Book Tour: Fighting Shadows By: Aly Martinez

I come from a family of fighters. I always thought I’d follow in their shadows, becoming unstoppable in the ring. That changed the day I saved the life of a woman I loved, but could never have.
 My brother hailed me as a hero, and my reward was a wheelchair.
 Paralyzed, my life became an inescapable nightmare.
 Until I met her.
 Ash Mabie had a heart-stopping smile and a laugh that numbed the rage and resentment brewing inside of me. She showed me that even the darkest night still had stars, and it didn’t matter one bit that you had to lie in the weeds to see them.
 I was a jaded asshole who fell for a girl with a knack for running away. I couldn’t even walk but I would have spent a lifetime chasing her.
 Now, I’m on the ropes during the toughest battles of my life.
Fighting the shadows of our past.
Fighting to reclaim my future.

Fighting for her. 

I knew going into Fighting Shadows that this was going to be one that would make me feel all the feels, and I felt them intensely.  I had wanted to read Flint’s book ever since I finished Fighting Silence, but while I knew how emotional this would be I had forgotten how beautifully Ms. Martinez can make you just so invested in the words she writes, and how she can pull the emotions so easily from inside of you that her books find a little spot in your heart and stay there with no chance in ever leaving.  I devoured Fighting Shadows, I couldn’t walk away and I didn’t want to either. 
The pain that Flint felt (both emotional and physical), the anger he had festering deep inside and the loss of the use of his legs had me crying for him, had me wanting to smack him when he would be an asshole, and had me laughing when a little of the old Flint would come through.  He had so much going on and no way to really channel all those emotions that he almost allowed that bitterness that was growing inside take over completely. 
Ash was living in her own version of pain and hell but the way she wanted to make Flint smile or laugh and worked hard for it to happen showed how deep inside she was just as beautiful on the inside as the outside.  I felt for her past, the pain of what she was forced to do and the shame that followed.  I hated how Flint hurt her when that asshole side would come out.  I loved how she not only healed Flint but healed herself and others as well.  I really just loved Ash period, especially because she loved Flint.
I can’t wait for Quarry’s story to come out, I have a feeling that it is going to surpass both Fighting Silence and Fighting Shadows when it comes to the emotions it creates, the tears it will cause to shed, and every other emotion possible.  If you haven’t checked out this series yet please don’t wait because you do not want to miss out on these amazing books.  
NOW AVAILABLE

**Each book in the series can be read as a standalone**

 Excerpt:

“Hey, Flint? What time is it?” Quarry asked.

Ash’s smile actually slipped completely. For the briefest of seconds, she appeared almost ashamed.

I dragged my eyes away from her in order to answer his question, but as I looked at my wrist, I had no answer at all.

“Here,” she said as she pulled my watch from her pocket.

What. The. Fuck?

Quarry howled with laughter, and Ash chewed on her bottom lip.

“Explain,” I demanded, wrapping my watch back around my wrist and shoving my wallet in the front pocket of my hoodie.

Quarry filled in the blank. “She’s a pickpocket, dude. You should have seen her when she fell on your lap. It was so fucking fast. She straight-up stole that shit from you, and you had no fucking clue.”

“I didn’t steal it! I was gonna give it back,” she amended uncomfortably. “It was just a joke.”

A joke.

A. Fucking. Joke.

And just like that, I remembered why I didn’t laugh anymore.

“Was it funny? Stealing from the cripple? You get a good laugh out of that?” I snapped, spinning and rolling myself away. “You know, maybe my judgment of you wasn’t all that off to begin with. Like father, like daughter, I guess.” It was a low blow, but I felt completely betrayed by a woman I didn’t even know.

“Flint, wait. I wasn’t picking on the cripple!”

I fully realized that I had just used the term, but it enraged me that she’d had the audacity to repeat it back to me. Who the hell was this chick? I pushed a hand into my pocket, searching for my keys. Fuck the food. I’d leave her ass there. Hell, Quarry too if he didn’t get his ass to the car.

“Get in the car, Q!” I yelled, only to close my eyes and drop my chin to my chest when my hand never made contact on the keys. “Son of a bitch,” I said as I spun back around.

Quarry was laughing next to her, but Ash’s cheeks were bright red.

“Keys.” I snapped my fingers and opened my hand, palm up.

“Stop being a dick,” Quarry said, casually tossing an arm around Ash’s shoulders.

She didn’t budge as she held my glare.

“Keys,” I repeated, but she remained still.

“It was a joke.” Her chin began to quiver.

For fuck’s sake, I wasn’t in any kind of mood to deal with bullshit from some girl I didn’t even know and was quickly discovering I didn’t care to know, either.

Quarry’s eyes grew wide as she turned to him and buried her cries in his chest.

What the fuck, asshole! Q signed before rubbing his hands over her back.

Her shoulders shook as she let out a loud sob that shocked us both.

“Come on. Let’s sit down.” Q tried to guide her over to an empty table.

Ash refused to look up and tripped over one of the chairs.

“Shit,” Q said, catching her around the waist.

I was just about to roll my eyes when she glanced my way. He was still trying to get her back on her feet and over to a table when her tear-free, bright-blue eyes pointedly glanced in my direction. My head snapped back in surprise, but a smile grew on her face.

Ash was about to put on a show, and with that one look, she had invited me to have a front-row seat.

