Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Dark Side of Valor by Alicia Singleton

Dark Side of Valor by Alicia Singleton
Published By: Strebor Books
Release Date: February 7, 2012
Format: Paperback - 352 pages / Kindle - 744 KB / Nook - 1006 KB
ISBN: 1593093853
Genre: Suspense Thriller

About The Author:

Born and raised in Philadelphia, the Howard University graduate embraced the written word at an early age. She credits this to her loving, older sister whom, while they were youngsters, made the author eat lotion on a regular basis. Realizing the need to sound-out the ingredients on the lotion label, Alicia stopped the lotion-eating practice, but continued to read the labels of the concoctions her sister brought for her to try. This early necessity to read flowered to a passion; hence, a writer was born. The award winning author resides in Maryland with her wonderful husband and son. Still an avid reader, label or otherwise, Alicia is hard at work completing her next suspense novel. Her latest book is the suspense novel, Dark Side of Valor.

Alicia Singleton's Dark Side of Valor Virtual Book Tour Page On Pump Up Your Book!

BUY THE BOOK: Dark Side of Valor

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event.

Virtual Book Tour Event: On Monday, July 16, 2012, in association with Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Publicity Tours, author Alicia Singleton participated in a virtual book tour event with an Author Guest Post on Jersey Girl Book Reviews.

Book Trailer: Dark Side of Valor

* $100 Visa Gift Card Contest Giveaway * 

Contest Dates: June 4 - August 24

Author Alicia Singleton will be giving away a $100 Visa Gift card during her June, July & August virtual book tour campaign for Dark Side of Valor.

Here's How To Enter The Contest Giveaway:

Each person will enter this contest giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form placed on blogs throughout the tour.

This $100 Visa Gift card promotion will run from June 4 - August 24. The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email and announced on August 25, 2012.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Alicia Singleton's Dark Side of Valor Virtual Book Tour Page On Pump Up Your Book!

Book Description:

Child advocate Lelia Freeman saves children for a living. As the director of ChildSafe Shelters, she ventures to abandoned squats and crackhouses to rescue teens from the hellish streets of Los Angeles. When she is summoned to Washington to serve on a committee that aids the children of a war-torn African nation, Lelia is kidnapped and becomes a political pawn in a sinister conspiracy. Oceans away from everything she knows, she must trust a mercenary to save her life, or die in the clutches of a psychopath. 

Hunting, combat and staying alive are Elijah Dune's specialties. Vengeance is his passion. Haunted by past demons, he travels to the Motherland to collect a debt. A debt that demands one payment. Death.

Caught in the crosshairs of a madman, Lelia and Elijah must survive the jungles of Zaire and the horrors of their pasts or be forever consumed by the Dark Side of Valor.

Book Excerpt:

Pain played just below the surface of Lelia’s stare. Sadness, despair seeped from her stiff body, stroked Joella.

Joella opened her mouth, then closed it. No amount of talking would ease the look fixed on Lelia’s face. Joella knew better. She’d seen that same look reflected in her own mirror. She’d lived in the same hell many times herself, almost didn’t get out.

Life, cruel and hard, must have whipped up on Lelia, made her draw inside herself like a cornered hare drawn inside its burrow. Best thing to do was leave her be, for now. A burrow was the safest place for her.

Joella was an expert on safe burrows. They made life endurable, harbored your mind, saved you from going mad.

A lifetime ago, they were the only way she’d survived. She used to fill her burrows with rainbows, magic dragons and pretty horned horses. All the things her daddy used to spin tales about before he’d tuck her into bed. She hadn’t needed safe burrows when Mama and Daddy were around. But all that vanished when they left.

For a while, Grandma Dell was all she had. Until Cousin Daryl came sniffing around, hard on his luck. Evil took the form of that hard-on-his-luck doper. 

Joella thought hell was missing her parents. Cousin Daryl had other thoughts of hell. He shared them with her daily.

Open-handed cuffs across the face, kicks to the ribs. The thrashings. Still, no hell he executed terrorized her more than the darkness.

Cousin Daryl always locked her alone. In the darkness.

Grandma Dell tried to stop him, but he hit her, too, forced her in her room. 

