Thursday, October 2, 2014

Jessica Reviews: Becoming Calder / Finding Eden by Mia Sheridan

Becoming Calder (A Sign of Love)Series: A Sign of Love #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: 10/5/14

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There is a place in modern day America with no electricity, no plumbing, and no modern conveniences. In this place, there is no room for dreams, no space for self-expression, and no tolerance for ambition.

In this place, there is a boy with the body of a God and the heart of a warrior. He is strong and faithful and serves his family honorably. But he dares to dream of more.

In this place, there is a girl with the face of an angel and a heart full of courage. To her family, she is the vision of obedient perfection. But she dares to want that which she has been told can never be hers.    

Becoming Calder is the story of good versus evil,
 fear versus bravery, and the truth that the light of love has always found its way into even the darkest of places... From the beginning of time, to the end of the world.

THIS IS THE FIRST PART IN A TWO-PART SIGN OF LOVE SERIES INSPIRED BY AQUARIUS. THE SECOND PART, FINDING EDEN, WILL RELEASE SIMULTANEOUSLY. New Adult Contemporary Romance: Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

Jessica's Review

“I’ve wanted you for so long. So long. Every waking minute, in my dreams, too. I want to bury myself in you, drown in you, and never come up for air. I want you to be mine, and only mine.”

This was more than a book, more than a story. This was…this was poetry. This was live action, free flowing and heart wrenching poetry. It was like reading Shakespeare in modern time: star-crossed lovers aching to be together, but never being able to fully be with each other because of obstacles and resistance from other beings.

This was the journey of the Water Bearer, Calder Rayne, and finding his Garden of Paradise. His Eden.

“My lips had been on his, and it would probably never happen again. But I had lived it, even if only just once, and if that was all I ever had, I would hold it dearly, deep inside where no one else could ever take it from me.”

“He I stared at her. She was captivating, amazing. And gods help me, the seed of love that had taken root, the seed I had vowed not to nourish, started to grow anyway. I swore I could feel the velvety tendrils moving through me, wrapping around the vital parts of who I was. I was helpless to stop it. She had invaded me. I was the field and she was the morning glory. I had been overtaken. Just like that. Or maybe not just like that. Maybe it had been growing for years. But in that moment, I recognized it for what it was. was perfect. And I loved him. I loved him desperately.”
This is the tale of how a boy and a girl meet and fall in love. However, it wasn’t as simple as that. Actually, there was nothing simple about their voyage into love. It was quite turbulent and thunderous, like the rainstorm of a hurricane. They collided into each other like a bolt of lightning.

“My thoughts are only of you. I bathe in the morning, the water running down my skin is your fingertips, touching me everywhere. When I work in the fields, the feel of the velvety plant leaves reminds me of your skin. As I stand in my doorway, looking toward the main lodge and you, the deep blue twilight sky is your eyes. I burn for you, so intensely I feel like I could light every worker cabin, all fifty of them, and we’d no longer need candlelight. I’m going to take you away from here, to a place where my bed is your bed, and my home is your home. And in that place, I’ll never be more than an arm’s reach from you, my beautiful, brave Morning Glory.”

Even as children, both Calder and Eden knew they were a bit different from the other kids in the community. They had different thoughts, different beliefs, but most of all, they haddifferent dreams, REAL dreams. Dreams where Calder was able to speak his mind freely and be something more than a farmer, be an artist and immerse himself into a world away from his tiny home or the fields in which he worked in. But most of all, Calder dreamed about being with Eden, loving her withoutworries of being caught or being told how sinful and evil their love was. Since that very first time at the spring, they found their paradise amongst each other. Their love flourished and got stronger over the years. Anyone with two eyes could see the spark they had between them. They were destined for each other. However, the evil Hector would not let them be. He was determined to break them apart, any way he could, even if it meant everyone would go down doing it.

“Eden, I vow this. My heart is yours. My life is yours. My body is yours. My art, my dreams. You own each and every part of me.”

“And I vow this. Calder, my heart is yours, as is my life, my body, my dreams. You own each and every part of me, in this lifetime and any other.”

“I love you, Morning Glory.”

“I love you, too, Butterscotch.”

