Drawn by the covers, I stayed for the story.
The series is The Wings of War by Karen Ann Hopkins, a young adult dystopian romance.
EMBERS (The Wings of War #1)
There are descendants of angels walking among us. Ember is one of them. Embers is an epic paranormal adventure/romance about a seventeen year old girl who discovers that she’s immune to fire and any other injury when she’s in a horrific car crash that kills her parents. Following a violent episode with her aunt’s boyfriend, Ember flees Ohio to live with an old relative in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Ember’s exuberance at escaping a bad home life soon turns to trepidation when she learns that she’s a Watcher, a descendant of angels.
While Ember is instructed about her heritage and the powers that go along with it, she strikes up friendships with two teenagers who live in a frightening walled compound in the forest. Inexplicitly drawn to one of the young men in particular, an impossible romance develops. But it’s cut short when Ember discovers that her new friends are fighting on the opposite side of a war that’s been raging between two factions of Watchers for thousands of years. When the compound’s inhabitants threaten the townspeople, Ember takes action, sealing her fate in the ancient battle of good versus evil, and the grayness in between. Ember is up to the challenge, until she realizes that she isn’t only fighting for the lives of the locals and the souls of her new friends. She may be one of the few champions willing to make a stand for all of mankind as the rapture approaches and the end of days begin.
Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the Lord persecute them.
She had just tied up all my worries in a neat little bundle and threw them into the creek. She knew what I was and I knew what she was, making a relationship much easier. She wasn’t a delicate human. She was a Watcher and far better off than Horas’ poor girl.
Now that our identities were settled, the urge to feel her lips against mine was too great. With supernatural speed, I kissed her. She responded willingly, opening up the warmth of her mouth to me.
Never in my life had my insides throbbed with such desire. Ember had somehow eased the torment I’d felt for so long.
Alive. I was alive.
My fingers worked their way into her long hair and I pressed against her, memorizing all of her soft curves in an instant. She was mine, my sweet Ember.
When my hand dropped to her breast, something changed in the air around us. She pulled back and the heat was too much. Burning pain shot through my fingertips and I let go.
When I held up my hands for examination, they were bright red.
“Why’d you do that?” I demanded, blowing onto my palms.
She jumped up. “I did not invite you to molest me!”
Ember’s face was flushed and her hair seemed to have a life of its own. It framed her face in a tangled, but oh, so appealing mess. Looking up at the girl in all her fury, I couldn’t help but be amused and I chuckled loudly.
Laughing only angered her more.
“What is wrong with you?” She frowned.
With a quick movement, I rose to a standing position in front of her. Now she was gazing up at me. She took a step back, too close to the slippery edge, and I caught her waist before she lost her balance. She let me pull her forward, knowing that she was about to fall.
For a glorious instant she was encased in my arms, but it didn’t last long. She pushed against my chest, and this time, I quickly released her. She steadied herself and then dropped back onto the moss, pouting.
I fought to control the smile that tickled the edges of my mouth as I sat down beside her once more. I couldn’t explain why I enjoyed getting Ember all fired up. I just did.
“Do you want to talk?” I asked.
“Yes. I think that’s a good idea,” she said facing straight ahead. Her lips were still puffed out, but the heat coming off of her had diminished to a point that I thought I could touch her again without getting burned. I behaved myself, though.
Ember remained silent for a moment and I carefully ventured, “So you called me here to tell me that you figured everything out and to let me know you’re a Watcher, right?” She nodded. “I was suspicious that you might be a one. When I heard your voice in my head, I knew it was true. And then I thought you were in trouble. That’s why I came so quickly.”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t think about that. I mean, I wasn’t sure that it would even work,” she shrugged.
“What kind of Watcher are you then? I surmise that you’re fire from what I saw a little while ago, and of course, your incredibly hot body.”
Teasing Ember came all too easily.
Her cheeks turned a deeper shade of red and she quickly glanced away before she answered. “You’re right, I have fire, but I also have earth and Ila suspects that I might have air also.”
