Author Rebekah Jones – The Vintage Jane Austen Project

Author Rebekah Jones has been a bit of a hero to the Vintage Jane Austen project. Rebekah-Author-Picture-2017-200x300Another author originally signed up to pen a new spin on Pride and Prejudice, but bowed out several months later. We couldn’t have a Jane Austen series without Pride and Prejudice! Thankfully, Rebekah, who already has five books to her name, graciously stepped in and took on the project, even though she was several months behind. We are all very excited about the forthcoming Presumption and Partiality and I’m so glad she could join us here today!

How did you get involved in the Vintage Jane Austen Project?

Sarah Holman wrote me, asking if I would be interested in rewriting Pride and Prejudice in the 1930’s for the Vintage Jane Austen Collection. I wasn’t sure at first – in a lot of ways, it would be a new challenge in writing for me – but the idea struck me as being a fascinating experience and a lot of fun, so I said that I would.

How big of a Jane Austen fan are you?

Moderate? I own all of her books and I’ve seen multiple versions of most of the novels put to film. (Even Lawrence Olivier and Greer Garson doing their Victorian Era version of Pride and Prejudice and Bollywood making the same story an Indian style musical!) I don’t obsess over Jane Austen in any way, although I’m determined to have a Regency wardrobe one of these days. I admire her literary skill, enjoy her characters (Fanny Price has always been my favorite), and enjoy pulling Biblical principles from her stories.

RebekahIs there a reason you choose Pride and Prejudice to translate into the 1930s?

Actually, I didn’t choose it. Pride and Prejudice was the only novel left in the collection that wasn’t already being written. When Sarah asked me to join the group, she specifically asked if I would write Pride and Prejudice. Honestly, it was the most perfect one for me to write! Despite Mansfield Park being my favorite, I know Pride and Prejudice backwards, forwards, and topsy-turvy, since it’s the one I’ve seen and read the most.

How well do you think Pride and Prejudice translates to the Great Depression?

Oh, it depends. Some parts translate so perfectly, that it’s fascinating. Others have to be changed and I need to get creative. The underlying characters and the motivation for their actions are, for the most part, so timeless that sometimes all I have to do is come up with a different outplay of those motives. Perhaps the biggest difference is that Jane Austen’s Regency England was affluent and even the poor shown are fairly well off, whereas my Great Depression Arizona is already suffering the ravages of poverty and suffering. 

What kind of research did you do to prepare yourself?

Lots and lots of books. I read up on Arizona in the entire decade of the 1930’s for weeks. Then, when I decided on writing in the years 1932-1933, I started looking for materials that were more specific to those years. I did some on the ground research exploring, since I chose to use real towns, instead of fictional ones. Then, I read some more, looked up as many pictures as I could find of Gilbert, Phoenix, and Scottsdale in the 1930’s, and read even more. I also read a few fiction books, trying to get a feel for dialogue, as well as pulling out some old movies. Possibly one of the more fun resources I found were the records of the Weather Bureau for the area that I was focusing on, in my exact years. Those proved fascinating and very helpful.

Did you stick pretty closely to the source material, or did you find ways to deviate and/or add new scenes?

I think, at its core, Presumption and Partiality has remained close to the source material, but I certainly found scenes to add, as well as a surprise twist or two. The poverty of the Great Depression has influenced some of those changes, since as I said earlier, it made a huge impact on my research. Further, as my general writing motto is “Bible Centered, Modern Literature” I wanted to be able to show the Biblical motivations or answers to some of the circumstances and people in the book, which has made this an interesting journey.

What did you find most challenging about this project?

Honestly? Writing the actual words has been the most challenging part of this project. Especially, writing while trying not to compare myself to Jane Austen. Writing this book has been a major challenge. A good one, but still a major challenge.

What other books do you have on the market?

I have five other books on the market. My novels: Grandmother’s Letters a treasure hunt mystery, Journeys of Four a tale of mystery and redemption, and 24 Days Before Christmas a Christmas murder mystery with each chapter being written as a day in December leading up to Christmas Day. I also have two children’s books, A Year with the Potters a collection of short stories about a homeschooling family and A Tale of the Say’s Phoebe a story of a mother bird telling her young how she learned to fly.

Thanks again, Rebekah, for joining this project and joining us today!
Please check out Rebekah’s books and blog at rebekahsquill.com.

