I wanted to highlight some of my all time favorite reviews, as well as provide you with links to blog posts, Amazon and Goodreads.
I’d like to thank everyone and anyone who has read either of my books and took the time to talk about it.
Have you THANKED a Book Blogger today?
The Hive Book Reviews – FIREFLIES AND HOPE FROM THE OCEAN
Flutterby Inspirations – FIREFLIES
Flutterby Inspirations – HOPE FROM THE OCEAN
Kindle Ninja’s Book Reviews – FIREFLIES
Compass Book Ratings – FIREFLIES
BookLikes: Word Bookie – FIREFLIES
Ms. Nose In A Book – FIREFLIES AND HOPE FROM THE OCEAN
Bound For Escape – FIREFLIES AND HOPE FROM THE OCEAN
MySpace012 Inside My Head – FIREFLIES
Literary Aficionado – FIREFLIES: “Sacrifice is a matter of family honor and community necessity. No one sets out to be a hero. The Whelans are by and large innocents, in the way the Waltons were. And speaking of classic television, for fans of Highway to Heaven,Touched by an Angel, and Ghost Whisperer [before it went off the rails and become about other things than the unwavering love of the husband and wife despite her abilities] you can’t do any better.”
“More and more—whether it be my reaching my mid-40s or as an antidote for all of the flash and flimsiness of so much modern storytelling, I am compelled to tout the value of books like Bartlett’s. Although I am Italian and not Irish, the synergy of the immigrant family making the most of their chances in America by sticking together and honoring fundamental family values speaks to me. I miss my grandparents and great-grandparents. I miss the big family gatherings where food was a central element and your place in the family was earned over time in minor but meaningful ways such as getting to sit at the “big people’s” table or being dealt a hand at the penny-ante poker games later in the evening.”
The Whelans spoke to me across time and nationality.”
Best Fantasy Stories – FIREFLIES: Today’s book review is of a sweet fantasy about a boy with a gift and the path his Irish Immigrant parents took to get to America.
It begins when Ennis, only six and a bit sweet and shy since his difficult birth, picks up a bird. His sister has left to find a shovel to bury it, for it is dead. But when Ennis picks it up, somehow something wonderful finds its way through Ennis to the bird, and it flies away. That was when they first realized that Ennis could heal. That gift would lead to more discoveries along the way.
For Ennis is a special child. The youngest of a large family, he is surrounded by love but has always been treated just a bit more carefully. We learn why as we hear of his difficult birth. One that was touch-and-go, even with a father who is an experienced doctor. But now, somehow things have shifted around him, and he isn’t sure why. Ennis feels compelled to heal. He cannot explain how he does it; he just knows that he should. But how he is gifted, and why, becomes the question.
A Time of Beginnings
This wonderfully sweet and caring story has some dark edges to it. There is just enough of that to keep it from being too “Little House on the Prairie”, even though the background is the early days of the settling of America. In the 1800s many Irish came to the New World to start a new life. As we meet Ennis, his parents Owen and Sarah and his six brothers and sisters, we get a sense of just what it took to keep a household going and a family together during these times. It took hard work and plenty of faith.
A Gift – From Who?
What starts as simple healings, grow in a short time. Soon his gifts expand beyond just the healing, and with it come the fears. What does all this mean? With the surprise of these new gifts come other kinds of revelations. We learn of the sacrifices and pain that came with the voyages his parents made from Ireland to America. We discover, along with Ennis, of the price that they paid, in more than money.
This is almost a ghost story and certainly a fantasy, with gentle paranormal elements. I found myself lost in the world Barlett created and caring what happens to this marvelous little boy, as well as his family. Their dreams and hopes are soon eclipsed by Ennis’s struggle to be at peace with the gifts and what they mean. And even more importantly – what they portend.
The Role of the Spirit
One of the things I loved about this book, and kept thinking about as I read it, was how in this era there was this total fear of the unknown and complete acceptance of the spiritual. We forget sometimes the huge role spirituality had in many people’s lives in those days. That role is one of the primary things that moved this book. For the family does not question that Ennis has this gift, just what it will do to the family.
I don’t want to go too far into what is done to discover who or what is behind these changes in Ennis. I will say however, bring a full box of tissues when you sit down to read. There are parts that will tug at your heartstrings and the ending will fill you with joy.
A Different Kind of Fantasy Book
Not the usual ghost story, but not just a tale of a family in America either. This has a very different sensibility to it, one that gives the paranormal a different role than the one we usually read about in fantasy books these days.
Don’t get me wrong, here. This is still a fantasy story, but it is a very different sort of fantasy tale. It holds out a promise of some really interesting stories yet to come from a very promising new writer. If this is just her first book, I am really looking forward to seeing what Bartlett will come up with next!
The Writers Lounge – FIREFLIES: “This is a story that will awe you, comfort you and give you a sense of a miraculous magic that is undeniably living within the world- if only through the natural wonder of a group of fireflies and a small boy. The author is skillfully able at weaving a story that takes place in the 1800′s; breathing life into a time that many have forgotten about. Through courtships, family gatherings and a strong faith in church and community the author takes us back to a simpler time when things were much different than they are today.”
Beach Bound Books – FIREFLIES: ““P.S. Bartlett creates an appealing historical fiction novel with well developed and easily likable characters. Her use of flashbacks effectively give readers a glimpse of her characters’ past allowing readers to better understand the direction their lives have taken. The story is eloquently written with vivid details that easily captivate readers and leave them longing for more.”
Anne Boling for Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews – FIREFLIES: “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.”
Need to Read, Got to Watch by Georgia – FIREFLIES: “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.”
Tome Tender Book Blog – FIREFLIES: “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!”
FLUTTERBY INSPIRATIONS: FIREFLIES