@Archaeolibrary, @DancingLemurPre, @DenizBevan,
Beauty to his Beast… Lyne Vanlith, an archaeologist who seeks a logical explanation to any mystery, discovers an ancient Druidic curse on her first dig. When the signs foretold by the curse descend on her, Lyne can’t find a reasonable interpretation. And that’s even before a Beast rescues her from a monstrous sea-creature. She drops a grateful kiss on the snout of the Beast, who transforms into a man, Frederick Cunnick, Baron of Lansladron. Lyne is meant to be Beauty to his Beast—and break the curse forever. Now both spellkeeper and monster are targeting Lyne. She must take up her legendary role, to defeat the curse and save Frederick—and herself. Instead of logic, for the first time, Lyne must trust her heart.
3 out of 5 (good)
DRUID'S MOON is a Beauty and the Beast retelling, set in Cornwall and an archaeological dig that finds a manuscript that may have more answers than questions. As an archaeologist, will Lyne believe the superstitions and coincidences, or will she side with logic?
This was an interesting and well-told story that flowed nicely for the majority of the book. There were some points that felt a bit disjointed, where we move from one scene or time to another without notice. There were also characters and situations that weren't explained fully and so felt redundant. I would have preferred a bit more background on the families (especially Lyne's) and how they all tied in with the curse. I don't know if there is a second book to come but I would also love to know more about the mysterious Council and what their involvement was.
Saying that though, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Frederick and his fight with the Beast, and how it affected him. I was unsure if Lady Cockerel was the Mistress for quite some time before it became clear to me.
On the whole, this was a fresh spin on an old classic. I think it shows lots of potential and I look forward to reading more by this author. Recommended by me for all Fairytale Retelling fans.
** same worded review will appear elsewhere **
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
What was your favourite book as a child?
Many of my favourite authors as a child were Canadian: Margaret Buffie, Kit Pearson, Jean Little, Janet Lunn, LM Montgomery, Bernice Thurman Hunter, and others. They helped give me a sense of the wider country beyond my own city, and of the history of Canada, not to mention featuring characters and stories that made me want to return to them again and again!
When was that point in your life that you realized that being an author was no longer going to be just a dream but a career you were going to turn into reality?
I’ve taken different steps at different times to achieve the dream, but since I first started writing, I knew I wanted it to be my reality! I’ve attended courses, or submitted to magazines and journals, or entered story and essay contest, all sorts. And I’ve always kept writing!
When did you start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I’ve been writing since the first grade! I finished my first book in fourth grade; a story called The Strange Girl, about how a girl bonded with her classmates at a new school. after that I even wrote a couple of plays. Then I started a story about a girl who befriended a bear, then for some reason dropped that to write about an orphanage in Australia (a place I’d never been!)...
Do you ever experience writer’s block?
I have! Once, over a period of a year or two, I had a terrible block. I was worried I’d lost all my instinct for writing and needing to tell stories. Luckily, around the time that ideas were slowly beginning to trickle in, I joined thelitforum.com. The forum is a great place to meet other writers, share works in progress, and find advice and information on all sorts of story-related matters.
Are you a planner or a pantser?
I used to be a complete pantser, writing scenes only as they came to me, out of all relation to each other. A few years ago, I switched to being a linear pantser; I still draft the story as it comes, but now I write in the order of the story, and don’t skip ahead to write scenes from further on. I’ve learned from experience that if I skip a scene, I hardly ever come back to it, then berate myself during the editing process for leaving so many gaps! And even when pantsing, I always have a sense of what the ending or resolution will be, which helps to pull the story forward.
How did you come up with the title?
Actually, I happened to blog in real time about the search for a title for the story that became Druid’s Moon, and now I can go back and see how it happened!
On 2 September, I was busy typing up the story and seeking a title: http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2012/09/iwsg-day-row80-check-in-schedule-for.html
Near the end of the month, I was still seeking a title:
At the end of the month, I’d found it!
My process is similar for all of my stories. I have the central theme or idea of the story and some related words, and then I play with them or fool around with online title generators. Once I’ve narrowed the list down to a few choices, I try to find out whether my chosen titles have been used before.
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Read often and widely! Write without worrying about your audience! And step away from your drafts for a few weeks or so before seeking feedback.
What sort of Starbucks coffee would your characters order? Simple coffee or some complicated soy-non-fat-extra-espresso-half-caff-nightmare?
Ooh, that’s fun to think about! Let’s see...
Lyne: A mocha or a hot chocolate, because of the whipped cream
Frederick: Tea. Sorry. He’s English through and through (hence both the tea and the apologetic tone!)
Lady Cockerell: Espresso. Two shots. And one packet of sugar. Not so much because she wants the sugar as because the act of stirring, and having a spoon to point with, draws the eye of her companions – either to distract from her words or to keep them focused on her, or both
Do you have any strange writing habits? Like writing in the shower?
I definitely think of stories in the shower, but haven’t found a good way to write in there! Lately I’ve been drafting into the notes app on my phone and, oddly, I find that more fluid and intuitive than typing on a computer; it comes closer to writing with pen and paper. If I’m on a walk, I may talk about my story out loud as I work through plot problems. And I often daydream about my characters as I fall asleep at night...
How important are the names in your book? Did you choose them based on how they sounded or looked, or was it completely random?
Names are very important! Either they come to me right away and feel right, or they involve a long foray into lists of historically and culturally appropriate names, until I find one that’s just right. I had to do a bit of research to find an appropriate title for Frederick in Druid’s Moon, since I didn’t want to use a title related to anyone currently living. His family name, Cunnick, was chosen based on his relationship to one of my other characters, Austin Cunnick. A lot of my characters are related to each other, actually! I’ve shared the family tree on my blog:
Do you read your reviews?
I try not to!
Deniz Bevan has lived and worked in Turkey, and her non-fiction work, including travel articles, book reviews and personal essays, has most recently appeared in the trilingual (English, French, and Turkish) newspaper Bizim Anadolu. Her short story 'Where There's Life' was shortlisted for the Surrey (Canada) International Writers' Conference Storyteller's Award in 2013. Her contemporary romance, Summer Fire is out now with Carina Press. And there’s a playlist for that story, and many others, on her YouTube channel! And her Story Inspirations board on Pinterest features images of all her characters.
A firm believer in burning the candle at both ends, she is generally writing a new novel while editing another, and blogging about her reading and research adventures -- and sharing travel photos – weekly on her blog, The Girdle of Melian. Other days, she tries to stay off the web altogether, as she delves into the history, mystery, and romance of her characters’ lives.