Meet An Indie Author Cover Designer

When I went 100% independent author, I decided to design my own covers. I have Hannah_BioPhotoPhotoshop and a creative background, so it didn’t seem too daunting…albeit very time consuming. But when I got involved with the Vintage Jane Austen Project, we all agreed we needed to have an outside source handle the covers. All five books needed to feel cohesive. This series might have been authored by five different writers, but that didn’t mean we wanted five different cover styles!

We floated the idea of “Jane Austen in the 1930s” to several cover designers and asked them to give us an idea of how they would translate the concept visually. Enter, Hannah Scheele, who was head and shoulders above the other samples we received. Below are the five covers she came up with for us, which I think are perfect both for the series and the Historical Romance market. So, I decided to do a little interview with Hannah to talk about the process.

Final Jane 1930 CoverHow did you get into book cover design?

I started out designing covers for my sister’s books. Those projects were big learning experiences and I loved every minute of working on them. It was then I discovered how fun and challenging graphic design can be, and also how rewarding.

What does the process of collaborating with an author look like?

It really depends on the author. Some authors are very particular and some are more flexible. Every time, though, I find the author has a specific vision of what the cover should be like and I need to figure out how to take what they’re describing and translate it to myself so I come up with something that works. I think of it as like being a hair stylist— your job is to make everything pretty, and you have to communicate with each person as an individual. What works for one will not necessarily work for another.

Was there an inspiration behind the Vintage Jane Austen covers?Sarah S.

Not really a specific one. I just wanted to create a look that would appeal to the growing number of people who get excited about the Vintage era— romantic, but not too escapist.

Do you keep an eye on book covers currently on the market, or do you just go with what you think will suit the book best?

Every story is different, but I am influenced by book covers on the market. I feel I’m going to produce a better result if I’m open to other people’s good ideas. Never limit yourself to just your own ideas or you will stop learning and improving!

Rebekah Are you currently accepting new authors who might need a cover designer? And if so, how can the get in touch with you?

Anyone who is interested in reaching out to me can contact me at my email HannahScheele(at)gmail.com.

Thanks for hanging out with us today, Hannah!!

Kelsey  EmmalineCover_Final

 

Author Sarah Scheele – The Vintage Jane Austen Project

If you have read my blog for any length of time, this is not the first time you’ve met sscheele2-216x300author Sarah Scheele. Although we have never met in person, Sarah and I have been long time friends, with a particularly strong writing bond. She is actually the one who invited me to the Vintage Jane Austen project. A Texas native, Sarah has been a writer since childhood and has several books available. Her unique twist on Mansfield Part, now titled Bellevere House, will definitely delight Austen Fans.

How did you get involved in the Vintage Jane Austen Project?

My sister Hannah created the project along with Sarah Holman, who I knew on Facebook. At that time Hannah was massively involved and when Sarah extended an invitation to me, I felt it was right to accept because this project was a big deal in our house. So, a family thing.

How big of a Jane Austen fan are you?

Well, my mother was probably the biggest Janeite on the planet. She didn’t dress up in Regency gowns, but otherwise it was total saturation—movies, characters, everything. I’ve been around it a long time and in a sense I hope that doesn’t show because there’s a freshness that comes with being a spontaneous fan. But in another way it goes pretty deep. When a relative asked what to get me for Christmas in my teens, my mom was quick to jump in and suggest Jane Austen, of course. So I had lots of book copies as well, and I read them—more or less.

Sarah S.Is there a reason you choose Mansfield Park to translate into the 1930s?

Three books were already assigned when I was invited to join. Besides Mansfield Park, the remaining books were Persuasion and Pride and Prejudice. I didn’t feel equal to Persuasion and I’ve never been interested in Pride and Prejudice. So Mansfield Park was the obvious only remaining option and I took it.

How well do you think Mansfield Park translates to the Great Depression?

Remarkably well, actually. Mansfield Park has the most dramatic separation between the haves and have-nots of any Austen novel and the Great Depression made it easy to find parallels. So the money dynamic translated really well and of course the characters are universal.

What kind of research did you do to prepare yourself?

At first I had an angle with the developing war in Europe, but after I removed that it was just a matter of double-checking the details: verifying long-distance telephone connections, researching train travel, finding the names of old glassware. I did some googling on the history of New York, which was absolutely fascinating. And I was lucky there is one kind of orange that makes in the summer, because I was able to keep the Florida orange-grove set. I was happy about that because it’s a good set, I feel, and just fun.

Did you stick pretty closely to the source material, or did you find ways to deviate and/or add new scenes?

