What?! You haven’t read it yet?
Pretty presumptuous of me to ask that question considering all of the books out there just waiting to be read but if I don’t ask you that question, you might never read it and then you won’t be able to ask your friends and colleagues that question too. Right?
Just like in business; namely sales, if I don’t say “Can I ask you for your business?” are you going to think about giving it to me or are you just going to put my proposal in the same pile with the ones who assume they’re going to get it?
I don’t expect you to read my book but I am damn sure going to ask you to at least and I’m going to give you references too!
I’ve been overwhelmed this week with some very exciting reviews so if you’ve been putting off reading my book because you weren’t sure you’d like it, here are a couple very comprehensive reviews which may push you to click that “BUY” button!
(At least I hope so!)
#1 Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews: http://readersfavorite.com/book-review/12222
Fireflies, by P.S. Bartlett, is the story of an Irish doctor Owen Whelan and his wife Sarah. They are Irish immigrants. The Whelans had seven children. As we know all children are special. However, the youngest, Ennis, was unique from the beginning. He was born frail and barely survived his birth. He was six years old when his sister Teagan first suspected he was gifted. A tiny bird lay limp on the ground until Ennis held it in his hands; life sprang back into the tiny creature and it flew away. One day when Teagan was washing dishes, she cut her hand on a knife. The cut was deep and bleeding badly but Ennis’ gentle touch soothed her and she felt a warm sensation. When she looked, her hand was healed. At first she insisted she and Ennis should keep his gift of healing a secret. Eventually, however, she had no choice but to tell the family that Ennis could not only heal with his touch but could sense feelings. When the family discovered Ennis’ gifts, they were frightened for him and tried to protect him but Ennis wanted to help people. He could feel their needs pulling him.
Fireflies is a difficult book to review. I don’t want to give away too much and yet I want to share enough to entice readers. P.S. Bartlett has created a paranormal drama/romance/suspense, with a bit of Christianity thrown in. The plot quickly drew me in. One of the many things I liked about this book was the development of not only the main characters but of the secondary ones as well. While certain characters had smaller parts, I felt as if I knew them. This is not a good versus evil paranormal story; it is a story filled with the goodness of the Whelan family. Fireflies is an excellent read and appropriate for middle school, young adults, and adults.
#2 Need to Read, Got to Watch by Georgia: http://needtoreadgottowatch.blogspot.com/2013/07/youll-be-glowing-with-fireflies-by-end.html
Fireflies by PS Bartlett is an enchanting story of the close-knit Whelan family, coming to terms with their unusual youngest member.
Set in the tiny village of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania in the late nineteenth century, an Irish family’s life is about to change. A big family, Owen and Sarah support their seven children, Fagan, Connell, Liffey, Teagan, Brogan, Patrick and Ennis.
Ennis was always an unusual baby, starting with his birth. He didn’t cry out for many minutes after the delivery, and his parents feared the worst. Six years later, they cherish their little miracle, but being to notice he has a mature temperament far beyond his years.
The other children are growing up too, and the oldest will be leaving the nest any day now. Fagan is enchanted with a young woman down the street, and the two girls (Teagan and Liffey) are becoming women- finally noticing the men around them. But Teagan is ahead of the times. Her father is a doctor and she desperately wants to follow in his footsteps. Unfortunately, this is the era where genders have their specific roles. Men go out and work, women take care of the homestead and children. Teagan will have none of it.
However, her dreams are the last thing on her mind when Ennis begins to act strangely. First the bird- which Teagan was sure was dead. Then the cut on her hand, that mysteriously vanished after Ennis touched it. As the week progresses, as do Ennis’s odd, new powers and soon the entire family is aware of them. Their only thoughts are of protecting the young boy, but what should they do? Who can they tell? Can they protect him? Are these powers a curse or a gift?
This is a captivating story. Somewhere between an Irish ‘Little Women’, “Little House on the Prairie’ and its own story. It has the same rustic appeal, with the story relying on the characters to carry it. And oh do they carry it. Mixed in the the daily life of the Whelan family, is the plot around Ennis. His powers are done pretty subtley, and I wouldn’t call this a paranormal book. I would say it’s more historical slice-of-life, mixed in with a little coming-of-age, a little romance, and a dash of fantasy.
The story itself spans two generations. As their children grow and begin to think about starting their own families, both Sarah and Owen have flashbacks to their youths in Ireland, and the differences between them, as well as the coincidences that brought them both to America, where they met for the first time. Their strong, constant love, entwines with the new, exciting love their children are beginning to experience in a poetic contrast.
The story explores the complex relationships between one person and the next. How easily they can be made and how easily broken. How they can subtly shift or slowly fade. The bonds that can be made or lost. The potentials that were never realised and the unconditionals that are there through it all.
