Fiction Friday – A Dream Not Imagined

I was supposed to post this book recommendation a couple of weeks ago but hadn’t been able to until now. Enjoy!

I wasn’t sure what to think when I picked up Shantelle Hannu’s debut novella A Dream Not Imagined. I’d had some interaction with Shantelle online, and she’d even agreed to be a part of my blog tour for Dare when neither of us had read each other’s books at that point.

I shouldn’t have worried. I blew through the book in a matter of hours. 🙂

About the Book

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

My recommendation

I’ve read a number of Cinderella adaptions so it’s rare for me to run across one that actually surprises me. This one did. At the start, Ellie seems like your normal Cinderella, complete with nasty stepmother and stepsisters. There’s the glimpses of the prince, the upcoming ball, the servitude, and then…

Then things get interesting. Cinderella arrives at the ball in a different manner than you’d expect. The ball doesn’t exactly go as expected either. I gasped out loud in one part, the twist leaving me floored because I thought I’d known exactly where this novella was going.

Turns out I was wrong. That’s the beauty of this novella. It draws you in with the seemingly normal Cinderella tale, then turns it on its head.

Once the main twists were completed, I did guess the twist at the end, and how the book would be resolved. But that was okay. The second major twist isn’t so much a twist but a secret that the reader and author share with giggles and whispers while waiting for the reveal at the end. It’s the kind of twist that leaves the reader gratified that they’d figured it out.

I also really loved the take on the evil stepmother. She’s still evil. Still a baddie. Yet, she does have a reason for it (not a reason most sane people would actually implement). She isn’t just mindlessly torturing Cinderella for no apparent reason. She has a purpose to Cinderella’s servitude.

Overall, it’s a sweet Cinderella story about waiting for God’s timing in your life.

Cover Reveal – A Dream Not Imagined

Today I’m taking a break from my own book launch to host a cover reveal for fellow indie writer Shantelle Mary Hannu. Her debut novella releases in June.

A Dream Not Imagined CoverAbout the Book

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.

About the Author

KODAK Digital Still CameraShantelle 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 (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shantelle-Mary-Hannu/1622068488014168?ref=aymt_homepage_panel),

Twitter: @shantellemary (https://twitter.com/shantellemary),

Goodreads: Shantelle Mary Hannu (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13804303.Shantelle_Mary_Hannu),

Google+: Shantelle H. (https://plus.google.com/101772131563789927466/posts), and

Pinterest: Shantelle H. (https://www.pinterest.com/h0160/).

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

http://everystory-storygirl.blogspot.com/

Claire Banschbach at Claire M. Banschbach – Thoughts and Rants

https://clairembanschbach.wordpress.com/

Amber Stokes at Seasons of Humility

http://seasonsofhumility.blogspot.com/

Ghost Ryter at Anything, Everything

http://ghostryter.blogspot.com/

Deborah O’Carroll at The Road of a Writer

https://deborahocarroll.wordpress.com/

Kaiser Writes at …The Adventure Begins

http://ekaiserwritesablog.blogspot.com/

Alyssa-Faith at The American Anglophile

http://www.theeamericananglophile.blogspot.com/

Hannah Williams at The Writer’s Window

http://williamshsj.blogspot.com/

Laura Pol at Crafty Booksheeps

http://craftybooksheeps.blogspot.com/

Natasha H. at Through My Lens (+ review)

http://tashahphotography.blogspot.com/

Skye Hoffert at Ink Castles

http://skyehoffert.blogspot.ca/

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

http://jayelknight.blogspot.com/

Serena at Poetree

http://poetreeandbooks.blogspot.com/

Brittney at Brittney’s Book Nook

http://brittneysbooknook.com/

Jesseca Dawn at Whimsical Writings

http://jessaswhimsicalwritings.blogspot.com/

Lena K. at Read, Write, Laugh, DANCE

https://readwritelaughdance.wordpress.com/

Allison Ruvidich at The Art of Storytelling

http://www.allisontheartofstorytelling.blogspot.com/

Shannon McDermott at Shannon McDermott’s Blog

http://www.shannonmcdermott.com/?page_id=189