Tuesday 12 May 2020

#BlogBlitz Josie James and the Teardrops of Summer & The Velvet Knife by Lily Mae Walters

Today it's a two book blitz for Josie James and the Teardrops of Summer & Josie James and the Velvet Knife by Lily Mae Walters.

About the Author
Lily Mae Walters chose her pen name in honour of her beloved grandparents who also stare in the Josie James series. She is married with two teenage children, and two huskies that are the inspiration behind Murphy and Asher in the books.

Lily Mae lives in Nuneaton, England and finds herself using local  places and even her old school in her stories. Family and friends mean the world to Lily Mae and many will find themselves popping up throughout the series.

Lily Mae also writes for adults under the name of Florence Keeling.

Follow @LilyMaeWalters1 (also writes as) @KeelingFlorence) on Twitter, On Instagram @lilymaewalters Facebook/josiejames100Buy Josie James and the Teardrops of Summer, Buy Josie James and the Velvet Knife

About the Teardrops of Summer
Josie James is an ordinary 13 year old until something extraordinary happens during her summer holidays.Whilst staying at her Great Grandmother’s cottage in the country she finds herself swept into the cursed world of Suncroft where it is perpetual winter.Her new friends believe she could be the Chosen One who it is foretold will lift the curse, but there are more pressing matters.The Teardrops of Summer – magical crystals that render the owner immortal – have been stolen. Along with her telepathic husky-dog Protector Asher and her new friends, Josie must race to find the Teardrops and prevent catastrophe for their world.

Review - Teardrops of Summer
This is the first in a series of books following Josie, as she discovers her real heritage and experiences adventures starting at the age of thirteen. It's a book for readers aged nine and upwards I would say, and younger if they are advanced readers.

Josie is quickly approaching her thirteenth birthday, which is unbeknownst to her a very important one. One which will open doors into a part of her future she could never have imagined. The shy often insecure young girl becomes the main character in a legacy of light and darkness, as she is thrust into a mystery filled with many surprises. One of the more pleasant surprises being a rather talkative furry ball of valour.

It's a mixture of fantasy, adventure and mystery with a colourful cast of characters and plenty of potential. The author can take this anywhere, especially because Josie can wander between two very different worlds.

I felt at times that there were a few leaps or gaps, which could have been ironed out to give it a less disjointed feel. Younger readers are much more used to being confronted with complex plots these days, but simple and easy means a bigger audience. There is also the whole oppressive Handmaid's Talesque nature of the hidden world. Although Josie does make the occasional comment about how sexist the rules are, and how oppressive the world of Suncroft is for girls and women, I hope it is something the author comes back to in future books. Josie fights for equality, whilst hunting down nefarious magical fiends perhaps.

Walters caters to the readers who like to lose themselves in worlds within worlds and the promise of secret gardens hidden behind invisible doors. It is written for younger readers, but will probably appeal to older readers too. I look forward to seeing what Josie gets up to next as she navigates  the worlds she straddles, and in time I hope she will learn to love herself and her beautiful hair.

Buy Josie James and the Teardrops of Summer at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Crimson Cloak Publishing; pub date 1 Jun. 2018. Buy at Amazon com.

About The Velvet Knife
“For you to find the Velvet Knife, you must solve the riddles thrice.” A mysterious hooded figure, known only as the Velvet Knife has appeared in the cursed village of Suncroft. No one knows who he is or what he wants but when he starts leaving riddles around the village, it is time for Josie to return to Suncroft for a second time.

With Asher, her faithful husky Protector by her side, Filan, a half elf, and her great grandad, will they be able to solve the clues in time and discover his identity? The Velvet Knife is not the only one causing problems for Josie. Her rival for the position of the ‘Chosen One’ continues to grow stronger, and now he has a Protector of his own.

What does all this mean for Josie? Is she destined to lift the wintery curse of Suncroft or will another take her place as the ‘Chosen One’?

This is the second book in the Josie James series, and although both can be read as standalone novels I would suggest reading the first one too to get the gist of the characters and the story of Suncroft.

The story began with a special birthday. When Josie James turned thirteen she was introduced to a hidden world - a world only certain people can find and experience. One where certain deceased grandparents live. They aren't dead of course, but death is a great excuse to disappear into a magical world.

This time Josie has to return to the secret village to help discover who The Velvet Knife is. A mysterious person who leaves riddles leading to the identity of the Knife. At the same time Josie learns more about the destiny she has been chosen for or rather has to fight and prove herself worthy for.

It's part fantasy, magical realism and mystery. A read for children aged eight and upwards, although younger advanced readers and of course older readers will get a kick out of it too.

I'm going to stick up for Josie here and agree that coming and going in a haze of fog is highly irritating and puts her at a huge disadvantage. In her home world, where her parents and school mates live she never remembers her time in the village of Suncroft. Eventually it will put her at a disadvantage if evil does happen to seek her out on the outskirts of Suncroft.

It will be interesting to see what comes next for Josie and the village of Suncroft in the next part of the series, The Trial of Ages.

Buy Josie James and the Velvet Knife at Amazon Uk o go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Crimson Cloak Publishing; pub date 16 April 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

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