Tuesday, June 19, 2012
The Boots of Saint Felicity
Author: Jean Cross
Genre: Young Adult/Adventure
How long it's been on sale: Jan 2012
Current price: $5.99
Featured on Indie Saturday blog on Ramdomise Me website. Joined and contributed to Kindle for Kids website, featured there also. Accepted for review by Luminence emagazine. But so far has not appeared. Trying to get reviews on other sites. Part of anthology being organised by Kindle Boards author (Mike Ware), sent in a short story. Bios and book extracts from contributing authors, also being published in anthology. Investigating how to get on Irish libraries ebook system as have agreement for a public reading if my book is available on system. Set up a website which is presented as the official website of my characters.
Total sold so far: 2
Link to book on Amazon: The Boots of Saint Felicity
The Boots of Saint Felicity
The book is set in Splickety Village, a quirky hamlet where almost everybody gets along with almost everybody else. The story opens as the inhabitants prepare for the Important Person From Far Away Festival which is but three days away. Committees abound and everyone is busy. Jam is made, menus are planned and the streets are adorned. But amidst the bustle and hurry a sinister threat stirs. The owner of the bookshop, Hugh DeGrew, disappears following the penultimate meeting of The Committee To Organise Everything For The Important Person From Far Away Festival. Familia Frondbottom, genteel proprietor of the hotel becomes concerned about the odd behaviour of her friend, Eloueese Turtlewine, who surprises almost everyone on her committee by casting doubt on the authenticity of revered local relics, the Boots of Saint Felicity.
Drawn to their own mystery are flying teenagers Bernie and Joxey Brownfeather who abandon the preparations when they find a photograph of their dead mother in the office of the bookshop. Their mother perished in a rock fall during an archaeological expedition in the local mountain five years previously. The pair team up with archaeologist Charlie Milkeypockets who possesses a great knowledge of legends and antiquated texts and whose father died in the same incident as the Brownfeathers’ mother. The trio embark on a dangerous path of discovery as the forces of a sinister foe spill over the valley.
As the struggle evolves, it emerges that not all of the villagers are who they seemed to be. Secrets are shared. Secrets born deep in the mountain, beneath the lowest of the low caves a long, long time ago. When the real threat comes into focus it becomes clear, to some, that this enemy is old, powerful and cunning and that this battle has been fought before.
Feisty pensioners, resourceful villagers and flying teenagers pit themselves against malevolent adversaries as the indifferent vagaries of fate visit murder, deceit and loss on a people unaware of their true history.
First 300 Words:
Three Days to Go
Eloueese Turtlewine stood in her kitchen and gazed out of the window. It was a Tuesday morning. Eloueese Turtlewine often gazed out of a window, preferably her kitchen window, when she was thinking. She had just finished her breakfast. She had cleared and washed and dried and put away her dishes and her folded tea towel lay over the rim of her dry sink. She felt warm and full and ready to turn to the practical matters of the day. Then she noticed something odd. A small piece of paper was wafting slowly, carelessly, most certainly, into her back garden. She stood quite still and watched it brush her cornflowers, rise, fall and run along the tip of the grass, rise again and settle finally on the straw she had arranged to protect her strawberries. The small piece of paper blended so well with the yellowy coloured straw that she would not have been able to tell it was there had she not witnessed the last stages of its journey to that spot. But she knew it was there and because she knew it was there, it would have to be removed. It was typical, she mused, that this type of thing would happen on a Tuesday. In her experience Tuesdays always brought trouble. Sometimes the trouble was small. Sometimes the trouble was big.
This proclivity for trouble was only one of the reasons why Eloueese Turtlewine did not like Tuesdays. In her view, Tuesday was a terrible waste of time. The very notion of it vexed her. In fact she was apt to deny that the day existed. She often started the period in question just as she had started this one, by sitting up in bed and proclaiming,
“There’s no such thing as Tuesday.”
Comments: I was really surprised when this book came up and it said Young Adult Adventure as the genre. I've seen this book cover around a lot over on Kindleboards. Never would I have ever guessed that this was a YA Adventure book. The shoes, and the way the artwork is done, makes me think of literary fiction. The title makes me think it's religious. I never would have guessed YA.
The drawing on the cover looks too serious for this book. I would get rid of the shoes altogether and put one of the main characters on the front. The book description gives me a quirky-humorous feeling. This is what the cover should do too. (Think Lemony Snicket, but geared toward teenagers.) I'm also not fond of the font used. I would probably hire a graphic designer to re-work the cover.
The description is way too long, and when you look at it on the book's page there are no breaks in between the paragraphs so it ends up being a wall of text. I'd say at least half the description should be cut. I would start with the main character, which should be one of the teenagers if this is a YA book. Give the description from their perspective. Short and sweet. I would get other author's help with cutting it down and making it snappy and creating a good hook.
I found the beginning of the book humorous, but it didn't grab me and not let go. I might read on, though, if the description had hooked me. The writing itself was good, in my opinion. I just didn't find much going on at the beginning, and I prefer the main character doing something at the beginning of a book. Standing at the window looking out at a piece of paper falling isn't very interesting to me. However, the humorous style was good and I might read on to see if more happened. Also, the book is YA, but this doesn't start with a young adult as the main character. I'm now wondering if the book is not a YA book, and the author has some genre confusion.
In my opinion, I would first figure out the genre. This will define what direction the cover and description takes. I would suggest a more professional cover, and I would tighten up the description.
What do you guys think?