She peeked back at me from under her long eyelashes.
I had to chew on her words for a moment. I’d read that only the most powerful Watchers controlled more than one element and three or four elements were almost unheard of. Could she really be that strong?
“Where does Ila fit into all this? Is she really your aunt?”
“No, she’s not my aunt, she’s my great-grandmother about twelve times removed. We live incredibly long lives, same as you. Ila is more than four hundred years old. She just started to age normally about fifty years ago,” she explained, still avoiding my gaze.
“That actually makes sense. I wondered why I’d never wandered into Ila’s valley before. She must have it bewitched.”
She nodded, and this time, she met my gaze. “The reason I called you here was because I have a proposition for you.” She must have seen the desire on my face because she quickly said, “No, not that kind.”
Ember began chewing on her bottom lip. She was incredibly nervous about whatever she was going to say and it dawned on me how young and inexperienced she was. I needed to go slower with her. The fact that she was aging as slowly as me, gave us more than enough time to become well acquainted. But I still couldn’t find the strength to completely resist her.
When I went to touch her, I did it gently, cupping her chin with my hand and turning her to face me. I smelled her warm breath in my face, sweet and delicious. Unthinkingly, I inched closer to her, inhaling deeply. Her scent was melting cinnamon on summer daisies.
I didn’t want to frighten her this time, so I closed my eyes for a second, taking a calming breath. Slow and gentle, I instructed myself. Tentatively, I brushed my lips against hers, and it soon became the sweetest kiss that I’d ever experienced.
If I’d been more aware, I would have interpreted the meaning of the escalating heat beneath me.
A shock of hot air smashed into me, throwing me sideways. I hit the boulder with such force that the wind was knocked out of me.
I laid there for a moment catching my breath while she glared at me. I didn’t need to worry about this girl’s safety—she could take care of herself. It would be quite a challenge to make her mine.
I closed my eyes and was savoring the thought when she asked sarcastically, “Did I hurt you?”
I looked up to see her frowning slightly.
I controlled the urge to smile and took a quivering sigh, and then stared back at her with what I hoped was a convincingly pained expression. She rewarded me with an annoyed roll of her eyes before she snorted, knelt down, and placed her fingers on my forehead. The touch was feathery soft and lasted only a second.
“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with you.” In a fluid motion, she was standing again. She was flushed and irritated and her hands stiffly gripped her slim hips.
She wasn’t in a compassionate mood.
I sat up, rubbing the side of my head. “I’ve survived worse blows, but that really was uncalled for.”
“I don’t know why you can’t keep your hands to yourself. I’m trying to talk to you!”
“You seemed to be enjoying the kiss as much as I was,” I pointed out.
She exhaled sharply and walked across the boulder and back again. When she had regained her composure, she said, “The proposition I was talking about earlier, before you ambushed me, was that I want to help you.”
GAIA (The Wings of War #2)
Watchers and Angels are at war. Which side will Ember choose? Humankind is on the precipice of the apocalypse. As the Demons grow bolder and the walls between the planes of existence weaken, Ember is forced to develop her powers as quickly as possible, and she seeks out a powerful earth Watcher to continue her supernatural lessons. Her glimpse of the future demands she fight the dark forces spreading across the earth.
But her new mentor has his own agenda, making her question everyone and everything she ever trusted.
When Ember is thrust into the world of the Watchers, she learns of their plans—ones that defy the scripture and make them enemies of the Celestial Host. Ridding the world of evil gets complicated when it becomes impossible to take sides.
As Ember struggles with morality, she soon discovers that there’s something more frightening than anything she’s faced before.
TEMPEST (The Wings of War #3)
Ember must stop the apocalypse from happening, but at what cost? The Angels of destruction have arrived, and only Ember stands in the way of their mission to carry out God’s wrath and annihilate His enemies.