I did attempt a bit of cosmetic work because it’s a difficult book. Not that I’d say I really improved on a classic. I’m not that inordinate. But given the opportunity, I did change things around here and there. The long childhood areas with Fanny got cut, Mr. Rushworth got a new twist, and I will admit I threw Edmund out the window in favor of something snarkier and more modern. With appalling results, I’m sure.

What did you find most challenging about this project?

Fitting into a concept created by someone else. I’m a fantasy author, so the whole idea was pretty much—I wouldn’t say out of my comfort zone. More out of my dimension altogether. It was a challenge conforming to all the little regulations of the project and getting interested in the 1930s. Communication was irregular over the years, too, and it was hard to give input because, like I said, it wasn’t my concept. But I hoped my familiarity with Jane Austen would balance all of that and I believe it did, in the end.

What other books do you have on the market?

I have a children’s science fiction novel, a historical story set in 1700s Spain, and a number of fantasy stories floating around somewhere on Amazon. They don’t have any connection to this project.

A big thanks to Sarah for joining me today, and for inviting me to this project in the first place. Visit Sarah’s website to read her blog and keep up on her work: sarahscheele.com
And don’t forget to visit VintageJaneAusten.com to learn more about all the books available in this series.

 

Author Kelsey Bryant – The Vintage Jane Austen Project

Today we have author Kelsey Bryant who took on Sense and Sensibility for the Vintage kelsey1Jane Austen Series and gave us the delightful Suite and Suitability. It’s been great getting to know Kelsey, who is probably Eleanor Dashwood’s biggest fan. In addition to the Vintage Jane Austen Project, she has written for several magazines, blogs, and has two contemporary novels on the market.

How did you get involved in the Vintage Jane Austen Project?

One day, Hannah Scheele and Sarah Holman were talking and somehow formed the scheme for the Vintage Jane Austen Project. Knowing me well, they asked if I wanted to write one of the books. I have hardly ever felt more excited to say yes!

How big of a Jane Austen fan are you?

A very big one, but not the sort who eats, sleeps, and breathes her. I haven’t made a fan website, nor can I quote from her novels very accurately. She is one of my two favorite authors, however, so although I know she’s not a perfect writer, I still feel a little defensive every time she’s criticized. I think I’ve read everything she’s written that’s been published. I own a fair collection of Austen memorabilia and I traveled on an England tour three years ago that was themed around Regency costumes. I sewed my own dress (a first) for it and participated in the Jane Austen Festival Promenade in Bath, England, and it was one of the best days of my life . . . so, yes, I suppose I am a pretty thick Janeite, aren’t I?

KelseyIs there a reason you chose Sense and Sensibility to translate into the 1930s?

Sense and Sensibility is my favorite Austen novel, and one of my favorite novels in general. I adored the idea of writing my own version of it because I’m extremely fond of all the characters and their dynamics, especially Elinor and Marianne Dashwood and Edward Ferrars. Elinor is my favorite fictional character in all of literature.

How well do you think Sense and Sensibility translates to the Great Depression?

Very well indeed. I had no problems with it. Elinor became Ellen Dashiell, a precise, hard-working secretary; Marianne became Marion Dashiell, an aspiring singer/actress; all the other characters translated fluently as well. The Dashwoods’ money troubles fit into the Great Depression, as did the issues of class and suitable marriage partners. I was surprised and delighted with how seamlessly it could be adapted.

What kind of research did you do to prepare yourself?

Because I wanted a Midwestern industrial town, I settled on Canton, Ohio, and researched its status in the 1930s. My favorite book on the subject is The Secret Gift by Ted Gup, a fascinating, nostalgic true story that anyone might enjoy reading, not just those who are researching the time period. I visited Canton to do onsite research and look for answers to questions I couldn’t find from afar. I also read books about the decade in general. Then I pursued the other special areas of interest that my story possessed – Broadway, Hollywood, New York, industry, et cetera – as I began to write. Watching period movies and reading fiction of the era was certainly a fun way to get a feel for it.

Did you stick pretty closely to the source material, or did you find ways to deviate and/or add new scenes?

I deviated while keeping true to the spirit and skeleton of the original. My brain needed the stimulation of creating slight differences in the story, not just remaking the original with new hair and clothes. I left out some characters and introduced new ones that better served my version. I changed the family relationships of some of the characters: for example, Sir John Middleton and his mother-in-law, Mrs. Jennings, became the married couple Melvin and Jennie Maddox, who were relatives of Mr. Dashiell’s in my version, not Mrs. Dashwood’s, as in the original. I also added a few twists to further change it up and make it more fun for me to write and more unexpected for readers. The biggest, perhaps, was keeping Mr. Dashiell alive but in prison instead of killing him off like Mr. Dashwood.