There were quite a few moments where I wanted to jump in the pages and physically be in Acadia, the community where Calder, Eden, Xander (their BFF and funny guy sidekick) and their friends and family resided in. I wanted to watch the development of Calder and Eden’s love flourish over the years, first as angelic children and later as budding teenagers noticing each other’s beauty and strength. I wanted to kick Hector (and Clive), the community leader and resident bad guy, straight in the balls and tell him to jump off the nearest cliff. I wanted to hug Maya (Calder’s sister) and take her away from all the bad stuff happening around her. And I wanted so badly to be there and save those hundreds of souls lost on that one fateful day. It was so sad to see innocent and good people, perish because of the beliefs they had in one crazy, koo-koo monster. The power that Hector had over these people was the same power he wanted to have over Calder and Eden. But alas, love prevailed. Love conquered all. Or did it?   
“Eden. You’re killing me. I’m dying.”
“No. You’re living. We’re living. Right here, together. It’s been suggested dying would separate us forever, and I refuse to let you go.”

The Aquarius series is a two-parter: first is BECOMING CALDER followed by FINDING EDEN. And thank goodness they both come out simultaneously. Even though Calder’s book leaves in a bit of a cliffhanger –and you know the hero and heroine live happily ever after—you STILL want to know how and when they got there. I mean, who wants to be left in limbo wondering “So, did love conquer all or not?” I guess we will find out in the conclusion.
Rating: 5 stars

Favorite quotes and scenes:
“Do you know anything about morning glories? A morning glory is a beautiful flower, delicate-like. Blue, just like your eyes. But the thing about a morning glory? The thing about a morning glory is if you let it, it will totally take over your crops, because it’s not just a flower. It’s also a weed, totally invasive. Stronger than it looks. The point is, you don’t have to be just a flower or a weed. You can be both. I figure some people are both.”


Your mouth finds mine in the darkness and the taste of you makes every part of me ache with want—my body, my skin, and my heart. I know you in the dark, just as I know you under the bright daytime sun.


“Make love to me. I want you so much I ache.”
“I can’t. Not here. Not like this. I want to, believe me, I want to –more than I’ve ever wanted anything in my life. But I have to know you’re mine—“
“I am yours. I’ve always been yours. I’ll be yours here on earth, in Elysium. I’ll fight the gods if I have to. I’ll stand before them and declare it.”
“Where do you find your strength, Morning Glory?”
“From you.”

Finding Eden (A Sign of Love)Series: A Sign of Love #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: 10/5/14

**Finding Eden is the continuation of Becoming Calder. Both books will release simultaneously, October 5, 2014**
Jessica's Review 

“Isn’t it funny how we’re all just bouncing around in this crazy world, our own stories, our own hurts, all weaving together, changing outcomes, sometimes good, sometimes bad…”

“Treasure the second chance you’ve been given. Be proud of yourself. You don’t hold responsibility for any of it—not one piece. You were victims. But don’t live like victims. Live like survivors.”

We were left off in quite the chaotic cliffhanger in BECOMING CALDER. This is the sequel to Calder and Eden’s love affair. The conclusion of not only these two lovely souls, but it also delves a bit more into Calder and Xander’s friendship, and also the other people that cross them in their bumpy path. We find out how Calder, Eden and Xander dealt with the exodus of Acadia and the aftermath of dealing with the real world.

“Sometimes it seemed so much of the beauty in life resulted from the ugly. And how did you make sense of such things? How could you be thankful for something when so much suffering was necessary to bring it to you? Or was that the very thing that defined real beauty—light after darkness? And maybe that was the whole point. If you constantly sought beauty in the most obvious places, in only the brightest of circumstances, perhaps you weren’t really looking for it at all.”

We know these two books deal with the love story of the two main characters. However, there was another character that really touched my heart just as much. It’s Calder and Eden’s best friend, Xander. I’ve mentioned him a few times in previous paragraphs. What I didn’t mention is just how BEAUTIFUL the friendship between these three best friends, but especially that of the two boys. Xander is considered more the sidekick, or the joker of three. He was the comic relief of not only Calder, Eden and those around him, but also to the readers that needed the breather time to get through the story.

“By the way, ‘Throw Back Thursday’ was a big success. I got about a thousand likes.”
“It was an incredible painting.”
“It’s the subject that makes that painting great. God, I was even good-looking at ten.”

However, Xander was also the one person that could get Calder to come back to reality and keep him from jumping off the ledge. Literally. The love and devotion he had for Calder was the sort of friendship that is not seen even in real life nowadays. They loved each other as children and grew up loving each other as adults. They were true brothers in every sense of the word. My eyes got a bit misty in Xander’s way with Calder.

“You carried me for twenty miles on your back once. Twenty miles. And if you hadn’t, I would have been at Acadia that horrific day, too. I would probably be dead now. Would you have left me that day? Did you leave me that day?"
“No. Never.”
“Then take my hand. Let me carry you. It’s my turn. Don’t deny me that. Whatever I have…”
“I know.”