Ennis’s powers are a little reminiscent of those of John from ‘The Green Mile’. Even their personalities are a little similar- they’re both very aware of the world, both soft-spoken, they never complain. If you were to be a healer, these would be the ideal components for it, so it’s not surprising that they have similarities.
The characters are as realistic a band of personalities as you can get. The relationships they have with each other as so vivid, that you can forget sometimes that they aren’t real people. This is especially true of the family. They are the core of this story. It’s how they react to the changes in Ennis that makes this book so good. As the story progresses, a nervous energy settles over the house, and each family member goes through an almost ‘five stages of grief’ phase. Their inability to understand what’s happening, mixed with their fear for Ennis builds and merges until it bursts out of them through anger, denial, bargaining, depression, acceptance, guilt, fear and confusion.
The ending is nothing if not feel-good, and will leave you wishing for more of the lovely Whelan family. This is one of the few books I’ve read that kept me guessing till the end. I honestly had no idea how it would or could end. Once you get there, the reasons for the events become clear, but a little confused. I was left wondering why, but in the end it really didn’t matter. I didn’t read the story for the why, I read it for the who- for the family that are so warm and caring, and will take you in as one of their own. For the charm and description.
Because the description is beautiful and incredibly immersive. I could feel the summer heat, softened by a gentle breeze, as the fireflies glide around lazily and the crickets serenade the night. It’s full of the simple pleasures of life, mixed in with a little magical wonderment.
A story that reminds me of lights on a Christmas Tree, glowing in the darkness- beautiful, safe and a reminder of the love and happiness you share with the people whose names are scattered beneath it. Reading this book is like going to sleep content, with a smile on your face. There is simply nothing else like it.
Disclaimer: I received this book from the author through a giveaway. This is not a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% my own.
#3 Tome Tender Book Blog: http://tometender.blogspot.com/2013/07/fireflies-by-p-s-bartlett.html?zx=c4c91373c13999e1
by P.S. Bartlett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Fireflies by P. S. Bartlett is like a trip back in time, when dating someone was “courting” and “courting” meant you had “intentions” of marriage. It was also a time when the impossible was a little more frightening and more likely to be explained as something from God or the devil. When six-year-old Ennis, the youngest child in a close-knit Irish family begins to show special abilities to heal and he claims to see a woman who guides his abilities, the Whelan family gathers closer together in awe and trepidation of the consequences of Ennis’ abilities. His most ardent supporter and the first to witness his abilities is his older sister, Teagan, an independent thinking teen on the verge of womanhood, ready to blaze new trails by becoming a physician like her father. Through it all, Ennis seems to have a calm and almost otherworldly way about him, accepting and understanding far beyond his years what his role in life will be. As Ennis’ abilities grow, he “feels” the thoughts and secrets of others, bringing to light old wounds, past histories and revelations that never should have been buried. Was this is his purpose in life? Is his gift truly from a greater power?
Not often does a book come along that is difficult to say who the target audience is, but Fireflies defies the “age” thing and is perfect for both younger and older readers alike. P. S. Bartlett has built a world that takes you back in time, where the air smells fresher, the sun shines brighter and the innocence of youth is still alive! There is no fast-paced action in this character-driven plot, but each page flows smoothly with characters free of angst and bitterness. There is no physical battle, the battles that are waged are of the heart and the mind, in the ability to just believe and accept. I enjoyed the slower pace and beautiful descriptions, as well as the feeling of love and unity in the Whelan family. This was a relaxing and warm read, perfect for a quiet escape into another world!
This review copy was provided by NetGalley and GMTA Publishing, LLC (Imprint: Mythos Press)in exchange for my honest review.
As a writer and a first time published author, these words mean more to me than these reviewers could ever imagine. They touch my heart, they refresh my soul and motivate me to continue this journey until I can no longer remember where I put my laptop. They’ve taken the time out of their lives to give feedback which is priceless in this craft.
All of my readers who take the time to read and review my book are GOLDEN beams of light who shine on me every time I wonder why I did this crazy thing, not knowing if I would do it right or if anyone, anywhere would ever have the opportunity to read the stories I want to tell.
I remember when I reached the point of no return while writing “Fireflies” and I was so invested in these people, there was no way I could ever turn back that it hit me; all throughout this labor of love, not once did I consider that this book would not somehow end up in the hands of the public. I believed in these gentle, wonderful people and in myself so much, I couldn’t fathom not sharing them.
Putting yourself out there for public scrutiny is not for the thin-skinned. You must be prepared to take your licks and keep going and by some deep down core strength, my licks haven’t stopped me from writing my second novel, which yet again, I am fully invested emotionally in and have no intention of giving up on. To say I wake up each morning feeling blessed and go to bed late at night content in knowing I’m touching people’s lives and making them love these people in my stories as much as I do is the biggest understatement ever!
You have to believe within yourself that what you are creating, building, writing or planning is possible in order to succeed. Proceed in the belief in your own success. There are no guarantees, only goals that are out there waiting for you to reach them!