“Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” ― G.K. Chesterton

Search The Web

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

"Road Trip of Delusion" by Jean Ann Williams Blog Hop & GIVEAWAY!

Genre: Contemporary, Christian
Publisher: Love Truth
Publication date: June 22, 2017

A fifteen-year-old takes a road trip with her two younger sisters and their strong-willed great-granny, and circumstances force her to drive her granny’s Cadillac through a freeway-closing-down blizzard which brings everyone and everything to a standstill.

Jean Ann Williams is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She writes regularly for Putting on the New blog and Book Fun Magazine on the topic of child suicide loss. Her book “God’s Mercies after Suicide: Blessings Woven through a Mother’s Heart” started out as a blogged book on her Love Truth blog. Jean Ann and her husband of forty-six years have thirteen grandchildren from their two remaining children. They reside on one acre in Southern Oregon where they raise a garden, fruit orchard, goats, and chickens. Jean Ann’s favorite hobbies are practicing archery, hiking through the woods, and big game hunting with her bow.

1. Who are some of your favorite authors?  Do these authors influence your own writing?My favorite authors write inspirational/historical, which includes, Kim Vogel Sawyer, Tessa Emily Hall, Kim Vogel Sawyer, Laura Frantz, Jane Kirkpatrick. Last but not least for the deeper Point of View, Virginia Smith, and for my most favorite time period with captivating stories, Sydney Tooman Betts. Each of these authors have taught me differing things; how to write better, go deeper into story, and deeper Point of View so the reader is allowed to live in the characters’ heads.

2. What is your current WIP?  What can you tell us about this project?
Season of the Fawns is written with the new adult audience in mind, but it’s for all ages. Synopsis: Born on the same day, Vale acts older than her cousin Caleb and is protective over him because of the loss of his family at age ten. Days before they turn twenty, the two cousins yearly hunting trip approaches. Caleb no longer cares about participating, as he suffers from migraines caused by an injury while mountain climbing.
Before leaving for the hunting cabin, Vale discovers how severe Caleb’s depression has become. Though worried she will lose Caleb by his own hand, she insists the trip will be good for him. As the cousins enter a new season of change, will Vale’s grit be enough to save Caleb’s life?

3. What advice would you give potential authors/writers?
Never, ever give up on your dream of writing and publishing, and when you think you’ve hit a writer’s block wall keep writing even if it’s junk.

4. Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Writing energizes me and editing my work exhausts me.

5. What inspired the idea for Road Trip to Delusion?
Now, a bit about how this story came about. I told my California resident mother-in-law we would pick her up when she was ready to stay in our home. She commented she just might get in her car and drive her own self to Oregon. To this, I stared at my granddaughters and said to Mom, “Well, you better bring my granddaughters with you.” Because of this conversation, Road Trip of Delusion took root and I watered it and God gave the increase.

6. What do you want readers to take away from reading Road Trip to Delusion?
I hope readers will get a strong sense of the value of family, especially when not everyone gets along. Also, I’d like readers to consider the importance of prayer to a Lord Who loves us.

Enter the giveaway HERE.

August 9--Debbie's Dusty Deliberations Mel's Shelves
August 10--Singing Librarian Books
August 11--Smiling Book Reviews 
August 12--Radiant Light
August 14--Remembrancy
August 15--Faery Tales Are Real
August 16--Christy's Cozy Corners
August 17--cherylbbookblog
August 18--Bookworm Lisa
August 19--Red Headed Book Lady


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Do you believe in fairies?--"The Cottingley Secret" by Hazel Gaynor Review


"The Cottingley Secret" by Hazel Gaynor is one of those stories that stick with you long after you finish the last page.  Bittersweet, haunting, enchanting, and magical are some of the words that come to mind when I think of this book.  And, as a personal bonus for me, the theme of the bookthe possibility of fairies being realgoes perfectly with the name of my blog! 

 "The Cottingley Secret" tells two stories.  One is the story of Olivia, who lives in present-day Ireland.  She inherits a bookshop and finds a manuscript written by one of the two girls involved the Cottingley fairy incident.  As Olivia reads the manuscript, we are transported back to 1917 in Cottingley England and are told the story of two girls who supposedly discover fairies and “fool” the world.  The story of the Cottingley fairies is based on a true story, which makes it even more fascinating. 

