Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on this Blog Tour and for providing me with an e-book of Josie James and the Teardrops of Summer in exchange for my honest opinion.
Josie James is an ordinary 13 year old until something extraordinary happens during her summer holidays.Whilst staying at her Great Grandmother’s cottage in the country she finds herself swept into the cursed world of Suncroft where it is perpetual winter.Her new friends believe she could be the Chosen One who it is foretold will lift the curse, but there are more pressing matters.The Teardrops of Summer – magical crystals that render the owner immortal – have been stolen. Along with her telepathic husky-dog Protector Asher and her new friends, Josie must race to find the Teardrops and prevent catastrophe for their world.
I really enjoyed this magical fantasy adventure which sees thirteen-year-old Josie James discover an incredible heritage that transports her into an archaic world hidden from our world. The village of Suncroft lives under the blight of an ancient curse which traps it in an eternal winter of darkness. Is Josie the Chosen One, destined to break the curse?
Josie is invited by her Great Nannie Kirk to spend the summer holidays with her in Waterfall Cottage, hidden in the countryside. She soon discovers a secret garden, and that her Nan may well be keeping some truths from her. On the morning before her birthday, she makes a discovery that changes her life forever … a discovery that reveals a world hidden from ours, and one she is keen to visit for “one big adventure.”
Josie finds new friends in Suncroft including the half-elf Filan Flynn and his niece Hannah. She is also given the most wonderful Protector, a young husky called Asher who is absolutely adorable. They can communicate telepathically and strike up an instant rapport.
Josie soon finds herself at the heart of a mystery. The Teardrops of Summer, magical crystals which allow travel between Suncroft and our world, and which furnish the Elder who owns them with immortality, are being stolen. Can Josie and her friends track down the culprit before they are lost forever?
The world-building is superb from the idyllic setting of Great Grandmother Kirk’s country cottage (which I would love to visit) to the quintessentially old-fashioned village of Suncroft with its striking absence of modernity and fascinating use of tunnels.
Josie is a wonderful character who lives an ordinary life: she enjoys school, has some close friends, gets on with her parents and is developing crushes on boys. However, her life changes irrevocably when she finds herself in Suncroft which has hidden dangers for her. She shows great courage, strength and a natural curiosity and resilience when helping to solve the mystery of the stolen crystals.
Whilst this book revolved around the mystery of the stolen Teardrops of Summer, the bigger problem of lifting the curse over the village was enticingly sprinkled throughout: witches, curses, the chosen one, enemies within: plenty of intrigue to make me want to read the next story, especially after the jaw-dropping ending!
The second book in the series is Josie James and the Velvet Knife:
“For you to find the Velvet Knife, you must solve the riddles thrice.” A mysterious hooded figure, known only as the Velvet Knife has appeared in the cursed village of Suncroft. No one knows who he is or what he wants but when he starts leaving riddles around the village, it is time for Josie to return to Suncroft for a second time. With Asher, her faithful husky Protector by her side, Filan, a half elf, and her great grandad, will they be able to solve the clues in time and discover his identity? The Velvet Knife is not the only one causing problems for Josie. Her rival for the position of the ‘Chosen One’ continues to grow stronger, and now he has a Protector of his own. What does all this mean for Josie? Is she destined to lift the wintery curse of Suncroft or will another take her place as the ‘Chosen One’?
Amazon UK: Josie James and the Teardrops of Summer
Amazon UK: Josie James and the Velvet Knife
About the Author:
Lily Mae Walters chose her pen name in honour of her beloved grandparents who also star in the Josie James series. She is married with two teenage children, and two huskies that are the inspiration behind Murphy and Asher in the books. Lily Mae lives in Nuneaton, England and finds herself using local places and even her old school in her stories. Family and friends mean the world to Lily Mae and many will find themselves popping up throughout the series. Lily Mae also writes for adults under the name of Florence Keeling.