What did you find most challenging about this project?

Well, besides the normal frustrations of tying up all the threads and actually weaving Suit and Suitability into a cohesive, satisfying novel, I would say Marion’s character was the most challenging. Which is quite appropriate, as she is the most challenging person that her family knows, too. I wanted her to be liked by at least some readers, but I also didn’t want to diminish her personality. Writing her was a tricky balancing act. Also, some of her interests, such as the way Broadway worked in the 1930s, were rather difficult to ferret out details for accurate portrayal. But she and I made it through okay, and I love her as much as I love Ellen, even if I still don’t relate to her as well.

What other books do you have on the market? Currently, two novels targeted for homeschool girls – Family Reunion and England Adventure, books one and two of the Six Cousins series.

Thanks, Kelsey, for joining us today! Check out Kelsey’s website kelseybryanauthor.weebly.com to learn more about her writing! And for more information on the complete Vintage Jane Austen Series, visit vintagejaneausten.com.

Author Sarah Holman – The Vintage Jane Austen Project

I’m happy today to be interviewing Sarah Holman today, author of the first book in the Vintagesarahholman2-202x300 Jane Austen Series, Emmeline (Emma), as well several other novels and short stories. Sarah also runs the blog Homeschooled Authors which helps to promote independent authors with a homeschool background. One of the originator of the project, she is passionate about writing, literature, and, of course, Emma.

How did you get involved in the Vintage Jane Austen Project?

I was talking with a friend about a fairytale short story collection. We liked the concept, but wanted something other than fairytales. She mentioned Jane Austen and that was all I needed. Kelsey Bryant, Hannah Scheele, and myself met up one day and brainstormed the idea. It was an awesome beginning to this very cool project.

How big of a Jane Austen fan are you?

I love Jane Austen, but I’m far from the biggest fan. I have only read three of her books (though I love the long movies) and there are a couple of her stories I don’t care for. However, She has a talent for crafting characters in all her books that blows me away at times.

Is there a reason you choose Emma to translate into the 1930s?

Firstly, this is my favorite Jane Austen novel. It has so many awesome elements in it, my favorite being Mr. Knightly and Emma’s relationship. They are best of friend that both encourage and scold each other. It is so lifelike and enjoyable.

How well do you think Emma translates to the Great Depression?

I honestly felt like my job was easy. In the original story has some people who are struggling financially. The characters and struggles ended up flowing easily into the time period.  About the hardest thing was finding replacements for the balls, as dances were not the same.

What kind of research did you do to prepare yourself?

I read quite a few books on and written during the 1930’s. My favorite resource were books by Grace Livingston Hill. She wrote during this time and captured the emotions, culture, and feel of the time that you can’t find in a textbook. She also gave me great insights into the Christians of the time as well.

Did you stick pretty closely to the source material, or did you find ways to deviate and/or add new scenes?

I added my own touches and twists to be sure, but I tried to stick close to the original story. After all, I wouldn’t want to mess up Jane Austen.

What did you find most challenging about this project?

It was my first time coordinating with others in my writing. Everyone involved has been amazing, but I have learned a lot and some aspects were challenging.

What other books do you have on the market?

Emmeline is one of ten books I have on the market. I have an book sent during the revolutionary war, two in an FBI series, four in a Medieval series, and a sci-fi trilogy. I also have several short stories.

A big thanks to Sarah for joining me today and for coming up with this project in the first place! If you would like to learn more about Sarah’s work, visit her website: www.thedestinyofone.com or check out the rest of the books in the Vintage Jane Austen series at vintagejaneausten.com.

Next week I will have author Kelsey Bryant with me to talk about transforming Sense and Sensibility.

Mystery For Christmas

How could I have a month of Christmas novels on a blog called Mystery Writer on a Mission and not mention Christmas themed mysteries? I know, what were we thinking?

Anyway, the following is a quick list by some of mystery’s greatest writers. If you’d like a little gun powder with you Christmas pudding, or a touch of larceny alongside your mistletoe, these picks might just be your cup of peppermint hot cocoa.

 

 

Mary and Carol Higgins Clark
Deck the Halls
The Christmas Thief
Dashing Through the Snow
The Santa Cruise
All Through the Night
Silent Night

Agatha Christie
Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (The movie version staring David Suchet is great too.)
A Christmas Tragedy
The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding

Sherlock Holmes
The Blue Carbuncle (The movie version staring Jeremy Brett comes recommend.)