As she floundered all over Quarry, her hands slid between his pockets and her own. Every noise she made and each time she flailed covered up a jarring movement. She was keeping his mind too busy for it to process all the places she was touching him. Hell, I was only watching her and I could barely keep up.

There was no denying that it was entertaining, but I wasn’t willing to show her that. However, as she accidentally lifted her knee, catching Q in the balls, a laugh erupted from my throat. He cupped his crotch while she apologized profusely and pushed him toward the same chair he’d been dragging her to only seconds before. Just before he sat, Ash swung her arm out, unwinding Q’s belt from around his body before tossing it at me.

“Oh God. I’m so sorry!” she said as Quarry held a finger up to ask for a second to recover. She didn’t wait at all though. Instead, she walked over in my direction; her prideful smile grew with every step.

She pulled my keys out of her pocket and dropped them into my lap. They were quickly followed by Quarry’s phone, wallet, and house keys. Then she snagged his belt off the floor and tossed it over her shoulder.

“It had absolutely nothing to do with you being in a wheelchair. It was a joke and it wasn’t supposed to piss you off.”

“Hey!” Quarry yelled. “That was messed up. You did not have to knee me in the balls to prove a point to him.”

“Oh, that wasn’t to prove a point. That was for bullshitting me. You knew good and damn well that he wouldn’t find it funny,” she said without ever tearing her gaze from mine. “Look, I’m sorry. I don’t have a lot of friends. And I’ve mentally noted that pickpocketing might not be the best way to make new ones.” She shrugged. “Consider it a lesson learned.”

“Three burgers all the way, onion rings, and a shake?” the guy at the counter called out.

Ash arched an eyebrow. “You want it to go, or are we good?”

I didn’t have to drop my attitude. Sure, she’d apologized, but while I might have had a short fuse, I also had a hell of a long burn. However, as she stood in front of me with her arms crossed over her chest and her blue eyes pleading for forgiveness, it magically fell away.

I swallowed hard. “No. We’re good.”

“You sure?” She leaned in, eyeing me warily, but her smile began to grow.

I swear to God it pulled at my lips as well. I fought it. But the harder I tried to keep it restrained, the bigger Ash’s grew. She was stealing my smile. The chick was good! Finally, with an eye roll, I let out a quiet chuckle, which seemed to appease her.

“Good. Now, help your brother get redressed and I’ll make the fancy sauce.” She waggled her eyebrows.

Haven’t read this series yet?  Meet Flint Quarry, Till & Eliza
in Fighting Silence

About the Author
Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, Aly Martinez is a stay-at-home mom to four crazy kids under the age of five, including a set of twins. Currently living in South Carolina, she passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a glass of wine at her side.
After some encouragement from her friends, Aly decided to add “Author” to her ever-growing list of job titles. Five books later, she shows no signs of slowing. So grab a glass of Chardonnay, or a bottle if you’re hanging out with Aly, and join her aboard the crazy train she calls life.


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Review: A Woman Gone Mad By Kimber S. Dawn

How many times can one woman’s heart be broken before it can no longer be healed and she goes mad from the pain?  Love and happy endings are only true in fairy tales, love is destructive, painful and at times deadly.
Lil’s heart has been broken one too many times, it won’t heal.  Her pain has sent her into a downward spiral that is so heart wrenching that you feel the madness take you over as it does her.  Your heart breaks right along with Lil’s.  You feel each and every piece shatter into smaller pieces that can never be healed again.  Betrayal, the loss of a love so obsessive that it turns destructive, meaningless sex, the chance of true love and happiness only for it to be ripped right out of her hands, and a second chance at love has made her take a path down a destructive spiral that she may not be able to reverse.
Every time Lil would suffer I felt like a knife was stabbing me in my own heart.  Each piece of her heart and her sanity breaking made me feel her pain.  Beginning with her first heart break you see that Lil will not have a smooth road to happiness but one that is filled with so many twists, turns, pot holes and bumps that it is a miracle that she is able to maneuver her life through it.  Lil tries to put her heart back together after each heart break but it’s only being held together by the tiniest amount of glue that even a small tap will break the pieces again.
When her first true love leaves and shatters her world completely you never think that Lil will be able to bring herself out of the depth of despair that she is in.  You finally think that maybe, just maybe her knight in shining armor that could make her fairytale come true will be the one to save her comes in to her life and for a while Lil is happy once more, that is until he plunges his sword into her heart as well. 
When her first love, Leo, returns he helps bring the light back into her life and they begin their life together. But even the love of Leo can help her when she suffers a loss so heart breaking that she spirals out of control and pushes Leo away.  She hits such a low, one that has her ending her pain in a way that is final, you never think that she will be pulled from her madness, but the same love that has broken her heart and sanity is the one that pulls her from her madness and heals her heart and mind.
I can’t begin to tell you what this book made me feel, there is so much angst, heart break and pain that it is a total mind fuck.  I cried almost from the prologue alone and each time Lil’s heart broke I cried even more.  My emotions were on such a roller coaster that at times I had to let myself cry out the pain I felt.  To feel such despair and pain drained me both mentally and physically.  To feel such a low that the only choice you have is to end the pain is sadly for some the only way to make it end. 

Kimber S, Dawn has written such an emotional, angst filled story that shows that love is painful, heart breaking and sometimes maddening.  I have a feeling a lot of people will connect with Lil’s pain and have felt how she has at times, this reviewer being one of them.  This is a must read and one of the best books I have read this year so far.