Hello out there, dearest of Readers! It’s SO SO SO good to be back! I hope you enjoyed the first installment of my vlog earlier this week. Today, I have the great privilege of helping out my fellow author and dear Kindred Spirit, Jack Lewis Baillot with a blog tour and giveaway for her newest release, Finding the Magic!
I just finished reading this book a few days ago and OH MY GOODNESS I LOVE IT SO MUCH AACCCCK!!!! It is a Beauty and the Beast retelling, which is near and dear to my heart, and I just love what she did with the story.
I will do a more thorough review later, but seriously, this book is simply lovely and I highly recommend it!
But you’ll have to wait for my review, because today I am getting to interview one of my new favorite characters, Mr. Adam Prince. So, without further ado…
A cheerful young man named Chip greets me at the door to the enormous house and leads me inside, chattering enthusiastically. He brings me to a large, wooden door, whispers, “good luck” and gives me an apologetic grin as he leaves me to speak with my latest subject.
I knock on the door and it opens to reveal a stern man with stiff, gray hair and wild, bloodshot eyes. He stares at me out of those eyes, his shoulders hunched, and scowls deeply.
“What do you want?” he asks.
“Excuse me, Mr. Prince, I’m the reporter…” I don’t have time to finish.
“No!” he growls, and slams the door in my face.
In real life, I would timidly retreat. However, this is fiction, and when dealing with fictional characters, I get to be braver than I would be in real life. I raise my chin and hammer my fist against the door until it re-opens.
“Mr. Prince, your author assured me that you would cooperate.”
Muttering and threats can be heard and a certain Author is very concerned and hopes the threats are idle, then the door opens. “Come in and have a seat, but know I am only doing this because I am forced to.”
I flip open my notebook. “I promise not to take up too much of your time. Let’s start with you, can you tell my readers a little bit about yourself?”
“What do you hope to find out?” Mr. Prince scowls. “That I am too cranky for my own good? That I was forced to open up my house to a child fleeing the blitz because I owed a favor to a friend? That I like too much sugar in my coffee?”
I try to hide my smile. “Those are all wonderful answers and will give my readers a fairly good picture of you to start. What is going on in the world these days? Can you give my readers a picture of what your world looks like? Where exactly are we and what are some important current events?”
He squints at me in disbelief. “Do you live under a rock? There’s a war going on! A world war it’s coming to be called. As for my personal world, I try to keep my nose out of it as much as possible. I live outside London, in the English countryside and have not been effected by the Blitz until I was forced to take in a child needing to escape. That should count for my good deed in this war, goodness knows I served long enough in the last war to be allowed to sit away from this one.”
I cough. “Well, yes, you see, I come from a different time…” I pause. “Never mind. It’s not important. About this young girl staying at your house, I believe she arrived here last night. Her name is Belle Maurice, if I’m not mistaken. Can you tell my readers why she is staying here? How did that come about, do you have some connection with her family?”
“I seem to be getting ahead of you.” And he smiles though it is humorless and doesn’t reach his eyes. “I have no connection with her family, but with a friend of the family. I served with man who is friends with her grandfather, I believe. I didn’t ask too many questions. I owed this friend a favor and he asked me to keep this child safe for the remainder of the war. Of course I agreed.”
“I believe you have a vast library in this house. Can you tell me some of your favorite titles?”
There’s a slight relax to his shoulders and a deep sorrow in his eyes. “I have a fondness for all the classics. Jules Verne is one author I never tire of reading. Of course, there are also books on theology which I have gone through and find much to learn from their wisdom.”
I nod and smile, glad that I can ask a question that doesn’t cause him to retreat into coldness. “What is your happiest memory?”
The stiffness returns and his eyes harden. “This is one question I refuse to answer, no matter what my Author has to say on the matter.”
“Oh… I… I…ah… I am very sorry,” I stammer at the unexpected rebuke in his voice. I rise and start to gather my things, flailing about for a way to extricate myself from the suddenly very chilly room. “Um…. finally, Mr. Prince — I am sorry for taking up so much of your precious time —but if you could ask your author to change one thing about your story, what would it be and why?”
“I could ask her to end this blasted war I suppose, though I don’t think she has that ability. I guess there is something she could change, but again, it is something I don’t feel you have any reason to ask me about.” He huffs and stares out a window.
I sense my dismissal and let myself out, closing the door softly behind me. As I make my way back to the front door, I pass a young girl coming down the stairs. She looks disoriented and achingly sad. I give her what I hope is an encouraging smile… she’s got a difficult task ahead of her, that’s for sure!
Are you intrigued? I hope so, because this story is just adorable and I love it to pieces and AAAHHH!
Also, it is a Christmas story, so this is the PERFECT time of year to grab a copy and curl up with it. Clocking in at just 56 pages, it’s an easy read that I promise will leave you satisfied, though you might want to flip back to the beginning and read it all over again just so you can spend a little more time with these characters as they find magic in the most unlikely of places!
Available on kindle and in paperback, get your copy HERE.
Jack is holding a giveaway where the prize is a paperback copy of Finding the Magic and a box of rose tea. In order to enter the giveaway, follow her on Instagram and comment on THIS POST with the name of someone you think would enjoy reading her book. (There are ways to gain additional entries, as well, so head on over and check that out!) If you’re not on Instagram, you can also enter the giveaway by leaving a comment on her blog HERE.
Now it’s your turn, dear Reader! What’s your favorite retelling of Beauty and the Beast? Let me know in the comments!