There is also the “Food Mystery” category in which Joanna Fluke has sort of become a maven of combining baked goods and intrigue during the Holiday Season. Honestly, I haven’t read much of the books, but I love the recipes in them! ;)

So there you go, if you need your mystery fix this Christmas you can now have your fruitcake and eat it too.

P.S. If you get a chance, check out my new Christmas novel, The Father Christmas Confessions: A Christmas Comedy. Just .99 cents on Amazon. Click here.

The Christmas Sweater

You know, I hate it when a book says it will “make you laugh, make you cry.” I love to laugh, but I’m not fond crying. Maybe that’s just me. Of course, I have to admit that when I do get around to reading those books they end up being amongst my favorites.

Well, The Christmas Sweater is definitely on that list. I did laugh at the fresh perspective of a 12 year old boy commenting on his own life…and then I did cry (just a little) when that same 12 year old faces trials far too big for a child.

But maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.

Eddie has had a rough year. He’s not afraid to admit it. Life as an only child of hardworking, owners of a small bakery isn’t a piece of cake. In fact, he can’t even get his parents to remember to bring him home fresh bread. Fate has had a way of taking people from his life as of late, too. But after such a hard year he is certain that this is going to be the Christmas he is gets his long coveted Huffy bike. Instead, this is the Christmas Eddie will meet disappoint and tragedy like he never imagined. And he has a feeling that it is all his fault.

The book is authored by the sometimes controversial Glenn Beck, but I can assure you this story is not about politics or current issues. The book is actually semi-autobiographical story, full of events and circumstances that actually occurred during Mr. Beck’s childhood, though some events are changed to make the story flow better in novel form.

Perhaps that’s why the book seems to have a stronger emotional appeal. When Eddie describes his humiliation in having to sing Christmas carols at a senior home or his disastrous attempt to make his own meals when he is left alone, you know the author is speaking from experience. And when Eddie describes facing the anger, despair, and guilt accompanying lost, you know that is real too.

Frankly, I really did find the narration from a child’s point of view fun and easy to read. The final struggle Eddie faces is the hardest of all. Finding God in his tragedy.

If you want a Christmas novel that is as fun as it is deep, you’ve found your match in The Christmas Sweater. Just don’t make my mistake and read it while sitting in the waiting room of a doctor’s office. That is really the wrong place to tear up.

P.S. If you get a chance, check out my new Christmas novel, The Father Christmas Confessions: A Christmas Comedy. Just .99 cents on Amazon. Click here.

Download my new release for FREE today only!

Okay, so just in case you haven’t heard, I’ve official released my Christmas novel, The Father Christmas Confessions, to Kindle’s eBook program. Now, normally it is .99 cents, but today, and today only, Amazon is offering it for free!

Click here to visit Amazon.

If you happen to open this up on November 2nd I wouldn’t worry too much. Like I said, it is usually only .99 cents. But why miss out on free?

A bit of a request here, if you do download and read The Father Christmas Confessions, please consider reviewing it on Amazon. That is so helpful! And if you can’t read it yet, try marking it on Goodreads as “want to read” or put it on a list of other Christmas books.
Again, so helpful.

I am test running this whole idea Amazon has put together called Kindle Direct Publishing. I’d like to see how books fair on this market and might consider releasing more…but first The Father Christmas Confessions needs a bit of exposure. :)

Without further adieu:
The Father Christmas Confessions: A Christmas Comedy.

What if Santa Claus isn’t one man? What if he is a secret organization?

Jeremy Ogden has 25 day to accomplish his mission and a list of people whose lives can be changed forever if he makes it to them in time. He just has one big problem…And her name is Virginia.

Virginia Kipyard is the last girl Jeremy wants holding his family’s ancient secret, no matter how many times his mother suggests she’s “the right girl.” But if he wants to save the life of the next man on his list, he might just need her help.

The “season of miracles” is about to take on a whole new meaning, even for Father Christmas.

Check it out.
Spread the word.
Remember, it’s only free today. ;)

I had to pick it up and then I couldn’t put it down.

So, now that we’re deep into my month of young adult, I have to bring up my first successful jump into this genre. I’d tried to read a few popular young adult novels before, but I always ended up putting then down. They just felt too teenager for anyone over sixteen to enjoy. But The Mysterious Benedict Society broke the mold I previously believed was not capable of being broken.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away (Blogger), I talked about the first book in the series right after I finished it. Well, now having finished the whole series I will laud it even more. And the funny thing is I never intended to read it.