As time passes, each finds love in other people. Not to worry though. They don’t fall in ‘romantic’ love with other people. But they do find other loves: maternal love, paternal love, artistic love, love for music, and love thought to be lost forever. There is so much love coming from of the beloved characters, you know that love WILL conquer after all. And really, isn’t that what makes the world go round? (Sidenote: This was a bit of an ‘issue’ for me, if you even want to call it that. The declaration of too much outpouring love and the horny bunnies having sex all the time, made me a bit stand offish from this book. Don’t mind me. I have no idea when I become such a prude)

BECOMING CALDER/FINDING EDEN were much anticipated books for me. As soon as Ms. Sheridan announced that the Aquarius sign was the next novel in her zodiac series, I was UBER thrilled. (My sign is Aquarius!)And behold my excitement when I was able to get my hands on a pair of ARCs. I squeeled like a 14-year-old teenybopper. See, I’ve been reading Ms. Sheridan’s books since her very first one came out. *whispering* I think I may have emailed stalked her with my million questions since the very beginning as well. See, this author has captivated me with her writing, her story telling and her characters that even after you finish the book, stays with you in your heart and in your head. When you see Mia Sheridan is the author, you KNOW that you will be swept away to a land you don’t want to come from. Her writing is stunning. I not only recommend these books, but all her books in this series.
Rating: 4 stars

Favorite quote/scene: (Please not this is very spoilery and a bit longer than usual)

“I know what she was like at ten. She was brave, little dreamer, who had an unbreakable spirit. She was mighty enough to snatch my heart right from my chest…Fourteen was when she really started to glow and suddenly, I couldn’t look away. I wanted to. Because where we came from, it was a dangerous thing to notice. Anytime she was in the room, it was like the whole place was bathed in her warmth. Does that sound like an exaggeration? Maybe overly dramatic, poetic words from a boy who has loved her his whole life? They’re not. It’s just the truth. Eden blossomed into a woman before my very eyes, and although there wasn’t anyone there to help her do that, she did it with grace completely by herself. It’s her strength, her unwavering courage, the thing that makes her the most beautiful in my eyes…When she was sixteen, she had the power to take my very breath away. And she did it often. She made me miserable and blissful, and everything in between. I didn’t know a lot of the world at the time. And as it turns out, I knew even less that I thought I did. I led a simple life. I bathed in a river until I was eighteen years old…But what I did know was that I loved a girl. And I knew I loved her in a way I’d never, ever recover from. I knew I loved her to the very core of myself. And I knew she love me back…I also know what it feels like to lose her. I know what it feels like to have a piece of your heart missing. I know what it feels like when the person who’s your whole life is stolen from you and each day bleeds into the next in a blur of misery and longing. And I know what it feels like when your life is unexpectedly, miraculously returned to you. We lived through things so horrific and unfathomable that most of the time I can’t ever bear to re-tell it all to myself. But what I’ve been thinking about all day today is the beauty we experienced, the love, and the wonder. I needed so much just to sit with that because somehow in the midst of the immense grief, I’d blocked out all the light, and there was so much of it, wasn’t there?”

Mia SheridanI’m Mia Sheridan and this is my blog! I’m an avid reader, and now writer! of romance and erotic novels. I live in Cincinnati, Ohio with my husband who is a police officer and my biggest fan (not necessarily in that order). ;) We have four children here on earth and one in heaven. When I’m not sitting on my couch with my head buried in my Kindle, I can be found writing or doing anything creative from building a patio, to sewing pillows. The wild hairs I get know no bounds. Leo is my debut novel, but my head is swimming with more…

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  1. Wow, calling a book poetry is always a good thing to hear. :)

  2. My co blogger loved these hard too! Now I want to read them, I love well worded well written books

  3. I've heard such god things about the other books by this author but haven't had time to try them yet.

  4. Wonderful reviews. I love when stories give you such a great feeling... poetry? Sounds like my kind of read. Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

  5. I know Brandie and Arlene loves this series so it's nice to see you did too! I really, really want to read Archer's Voice! Great review. :)

  6. Oh wow. Definitely sounds like ones I need to add to the list. I've not tried hers before so should be interesting :)

  7. The summary almost make sit sound dystopian or something - surprised to see it's contemporary romance. The writing sounds beautiful.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

  8. You had me at poetry and Shakespeare in modern times, Jessica. :) I love it when an author can create such a beautifully told story that it reads like poetry. I've yet to read Ms. Sheridan but this series is certainly going atop my tbr. Lovely, lovely, reviews!

  9. Wow, these sound wonderful, Jessica! I'll definitely checking them out. But, um.. is he wearing a scarf and nothing else on that cover? lol


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