Hello readers! I am excited to bring you my review of Mary Palmerin’s second installment in her Sorrow series, Shadows of Scars and Sorrows. It is a gripping and steamy follow up to her successful debut novel, Succumbing to Scars and Sorrows, where we were first introduced to the hero and heroine, Everett and Lyla. I have become good friends with Mary over this past year, and I feel honored to read her work and review it.Synopsis: Everett Brown has secrets. Secrets that Lyla has been waiting for him to tell her for months. He has successfully evaded them, but Lyla is becoming impatient. With the vicious attack of his beloved still fresh in his mind along with the painful loss he feels, his emotions play a battle against one another, testing his strength and ability to hold himself together. Will the secrets that he keeps jeopardize his relationship to the woman who has his heart? Or will he learn to cope with memories that resurface with a vengeance and move on to the next phase of his life… marriage. In this second installment of this beautifully tragic series, Everett Brown will face the family he thought he knew, a past he tries so desperately to disassociate himself from, and the potential for his life to be turned upside again. But is he strong enough to make it through another nightmare? With Michael Thomas and Davis Moore still free, justice has yet to be served. In this whirlwind contemporary erotic romance novel, this young couple’s relationship will be tested with several wicked curveballs and twists that even they aren’t prepared for.
Once again Ms. Palmerin has written a book full of depth, tragedy, and flawed yet heroic characters in their own right. We get into the mind of Everett Brown, as this story is written from his POV. Yes, Everett. Sweet, sweet loving Everett. His love for Lyla is revealed even further through this beautiful story that will have you on edge up until the very last sentence. THE VERY LAST SENTENCE!!!! Damn you Mary! I can say that, she loves me:) !
I was already mentally prepared for the ending because I had the opportunity to speak with Ms. Palmerin on the radio a few weeks ago. In case you missed it, I was a guest host on Seattle Wave radio with Lori Ness. We got to talk in detail about Mary’s writing, the characters, and upcoming projects.
But back to the book…yes, darn cliff hanger but a perfect one if there is such a thing (insert pouty face) and plenty of steamy sex and crazy twists and turns that makes up for giving me anxiety at the end of this story!
Overall, this is a beautifully written journey of love, survival, and the power of the human spirit. Like her debut novel, this story is not all hearts and flowers. The emotions are raw and exposed. The pain is real. But so is the love and it’s felt from the heart. Ms. Palmerin’s courageous storytelling will move you, shake you, and make you feel the rollercoaster of emotions throughout the book.
Thank you Mary for sharing your story with me and I look forward to the next chapter in the lives of Everett and Lyla.
In case you missed it the first time around, here is my interview with Ms. Palmerin. Enjoy!
What was your inspiration for your story? Not every small town in America is like Mayberry. Lyla is from a town similar to that. Her hometown was the kind of place that she wanted to leave and never revisit. I wanted to create a strong female character that some individuals in society think do not exist. They are wrong. Women like Lyla Harper are living with their demons and pasts every day. They struggle just like she does. Lyla is not the “typical” woman. She is damaged physically and emotionally by her past. I had to convey to my readers that despite unfortunate and violent circumstances, you can overcome anything if you have the power of love.
Lyla’s story is very deep and emotional. Was it difficult to write such raw emotions? It was hard for me to express such dark and devastating emotions. However, there are women everywhere struggling with body image issues and being violated either physically or emotionally. I wanted to be the one to tell such a touching and emotional story and remove the stigma that it holds.
What is your first writing memory? I have been writing since I was 8 years old. I would write everything from poems to short stories. My first memory was a project that I was given in early elementary school. Our assignment was to illustrate and write about our hero. I chose to write about my grandmother. I still have that book!
The cover of your book is beautiful. Can you tell us about the artist? Khristian Seaton and I have been friends since we were 12 years old, roughly 14 years! We both grew up in a tiny Midwestern town. After graduating from college, we reconnected and our friendship has blossomed. We have supported one another in our endeavors. She has her Bachelor’s degree is art and was also the winner of a reality show featuring tattoo artists. She now owns her own tattoo studio and also does professional photography. Her portrayal of Lyla was everything and more of how I envisioned her. Khristian’s work is beyond amazing and I am grateful to be a part of her career, just as she is mine. I am proud to call her one of my great friends. I will tell you that she will also create the cover to book two of the Sorrow Series, Shadows of Scars and Sorrow.
Lyla has a number of tattoos. Is there any personal significance to them? I have a love for body art. I, also, have tattoos. Twelve to be exact! Each one has a meaning to me and I wanted Lyla to have some that had significance to her. She has a lotus flower, the Virgin Mary, and Hebrew Scripture tattoos. I believe the most significant one is located between her shoulders that reads Only God Can Judge Me in Hebrew. Due to her life experiences, I think that is how she feels. Tattoos, to me, show individuality. That is something I am not afraid to do!
Looking back on your now published story, is there any part you would’ve changed? It has been a journey. It still seems surreal. Though it has not been easy, I would not change one second even if I had the chance to do so. It has been an amazing experience and I am grateful to tell such a touching and unique story. It is dream come true. I have met so many amazing people along the way and I look forward to the future!
Music plays a part in Lyla’s being. Are the songs in the book close to your heart as well? Do you have a writing playlist you listen to? Music has always been a huge part of my life. Every song tells a different story and evokes various emotions. Certain songs or artists will help me to express those emotions into my stories. I listen to a variety of genres, but here are a few of my favorites that I cannot live without: Florence + the Machine, Joss Stone, Kate Nash, Lily Allen, Adele, Sia, Bon Iver, Angus & Julia Stone, Ray LaMontagne, The Lumineers, Of Monsters and Men, Mumford & Sons… I could go on forever about music. I always listen to music while writing, usually to the above artists.
What did you do to celebrate your book getting published? It has been CRAZY busy these past two weeks since it went live. I plan on going upstate to celebrate with family and friends next month before my book signings start.
What has been the greatest advice you’ve gotten from another author? NEVER GIVE UP. I have my great friend and fellow author of Whatever it Takes & Falling from Disgrace, L. Maretta, to thank for that. She helped me during the entire production process, gave me helpful advice, and most of all she provided me with tons of support and understanding. She is a talented author and a great friend.
Describe yourself in 3 words: loving, creative, spontaneous My author crush is: SYLVIA DAY!!! I have been reading her novels for years and my favorites are her historical romance novels. Favorite book (or top 3): Seven Years to Sin, To Kill a Mockingbird, Pride and Prejudice Guilty pleasure is: TATTOOS!!!! I have twelve The song I can never tire from is: Breathe Me by Sia
Last movie seen: The Conjuring with my sister. I was beyond terrified. I can never see that again. If you could collaborate with any author it would be: SYLVIA DAY!!!
Dream vacation: ITALY!!!
Actor you fan girl over: William Levy, Alexander Skaarsgard, Joe Manganiello (what girl can pick just one?)
Thank you so much, Mary! I have had a wonderful time getting to know you here and on Twitter! I wish you nothing but success and happiness for you!
If you didn’t catch the radio interview with Seattle Wave radio, here is the link: http://t.co/1uM64ioyWu
Follow Mary on twitter~ @palmerin_mary and her blog at marypalmerinauthor.blogspot.com