Cover Reveal: A Dream Not Imagined


A MAID, a PRINCE, and a DUKE. A GARDENER, a STEPMOTHER, and a secret

Ellie Abbington, a beautiful yet unassuming young woman, quietly longs for her life to change. Too privileged to associate with the servants—too underprivileged to associate with her own family; she dreams a dream of a prince and a happily ever after.

But it could be that her own stepsisters, conniving Dezmarie and easily-influenced Adelaide, are dreaming the same dream … of the same prince.

In the end, are dreams even all they’re made out to be? Especially with deep and long-hidden secrets about to be unearthed?

A Dream Not Imagined is a non-magical fairytale novella based loosely on the classic tale of Cinderella.

Tentative Release Date: June 2015

ADD TO GOODREADS


About the Author

Shantelle Mary Hannu was born in the mountainous west, spending her golden childhood years there. Since then, she has relocated time and again with her parents and seven siblings, making cherished memories in both the South and Central United States.

A Christian homeschool graduate, Shantelle has a passion for writing and all things books. From a young age she’s been penning tales with a hope of sharing with the world adventurous and soul-stirring stories that bring glory to God.

A Dream Not Imagined, a fairytale novella, will be her first published book. She’s currently preparing a full-length fantasy novel for publication as well, and working on its sequel.

Shantelle blogs at A Writer’s Heart: http://shantellemaryh.blogspot.com/ about her stories, favorite books and movies (with reviews), healthy wheat-free recipes, and hosts fellow authors, among other things. One of her joys is connecting with fellow writers and readers! You can also find her on:

Facebook: Shantelle Mary Hannu, Author

Twitter: @shantellemary

Goodreads: Shantelle Mary Hannu

Google+: Shantelle H.

Pinterest: Shantelle H.


About the Illustrator

Natasha H. is an aspiring photographer and also loves drawing and painting. A Dream Not Imagined is the first book she has drawn the cover picture for.

Learn more about her work at her blog: http://tashahphotography.blogspot.com/


Bloggers Participating in the Cover Reveal

Hayden Wand at The Story Girl

Claire Banschbach at Claire M. Banschbach – Thoughts and Rants

Amber Stokes at Seasons of Humility

Ghost Ryter at Anything, Everything

Deborah O’Carroll at The Road of a Writer

E. Kaiser Writes at …The Adventure Begins

Alyssa-Faith at The American Anglophile

Hannah Williams at The Writer’s Window

Laura Pol at Crafty Booksheeps

Natasha H. at Through My Lens (+ review)

Skye Hoffert at Ink Castles

Jaye L. Knight at Jaye L. Knight’s Blog

Serena at Poetree

Brittney at Brittney’s Book Nook

Jesseca Dawn at Whimsical Writings

Lena K. at Read, Write, Laugh, DANCE

Allison Ruvidich at The Art of Storytelling

Shannon McDermott at Shannon McDermott’s Blog

Tricia Mingerink at The Pen of a Ready Writer

CSFF Blog Tour: Personal Predilections

As a rule, it is easy, when one dislikes a book, to see why. Obvious, even. So it was an interesting experience to get about three-quarters through Storm Siren and try to figure out why I was just waiting for the book to change. True, the section I had been reading was less than action-packed, but I have never needed action to be interested in a book. Those chapters of Storm Siren explored the characters and their world, all in beautifully written prose, and I felt I should have enjoyed it more than I did.

What dimmed my enjoyment, I finally decided, was the romance and angst, dosed out too generously for my tastes. I never doubted the novel’s craftsmanship, even when the content made me restless for something more. This left me thinking of something I realized some time ago: There is a difference between a good book and a book I liked.

We who judge books – as reviewers or simply as readers – need the discernment, and perhaps the humility, to distinguish between honest judgment and our personal predilections. We all have our natural tastes, and it’s human to mistake our innate liking for an inherent superiority. But in fiction, as in everything, there are higher standards than our own tastes.

To know how well a book succeeds, we have to understand what it was meant to be. Once I read a historical novel about Jane Austen that was, at times, rather too slow, but I found it hard to fault the author. A novel like with that, with any fidelity to history, can involve only so much excitement. If the author had decided to write a novel in which Jane Austen was an undercover French spy during the Napoleonic Wars, and her works were actually written by Francis Bacon – well, that would have been more exciting. I might have even liked it more. But it would not have been a historical novel.