When the barrier between celestial creatures and humans beings is broken and Angels descend to Earth, Ember soon learns there’s a fine line between good and evil. As she faces a world full of monsters and magic, a terrifying darkness rises and threatens to destroy everything she’s fighting for.
In the riveting third installment of The Wings of War series, Ember and her friends embark on an epic journey, where unlikely allies are forged and age-old beliefs crumble to dust. And just when Ember accepts love in her life, it’s ripped away from her in the most terrifying way possible.
ETERNITY (The Wings of War #4)
The final battle has begun, and Sawyer fights for the enemy. Will Ember be able to save him? Lucifer has broken free from his bonds as the Angels gather their armies for the battle of Armageddon. Ember and her friends must tread carefully as they unravel the truth about the final judgment and the chaos that is coming. Can they stop the apocalypse from happening? The battle between good and evil isn’t as straight forward as Ember had hoped, and now that her lover fights for the enemy, does she even want to take part in the war to come?
Eternity is the breathtaking conclusion of the epic Wings of War Series, where loyalties will be tested, lives shattered, and prophecies fulfilled.
Karen Ann Hopkins resides in northern Kentucky with her family on a farm that boasts a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs, and cats. Karen’s main job is home schooling the kids, but she finds time to give riding lessons, coach a youth equestrian drill team, and of course, write. She was inspired to create her first book, Temptation, by the Amish community she lived in. The experiential knowledge she gained through her interactions with her neighbors drove the story of the star-crossed lovers, Rose and Noah. Their story continues in Belonging, where their families and cultures threaten to tear them apart, and with Forever and Deception, where we find out once and for all if love is enough for them.
Lamb to the Slaughter, the first book in Serenity’s Plain Secrets, is Karen’s newest Amish endeavor, opening up the darker, grittier and more secretive lives of Amish society. It’s a story about the intertwining lives of three unlikely people in an Indiana Amish Community and the devastating results when a rebellious teenage girl is found shot to death in a corn field during the harvest. Serenity Adams is the newly elected young sheriff in the rural town of Blood Rock, and besides dealing with the threatening behavior of her predecessor, she now has a dead Amish girl on her plate. At first glance, the case seems obvious. The poor girl was probably accidently shot during hunting season, but when the elders of the Amish community, and even the girl’s parents, react with uncaring subdued behavior, Serenity becomes suspicious. As she delves deeper into the secretive community that she grew up beside, she discovers a gruesome crime from the past that may very well be related to the Amish girl’s shooting. Serenity enlists the help of the handsome bad-boy building contractor, Daniel Bachman. He left the Amish when he was nineteen and has his own dark reasons to help the spunky sheriff solve the crime that the family and friends who shunned him are trying desperately to cover up. Serenity’s persistence leads her to a stunning discovery that not only threatens to destroy her blossoming romance with Daniel, but may even take her life in the end.
Karen’s YA paranormal/urban fantasy series, the Wings of War, is an epic story about Ember, whose normal life ends abruptly when her parents are killed and she discovers she’s a descendent of angels. Still coping with her strange powers, Ember finds herself — and her heart — in the middle of a centuries-old war in this “compulsively readable” novel (Kirkus Reviews).
Karen grew up about a mile from Lake Ontario in Upstate New York. She was bitten by the horse bug at the age of five, and after diligently taking riding lessons for several years, was rewarded with her first horse at the age of eleven. The feisty horse’s name was Lady, a Quarter Horse-Thoroughbred cross, who became Karen’s steadfast companion. Through the years, the constant force in her life was horses. Eventually, she found her place as a riding instructor herself. Before accepting her fate in the barnyard, she worked a short stint as a paralegal, traveled abroad, and guided tourists on horseback riding tours in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.
Karen is currently working on her bestselling Amish mystery series, Serenity’s Plain Secrets, along with the YA paranormal/fantasy series, the Wings of War. Karen is also excited to announce there will be more books in the Temptation series.
- 1 winner will receive one set of signed print copies of the entire 4 book series, open to US, Canada, Australia and Great Britain.
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