunters. Now two opposing forces must work together in order to save Claudia and humanity from the most dangerous angel ever created. But along the way, trust becomes a big issue. Will love be enough to keep Claudia and Michael together? Who will make the ultimate sacrifice? Who will betray them all?
(Goodreads synopsis)

My Review as seen on Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes and Noble:

  The world Mary has created from her dreams has sucked me in and made me feel a part of it!  I LOVE the characters.  She has made me feel as if they are my best friends!  On the outside, Claudia looks and acts like your typical teenage girl, but unknowingly, she is really so much more!  This is what you are going to find with many of Mary's characters, that there is so much more to know!
  There are the Humans that aren't quite human, the Angels that aren't quite all angel and the Demons that used to be angels!  So, once you think you've got it all down, it gets shaken up all over again!
  What is nice about Mary's writing is that you don't need a scorecard of who's who to follow along.  Each character has been given such a unique personality that let me create a clear picture in my mind of who they are and what they look like.  Aside from my "forbidden love" power couple, Michael and Claudia, I think my favorite character is Davin.  He is everybody's all-american angel.  The first with the quick wit, bright smile and always a funny quip on his lips!

Mary has done it again!  She has brought back my favorite Angels, brought back my friends!
Once again, Claudia's life is in peril, but unknown to the Fallen (and even to the Angels or herself) she is stronger than anyone could ever imagine her to be!

Here is my favorite excerpt from Between chapter 26:

Michael drew her out and looked deeply into her eyes.  "Claudia, only for you.  I can't feel the wind on my flesh or heat from the blazing sun, but I can feel you.  You are real.  I can feel you."
Claudia held him tight to let him know how much his words meant to her.  Like always, there were no words, but she felt his love for her that made her utterly complete."

Question and Answers with Author Mary Ting

I know you've said that Crossroads came from one of your dreams. I also have very vivid dreams that play like movies. Do you feel these dreams are given to us by divine means since they tell a story? Do you keep a journal of your dreams? Have you used automatic writing?

I believe dreams can be given by divine means. In Crossroads chapter one, having been told in my dream to go back because it wasn’t my time couldn’t come from anyone but someone divine...that’s what I think. I should keep a journal of my dreams, but I don’t... lol!! It would make description easier. In Between, chapter 20 and what happens to Austin is part of my dream. I woke up from a nightmare being really scared. Immediately I calmed down when a thought put this nightmare in Between. I can’t wait for you to read it. You’ll be surprised that I would dream about something like!!! I also dreamt that I was flying and I saw the most beautiful place. In Between, I called it Island of Eden. Later in book 3, I will go into details of that place. No, I have not used automatic writing.

Do you believe there is a place like Crossroads that we can visit in our dreams using astral projection? There are places I visit in my dreams that feel so real.

I have to say yes to that question. As strange as it may sound, I remember clearly that I felt a jerk when I woke up from being at a place like Crossroads in my dream. Sometimes I fly in my!!!

Have your religious beliefs changed at all since your youth and what religion you were raised in? Do you feel you are reaching for Christian Youth in your book, or just wholesome romance?

I was born and raised as a Catholic. I was very much involved in my church youth group up until I went to college. From then on, I stopped going because the church I used to attend was too far. All of my friends went their separate ways. I keep in touch with a few, but life happens and you move on. My belief hasn’t changed; I just stopped going to church. My intention of writing Crossroads was not to reach out to any audience except for myself. At first, I wrote to help heal the loss of my grandmother; Gamma is based on her. In some ways, Crossroads is based on what I went through, first job, first car, first time camping and others, but too bad the angels in Crossroads are!!!

In Crossroads, Claudia's Mom reminds her, Be good to those who are alive, what good is it when they are dead. This sounds like John Edward's philosophy. Do you feel we all can communicate with our loved ones that have passed away? Do you still talk to your Grandmother?
I believe our loved ones that have passed away communicate in our dreams. Many fans/friends have told me that they’ve seen their loved ones in their dreams to let them know they are happy and well. It’s been awhile since my grandmother appeared in my dream. Every time I saw her, I ended up bawling and waking up. The last time she told me that she would stop appearing in my dream, but she couldn’t stay away. Instead, she called me on the phone in my!!!

In Crossroads, Claudia's inner strength is tested. Will we see her come into her own strength and become more angelic?
You will see Claudia’s struggle and trying to live a normal life, but at the same time trying to fulfill her destiny. I’m trying not to spoil anything!!!

So we find out that Claudia is part angel. Will this mean she can be with Michael?
This is very!!! Well... you do find out what happens in Between.
Do we see a love triangle coming up soon?
Yes, but it’s!!!

The Alkins were removed from Earth and had their memories of it erased and can't stay away from Crossroads for very long, yet the Venators (demon hunters) don't seen to have a problem being on Earth and are allowed to experience Earth fully. Then there are the Earth Angels who act as if they are human to watch over us. Why the different rules for the different types of angels?

I explain in the beginning of Between that God sent angels called watchers. The temptation was too difficult to bear and half angels and half humans were created. He wiped the Earth with a flood over 40 days and 40 nights. Then he sent Earth angels, but again, nephilims were created. Instead of cleansing the Earth, they were taken to a place called Crossroads. As time passed, more nephilims were born. Some are from Aden’s doing and some are from the Earth angels. Katherine looks for these angels so she can properly trained them before they become a fallen. These nephilims are known as the venators. They hunt for demons-spirits that take over the weaken souls. Why the different rules? They were born in different times. The angels have assimilated into the culture of the present.

You create some absolutely beautiful jewelry! What are your inspirations for your pieces besides your books?

Twilight and our friend Gracie. I was the PTA president (Parent Teacher Association) at the school I work at. I got all the moms hooked on Twilight. Several of us got together and created a website Inspired By Twilight, and a breast cancer site devoted to our wonderful friend Gracie. Breastcancerphotojewelry

Please visit both jewelry sites as I know you will find something your heart will love and you'll just have to have for yourself or a friend!

You can find Mary Ting at:

twit @maryting
and a video trailer for her first book at:

F  For the tour, Mary is giving away three signed copies of BETWEEN with a gorgeous snowflake pendant to 
go with each book.  Take a look at the picture below! 

Please go to LateBloomerOnline to enter and win!  


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