I found the book on a table at Sam’s Club and bough it purely because of the title. Come on, how could I not have a book with Benedict on the cover in my collection? Fortunately, I got stuck in line that day, so I started reading it just to keep my mind off the wait. By the time I reached the cashier I was hooked.

Like many books in this age range, the story begins with a series of uniquely talented orphans. I’m not sure why orphans are so marketable, but that’s just the way it is.  There is Reynie, who can solve any riddle you put in front of him. Sticky, who has such a good memory facts just seem to stick to him. Kate, who is so resourceful she can solve any problem with her ever ready tools. And there’s Constance who…well, nobody in the world is more stubborn.

Unlike most orphans in novels who struggle with their own personal situations and hardships, the children of this novel have a much higher cause. You see, the world is on the verge of slipping quietly and unaware into the hands of a sinister man with mind control on his side. Of course, each character does have their own unique issues and moments of decision for better or worse and you can’t help cheering them along. Just watch out for the “Ten Men,” okay. They might be coming for you…

These books are just plain good books. Suspenseful, thoughtful and at times funny, the characters and plots of this three book journey are worth your time. Yes, like A Series of Unfortunate Events, I did find myself saying, “This is a kid’s book?” but that was simply because I didn’t think I could enjoy a kid’s book so much. The readers in my house have become quite devoted fans, from my younger sister all the way up to my 83 year old grandmother.

The only real issue I have with this book is Mr. Benedict says his family is from the Netherlands. Okay, I’m just going to say it now, Benedict is not a Dutch name. End of story. ;)

So, have you ever “accidentally” stumbled upon a good book?

Live, Love…and then stir in a little super hero.

Ah, here it is, week two of my young adult foray. Last week I covered a series that has been tingling spines for years now. This week, I pick up a newbie in the land of fiction for young adults. One that has high hopes of becoming a classic. So, welcome to Michael Vey, Prisoner of Cell 25.

I think I should first tell you why I picked up this book in the first place. Frankly, it was an interview with the author. Richard Paul Evens is a well know, successful writer in the adult fiction world, with plenty of bestsellers under his belts. The question then was, why take a chance and change your genre so dramatically to young adult?

As it turns out Mr. Evens has a well know, but frequently misunderstood disorder called Tourette syndrome. No, not the often portrayed version that causes uncontrollable cursing. Mr. Evens suffers from hard to control ticks and twitches. It is undeniably a difficult disorder to live with for an adult, but Mr. Evens takes it even harder, because his son, Michael, suffers from Tourette syndrome as well. As you might imagine, a child in today’s school environment has a very hard time.

So, Mr. Evens took his gift and clout as a writer and wrote a book about a teenage boy named Michael who is struggling to survive in with Tourette’s…but then he went ahead and made Michael so much more.

The Story:
Fourteen year old Michael Vey has had a tough life. He is fatherless, suffering from a neurological disorder and his single mother has had to struggle to keep them afloat, often moving from city to city. But Michael has one gift that makes him special. You see, Michael was born electric. He has spent most of his life trying to hide the fact that he can electrify anything thing he chooses, but he’s begun to discover that there are more children out there with similar gifts. And that there are people trying to capture as many electric children as possible.

I’m going to be totally honest with you. I struggled with this book for about the first 60 pages. In those first set up chapters there is a lot of coverage of how hard life is for teenagers in general. Sometimes I’m just not sympathetic to this particular storyline because I feel it is over used in so many young adult books and shows. But then all of a sudden the book changes from the hardship of the teenage to an often suspense and action filled ride right to the doors of a mysterious and dangerous organization. By the end I felt like I was in the final assault scene of a super hero movie. I was also ready to read the next installment.

In addition to the charged storyline (pun not intended) the book covers some of the moral choices we face in life…of course in the book the consequences of these choices increase. As Michael battles just to get answers, other characters are tempted to violate their personal sense of morality for rewards and approval. And everyone is eventually asked the devastating question, “How far will you go to save someone you love?”

The book series is a little on the dark side at times and there are scenes with psychological type torture. If you are familiar with bad headaches you will feel for these poor kids. But overall, I think the book is appropriate for all ages. Though perhaps most enjoyed by the age range of the characters.

So, from the sacrificial love of a father to a lightning strike filled assault, Michael Vey grows into a great read.

Have you ever picked up a book for a reason other than the story sounded good? How did it work out?