Heather Murphy

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Smashwords book reviews by Heather Murphy

  • A Marked Past on Feb. 23, 2012

    After the sudden, tragic death of her father, Lyla Mercer and her mother move from their comfortable home of Chicago to cold and dreary Salem. Lyla is not happy about leaving her old life behind as she starts over in Salem. She and her mother move to an old family home left to her by her father. She doesn't understand why her father would want them to live in such a dreary house in such a dreary place. All she wants is her old life back. When she arrives, she soon meets her uncle (her dad's brother), Nathan, and her cousins, Hanna and Sage, whom she never knew she had. As she gets to know them, she is shown her family history and brought to the realization that it lives on through her. Lyla wishes that she could live a normal life as she did in Chicago, but is quickly shown A Marked Past that demands that she help prevent further destruction of her family. When she meets Caleb, she is immediately drawn to him as the rest of the community is. He is well liked by all in the community and has been adopted by the Pastor of the oldest church in town. As Lyla learns more about her family's tragic history, she worries not only for his safety but also that he might be mistakenly part of the problem. Is the Pastor really who he is protrayed to be or something more? Can she, Hanna and Nathan break the cycle of family tragedy? Can she live a normal life with the boyfriend that she has fallen so deeply for? What I thought I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this story since I typically don't read books like this. I thought it was a perfect combination of the life of a typical teenager and her adventures of learning of her Atypical past. Lyla leads a "normal" life of friends, school, prom, and a boyfriend all while developing into the person that she was destined to be through her past. As she learns more about her past, she also learns that the story of her family history continues through her and she must take over where others have left off. The conflicts of the story are fast paced and completely unpredictable as she tries to learn about her gifts and fight to keep her family's future from being destroyed, all while dealing with school and the love life of a teenage. The end left me wanting more and I look forward to reading A History Renewed coming out later this year. I give it 4 out of 5 stars