I take it for granted that many books have succeeded admirably in becoming the sort of thing I don’t like. I avoid those genres where I expect to find them. Even in the sort of books I enjoy, elements I dislike inevitably surface, and sometimes I criticize. But as time goes on, I realize more and more how subjective these things can be, and how vital the difference between subjective and objective criticism is.

A lack of logic in the plot, a lack of believability in the dialogue, a lack of motivation in the characters – these are objective criticisms, and come far nearer to the question of whether a book is good or bad. It’s only subjective to say that a book had too much romance; all that really means is that it had more romance than I liked. There is no objective measurement of how much is too much.

I don’t mean to discourage subjective criticism. It can be very interesting, and it’s especially useful in reviews; it helps people to determine if the book in question is something they would like. But it should be recognized for what it is, and given its proper weight. A book’s quality is not measured by how much it appeals to us personally.

CSFF Blog Tour: Storm Siren

At the ripe young age of seventeen, Nym is already experienced in being bought and sold – fourteen times experienced. This is proof incontrovertible that her life has been hard. So – and not coincidentally – have been her owners’ lives. And what with the war, and prowling evil wizards, and decadent rulers, and crazy ones – it’s not getting any better. Not that Nym would have expected it to.

Storm Siren is the debut novel of Mary Weber. The book is pure fantasy, with imaginary creatures (generally monstrous), new lands and peoples, and characters wielding otherworldly powers. Although published by Thomas Nelson, the Christian content is minimal. There are a few stray references to “the creator”, but nothing the story could not ultimately have done without.

The most striking element of this book is the style. It was quite well-written, and I knew it from the first page. Storm Siren is one of those books that impress me with the author’s skill from the beginning; I know I am in good hands.

After an intense opening sequence, Storm Siren settled into a long, relatively quiet interval that built up the characters and their world, with all its dangers. The shift surprised me, but it didn’t dismay me. I’m not as hyped for action as some readers are; I like the building and the exploring. I like introspection, I love characters, and more to the point, I liked Mary Weber’s characters.

And yet I reached a point, reading this novel, where I was just waiting for something to change. Although I liked the focus on the characters, and the level of action suited me fine, the angst and the romance were too much for my taste. I get tired of hearing how darned attractive people are; I want only so much depressing background. And when, by a Dark Secret that involves too much coincidence, the story dives into angsty romance …

This interval is book-ended by two sequences, the second much longer than the first, that are filled with danger and action, and are both a bit too grim for me. The end was simply too dark.

I see fully the virtues of the too-grim ending: the effectively-written action, the sudden turns in the story, the genuine emotion. And I was always conscious of how vividly this story is created, how skillfully it is written. So I had an odd sense, finishing this book, that my enjoyment was beneath the level of its craftsmanship.

I appreciated the author’s inclusion of a brother/sister relationship, and an important platonic friendship between a young man and a young woman; the first is unusual in fiction, the second difficult. I also give her credit for bringing the modern issue of cutting into her fantasy world without it appearing forced or dissonant.

Storm Siren is an imaginative fantasy, beautifully written and giving life to strange things, both wonderful and sinister. Many people will enjoy it, especially those with a taste for romance.


In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

CSFF Blog Tour: End Hiatus

Today the CSFF blog tour ends its hiatus with our first tour of 2015. Our subject is Storm Siren, a YA novel written by debuting author Mary Weber. It’s already gotten a lot of attention, to judge by its Amazon reviews (169) and Goodreads reviews (411) and ratings (2,007). So, basically, we can all go home.

No, wait. I was just overwhelmed by the numbers for a moment. What I was going to say is: Now it’s our turn to weigh in. I decided, on finishing the book, that this ought to be an interesting tour, so jump right in, by all means.

Here, then, are the links:

Storm Siren on Amazon;

Mary Weber’s website;

Mary Weber’s Facebook page;

and, most vitally, the tour links:


Julie Bihn
Lauren Bombardier
Beckie Burnham
Vicky DealSharingAunt
George Duncan
April Erwin
Carol Gehringer
Victor Gentile

Ryan Heart
Timothy Hicks
Janeen Ippolito
Carol Keen
Emileigh Latham
Simone Lilly-Egerter
Jennette Mbewe
Shannon McDermott

Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller

Joan Nienhuis
Nissa
Jalynn Patterson
Audrey Sauble
Chawna Schroeder
Jojo Sutis
Steve Trower
Phyllis Wheeler
Michelle R. Wood