Reviewers Helping Authors and Romancing Your Dark Side Book Blog Tour is happy to present A. J. Sweeny's Pulse of Heroes as part of our tour!
Michelle used to feel that she was behind in everything, especially schoolwork and relationships.
Her great aunt from the old country says that she is like a bland meal, “no salt or pepper”. But in junior year, everything changes. Her father takes a position on the Town Council, a popular boy in school becomes interested in her and, most importantly, the Hekademos Learning Center, a private school for ‘troubled’ students, moves into her neighborhood amidst the protests of the entire town.
After seeing the School Regent out with a group of young guys just before Christmas, Michelle is convinced that there is something odd about them. Her curiosity gets the better of her and she embarks upon a mission to figure out what is really going on. After an embarrassing fall over the school wall, Michelle meets Elliot and her ordinary ‘bland’ life changes its course forever.Elliot is no ordinary human. In fact, no one at the Hekademos Learning Center is. Beautiful and fierce, they have survived throughout the millennia by weaving in and out of human events. Through them, Michelle learns that history and myths from around the world are dotted with references to their kind. Michelle falls madly in love with the ever-striking and mysterious Elliot and, as much as he tries to fight it, he develops strong feelings for her as well. Although Elliot carries numerous painful memories from his many pasts, he disregards his own better judgment and the advice of his friends, and finds himself falling for Michelle‘s offbeat personality. Their feelings grow in intensity, but when History catches up with them, the difference between their life paths threatens to destroy any future that they might have had together.Michelle learns that there are infinite shades of gray between black and white, and has to deal with the bundle of contradictory emotions called love. After some unexpected twists during a family trip to Europe, she has to trust her intuition in order to face the danger and uncertainty of being drawn into Elliot’s wondrous world. Ultimately, it is up to Michelle to make the split-second, life-altering decision that will either tear them apart forever, or give them another chance.
A. J. Sweeny
As most of the people who are familiar with me at all, know that my favorite genre is horror/paranormal and my favorite character is the vampire. I have read many vampire books by various authors and you would think that 'I had read it all' and 'how can anyone possibly come up with anything I had not already read or any scenario I hadn't seen played out as 'a typical for a vampire story'. A lot of area has been covered by a lot of different writers, who created 'Dracula' and what was to follow from that idea to Bertena Varney's Lure of the Vampire which consisted of in depth research in all aspects of the vampire as was Charles E. Butler's The Romance of Dracula.
As to my surprise, I was spellbound with A. J. Sweeny's book Pulse of Heroes! I found from page one that I could not put this book down, and with it being over 500 pages long, well, let's just say, I didn't get a lot of chores done. But I am lucky because my life mostly consists of me and my 23 old disabled son. I was swept away into another world with POH, and often felt the emotions and circumstances the characters went through and experienced. It was a much welcomed escape into another world with different people and different problems. It satisfied my need for drama, suspense, romance and mystery. And it didn't lack in any of these areas. I just kept finding myself wanting more, so I was grateful the book was longer than the ones I usually read. It was a nice surprise when I found the book to be exploring the history of the immortals, transporting the reader backwards through time and across the world. Her imagination and creativity to detail when telling the reader about different places such as Russia and Transylvania which were vivid and as the reader, could actually see them as if I were there.
As far as the characters, Elliot and Michele I found them to be mature and strong in all the situations they went through. Especially what Eliott had to endure in his years past. I feel this molded him into what he was when he met Michelle. I do not want to give a lot of the book away, but wanted to tell enough to wet your appetite. I feel very honored and privileged to have been able to read and review Pulse of Heroes and can't wait to read more!
I highly recommend this book to anyone and if I could give it more than five stars I would! If you love vampires, paranormal, and love stories with drama, heartaches and struggles, this book is for you! I look forward to reading a lot more of A.J.'s work!
I give Pulse of Heroes five stars *****
Nora Chipley Barteau
About the Author: * Information used from author's web site
A. J. Sweeny
My Interview with A. J.
Where are you from?
Marin County CATell us your latest news?
Well the second book in The Pulse- my series will be available this coming Halloween.
When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing as a way to express feelings that I didn’t want to , or couldn’t share with others. It was a way to deal with my emotions.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Once I actually started writing with a project in mind, rather than just doodling a few poems and journal enteries.
What inspired you to write your first book?
My love of ancient history and mythology, mixed in with my love for young adults.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I don't know yet. Pulse Of Heroes is my first novel. Some reviewers say that it has a certain lyrical ambiance?
How did you come up with the title?
I thought of mythology and what those immortals were, They were all heroes and I saw my characters as so. “The Pulse” is an actual theme that runs through the entire trilogy.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes! Learn and awake your mind, because not all that you see or know is as it seems.
How much of the book is realistic?
All the Historical content is researched and the coming of age story of Michelle is based on real teenage girls I know, and knew.(myself included).
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
They are purely fiction besides the history I bring in.
What books have most influenced your life most?
The Shakespeare plays, The Bible, Peter Pan, The Scarlett Letter, Interview with a Vampire
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I don’t have one but William Shakespeare in my mind is a genius of words and multiple meanings.
What book are you reading now?
At the moment none. While I write it’s very difficult for me to give a book the attention it deserves.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Yes! Jay Asher, Beth Fullaway, Kristine Cheney, J Sterling and so many more….
What are your current projects?
Just getting Of Blood And Pulse out the door and into reader’s hands.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Jenn Ster and God of course ;)
Do you see writing as a career?
I’m not really sure yet… but so far people seem to really enjoy my story telling.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Bigger margins, more white space, and have 10 people edit it, not 6 because there are still a few mistakes in it.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Self expression and love of reading.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Well this is the first ever blurb about Of Blood And Pulse:
Of Blood and Pulse picks up Michelle's and Elliot's story where Pulse of Heroes ended. After getting a fairly rocky start, Michelle and Elliot's relationship seems to be teetering on a nothing but a few fraying strings despite the great love that they both feel towards each other.
Haunted and scarred by the events of the past yea, they both suffer traumatic consequences.
To make things even more complicated, someone who knows just a little too much about Elliot, shows up unexpectedly and reveals mysteries that even Elliot has a hard time grasping. These newly exposed details only add another strain to their already fragile relationship.
However, before the couple can remedy and mend their love, they must first cure themselves...
Join Michelle and Elliot on an adventure that will take them far and wide in search for the key to their everlasting love.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Yes, it’s long and I have too much to say ;)
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I am just starting to- I hope I like it.
Who designed the covers?
I do the desgin and have graphic artists and photographers help me with the rest.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hours and sleepless nights. Once I start It’s hard for me to put the manuscript away and I write till my hands are in pain. The other problem is the isolation, because I have to be alone to write.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
More editing and less repetition (
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep writing and let others read your work. Take criticism with a well balanced approach.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I love them!