 The characters and the story are very well written.  Olivia needs to find the little girl inside of her and believe in that person.  I love the journey that Olivia's character goes through emotionally and the decisions she makes as she evaluates her life and who she is.  The story in 1917 also deals with beliefs and emotions.  Believing in fairies gives people hope during the war and people need something to believe in; if fairies and the photographs are real, then anything is possible, such as the war coming to an end.  It is such a dark time that people love the story of the fairies and it becomes a sensation, to the extent that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (author of the Sherlock Holmes books) believes and writes an article on the girls and their fairies. 

There are so many amazing themes and lessons that one can draw from "The Cottingley Secret."  There is a theme of memories and still being the same person deep inside that you always were, even as a little girl and of believing in oneself.  Ms. Gaynor's story brought to mind blissful memories of being of a little girl, believing in magic, and it encouraged me to find that little girl once againto look at the world with wonder.  I became so emotionally attached to this book that I didn't want it to end! 

Tell me in the comments: Do you believe in fairies?

Content, Rating and Genre: This is a clean read.  There are a few minor swear words.  There is also a scene where characters get drunk.  I give this book 5 stars!  The genre is contemporary, historical, and women's fiction.   

I want to thank Hazel Gaynor, William Morrow and Dey Street and Harper Collins Publishers for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.

Click here to purchase the book
Click here to visit the author's website

About the author:
Hazel Gaynor is a New York Times bestselling, award-winning author, who lives in County Kildare, Ireland with her husband and two children. Her 2014 debut historical novel The Girl Who Came Home—A Novel of the Titanic hit the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists, and went on to win the 2015 Historical Novel of the Year award from the Romantic Novelists’ Association in London. Her second novel A Memory of Violets, was also a New York Times bestseller, and her third, The Girl from The Savoy was an Irish Times and Globe & Mail bestseller. The book was also a finalist for the 2016 Irish Book Awards. All Hazel’s novels have been received to critical-acclaim and have been translated into a number of foreign languages. Her forthcoming titles in 2017 – The Cottingley Secret (August) and Last Christmas in Paris (October, co-written with Heather Webb) have already received an impressive array of early reviews. Hazel is represented by Michelle Brower at Aevitas Creative, New York.

Friday, August 4, 2017

"The Legacy" by Michael Phillips Review-- A Heartfelt Story of Faith and Family in the Shetlands

"The Legacy" is a heartfelt story of faith and family.  I love anything to do with Scotland, so I was eager to pick this book up.  I've also read some of Michael Phillips's other books and have enjoyed them immensely, especially the classic "Stonewycke" series.  I'm very glad I did read "The Legacy", even though I haven't yet read the first two books in this series! 

"The Legacy" by Michael Phillips is the third book in the "Secrets of the Shetlands" series.  The beginning of the book summarizes the plot from the first two books well.  The narrative does of course refer to events in the other books of the series as it is the continuation of Loni and David's story (the characters living in present day), but instead of focusing on Loni and David, "The Legacy" also tells the story of their ancestors.  We also get to see the conclusion of Loni and David's story, and while it's this portion of the book that had me wishing I had read the prior books, it isn't too confusing to read on its own.    

The physical book itself is beautiful and has a map of the island in the Shetlands where much of the story takes place, as well as a family tree.  Even though it is a longer book, it's written in short chapters, which makes for a fast-paced read.  The story shifts between 2006 and 1924 and is told from multiple characters’ points of view.  Some of the characters in the book are of the Quaker faith, which I found interesting to read and learn more about. 

Picture of the Shetlands

There is a theme of family heritage woven throughout the whole story.  The setting in the Shetland Islands is breathtaking and evocative.  The descriptions are so well written that I felt like I was transported to these islands.  The reader is introduced to a slower paced life and the story is also told in a slower way, making the reader slow down and think.  You really settle in and immerse yourself in the island and that culture.  There is also a deep spiritual and theological element.  I know Michael Phillips loves George MacDonald and draws a lot of inspiration from this writer (MacDonald is even mentioned in the book). 

My only critiques are that this book isn't really a stand-alone, although I was still able to understand and enjoy the story.  It is also told at a slower pace (I did enjoy that, but some may find it slower than they would like).  There are also many characters and several concurrent plots, which can get confusing. 

Overall I really enjoyed this story and would especially recommend it to fans of Michael Phillips or George MacDonald and those who love Scotland. 

Content, Rating and Genre: This is a clean read.  I give this book 4.5 stars.  This is Christian Fiction (with a dual timelinehistorical and contemporary).

I want to thank Michael Phillips and Bethany House Publishers for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.

Click here to purchase the book
Click here to visit the author's website

Other books in the series: