So I was sent a WONDERFUL book written by Lydia Howe, and I have to say, I’m really nervous for my first review of a book an author actually sent me to read/review! But I promise you guys I won’t disappoint, so you needn’t worry.
BTW if YOU want me to review your book on my blog, I’d absolutely love to! Just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I have a little disclaimer, Lydia sent me this book, and all views and thoughts are my own, regardless of my relationship with the author. 😉
About The Author
(check her blog out HERE!)
So, yes, indeed, I will be interviewing her today!
What messages are you portraying in Where The Dandelions grow?
The biggest lesson is about forgiveness and learning to let go so you don’t become bitter. The book is also about family and the bond of cousins.
Did you have to research anything for Where The Dandelions grow? What was the strangest thing you had to research?
I didn’t have to do a ton of research for this book, mostly just little things like how long it takes to fly from CA to OH and that sort of thing.
Do you have any ideas about your next book?
I’m not sure if I’ll do a second book with the same characters, but if I do it would probably be from Teal’s perspective. Once upon a time I actually did start a second book, and it included Teal flying out to California with Destiny and getting to see her life out there.
But, the book I’m currently working on has nothing to do with the characters or setting from this book. Instead, it’s a realistic fantasy book that takes place in a country where twins are considered outcasts. I’ve taken a break from that book to prepare Where Dandelions Grow for publication, and I’m looking forward to getting back to it next month.
When do you set your sights on publishing another amazing book?
Aww, that’s a sweet question, thank you. I’m really not sure because I’m hoping to traditionally publish my next one, and of course that timeline is out of my control.
What inspired the storyline of Where the Dandelions Grow?
It’s funny because I’d totally forgotten what inspired it, but then I realized that it was a short story that my cousin, Alexa, (who the character Lexie was loosely based off of) wrote. The story was about a girl giving up on her dreams because of her parents rejecting her, but after finding forgiveness and hope while at a coffee shop, her life changed.
What other genre are you interested in writing about?
Historical fiction has always been my favorite to read, but I’m not sure if I’ll ever write that. (So. Much. Research. Is needed.) Realistic fantasy (where the world is just like ours, except the countries don’t actually exist) is a genre I’m currently having a lot of fun with.
Why should people read Where The Dandelions Grow?
It’s a story of life, hope, family, beauty, and forgiveness. Plus, there’s a coffee shop, a writer, and autumn. It’s a great book to curl up with and enjoy – especially if you have a cup of coffee or tea and a scone.
Who was your least favorite character to write about?
I’m not sure I had one; perhaps the main character’s mom because their relationship was strained.
My favorite character to write was Felicity – a hyper, over-caffeinated customer who gets chocolate cake at Noveltea, the bookstore where the main character works.
How did the (absolutely gorgeous) cover come together?
Aww, thanks! I started experimenting with royalty free images I’d found, using PicMonkey to see how they could fit together. After working on it for a few days I called in reinforcements – my brother who works as a designer. (Although generally not for book covers.) He was able to take my ideas and turn them into this beautiful dream-like final cover. I’m incredibly excited about how it turned out.
And last but not least, do you have any advice for young authors dreaming of publishing their own novel?
It’s hard, really hard. And it’s work, a lot of work. And it’s sometimes discouraging, overwhelming, and difficult to keep going. But if it’s your passion, and if you have a story worth writing, then by all means! Keep going! Keep pressing on, keep standing strong. One day you’ll look back and it will all be worth it.
Writing isn’t a good way to get rich quick,
nor is it an easy way to become famous overnight…. But, if you keep going and find writing to be delightful and have a passion to sharing your stories with other people? Then perhaps you should forget about numbers and stats and just spend time learning and growing and enjoying the process of being a writer.
Being a writer is hard, but if you it’s your dream and passion, then it’s worth all the hardships.
And now for the review!
- Now as you guys know, I love God! And one of the main points in this books was how God provided, and guides us all the time. I really loved reading about how God affected the character’s lives, and how their Christian faith deepened, while meanwhile, mine deepened! I really got something out of this book, and that’s what I’m looking for whenever I read a book.
- And also, can we talk about Swallow Ridge, the setting of the whole book?!! It seemed like such a small town, and lemme tell you, I LOVE SMALL TOWNS. Everyone knew eachother in Swallow Ridge, and there were a lot of small businesses. It was fun to imagine myself there. In fact, I would like to move there, how can I make that happen?
- ALSO NOVELTEA MY DREAM BOOKSTORE. Ahhh so there’s this bookstore where the MC works at, and it’s called Noveltea. It sells all sorts of baked pastries and stuff, and of course, lot’s of books and notebooks! I can picture myself blowing all my life’s savings there, it’s probably a good thing it doesn’t exist. 😛
Guys I searched up Noveltea and it turns out it’s a thing.
Except not quite like the book. XD
SO IT’S BOOK PUNS. ON TEA.
Obviously I could do without the tea, as you guys know, I detest tea with every bone in my body
and tea shouldn’t exist it’s causing wild rebels to have a tea party in Boston like it should go die in a ditch somewhere.
wAr ANd PeAcH AHAHAHAHA
Anyways… back to the book review!
- Another thing I really loved about this book was the writing style. The plot line was at times boring (we’ll get into that…) but the author’s writing just took some of the boring parts, and festooned it with amazing writing, which made it quite interesting.
- THE COVER OMG
Wow. She said it was made with PICMONKEY. I love it! And to think, all the images are stock images! WOW. If this graced my bookshelf, I would be pretty happy. (But it’s only available for electronic reading rn, but if it ever get’s printed… take my money.)
- Oh, and I felt very satisfied with the flashbacks the MC had throughout the book. There was only one, but I loved how it was very relevant to the story! It made my have EMPATHY for her, and I loved that. And it was about dandelions and that was when the cover made sense asdfghjkl
- The prologue made so much sense in the end. I was shocked, I was shooketh to the core! After I read the prologue, I was like, “Ummm why is this needed??” and then I read the end and MY MIND WAS…
not blown. I bet you expected me to say blown. To stress my point, I’m using the word EXPLODED.
- And finally, I really loved how Destiny and her mother’s relationship got better as the book progressed! ❤
- The. Characters. Had. No. Flaws. They were literally flawless. And not in the best way. Sure, Destiny had some trouble in her past. BUT Lexie, Kamryn, and Teal had it all. They were pretty.
one was rich and famous, and they just were so unrealistic. This is not how girls their age act, they just have to have a few little quirks and things that make them human. The characters were not very developed, and I’M SALTY OK.
- There were too many unnecessary characters. They all seemed to distract the reader from what was happening. When I am introduced to a new character, I am expecting that character to be related to the plot. Is that too much to ask????
Overall, I really enjoyed this book! You can buy her book on Amazon by clicking here!