Joella could still hear Grandma calling through her bedroom door, begging him to stop. She still felt fire scorch her skull from his fingers clenched in her hair, still remembered half screeching, half choking on fear as he drug her to the barn. Taught her her lesson.

Sprawled on her stomach, her back ripped raw. Tears puddled mud under her cheek. Dirt and sweat throbbed in her busted lip. Blood and bile sullied her tongue. Unable to move, she lay in the blackness, hushed her sobs, scared he’d hear. Scared he’d come back to teach her more lessons. Those were the times her safe burrows surrounded her, pressed insanity to the fringes of her mind.

One night she ran away from Cousin Daryl while he was sleeping off a high. She’d helped Grandma Dell to Granddad’s old truck, and drove off. Her feet barely reached the pedals. They hit a couple of ditches, but they’d made it.

A family friend in the next county took them in. For a few weeks hell disappeared. It resurfaced when Cousin Daryl tracked them down.

Joella took off, never looked back.

Some nights Cousin Daryl still found her, stole into her dreams, locked her in darkness. Memories of Daddy or Mama didn’t keep him from hurting her, remembering Grandma Dell’s kind words didn’t hold him at bay. Only Lelia’s soft voice broke through the death dream to save her.

Now Lelia needed saving.

Her friend knelt in front of the candlelit muffin. Zombified, she stared at the burning wick.

Comfort was the only thing Joella could offer. She shrugged the rough quilt off her shoulders, wrapping them both in it. She rocked like Grandma Dell used to do. It felt like forever. The hardwood dug into her knees, the candle burned, she kept rocking.

For once, Lelia needed her. No matter what, she’d be Lelia’s light, ’cause no one should be left in the darkness.

My Book Review:

Lelia Freeman is a child advocate and director of ChildSafe Shelters in Los Angeles. Known as "The Street Angel," Lelia was a former teen runaway from New York, who lived off the mean streets of Los Angeles for two years, until Ma Ella, a 102 year old matron of Cornerstone Baptist Church, and the rest of the church family took her in at the age of nineteen, and provided her with support to rebuild her life. Now as a successful and passionate child advocate, Lelia helps other runaway teens get off the streets and rebuild their lives. Lelia is asked to join a Washington D.C. subcommittee task force looking to improve the living conditions and danger that face the orphans of the war torn African nation of Sudania. While in Washington D.C., Lelia is kidnapped and taken to the jungles of Zaire, where she becomes the political pawn of the corrupt leader of Sudania.

Elijah Dune is a mercenary who is driven by a haunted past to avenge the wrongs committed by his enemies. While doing business with President Deng at the presidential palace in Sudania, he is taken prisoner and meets Lelia.

Together, Lelia and Elijah attempt to escape from the clutches of the corrupt leader, and embark on a dangerous journey through the jungles of Zaire as they fight to stay alive and attain their freedom. Can the ghosts from their pasts come back to haunt them?

Dark Side of Valor is a riveting suspense thriller that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat as you turn the pages. With a gripping intertwining storyline consisting of teen runaways living on the streets and a foreign political intrigue, this story has enough drama, suspense, intensity and twists and turns that makes it a powerful and compelling read.

The author provides the reader with a story that is rich in detail and vivid descriptions of life on the streets for teenage runaways and the homeless, as well as the deplorable living conditions and danger facing the orphans of a war torn African nation of Sudania by a corrupt zealot president. The stark reality portrayed in the story is chilling, and engages the readers to embrace the passion and awareness of global child advocacy and social justice with compassion through its thought provoking narrative.

The author has created a cast of characters that are realistic and complex in nature, they engage the reader with their intriguing personalities and interactions. The character portrayals are intense and emotional, their individual stories and motives behind their actions are intriguing, and the reader will experience the gamut of emotions as they follow the characters throughout the book. I really admired Lelia's determination, drive and passion to better the lives of people living on the streets, she is a true champion of the forgotten and downtrodden people in our society.

From New York to Los Angeles to Washington D.C. to the jungles of Zaire, this riveting fast paced suspense thriller will transport the reader into a world of street people, global child advocacy, social injustice and corrupt political intrigue. This intense story will draw you in and leave you holding your breath until its surprising conclusion.

Dark Side of Valor is an intense, dark gripping suspense thriller that is a must read, it will stay with you long after the last page is read.


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